16 Feb How to Know When You Need a Family Law Lawyer
There are many instances in which it is beneficial and even necessary to consult with a family law attorney. Some of the main areas that are handled by such lawyers include drafting a custody agreement, divorce litigation, and adoption of children.
What a Family Law Lawyer Does
The practice area of family law is quite broad. It involves a large number of sub-categories, and an attorney in this practice area will handle a variety of tasks. Sometimes, a lawyer will focus on specific areas, such as divorce. With divorce attorneys, alimony will be discussed and formal agreements are drafted by the lawyer and legal team. If the couple has children, the matter of who will have custody, along with the determination as to whether the parents will share custody (and other particulars that go along with it) are best determined with the help of a family lawyer. Other areas that are handled include emancipation, prenuptial agreements, parental rights, establishing guardianship, and surrogacy. If you find that you are in need of a lawyer to handle your divorce proceedings, do adequate research to find someone local who has the ability to handle your particular situation.
When to Get in Touch with a Family Law Attorney
Several factors will play a role in whether or not you will need a family law lawyer. For the most part, getting married is a fairly straight-forward action that will not require the couple to seek legal advice or assistance. However, the couple may want to have a prenuptial agreement drafted to protect the financial assets of one or both parties. This is a matter that can be dealt with quickly and efficiently, when the couple goes to a competent and professional lawyer.
Adopting or even fostering children is a complicated process. The rights of the biological parent(s) must be considered, such as if it will be a closed or open adoption. The couple or individual who wishes to adopt or foster must be investigated to determine their fitness to care for a child. The proper family law lawyer will have the expertise and knowledge to make certain that the client(s) understand every aspect of the process, and that everything is carried out according to the law and the agreement that is made between all parties who are involved.
A Rough Battle – Divorce and Separation
Divorce and separation are one of the more emotional areas that a family law lawyer deals with regularly. This is because a couple who has decided to separate or get a divorce often has had many arguments and issues. In this type of situation, an attorney can help to keep things from becoming overly heated, and provide a voice of reason. Once the major facts are brought to the forefront, choices regarding alimony, custody, visitation and more can be looked at and the difficult decisions made with more clarity. Petitions will need to be drafted and filed, and a lawyer will be able to guide you through the process while providing clarity. If the parties cannot come to an agreement or their conversations are not civil, mediation may also be recommended. A family law lawyer will determine if you could benefit and make the necessary arrangements to advocate for you in that process.
The Major Advantage of Having a Family Law Professional on Your Side
Even though it is not always in the best interest of the individuals to go to a lawyer, advice from an experienced professional is never a bad thing. For one, you always have the opportunity to ask questions that you may be confused about or if you need some extra clarity in a certain aspect of the case. Any tension or disagreements can be smoothed over by someone who is an unbiased, neutral party. Also, a professional who has a background working on divorce cases, for instance, will be able to pinpoint the applicable laws that are related to your specific situation. This way, nothing will be overlooked and the case can proceed without any issues related to the facts.
Finding a Family Law Attorney in Your Community
You will have to locate a lawyer who deals with cases in the practice area in which you need assistance, (such as divorce) for one thing. It also is important to find one who is in your jurisdiction as every state has different laws regarding family law matters. It is also a good idea to do your research online and in legal directories, as well as ask for people you know to make recommendations. Once you have found a law firm or lawyer who you want to contact, you can call or fill out a form on their website to start the process. Many law firms offer a free consultation (including ours), so you can get a feel for how the lawyer or team operates and find out what your next step should be.