Low Cost Child Custody
Why spend a lot of money on child custody if you don’t have to?
Attorney-Guided Low Cost Child Custody Might Be For You! Here’s how it works;
Attorney-Guided Custody Cases are ideal for parents who agree on most parenting issues and want to make sure that their custody paperwork is filed properly. You represent yourself, but your attorney gives you the paperwork filled out 100%, calculates child support for you, gives you legal advice, and guides you step-by-step in real time until your custody case is finalized.
This can be an ideal low cost child custody for many divorcing parents.
Since interactions with your attorney are remote and filings can be done electronically, most of this process can happen from the comfort of your own home or office!
Here’s How it Works:
Step 1: Schedule a consultation.
During your consultation for low cost child custody, you’ll meet with attorney Mary Daugherty over Zoom or the telephone for 30 minutes to discuss your case and how custody cases work in Colorado. She’ll explain all the forms and each step, help you come up with an outline for a parenting plan, answer any questions, and make sure you understand what to expect moving forward.
Mary can only provide legal advice to one parent (not both), so prefers to meet with just you for this first meeting. However, you may choose to include the other parent for the last 10 minutes of your consult or you can have Mary call the other parent separately once you have signed the contract to explain the process.
Step 2: Sign the contract and pay the retainer.
The retainer for most Attorney-Guided Custody Cases is $900, which covers all or most of Mary’s work on your case. Although you’ll represent yourself, you have now retained Mary to draft forms for you, give you experienced legal advice, and guide you step-by-step through your custody case.
Step 3: Fill out intake forms.
Mary will give you two intake form to fill out. She’ll use these to draft all your court forms for you, including your official Sworn Financial Statement. She’ll work closely with you to make sure that your Sworn Financial Statement is correct and that you know how to disclose the financial information that is required of you. She can also provide blank court forms to the other parent to fill out as well, so that he or she knows what is required of him/her as well as instructions on how to file. Mary will use your and the other parent’s financial information to calculate child support for you.
Step 4: Attorney Mary drafts your Parenting Plan.
Mary will work closely with you and your spouse to draft a Parenting Plan that is perfect for you and your family! She’ll also give you detailed legal advice, make suggestions as to specific provisions that would be beneficial to you, and ensure that your final agreements will be acceptable to the judge. Armed with confidence and all the information you may need, you can then finalize all agreements with the other parent.
Step 5: Finalize and e-file your custody paperwork.
You and the other parent will sign your Petition, Parenting Plan, and all custody paperwork. Mary will provide everything you need, completely filled out so that you just have to sign it! Most people print, sign, scan, and email these documents to each other, meaning that you and the other parent will not be required to be in the same room. Mary will show you how to e-file all your signed paperwork.
Step 6: The Judge reviews and finalizes your custody orders in an uncontested hearing.
Mary will show you how to request a short, uncontested custody hearing in which the judge will review your Parenting Plan with you before he or she adopts your parenting plan as an order of the court! Hearings are normally 15 to 30 minutes and can be held over video or in person, depending on the judge and whether both parents live within driving distance of the courthouse. You can reach out to Mary at any time to get all your questions answered throughout this custody process!
What it Costs
1. You’ll pay Mary the Consultation fee of $135 and the retainer of $900.
2. You’ll pay filing fees of $222 plus $12-$24 per filing directly to the court at the time of filing.
How Long it Takes
1. Once your consultation is done, Mary normally returns your prepared court forms to you within a week of receiving your intake forms.
2. Your custody case can be completed in as quickly as 3 months!
Attorney-Guided Custody is the Right Fit for You if:
1. Your child or children has/have resided in Colorado for at least 182 days.
2. Paternity has been established, but you need custody orders (also called allocation of parental responsibilities). Usually this means that there is only one possible father and that father is already listed on the child’s birth certificate.
3. You and the other parent are not married. (If married, then custody will be included as part of your divorce).
4. No guardianship cases exist concerning your children.
5. Your children are not involved in any dependency and neglect cases and the state has never removed your children from your physical care.
6. You, the other parent, and any adult who has had physical custody of your children for 6 months or more within the past 6 months is willing to sign and agree on custody paperwork.
7. You generally agree on parenting time, parenting decisions, etc.
8. You generally agree on whether child support will be paid, how much, and what costs will be shared.
9. You know how to use email.
10. You have access to a printer and scanner (or good camera on your phone).
11. The other parent uses email or has someone who can help him/her print and scan documents.
12. You are willing to go to court by yourself for a final, uncontested hearing.