Q: My kids were removed from my home 12/1/20 by CPS. I was assigned a free attorney. Should I get a paid attorney?
Is it worth my money (we are kinda poor, I'm disabled) to hire and pay for an attorney in lieu of using the free court appointed attorney? Asking because she's nice but not motivated at all, probably overworked. My caseworker has done ZERO since removing my kids. I thought I read Federal regulations and Nebraska state laws say the caseworker must provide me a case plan no more than 60 days after removal. She's done nothing. Meanwhile I already completed domestic violence class, parenting class, co-occurring evaluation, psych evaluation, therapy, med mgmt, and outpatient rehab. Literally was proactive and guessing at what they might require of me since caseworker has done nothing. Anyway I really can't afford it but my children are my world so if it's beneficial to have a paid attorney I'll do what I gotta do. Advice???
A: Majority of court-appointed attorneys are very good. They often handle a lot of cases so they know what the judges find persuasive. Some may have large caseloads and may struggle to give each file as much attention as they otherwise would like. Sometimes you do get better results with hiring a private attorney that has more time to put towards your case. Since juvenile court cases usually involve many, many hearings, private counsel is often relatively expensive for these type of cases. If you are going to hire private counsel, you would want to make sure they are at least as experienced as the court-appointed attorney that you already have for free.
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