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What do i do if I feel that my lawyer is not fighting to get me the best outcome in our custody/divorce proceedings

Minneapolis, MN |

I dont feel that my attorney is putting enough work into my case. Everytime I bring something up, he seems to belittle my concerns and brushes me off. He already seems to think he knows the best I can hope for (and it does not look good.) According to him, I am considered totally disabled. I do have some medical issues, but was perfectly fine to watch my 3 children for the first 8 years of their lifes. What makes it so different now? Because of my problems, he seems not to take into account my wishes or thoughts. His are always better.

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Attorney answers 1


It is highly unprofessional to belittle a client's concerns or to "brush off" a client. If your current attorney is not taking your concerns seriously or is not advocating for the custody/parenting position that you want, you should consider obtaining a second opinion about your case, hiring a different attorney, or, at a minimum, explaining your dissatisfaction to your current attorney and demanding that he change how he is handling your case.

While it is the attorney's role to provide the client with legal advice, ultimately, the client decides what positions/outcomes to pursue. Your attorney works for you and should not simply dismiss your goals.

In terms of how your medical issues may impact your case, child custody cases are determined based upon the best interests of the children. There are thirteen (13) best interests factors, which the court will consider in determining the children's best interests. These factors are:

1. The wishes of the child parent or parents as to custody;
2. The reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be of sufficient age to express a preference;
3. The child’s primary caretaker;
4. The intimacy of the relationship between each parent and the child;
5. The interaction and interrelationship of the child with a parent or parents, siblings, and any other person who may significantly affect the child’s best interests;
6. The length of time the child has lived in a stable satisfactory environment and the desirability of maintaining continuity;
7. The permanence, as a family unit, of the existing or proposed custodial home;
8. The mental and physical health of all individuals involved; except that a disability, as defined in section 363.01, of a proposed custodian or the child shall not be determinative of the custody of the child, unless the proposed custodial arrangement is not in the best interest of the child;
9. The capacity and disposition of the parties to give the child love, affection, and guidance, and to continue educating and raising the child in the child’s culture and religion or creed, if any;
10. The child’s cultural background;
11. The effect on the child of the actions of an abuser, if related to domestic abuse, as defined in section 518B.01, that has occurred between the parents; and
13. Except in cases in which a finding of domestic abuse as defined in section 518B.01 has been made, the disposition of each parent to encourage and permit frequent and continuing contact by the other parent with the child.

Each party's physical/mental health is considered one factor among the thirteen factors that the court will consider. Without more information, I cannot address how your medical condition may/may not impact child custody.

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