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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’!