Advising and Selecting Indiana Family Law Attorneys

At least half of all divorces include a self-represented party.  If you are preparing to file for divorce, have children, and anticipate a contested child custody case then you could access the Indiana Supreme Court's Self-Service Website and get the appropriate form.  However, because of the complexities of this situation it may be best to have an attorney assisting you and, depending upon the level of litigation factors, Mr. Showalter assisting the attorney.  You may opt for the traditional and expensive full representation by an attorney where the attorney appears on your behalf.  Another option though is an advisory attorney through unbundled legal services which you may read about on the right side of this page.

Regardless of your selection, using Mr. Showalter as a child custody advisor can give your attorney needed assistance in understanding the latest social science research findings related to child custody, the recent opinions of the appellate courts, and the general tenor of child custody policy throughout the state.  Mr. Showalter can also draft documents for your attorney, aide in trial preparation, coordinate an effective litigation strategy, and provide additional opinion or play devil's advocate to your attorney. The demands placed upon attorneys can often outstrip their ability. By allowing your attorney to have Mr. Showalter as a resource you get the additional insight of someone who dedicates his life to the study of child well-being and custody issues. This can be the difference between being a parent or being a visitor in your child's future.

Selecting an Attorney

The difference between achieving success in child custody litigation and failing to obtain the best results that you can for your children can be the result of the attorney you select.  There is no rule that says a judge must hear all the evidence and make the fairest decision.  Courts function to give parties the opportunity to present their case -- or to have a practitioner advocate for them.  Unfortunately that is the way the legal system operates.  Thus, it is imperative that if you use the services of an attorney that you get the best attorney who can advocate for you.  Mr. Showalter can help you make the proper match between an attorney with the skills to advocate for you who also is a good personality fit with you.  

Although most family law cases do not qualify for pro bono assistance there are cases that do rise to the level of being of such need that lawyers may volunteer to represent a party at no cost.  I have also assisted pro bono attorneys which can make their representation of a party more effective and relieve the party of the feeling of not wanting to bother the attorney who is providing assistance for free.

To learn more access the Indiana Pro Bono Commission webpage. 

Attorney Questionnaire

You may download our Attorney Questionnaire here to help you evaluate whether the prospective attorney can effectively advocate for you and meet your needs.

If you already have an attorney and would like for Mr. Showalter to assist your attorney or discuss your case with your attorney then download and complete our Attorney Waiver.

Unbundled Legal Services

Pro se litigants can still get the legal expertise of an attorney without being fully represented.  This is done through the use of an advisor attorney who counsels clients through child custody litigation by way of unbundled legal services.  As a parent using an advisor attorney you still get to manage the day-to-day operations of your case but have an attorney to advise you on specific matters.  You are able to communicate directly with the other parent or his or her attorney, get court mail delivered directly to you, and file your own documents.  Mr. Showalter has written a Pro Se Litigant's Guide to Writing Documents Like an Attorney to help parents produce effective pleadings at a lower cost.  He can assist parents in finding suitable attorneys to review documents and make suggestions.  Please contact his scheduler to make arrangements for assistance in locating an advisory attorney for your case.

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