Do I need to hire an attorney for a temporary child support hearing?
While I am not licensed to practice law in your state and cannot give you legal advice, I can give some general observations on this issue based on the jurisdiction where I practice.
Where I practice in Pennsylvania, support matters have stages whereby interim child support orders may be entered while the case progresses from one stage to the next.
The initial stage is the support conference, where the parties meet with a conference officer. The conference is comparatively informal in nature, as it is not recorded. The conference officer, an employee of the county, runs the support calculations to see if the parties can come to an agreement on the child support amount. If the parties cannot agree, the conference officer will almost always enter an interim child support order before the case is later heard by a support master or a judge, depending on what county you are in.
Whether a Pennsylvania support case is at the conference level or the hearing level, a party is allowed (but not required) to appear with counsel. Due to the breadth and intricacies of the law that controls support cases, it is very much recommended that a party have counsel present at all stages to ensure the law is being applied properly to the litigant’s particular situation.
Due to the sensitive nature of this situation, I would strongly suggest you contact an attorney who handles family law matters in your jurisdiction, such as Cordell & Cordell, to see how your state’s laws can specifically help you with this serious situation. This type of attorney should be helpful in providing you specific assistance for your matter.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your jurisdiction to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they particularly impact your potential case.