What exactly is a family attorney and when would you need one? A family attorney is someone who looks after any legal matters that affect a family. It would seem that the title is self-explanatory, but in fact it's a little complex. If you're very lucky, you'll never need the services of one, however, it's rare that families won't need an attorney at some point. In order to ensure the best handling of your affairs, it's best to find someone who is experienced in the legal matters that surround your specific situation.
Most people think that family attorneys only deal with divorces, but there are many other legalities that they deal with including adoption, child custody, guardianship and wills. If someone decides to take a case against another member of the family, that's another case when a family attorney would be required. Below you can find explanations on the different types of issues that a family attorney can handle.
Even though divorce rates appear to be decreasing, it's still a sad fact that just under 50% of marriages end in divorce. Going through a divorce is challenging for all family members involved. Even if both parties plan to have an amicable split, there can be unforeseen circumstances that arise in the process. Emotions make it quite difficult to handle everything without any outside assistance. This is one of the most important times to get the help of a family attorney. They can act as a mediator and advise both parties on how to settle the matter cleanly. They can also assert their legal obligations to each other. Most divorces do not need to go to court. Having a good family attorney can help couples avoid the hassle, pain and expense of a court case. If the split is acrimonious at all, it makes sense to each consult separate family attorneys to manage the divorce.
Pre-Marriage Legal Advice
When people are in the blush of love and planning a wedding, they may not consider any legal advice. However, this is an important time to consult a family attorney. They can help you plan for the future and safeguard documents and finances. A family attorney can help you draft a prenuptial agreement that is fair. It may seem unromantic, but many people have been very thankful in the long-run. Family attorneys can also help with marriage registration in some states.
Adopting a child is a huge emotional step for a family, but it is a big legal step, as well. A good family attorney should be consulted in advance to ensure that everything is above board. When adopting, there are several processes to adhere to, and if you are moving a child across state lines, then you must be very careful that you have followed the letter of the law. Consult a family attorney near you so that you can welcome your newest family member without any issues.
Child Custody Agreements
Many families these days are formed in different ways. Some couples may not be married but may have a child together. When the couple splits, regardless of the scenario, figuring out how to manage the children of the relationship can become a problem. As children are so cherished, it can become a very emotional argument as to who gets to keep them and when. A family attorney can help mediate the situation and draw up a child custody agreement that both parents can follow. Your family attorney can also amend this agreement at a later date should there be any changes to the living situations. Once again, people can save a lot of money by hiring a good family attorney, in order to avoid lengthy court battles over their children.
When a family member is sick or losing control of their faculties, it may be necessary to appoint a guardian for them. Family attorneys understand the ramifications of this and can assist in the process, which can be long and rather confusing if you aren't familiar with the legalities. It can seem like an insurmountable pile of paperwork, but this will be navigated with ease by a family attorney. This will ensure that everything is done legally and prevent any problems arising from the guardianship.
Estates and Wills
A will is a legal document through which people state how they would like their property to be managed when they die. If you have very little and your situation is straightforward, then you can make a will yourself but getting it checked by a family law attorney will ensure that you have covered everything.
If there is an estate to be settled upon a family member's death, a family attorney can ensure that it is executed in the correct way. They can also assist with any disputes that may arise when settling the estate.
Although the aim of family attorneys is to settle as much as possible outside of court, sometimes it's necessary to go through this process. If it is a matter of divorce, custody or estate, then it is best to have a family attorney representing. They will help get justice for the litigant. Make sure you choose someone with extensive experience so that they have the practical know-how as well as the legal theory to back it up.
Family attorneys deal with emotional, legal and financial affairs. They can navigate the minefield where these things meet in order to make life easier. It's good to find one nearby and have a chat with them as to how they can help with your family matters.