Illinois Lawyer Referrals and Legal Guidance
Illinois Father’s Rights Lawyers
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There are some Illinois family law firms that market themselves as advocates for father's rights. Going through a divorce that involves child custody and child support can be an extremely stressful experience. It can be especially stressful for fathers due to the widespread belief that women are usually given custody of children.
We generally oppose firms that market themselves as father's rights lawyers. We feel that this only preys upon the fears that fathers have. In our opinion there is no special skill involved as an attorney in representing a father or a mother. As a lawyer you have a duty to be an advocate for your client and work on his behalf, regardless of gender, age, or any other characteristics. Some lawyers may claim that they will fight for a father (or a mother); however, this does not mean much until they back up their words with actions. Starting off a lawyer-client relationship by manipulating the concerns of an uninformed or scared father is not exactly ideal.
It is easy enough to play directly into the fears that most people have regarding this situation: everyone has heard stories about a man who lost everything in a nasty divorce, including custody of his children. From an outside perspective, such a man often deserves sympathy; however, if you are this man, your situation can seem at best uncertain and at worst downright frightening.
A father’s rights attorney may spell out the dire consequences for you. Not only could you lose custody of your children, but you may have very few visitation rights, large bills for child support, and – the part the lawyer probably won’t mention – huge attorney’s fees. Furthermore, the state authorities who enforce child support could hound you, garnishing your wages or suspending your license if you haven’t paid. Some people will even tell you that the system of family law is biased against men. However, these things are generally exaggerations, and a good lawyer will not scare you into doing anything.
We never knowingly recommend lawyers that prey on the fears of their clients. In fact, we do just the opposite: we try to always recommend a lawyer that will fight for their client’s rights. We recommend that all clients in family law cases make a list of their goals and then work with their attorney to meet those goals.
Some of the most common mistakes that fathers make are:
- Failing to initially respond or becoming frustrated and giving up. If you are served with papers, always respond – failure to do so may result in a court issuing a default judgment against you.
- Signing bad settlement agreements or refusing to perform an agreement. Make sure that you agree with all the terms of an agreement before you sign.
- Obtaining bad legal advice. Surprisingly (or perhaps not surprisingly), lawyers may give you incomplete or outdated information. Sometimes, it may even be flat out wrong with no real excuse. Take time to learn some of the current legal rules or guidelines that are relevant to your situation.
If you have any questions about Illinois divorce and family law or would like a referral to an experienced Illinois divorce lawyer please do not hesitate to contact us. All inquiries are free and confidential.