There are several reasons why people may need to hire a family lawyer. As in divorce proceeding and divorce matters. However, family law is a relatively broad practice area, including such issues as foster care and reproductive rights. Since family law matters hit so close to home, having a trusted legal professional by your side can help to ensure your loved ones are properly represented.
The most common reason to hire a family law attorney includes:
Divorce – each partner hires their own attorney, who will help devise a settlement plan in order to avoid trail. Divorce attorneys typically are skilled at dividing marital property, calculating support, proposing a plan for child custody, visitation, and support.
Child Custody/ Child Support – Court orders and settlement agreements involving both custody and support usually are included in the larger divorce case, but maybe revisited as conditions change. For instance, child support may be altered after the non-custodial parent’s financial situation changes.
Paternity- In most case, paternity is filed by the mother in an effort to secure child support payments from an absent father. But sometimes biological fathers file for paternity in order to have a relationship with their child. Paternity typically is determined through DNA testing.
Adoption / Foster Care – Adoption is a complex process that differs according to the type of adoption, where the child is from, variances in state laws, and other factors. Therefore, it’s important to consult with a family law attorney. Foster parents sometimes adopt their foster children, but the foster process does not necessarily require legal representation.
Considering a Prenuptial Agreement?
Spelling Out Separate Assets
Prenuptial agreements are a legal contract couples enter into prior to their marriage that can spell out financial and asset-related decisions that the couple agrees to abide by should the marriage end in divorce. Prenups generally function as a way to protect assets you acquired before the marriage, ensuring that your property is deemed exempt from equitable distribution. Prenups may also address alimony and even lifestyle issues, such as penalties for cheating and rules for what spouses can post about each other on social media.
Representing Yourself In Divorce?
Individuals involved in a divorce have the legal option to either hire an attorney or make the choice to represent themselves in their matter.
Self- representation is usually tied to a desire to save on costs. In the short term, yes, representing yourself does save money up front. In long run? Self – representation puts you at risk for expensive drawbacks that outweigh any initial savings.
Considerations for Choosing a Family Attorney
When initiating the divorce process, selecting the right attorney may seem challenging and stressful. Finding someone who aligns with your process choice and objectives can help the process move more smoothly. Just as there are different process choices for your divorce, there are different attorney styles. Having a consultation with an experienced family law attorney helps to determine whether the attorney has the requisite experience for your matter and whether he or she will conduct the negotiations in a way that comports your intentions and goals.
Need Help With a Family Law Matter? Talk to a Professional.
Whether you’re in the process of a divorce, need help with an adoption, or have questions about enforcing a child support order, it’s often in your best interest to work with an attorney. Get the help you need by contacting an experienced family lawyer today.