temporary order

Family Law: What Is a Temporary Order?

You and your ex cannot get along. And you’ve finally decided that it’s time to go your separate ways. Trouble is, you can’t reach an agreement on the terms of the separation either. So, you ask for a temporary order.

One of the most common mistakes divorcing couples make is disregarding a temporary order. That’s a serious problem since temporary orders are designed to help spouses hold their own until a divorce is finalized.

Here, we’re explaining everything you need to know about a temporary order, including how it works, what it’s for, and how to ask for one.

What is a Temporary Order?

Let’s say two parents decide to get a divorce. Like many divorcing couples, they find that they can’t agree on exact terms for anything in their divorce. So, the divorce lawyers are called.

Then, the parent taking care of the kids realizes that they can’t afford extended legal fees while feeding and housing their kids. But they can’t take a divorce decision lying down either.

Or, the couple doesn’t have kids but they do have shared property that needs to be divided and living arrangements that need to be decided, choices that can’t be put off much longer.

Here’s the problem: most lawsuits take months, if not years, to make it to court. Divorces, especially cases where the spouses fight on every issue, are especially difficult.

This is where temporary orders can help.

What are Temporary Orders For?

Temporary orders are designed as a stopgap measure to help couples who can’t wait for the court to make a permanent decision about who gets the kids and who pays for what.

A temporary order can address several issues in a divorce. This can include child custody issues such as:

  • Who gets custody of the children
  • Who is responsible for paying child support
  • Who will carry health insurance for the children
  • Creating a temporary visitation schedule for the parent without primary custody
  • Whether a guardian is needed for the children
  • How extracurricular school expenses will be paid

It can also address property-related issues such as:

  • Which spouse will live in the marital home
  • Who is responsible for the mortgage and other shared bills
  • Who is responsible for credit card debts
  • Who drives what vehicle and who pays for what vehicle
  • How household belongings and items will be split

It can also be used to handle spousal support decisions.

Keep in mind, though, that a temporary order may not dictate the final divorce arrangement. The temporary order will remain in effect until the court reaches a final decision regarding the divorce.

Why are Temporary Orders Important?

With all of that in mind, it should be fairly obvious why temporary orders are important, especially with regards to child custody.

If the two spouses have an amicable split or can agree on several issues, that can help expedite the process considerably–they may even be able to avoid going to court altogether.

But if the two spouses cannot agree, they’re going to have to continue to handle joint expenses and responsibilities before their divorce is finalized. This is a tricky problem, especially if they cannot agree on the terms of support.

Unfortunately, children rely on their parents to care for them, and children are often the unintentional sufferers when divorcing parents cannot get along.

Even if a couple doesn’t have any children, a temporary order can be a lifesaver. Say that a couple bought a house together primarily on the salary of one spouse. If that spouse leaves, the other could be stuck in a home they can’t afford any longer or saddled with debts they can’t afford to repay.

In this case, a temporary order keeps that spouse from drowning in debt while the divorce proceedings continue.

When Should You Ask for a Temporary Order?

With that in mind, let’s talk about when you should ask for a temporary order.

When two spouses decide to divorce and one of them moves out of the house, you have two options: agree on how to divide child custody and shared expenses, or, if you cannot agree, ask a judge to make the decision on your behalf.

Most couples wind up with the latter option.

If there are critical issues you cannot agree on that can’t wait months, you should ask for a temporary order immediately. Especially if you’re the spouse who’s taking care of the children or saddled with the bills.

How to Ask for a Temporary Order

If it sounds like a temporary order is something you’re going to need, let’s talk about how to get one.

What You’ll Need

Before you ask a judge for a temporary order, you’re going to need a few things on hand, such as:

  • A request for the court order you want
  • A proposed temporary order granting the relief you’re requesting
  • A supporting declaration
  • A proof of service

In some states, your request will include an Application for Order to Show Cause and an Order to Show Cause. These are basic legal documents outlining what you’re asking for–you just need to fill in boxes.

You’ll also need a proposed temporary order. If the judge grants your order, they’ll sign the proposed order. The supporting declaration sets out the legal justifications for granting the order under penalty of perjury.

What to Expect at the Hearing

Once you have the necessary documents, you and your lawyer can prepare for the hearing. Usually, this is held within a few weeks of submitting the request, but in an emergency, it can be held in a few days.

This type of hearing typically takes 20 minutes or less. The judge will review the details you’ve provided, ask your spouse for their side of the story, ask a few clarifying questions, and (in child support cases) refer to the state’s recommended support guidelines.

After the hearing, the judge will issue a decision within a week. If your request has solid legal standing, they’ll either grant the order you requested or modify it somewhat. This decision will stay in effect until the divorce is finalized, either through a court decision or an agreement between spouses.

Need a Family Attorney for Your Case?

If it sounds like you might need a temporary order, then it’s time to find a family lawyer who can help.

We help you find a family lawyer, whether you live in San Antonio, Washington DC, or a totally different region of the country.

And if you’re still looking for guidance, check out our blog for more tips, like these eight signs you need a child custody lawyer.

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Living Together While Divorcing: Should You Move Out?

While millennials get blamed for a lot, one thing they can’t be blamed for is a rise in the divorce rate. That’s because, between 2008 and 2016, the rate dropped by more than 18 percent.

Despite this, divorce is still occurring in an overwhelming number of marriages. And the overall divorce rate won’t matter much to you if your own marriage is coming to an end.

When a divorce is imminent, you’ll have a lot of decisions to make. One big one is where you’ll live during the divorce.

If you’re going through a rough spot, keep reading to learn questions you need to ask yourself before you decide whether living together while divorcing is an option for you.

Are You Safe in Your Home?

If you feel unsafe in your home, the answer to the question, “should I move out of the house before the divorce,” is simple; yes.

Maybe domestic abuse is the reason behind your divorce to begin with. Or your soon-to-be-ex has become violent now that he or she knows you’re leaving.

Whatever the case, if there is any chance that your situation may become physically or emotionally unsafe, it’s important to get out right away. Stay with friends or family if possible, as opposed to staying alone in a hotel, in case your ex does come looking for you.

If you need to stay in your home for any reason, you’ll need to figure out how to your spouse to move out during the divorce instead. This may require obtaining a restraining order against your spouse and getting a court order for him or her to leave the house so that you may remain.

If your spouse fights the restraining order and the order to leave your house, you need to decide whether or not you think it’s likely he or she will break the order. If you feel they might, it may still be safer for you to stay with friends and family rather than putting yourself or your children at risk by staying put.

Are Children Involved?

Divorce is always emotionally difficult. But when children are involved, things get much more complicated.

That isn’t to say you shouldn’t get divorced if you and your spouse have children.

In fact, research shows that most children will adjust to divorce within 2 years. But children of parents who constantly fight and don’t get a divorce experience more lasting emotional problems.

However, there are a few things you can do to help make the adjustment to a separated family less harmful to your children.

Deciding Who Stays with the Kids and Who Goes

Both you and your spouse remaining in the home together is one way to protect your children. But this is only a viable option if you and your spouse are on good terms.

The last thing you want to do is expose your children to endless arguments. If you know that you won’t be able to keep your fighting from occurring in front of your kids, it may be best for one spouse to move out.

The other option is to keep your children in your home and have you and your spouse trade off who stays there, on a set schedule.

If you know that you and your spouse will be co-parenting after the divorce is finalized, this may be a great way to start practicing while also protecting your children from some of the trauma of your divorce.

However, if you can’t trust your spouse or if one of you won’t be around enough to care for your children on your own, this may not be an option. In this case, it may be best for the primary caregiver to stay in the home with your kids while the other moves elsewhere.

Minimizing the Effect of Divorce on Your Kids

Another factor to consider is whether you will be fighting your spouse for custody. If you think you may need a child custody lawyer because your spouse thinks he or she deserves custody that you don’t feel they should have, this can make living together tense.

You don’t want your children to see you fighting with your spouse over who will be caring for them after the divorce.

While you don’t want your kids to see you arguing, that doesn’t mean you should keep everything from them. Being honest with your children about what is happening is important. Give them notice before any big changes occur, like one spouse moving out.

This will give your kids time to adjust to the changes, making them easier to handle.

Is Supporting Two Households Financially Possible?

If finances are tight, there may be no point in arguing about who has to move out in a divorce.

If you and your spouse can’t afford a second household and don’t have family or friends one of you can stay with, you’ll both need to remain in the house.

Unless you are on good terms, you may want to set boundaries on your living situation. This could include setting rules about having guests over, assigning separate spaces for each of you to use, and agreeing to split costs like food and household items.

If you have children together, deciding to keep any arguments to yourselves is a must.

If you know your divorce is likely to drag on, you might consider selling your home to give yourselves money to buy or rent two smaller properties that you could live in separately.

Living Together While Divorcing

Whether or not you and your spouse will be living together while divorcing is something you’ll need to decide for yourself. You’ll need to consider your personal situation, your children if you have them, and whether it’s financially responsible for one of you to move to a second home.

But there are other parts of your divorce that you shouldn’t handle on your own.

If you and/or your spouse have decided to end your marriage, it’s time to decide whether you want the help of a lawyer to navigate the process. Click here to learn 8 reasons why a divorce lawyer might be a good choice for you.

How to Get Custody of Your Grandchild

Around the country, nearly 3 million grandparents are raising their grandchildren instead of biological parents. This is so normal that judges and legal systems across the country know how to grant this custody in a standardized manner. IF you’re trying to figure out how to get custody of your grandchild, patience will be your ally and honesty will be your best friend.

Here are five things to consider when aiming for custody of grandchildren.

1. Understand the Stakes

When you’re seeking to get involved with your grandchildren’s guardianship, you need to be realistic about who you’re fighting against. You need to maintain peace at all costs with your children, as they could make it harder for you to get the custody you’re seeking.

You’re grandchildren likely have two parents who could be vying for custody of them. Whether or not you think their parents would be the best guardians, it might not be likely that you’re going to get custody.

If both of the children’s parents are willing to come to court and testify, the judge is likely to see them both as potentially fit to care for the children. This might be hard for you to face, but you have to see the people you’re fighting against are your own children. Fighting against them viciously will tell the judge everything they need to know about what kind of parent you’d be.

You might have the time, resources, and wherewithal to take care of the children, but it’s not up to you. Perhaps, instead of fighting for custody, you offer all the support you can to the children. Let them know you carer and set boundaries with their parents.

The children will see you for the loving family that you are and will eventually seek to spend more time with you.

2. Timing Is Key

One of the times that grandparents will sometimes try to get in the middle of a custody battle and advocate their own guardianship. This might seem like a good opportunity, but ultimately it’s a bad look for grandparents.

You might think you can make a good case, but you’ll be looking at the custody battle through the eyes of an opportunist. This will make it look like you think that passing the children around like a football is good for the family. Don’t risk looking like you’re heartless.

Be careful with how you time your custody case. Support a parent’s right to their children and you’ll find them more receptive to sending children to spend time with you. Unless you feel that you can prove that the child or children would be in physical danger in the hands of either parent, you shouldn’t try to get custody.

Remain supportive until you can prove it’s a bad idea.

3. Keep Your Eyes On Safety

The issues that courts and judges will be most receptive to are going to be centered around the safety of children. Your most strategic advantages will lie in taking advantage of situations where parents can’t take care of the children safely. While you shouldn’t let the children get into an unsafe position to prove your point, take note of any warning signs.

When you point out how the children are endangered, it will make it much harder for parents to win a custody case. You’ll look like a stronger candidate for custody when you show the disparity in safety and support that children will receive.

If there are stressful situations that you can prove the children have already gone through, you’ll have a strong case. When children survive trauma, it marks them for years to come. If you can tell a judge what’s happened and why it will happen again, you can make a strong case for why you should have custody.

4. Calling Police or Protective Services is Tricky

Don’t immediately call Child Protective Services or 911 if suspect there’s an issue. This can also endanger and traumatize children. Seeing parents taken away in handcuffs or being whisked away to foster care is a memory that will scar your grandchildren.

If your grandchildren are in immediate danger of being abused or neglected, then you should consider calling. However, if you can’t prove that it’s happening or has happened recently, you will be calling for no reasons. You’ll seem like you’re harassing the parents, your children, rather than trying to help your grandchildren.

State officials will be required to follow through on reports that you make. If it looks like you’ve given a false report, that will end up on record. This will look bad for you in court.

If you’re trying to build a case, false reporting could shatter your chances of proving that your grandchildren are in dire straits.

5. Get The Right To Visit

Visitation rights can be powerful. If your grandchildren can’t trust other adults and don’t feel safe with their parents, they could open up to you. When push comes to shove, they could testify on your behalf if you seek custody at a later date.

Start by asking to be allowed visitation rights. If you have a relationship that’s a lot like a parent-child relationship and you can prove it, you will easily get the right to visit children.

Rather than getting custody outright, being able to visit them could make your role official. If anything bad happens, you’ll be in line to take over for their parents. The court will evaluate your role and assess how much time you get with them.s’ fitness.If you provide significant support, find a way to show it to the court. Figuring Out How To Get Custody of Your Grandchildren is Complicated

When you’re trying to navigate how to get custody of your grandchildren, you’re going to struggle with the legal system. However, at the end of the day, you need to do what’s best for your grandchildren and respect what the court says. Your goal needs to be to support your grandchildren, not to win custody.

Before you hire a family lawyer, check out our guide for tips.

What Happens If You Commit Perjury in Family Court?

Perjury is the act of lying under oath.

And we all know from 5th grade civics class that this is a crime in and of itself.

But, unfortunately, it’s incredibly common in family court, as well as court in general. It’s supposed to be punishable as a criminal act, and in a perfect world, all people who commit perjury would face consequences.

Reality is far from perfect.

So what really happens when someone commits perjury in family court? Read on to find out more about what the consequences typically involve.

Perjury in Family Court

Family court typically involves parties who are going through a divorce or who are seeking custody of children.

In some cases, these conflicts can extend for the majority of the children’s lives and can become quite nasty.

Therefore, it isn’t uncommon for people to lie in family court. They may lie about things like abuse, paying for child support or other things that blatantly aren’t true.

The goal for both parties in family court is often to gain custody of the children. In some cases, the goal is the illicit a higher child support payment, or have the child support payment lowered.

While both parties sign witness statements under the penalty of perjury, unfortunately, it doesn’t really mean much to the court of law. The cases are often “he said,” “she said,” and need to be arbitrated based on who has the “best story” or which lawyer is the most skilled at ensuring his or her client gets what they’re asking for.

Because of this fact, it can be difficult to prove someone is lying under oath unless one party has clear and solid evidence. This may include emails, text messages or videos of the other party committing the act they allege. Otherwise, the situation is, unfortunately, one person’s word against the other.

What Constitutes Perjury in Family Court?

Perjury in family court can be committed in a number of ways. In addition to lying about abuse or child support, it may include things like lying about where a child resides, lying about the current custody schedule, falsely alleging the other partner prevents a parent from seeing a child, hiding paychecks, hiding documents or falsely stating that a parent is uninterested in being in the child’s life.

In extreme cases, this may also include forging letters or documents and presenting them to the court as authentic.

What is the Penalty for Perjury?

The penalty for perjury is very clearly outlined in most states. Federal law states that perjury can be punished with up to five years in prison in addition to fines and probation.

If someone commits perjury in family court, this creates an entirely separate case. While committing blatant perjury can affect the outcome of the case, the person who did commit perjury won’t be prosecuted as part of the family law case.

Instead, a different case will need pursuing to ensure the person is properly punished for the perjury. This case will be for the crime of perjury alone.

But while the federal law states that perjury is punishable with up to five years in prison and a fine, perjury in family courts rarely amounts to punishment.

This is partially because of the nature of the case, and the fact that most people cannot unequivocally prove that the other party committed perjury.

Another reason why it is not often pursued is due to the fact that most court systems are already overloaded. They’re typically not interested in working with someone who may have committed perjury or prosecuting them. This is most often because they have what they perceive as more serious crimes to deal with.

While someone can start up an investigation into perjury in family court, most lawyers say they’ve never actually seen that occur.

Instead, the person who committed perjury most often gets away scot-free.

Sometimes, a judge will pursue a perjurer for contempt of court. This is typical if the lying is easily provable, and the person has committed another form of attempting to obstruct justice. Again, this isn’t very common.

More often, lawyers who knowingly commit perjury are indicted for their crime. This is much more common than a plaintiff or defendant receiving a punishment.

What to Do If You Catch Your Ex Lying in Family Court

If you’re currently in a potential custody situation, the best thing to do is to immediately get a lawyer. He or she is the best person to help you navigate the situation and can give you the best legal advice based on your personal circumstances.

You should also document everything you can in order to show the court. This can include text message conversations, emails, videotaping abuse and other such evidence. While it may not be easy to prove that the other party is lying, when you have a body of evidence, the court is more inclined to take your word more seriously.

Family Courtroom Drama

Unfortunately, family court can be a messy affair. And perjury in family court is a growing and serious issue that plagues our court system. The fact that very few people have been prosecuted for committing perjury in family court makes it all the more frustrating for those who are genuinely interested in the welfare of their children.

If you are facing a custody issue or think your case may be headed to family court, contact us today. We can advise you on the next steps to take.

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Top 8 Signs You Need to Hire a Child Custody Lawyer

You fell in love and couldn’t imagine life without each other.

Then you decided to get hitched. At first, everything was rosy and there were no issues to report. Then you got your first child.

But instead of life becoming even better, it got worse. Even your baby couldn’t bring you closer together. So, you opted to have a divorce.

If you’re having a divorce, take heart. You aren’t alone.

Over 800, 000 couples in the U.S go through divorce each year. Divorces are far from easy, but they become especially complicated when kids are involved.

You don’t need to handle child custody matters all by yourself. With a family law attorney, you can protect your rights to win time-sharing agreements.

Here are 8 good signs you may need a child custody lawyer while getting divorced.

Your Ex Has Already Engaged a Child Custody Lawyer

If your ex has already hired a family lawyer you’d want to do the same, otherwise, your case might turn a way you don’t expect.

You want to be well-prepared for your custody hearing. That’s especially important if your ex has hired an experienced legal representative to argue their case.

If you’re having money troubles, you can find a low-cost attorney in your area or get free legal aid. But it’s best to hire the right child custody attorney to help you out.

You Believe Your Kids Are in Danger

Sometimes the court’s ruling makes sense in theory, but that may actually put your children in danger. In such cases, time is priceless. This means you’ll need someone who’s familiar with court processes and can push through essential measures.

Often, custody cases may take months to solve, but if there’s evidence of immediate danger to your children, hiring an attorney may be the key that resolves the situation in time.

Your Spouse Has Stopped You from Seeing Your Kids

If you’ve been banned from seeing your own kids, you’ll need a lawyer in order to argue your case for why the decision was wrong. This might be in the form of an appeal or another legal battle to prove you deserve to be part of your kid’s life.

Without a family law attorney, however, you might find it difficult to convince the judge that the original ruling violated the law and your rights.

Your Custody Case Is Complex

Do you live in a different jurisdiction from your ex? Are you both unable to decide between joint and legal custody?

Is your ex trying to persuade the court that you’re not fit for joint custody of your kids? Or, is your present life situation changing so drastically that it can impact your kid’s life? Are you moving in with someone else or remarrying?

If you’re in any of these situations, you should consider hiring a lawyer to steer you through the process of child custody modification.

It’s especially essential to hire a lawyer when remarrying or moving in with someone new. This is because the court will thoroughly scrutinize you and your new partner before they allow joint custody of your children.

Your Custody Case Spans Country or State Lines

If you and your former spouse are in the same state or country, the custody case can often be pretty easy, if you’re in total agreement with one another.

If you’re unable to agree, however, or if the jurisdiction between you both changes, you’ll need expert legal representation.

A child custody attorney can help you fight for custody that does not involve your kid constantly shuttling between parents and help you argue a case that satisfies each party involved.

Since case requirements and proceedings can vary between states, it’s important to hire a lawyer that can guide you through the requirements.

You Receive a Notice About Custody Hearing

You can’t go to a custody hearing without a legal representative. If you do so, you’re highly likely to lose.

When you suddenly get a notice to go to court, it’s important to decide if you need an attorney. Consider hiring a knowledgeable and experienced family law professional to guide you through the legal processes and protect your rights.

Your Ex Wants Sole Custody of Your Kid

This is quite common if a couple had only one child at the time of divorce. In that case, each partner would be fighting to win custody of the kid, and it’s best to hire a child custody lawyer.

Such a lawyer can help resolve the standoff by drafting an agreement that will satisfy both parties. Or, the lawyer can help you file a case to challenge your ex’s decision to stay with the child.

The Court Requires You to Take Classes or Get Treatment

If the court orders you to take anger management, parenting classes, or join an alcohol or drug rehab facility, then they might think that you’re already in a weak position.

In that case, it’s best to get a child custody attorney. The only exception is if both parents in your state or country have to take anger management or parenting classes for any child custody case.

While uncommon, some jurisdictions require some sort of parental training for every child custody case.

Hire a Child Custody Attorney Today

Child custody cases are often complicated. But hiring a child custody lawyer can make things easier and hand you the best chance of winning custody agreements you desire for you and your child.

To find the best family attorneys and law firms in your area, check out Family Attorneys Near Me and browse through our blog for some useful information. With over 2,000 listings, we’re the ultimate directory to find your ideal family lawyer.

You can also browse family and divorce lawyers at these locations: Washington, San Antonio, Dallas, Austin, Houston, Columbus, Oklahoma City, Sacramento, and New Orleans.

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Top 10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Family Lawyer

You’re headed down the road of divorce, and it’s a bittersweet feeling.

On the one hand, you can’t wait to break up with your spouse and move on with your own independent life. At the same time, you’re dreading the rocky moments you’re likely to encounter on the way to freedom — you know, the fight over the house, the money, and the kids.

Know, though, that you’re not alone. After all, research shows that between 40%-50% of marriages today end in divorce in the United States.

How smooth your divorce proceeding goes has a lot to do with the family law attorney you choose to handle your case. So, before you choose one, here’s a rundown on the top 10 questions to ask a family lawyer before hiring him or her.

Let’s get started!

1. Ask Your Potential Family Lawyer, “How Much Experience Do You Have in Family Law?”

This is perhaps the most critical question to ask any family law attorney you’re interested in hiring.

You need a lawyer who possesses the necessary knowledge and experience to navigate your case in the most streamlined manner possible. An attorney who lacks family law experience might not understand your case’s intricacies in the same way that a seasoned lawyer would.

2. “How Quickly Do You Typically Respond to Emails and Phone Calls?”

When you’re on pins and needles during your divorce proceeding, it’s understandable that you want to hear from your lawyer in a timely fashion. For many people, having a lawyer respond to them within 24 hours is ideal. For you, weekly communication may be enough.

Before hiring a lawyer, make sure that you ask the attorney his or her policies about responding to your questions. A smart lawyer will give you the personalized attention you desire while also streamlining your communications to keep your legal expenses as low as possible.

3. “What is Your Method of Charging Clients?”

When you’re interviewing potential family law attorneys, ask them how they usually charge clients.

For instance, some attorneys charge by the hour, whereas others work on flat fees or retainers.

You may also have to cover other costs as part of your case, such as travel expenses, fees for outside consultants and court costs.

A reputable family law attorney will be honest about your case’s costs and how he or she will handle your billing process.

4. “How Often Have You Handled a Case Like Mine?”

If you ask family law attorneys this question, they’ll likely say they’ve handled quite a few cases. But, you should ask them how often they’ve handled cases featuring circumstances like yours.

Even if an attorney has handled more than 60 divorce cases, he or she might have handled only a few cases involving complicated alimony matters.

Especially if your future ex-spouse is adversarial or if your case might be contentious, it’s critical that you also ask how often your potential attorneys have represented clients like you in a divorce trial.

5. “Who Will Handle My Case?”

Many family law attorneys have teams of people working with them on complicated cases.

For instance, an attorney might enlist the help of a paralegal or a support associate. Accountants or financial advisors may also help your attorney to determine how to divide assets during your divorce.

This team approach could save you money in the long run and also help your attorney respond to your case’s demands more effectively. Be sure to ask your potential attorney how experienced these other professionals are.

6. “What’s Your Approach to Representing or Winning Cases?”

This is a particularly important question during a divorce proceeding. After all, if you’d like to divorce your spouse in the most amicable manner possible, an aggressive attorney might not be a good fit for you.

At the same time, if you want to take your divorce case to trial, you’ll need a family lawyer who doesn’t mind pushing the envelope to get you the best outcome.

7. “What Options Do I Have for Resolving My Legal Issue?”

In line with question number six, let’s say you fall under the category of those wanting an amicable divorce. In this situation, be sure to ask a potential attorney what out-of-court options you have for resolving your case.

For instance, the attorney may have a lot of experience with divorce mediation or collaborative divorce. Or, he or she may enjoy participating in informal negotiations. These divorce processes offer the benefit of being less costly and time-consuming compared with traditional divorce litigation.

8. “What Is My Case’s Likely Outcome?”

This is a fair question, as you naturally want to know how good your chances are of winning your divorce case.

Don’t choose an attorney who gives you the answer you want to hear. Instead, choose one who gives you an honest answer.

The more honest answer you receive, the more prepared you’ll be for what comes your way as you progress through your divorce proceeding.

9. “How Will You Get in Touch with Me?”

As we mentioned earlier, communication is essential when you’re working with a lawyer. In addition to finding out how often you can expect to hear from him or her, find out what communication methods he or she prefers.

Some attorneys prefer to talk by phone, others by email. Choose one that fits your communication style so that you have the most pleasant client-attorney relationship possible.

10. “Who Are Your Typical Clients?”

This question is frequently overlooked, but it’s an important one.

For instance, you may own high-value assets that will be complex to split during your divorce, such as a family business. In this situation, you don’t want an attorney whose clientele is predominately those in the lower middle class, where the splitting of assets may be a bit more straightforward.

Your prospective attorney’s typical clients will tell you a lot about whether he or she can handle your case with ease.

How We Can Help

We offer a comprehensive listing of more than 6,000 attorneys who are ready to meet your legal needs.

Begin your attorney search here to kick-start your divorce process with the right family lawyer near you today.

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8 Reasons to Hire an Attorney to Handle Your Divorce

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Infidelity, financial problems, and conflict are some of the most common reasons for divorce.

No matter the reason for yours, it’s bound to be a difficult time in your life. That’s why you need to hire an attorney.

Divorce is a complicated and arduous process, and if you attempt to go through it alone, you could end up with more problems than you started with. In this post, we’ll tell you why you should have a lawyer on your side.

Read on to find out how they’ll make the entire process easier for you.

Why Every Divorcee Should Hire an Attorney

Not sure if you need a divorce lawyer? Here’s why you do.

1. Protect Your Rights

A lawyer knows exactly what your rights are and how to protect them.

They’ll ensure that you don’t have the wool pulled over your eyes during your divorce. Instead, you’ll be fully informed about the process you’re going through, what’s required of you, and what the conditions of your settlement are.

2. Handle the Paperwork

In any legal proceeding, there is a huge amount of paperwork involved. Divorce is no different.

If you try to go it alone, the sheer amount of red tape and documentation you have to navigate can quickly become overwhelming. For a divorce lawyer, dealing with these things is second nature.

They know exactly which documents you need and how to complete them. They’ll also make sure you understand what they all mean, explaining any legal jargon and complicated clauses along the way.

This streamlines the entire process for you.

3. Get Objective Advice

A divorce is an incredibly emotional time in anyone’s life.

While you’re going through this process, it can be hard to look at things objectively. That’s why you need an attorney. They’ll offer expert third-party advice, completely free of any bias or judgment.

This can help you to make the right decisions. They’ll let you know if any of your feelings or requests are unreasonable. They’ll also create a buffer between you and your spouse, so emotions can be taken out of communications and things can be handled in a more professional, effective manner.

This way, disputes, and disagreements become much easier to settle. The stress, emotion, and hassle are removed from the equation.

4. Speed Up the Process

The last thing you want is to drag out your divorce for months or years at a time. Ideally, you should come to an agreement that suits both you and your spouse as quickly as possible.

Without a lawyer, it’s very difficult to do that.

This is because you have to spend extra time figuring out the process and handling negotiations by yourself.

When you have an attorney on your side, everything moves faster. This means you can get everything finished and move onto the next chapter of your life much more quickly.

5. Expertise in Family Law

A family attorney has worked with hundreds of divorce cases before yours. In all likelihood, they’ve seen it all before.

The chances are that you’ve never been to a family court before. Even if you have, your experience can’t compare to the expertise of a lawyer.

After studying and practicing law for a number of years, they’ll have accumulated the expert knowledge and skills needed to handle your case.

When you have a great divorce attorney, you can feel completely confident about putting your case in their hands.

6. Keep Your Finances in Check

You’d be forgiven for thinking that it’s cheaper to choose not to hire an attorney for a divorce. After all, you could have to pay some hefty legal fees.

However, these fees are nothing compared to the amount you could lose if you choose to go it alone. Without the right professional guidance and advice, you could end up making financial losses that you regret for the rest of your life.

A lawyer can help you avoid losses like these by negotiating a reasonable settlement. They’ll also advise you on how to keep the cost of the procedure down.

7. Know Your Options

If you’re not familiar with the legal process of a divorce, you may not know what options are available to you.

This makes it easy for you to be taken advantage of. If you represent yourself, you will find yourself with limited options available to you, and your spouse’s lawyer will have the upper hand.

An experienced lawyer can let you know about options that you didn’t even know existed. They’ll present you with a variety of ways in which to approach and settle your case. Then, they’ll guide you through each one, so you can make an informed decision.

8. Separate Marital Assets Fairly

One of the hardest parts of divorce is letting go of everything you’ve built with your spouse.

This can include marital assets like property and cars, as well as finances. If you have children, you’ll also have the complicated task of making arrangements for child custody. Negotiating and coming to an agreement on these matters can be an extremely difficult process.

When you have an attorney in your corner, they’ll fight for you every step of the way, so that you can improve your chances of getting the outcome you want and deserve.

Find the Best Lawyer for You

Now that you know why you need to hire an attorney to guide you through your divorce proceedings, the next step is to find the right one.

It’s important that you have a good working relationship with your lawyer. A divorce is an extremely personal and emotional process, and you need someone who can provide the support and guidance you need, as well as the expertise.

There are hundreds of attorneys in your area to choose from, and it can be hard to know how to pick out the best ones. To find out, read our definitive guide on how to find a good divorce attorney.

family attorney

10 Times You’ll Need a Family Attorney on Your Side

family attorney

Are you in need of an experienced family lawyer to help you through your legal issues?

An experienced family law attorney can give you valuable insight into the legal process. He or she can also be a trusted counselor and someone to lean on during a difficult time in your personal life.

While many people identify a family lawyer as someone that handles divorces only, these attorneys practice in a wide range of family law areas.

Read on to learn 10 times you’ll need a family attorney on your side.

1. Divorce

Are you and you and your spouse unable to reconcile your differences as a married couple?

According to the American Psychological Association, 40 to 50 percent of marriages in the United States end in divorce.

You need a family lawyer to help guide you through the divorce process in your particular state. That’s because laws vary from state to state and you need to be sure that you have the best representation in your jurisdiction.

2. Property Settlement

The dissolution of marriage can be an emotional time for everyone involved.

One of the most important areas of a dissolution is determining what is a fair property settlement. This can be a complicated process if you and your spouse have a lot of different assets.

The property settlement will be based on who has the right to the asset. It will also be based on the dollar value of that asset at the time of your dissolution of marriage.

3. Child Custody

Many types of family lawyers are experienced in child custody issues.

This can be the single most meaningful aspect of a divorce because both spouses may want as much time as possible with their children. Each state treats this issue differently, which means you need a lawyer licensed and experienced in your state.

For example, Florida family law judges use the best interests of the child (BIC) standard. To make a determination on this issue, they look at a wide range of factors to decide what suits that child’s interest the most.

4. Adoption

One of the rewarding parts of a family attorney’s job can be bringing a family together.

If you are considering adopting a child, a family attorney can help you through the process so that you understand how the process works. They can also help you ensure that you are going about things the right way through the adoption agency.

This way you can avoid having to repeat the application process or endure extended delays until you are approved to adopt a child.

5. Civil Unions / Domestic Partnerships

An attorney for family law can also help you with a civil union or domestic partnership.

On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges held that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples by the Due Process Clause and Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution.

This landmark case set off a major increase in same-sex marriages in states across the country. However, even after this case was decided, there are still couples that wish to form a civil union or domestic partnership.

An experienced family law attorney can help you and your partner by answering your questions and explaining the legal ramifications of each option you have.

6. Alimony

Alimony is payment for the support of a former spouse and can have a major impact on your quality of life.

This payment can be made at once in a lump sum or ordered by a court to be paid each month, or on another schedule. Although this amount will be court ordered at the end of your dissolution case, it doesn’t mean a former spouse will stick to it.

Even after the dissolution of marriage, you may need to hire a family attorney to fight for back payments or other amounts that have gone unpaid over time.

7. Marriage

A family lawyer can help prepare you for submitting the proper paperwork to receive your marriage license.

They can also help you by giving you advice on how to ensure you make the proper updates after a name change.

Officially changing your name is only one step in the process. You will also need to ensure you are changing it with all necessary entities and that you have done it in a reasonable amount of time.

This way you can avoid confusion after your nuptials and enjoy spending more time as a married couple.

8. Prenuptial Agreements

A prenuptial agreement is a way for a spouse to protect assets that he or she holds before they marry the other spouse.

In short, this is a contract that is signed by both parties. It states that the property listed in the contract is to be maintained as that of the original owner and not to be considered marital (or common) property.

It’s crucial in these agreements that they are written correctly so that the proper intent is recognized. They also need to be legally enforceable of they will be rendered invalid by a court in your state.

9. Separation

A family law attorney can also help you and your spouse separate from one another.

This is important because a legal separation is different from a divorce. It also is often used by a couple to separate from one another and attempt to work out differences.

In the event that separation does not work, the spouses may opt to take the next step and formally divorce from one another.

10. Child or Spousal Abuse

A family lawyer can also help you through handling allegations of child or spousal abuse.

These are important allegations because if proven, they can have criminal penalties including jail or prison time. This also depends on the severity of the facts and the crime charged, if any.

These allegations can also serve as a basis to remove custody of a child in favor of the for the other spouse. You need an attorney that can guide you on these issues and help you make an informed decision in the end.

Wrapping Up: Do You Need a Family Attorney?

A family attorney can help you through many different areas of family law.

But to make the most of any attorney-client relationship, you have to take the time to find the right lawyer for your needs.

This is a time-consuming process but it is worth it to learn about your attorney before the representation begins.

Are you interested in finding a family law attorney in your area?

Check out our blog post on ‘A Complete Guide to Prenup Agreement Pros and Cons’!

do i need a lawyer for a will

10 Reasons Why You Need to Create a Will

Having a will is one of the most important things you can do for your family. It’s your opportunity to legally protect your family and your assets.

Without a will, the court decides how to distribute your assets after your death. Your will is your last chance to make sure your wishes are followed.

Do you know what’s going to happen to your estate if something should happen to you? Here are 10 reasons why you should create a will.

Prevent Family Disputes

It is common for siblings and family members to fight over assets after the death of a parent or loved one. In fact, it tears many families apart.

The death of a family member is a stressful time. Having to haggle over furniture, insurance policies, and more only creates more stress and emotional turmoil for your family.

It causes family members to guess what your wishes were or to disregard your wishes altogether because they aren’t in print.

Having a clear will in place can prevent family disputes over who gets what. Your will should clearly outline how you want to distribute your estate.

This can offer you peace of mind now and make things easier for your loved ones when you pass away.

Provide for a Partner or Friend

You should have a will in place if you want to leave your assets to a partner you’re not married to or to anyone who isn’t family. A will is the only way to ensure your assets go to the ones you choose.

Without a will, your life partner may not receive what you wish for them, and other family members may step in to claim your assets.

You can prevent this by having a will that clearly states who you wish to inherit your estate. This will deter anyone who wants to stake a claim after your death.

You will need a lawyer to help you with the process.

Choose Your Executor

A will allows you to have an executor to oversee the distribution of your estate. This should be someone you trust to manage your estate after you pass away.

You want to choose someone who is rational, organized and has your best interests at heart.

This can offer you peace of mind knowing you have chosen someone to manage your affairs according to your wishes. This is important because the last thing you want is an executor who will mismanage your assets.

Appoint a Guardian for Your Child

If you have children, appointing a guardian is the most important part of your will. This is especially true if you are a single parent and there isn’t another parent the child could live with.

You want to choose someone you trust and who shares similar values as you. You want to make sure you discuss the decision and that the guardian is comfortable and certain with the decision.

Planning for a guardian prevents an undesirable relative from raising your child if you die. You can make arrangements in your will to provide for your children and their education as well.

Plan for your Funeral

A will allows you to share your wishes for your funeral with your family. You can pre-arrange everything for your funeral to make things easier for your children or family members.

Your will can outline how to handle your remains or if you wish to donate your body or organs to science. For many, planning ahead offers peace of mind knowing your children or family won’t have to make these decisions at a difficult time.

Disinherit Family Members

When you have a will, you can disinherit family members who might otherwise receive your assets. In your will, you can designate which persons or charities you want as beneficiaries.

People sometimes disinherit children or choose to favor one child over another in their wills for various reasons. Your estate is your life’s work, and you have the right to divide it as you wish.

Avoid a Long Probate Process

All estates go through a probate process. Having a will in place speeds up the process.

You have already decided how to divide your estate, so the court does not have to.

If you die without a will, the court decides how to divide your assets. This process can be lengthy and cause fighting among family members.

Give Gifts or Donations

A will allows you to designate gifts or donations to charities or institutions of your choice. This allows your legacy to continue and reflects your character and values.

A portion of your gifts is excluded from the estate tax. This leaves more of your assets for your beneficiaries.

When your Circumstances Change

Life continually changes, so it’s important to update your will as your circumstances change. New jobs, more money, babies, divorce, and more may lead you to change your will.

You can change your will at any time and feel good knowing you have things in order in case you pass away.

Create a Will Because Tomorrow Is Uncertain

Many people know they should have a will but procrastinate and put it off because they don’t want to think about it. But no one knows what tomorrow holds, and you need to have a will to protect your loved ones.

Unexpected deaths and disability happen, and it is always better to be prepared for that possibility.

Things to Consider

If you are ready to create a will, you need to understand your assets and your net worth. You must think about your loved ones and who gets what.

You want to consider who would be a good executor of your estate. If you have children, you want to have a guardian in mind.

Everyone’s circumstances are different, so your will should reflect what’s best for you and your family’s needs. If you are ready to get started, you will need a lawyer.

We can help you with that. Be sure to check out our website and contact us with any questions.

Prenup Agreement Pros and Cons

A Complete Guide to Prenup Agreement Pros and Cons

Prenup Agreement Pros and Cons

Nobody wants to think about their marriage not working out. But, in a world where 40-50 percent of marriages end in divorce, you need to entertain the possibility that things might not end well.

It seems that lots of couples are starting to think along these lines. The majority of attorneys have reported noticing an increase in the number of couples who are seeking prenuptial agreements, especially among millennials.

If you’re getting ready to tie the knot, it’s important to consider the benefits and drawbacks of a prenuptial agreement.

Read on to learn all the prenup agreement pros and cons so you can make the best decision for yourself and your partner.

What is a Prenup?

First things first, let’s clarify what a prenuptial agreement is.

A prenup is a legally binding contract that two people sign before they get married. In the agreement, the couple addresses the following issues:

  • The property they each bring to the marriage
  • The property they may acquire during the marriage
  • The property rights of each party should the marriage end in divorce

It’s not exactly romantic, but many couples believe that these are important issues to address before getting married.

Prenup Agreement Pros and Cons

As with anything, there are both benefits and drawbacks to getting a prenup agreement before you get married. Some of the pros and cons are explained below.


There are many reasons why couples choose to sign a prenuptial agreement. Some of the benefits that come from signing one include:

  • Protecting the inheritance rights of your children or grandchildren from a previous marriage
  • Protecting a business that you own (or partially own) so it’s not subject to your partner’s control should you get divorced
  • Protecting you from assuming your partner’s debts should they owe significantly more money than you
  • Ensuring that you will be compensated for your sacrifice should you choose to give up a lucrative career after you’re married
  • Limiting the amount of spousal support you’ll have to pay should you get divorced
  • Protecting your financial interests if you have substantial wealth and are entering into a second or subsequent marriage

If any of these benefits sound appealing to you or your partner, you may want to consider signing a prenuptial agreement.


At the same time, there are drawbacks to a prenuptial agreement, and this document is definitely not all-encompassing. Before you sign a prenuptial agreement, be sure to take the following cons into account:

  • You may have to forfeit your right to inherit your spouse’s estate when they die
  • You may not be entitled to a share of an increase in a business’s value, even if you contribute to the business’s growth
  • Your partner may interpret your desire to sign a prenuptial agreement as a sign of distrust — this can start your marriage off on bad terms
  • It’s hard to predict future problems with your marriage and compromises you make when signing the prenup could become problematic later on
  • The low- or non-wage-earning partner may not be able to sustain their lifestyle should the marriage end in divorce
  • One spouse may agree to terms that are not in their best interest because they don’t believe the prenuptial agreement will ever need to be called upon
  • The prenuptial agreement may prove to be unnecessary, especially since some states don’t allow issues like child support to be resolved through them
  • Some state laws cover asset and property distribution without the need for a prenup
  • At the time when the couple signs the agreement, it may be too early, especially if they don’t yet own property or have a lot of assets

As you can see, there are certainly drawbacks to a prenuptial agreement, especially if one partner makes significantly less money than the other or does not own any property of their own.

Who Should Get a Prenup?

It’s true that ay couple can potentially benefit from a prenup. But, based on the pros and cons outlined above, certain couples may see more benefits than drawbacks from signing a prenup before they get married.

The answers to the following questions can help couples determine whether or not a prenup might be a good idea for them:

  • Do you own real estate?
  • Do you have more than $50,000 in assets?
  • Is your annual income greater than $100,000 per year?
  • Do you own any part of a business?
  • Do you have more than a year’s worth of retirement benefits?
  • Do you or your partner plan to go to school while the other works?
  • Do you have employment benefits like profit sharing or stock options?
  • Does your estate name other beneficiaries or heirs besides your partner?

If you or your partner can answer yes to one or more of these questions, a prenup is probably right for you.

What About a Postnup?

If you’re still not sure what to do, remember that a postnuptial agreement (also known as a postnup) might also be an option for you and your partner.

A postnup is an agreement that you sign after your marriage that covers many of the same issues addressed in a prenup. Most couples who sign a postnup choose to do so after they’ve been married for a little while and know more about how they want to manage their household.

If one partner is on the fence about a prenup, a postnup might be a good compromise.

Do You Need a Prenup?

Now that you know some of the most important prenup agreement pros and cons, do you think a prenup is right for you and your partner?

If so, you’ll need to hire a family attorney to help draw up your prenup agreement. Don’t know where to find the right attorney?

Use our online directory today to find a great attorney near you.

Feel free to check out our blog as well for more legal advice and tips on choosing the best attorney for your needs.