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.