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Troubleshooters: Costs associated with custody battles

READ MORE: Troubleshooters: Costs associated with custody battles
We have become an incredibly litigious society. Whether you are having a problem getting a company to honor a warranty, or trying settling a property dispute, you often have to hire a lawyer to get anything resolved. This is causing problems for many families involved in custody disputes. If you do not have enough cash for attorney’s fees, you may be out of luck when it comes to getting your kids. David Job has been battling to get his kids back for years. He and his wife went through a messy divorce, and in the process, he lost custody of his children, who are currently living with their grandparents. "They look at me and say ‘Dad, what's going on, how come we're not coming home?’ They don't understand that I don't have the money to pay for a lawyer," said Job. David thinks the world of his lawyer, but even though he has a good job running his own business, he simply can not afford the attorney fees. "I had to give him a $5,000 retainer fee, and then, before we went to court the first time it was another $2,500. Then it was another $3,500, and now he wants another $3,500 just to take it back to court," he said. Pamela Wright knows all too well the problems parents like David face. She said, "The system is very expensive and very confusing, and sometimes people fall through the cracks." She is a paralegal, with the Alliance for Single Parents. Working under a Brunswick County attorney, she is able to do a lot of the leg work at a much lower hourly rate than attorneys charge, often saving parents thousands of dollars. She said proving a case in court is not as easy as many parents think who try to represent themselves. "There's something called a burden of proof, and you have to go in there and prove your case. You can't just say 'Hey, I'm a good parent', everybody says that. And it's not enough. You have to get organized and go in there with the right backing." It can get even harder when one parent begins accusing the other of something they didn't do. A situation David knows all too well. "The minute I threw her out, she thought she was going to be slick and she went straight to the Department of Social Services. She said that I threw her and the children out, which wasn't true," said Job. "It's almost enough to drive you crazy." Pamela said the justice system is not always about justice, but knowing how to work through the system. News Channel 3 found out about Pamela Wright through a local parent in the midst of a custody battle, who said she's been an absolute godsend. Pamela said she and the attorney she works under have a ninety percent success rate with the cases they take. If you are a parent struggling financially through a custody battle, you can go to the Alliance for Single Parents website.

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