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Roger, Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 31770
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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my situation is this the mother of my child, we have never

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my situation is this the mother of my child, we have never been married btw... well she lives in va she had the baby feb 11... she then filled for custody/ child support.. i found out about a week ago and the court date is on may 16 i va. Now i live in california, i was never served with any paperwork so the timing for me to get prepared isnt there... I do have money to be able to get a lawyer but im not sure if i should get lawyer in va or not and if theres any other advice you can give me please do... thank you for your time
Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a Family Law litigation attorney. Thanks for your question.

IF you weren't served with notice of the May 16 hearing, then you should be given an extension of time to prepare for the hearing, consult a lawyer, etc.

However, you don't just want to let the court date pass by without letting the court and judge know that you're aware of the proceedings and that you wish to participate. Hiring an attorney in Virginia to assist you is likely the best option for you because of the distance between you and the mother. Your attorney can appear on your behalf, file a motion to continue the hearing to give you some time to get your bearings instead of being ambushed, etc. Your attorney can handle many hearings/court appearances without you, which will certainly reduce your travel time, missed work, etc.

You can search for a family law attorney in Virginia at When you go to the site, click on "Find a Lawyer or Law Firm" and then put in the location and area of practice - - the list you get will be the best attorneys in their field (Martindale-Hubbell is the oldest and most respected attorney ranking system in the country).
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

thank you so much for your time and knowledge. you have a great day and thanks for the link.

No problem and good luck with getting this resolved!

Let me know if you have any additional questions.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Do you think everything will go smoothly with the courts since im agreeing to pay the child support and am not trying to get full custody but just visitation rights? Also how does it work with me trying to have my childs last name changed to mine and what is the chances of that usually happening?

Yes, the custody and visitation and child support issues should go fairly smoothly if you're willing to pay what is required of you under the statutory guidelines (which is based primarily on income). You can search for a Va. child support calculator online to see what your obligation would be.

As for the last name issue, this is a little difficult, but if you're listed as the father on the birth certificate, you have a right to ask the court that the child bear your last name and for the birth certificate to be changed as well. IF you are not listed as the father, you would ask for you to be listed as the father AND that the child's last name be made yours.

Usually, the compromise is a hyphenated last name.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

ok last thing how much do you think im looking at in lawyer fees here?

If you can agree to everything - - other than the name change issue - - you're probably looking at $2500-$3000.

IF You get into a huge legal fight over the child's last name, etc., that price could easily triple.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

is there anything i can do to lower that price?

Well, you can call around and get prices, and it could be that you can get an attorney to take this cheaper or agree to allow you to make payments, etc. Most attorneys will work with you on this.
Roger and 2 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

ok awsome you were a great help and relief thank you... have a great day

No problem. Good luck and let me know if you have any other questions.