While divorces can get difficult when arguing over property or even whether a divorce is needed in the first place, nothing is as likely to get contentious as when custody of a child becomes disputed. In addition, the determination of custody will inherently affect visitation and child support issues.
No one should ever attempt to represent themselves when custody is an issue in the case. Not only is the paperwork dealing with children extremely difficult but the civil procedure, evidence, and the ability to research case law and knowing both it and the relevant statutes will make a huge difference in the determination. Choosing the right child custody attorney often is the most important decision to be made in the entire case.
Of course, the first place to start inquiring as to the correct attorney for the job is asking friends and family for their recommendations. Divorces involving contested child custody are much less common than those where the custody, visitation, and child support are agreed. However, it is not so rare as to be unusual to know someone who has faced the same issues as the divorcing party. Usually, friends and family members are very willing to explain their case as well as their views on how well their child custody attorney did in their representation.
Another place to consider looking is the office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court for the county where the divorce will be filed. Often the clerk or the assistance clerks can provide a list of cases where the issue of child custody was disputed. They can also provide a list of the attorneys in the case as well. An examination of the decree, in that case, will allow the person searching for the correct child custody attorney to determine who won and who lost.