Family Law Attorney – Their Services
What Is Family Law, and What Is a Family Law Attorney?
Family law refers to the branch of the legal field that deals with issues relating to domestic relationships. Thus, a family law attorney is an attorney that specializes in family law, as opposed to other branches of the legal field.
Some of the most common subjects covered by family law include:
- Divorce and Marriage: This includes prenuptial agreements, divorce, spousal support, division of property,and domestic violence issues. This may also include matters related to civil unions and domestic partnerships, claims for reimbursement for marital expenses, non-marital agreements, and annulment procedures;
- Issues Involving Children: This includes child custody, child support, adoption, child abuse, and child neglect. This may also include paternity testing and fraud related to paternity testing; and
- Other Family Law Issues: This includes emancipation, “Power of Attorney,” estate matters, inheritance laws, and name changes.
As you can see, family law attorneys are able to practice several different types of law under the family law umbrella. Most attorneys do practice the spectrum of legal matters associated with family law as a whole.
However, some attorneys who practice family law choose to specialize even further. For example, some attorneys will specialize in adoptions, while others may solely focus on divorce and other related issues.
Dealing with family law issues?
Family law generally concerns domestic relations and family-related matters such as marriage, civil unions, domestic partnerships, adoptions, paternity, guardianships, domestic abuse, surrogacy, child custody, child abduction, the dissolution of marriage and associated issues. Each state has its own set of family laws, and traveling across state borders can sometimes affect your rights and those of your family.
Contrary to popular belief, seeking the advice of a family law attorney does not necessarily mean that something is amiss in your family. A family law attorney can help negotiate prenuptial/premarital agreements for clients in anticipation of marriage or advise same-sex couples on relevant legal issues affecting their relationship. They also can help with adoption proceedings and other procedures involving children.
Family law attorneys often do represent clients seeking a divorce, annulment or legal separation, and the complicated issues that can arise as a result. Although domestic abuse is a criminal offense, some family law attorneys are skilled at handling these situations, as they are often entangled with other family law issues.
Some jurisdictions certify lawyers as family law specialists, which means these attorneys have met the certifying body’s minimum requirements for education, experience, and examination.
5 Things a Family Lawyer Can Do For You
Family lawyers are legal professionals that specialize in matters to do with family law. They handle legal issues that are concerned with members of the family. Such legal issues include divorce, child custody, and guardianship among others. Family lawyers can act as mediators when family disagreements develop. They can also represent litigants in family conflicts that end up courts. Below are some of the things that family lawyers can do.
Handling Divorce Issues
Undergoing a divorce is probably one of the most draining experiences that a family can face. Emotions may set in and make it impossible for a couple to settle it calmly. In such a case, a family law attorney can act as a mediator, and assist them to approach the issue rationally and within the law. In other words, a competent family law attorney can assist couples in the process of divorcing to settle the matter fairly without necessarily going to court.
Handling Estates and Wills
A will is a legal document through which people state how they would wish their property to be managed when they die. Family law attorneys are responsible for assisting people in drafting these documents. They also have what it takes to ensure that an estate is administered as stated by a deceased via the will.
Handling Child Custody Agreements
When a couple separates, one of the most difficult issues to handle has to be what happens to the children. Couples need to agree on how to take care of the children they have had together in the new arrangement. Child custody is defined by an agreement in which both parents have to live with the terms therein. A competent family lawyer can help parents that are parting ways to draft such an agreement. A family law attorney can also help parents in amending child custody agreements if need be.
Handling Prenuptial Agreements
A prenuptial agreement is a contract signed by a couple prior to a marriage or a civil union. Although the content of such a contract may vary from one case to another, its main aim is to spell out the provisions of spousal support and division of the property in the event of a breakup or a divorce. A family lawyer can assist a couple in drafting a prenuptial agreement and handling any matters that may arise from the contract according to the law.
Represent Litigants in Court
Although family attorneys can help people to settle family disputes outside court, some of these matters still end up in the courts. In such a case, family lawyers are best suited to help litigants get justice. These attorneys handle such cases almost every other day, and therefore, they have the necessary legal knowledge and practical experience to help litigants to navigate the complex jungles of the family law and ensure that justice is served accordingly.
3 Qualities to Look for in a Family Law Attorney
The quest for family law attorneys does not stop at the point where you finally find some recommendations or names. Lots of people do not follow through these steps and more than often, they end up losing their cases due to lack of skills.
1. Excellent People Skill
A family law attorney should always have excellent people skill. They should know the tricks and turns of handling an emotional client who is about to lose the custody of his/her child or a marriage. A family law attorney should always be very attentive to the details and not dismiss the client’s story easily.
2. Excellent Communication Skill
Apart from the people skill, the communication skill is another feather which family law attorneys should have in their hats. A lot of domestic cases get resolved outside of the courtroom and parties settle through their attorneys. In this case, your family law attorney should be a confident speaker and a good negotiator to deal with the case firmly outside the courtroom and not give nod to the terms of the other party without a counter attack.
3. Excellent Research Skill
Though this quality might a common one for all the attorneys, family law attorneys should be extra attentive with their research skills. With the right clause or with the right case law reference, a family law case can be won quite easily and this wholly depends on the skill of your chose attorney.
After Choosing a Family Law Attorney
It’s important to provide your lawyer with all of the information that he or she needs to help you. In some situations, there may be details that you feel uncomfortable sharing, but you will get the best results if your attorney knows the whole story. If, for example, you’re in the throes of a contested divorce, you may not want to share information that could portray you in a lesser light. But, once your lawyer has all the relevant facts in his or her possession, then there may be ways to present your case in a way that mitigates any potential damage.
Providing your attorney with clear records and timelines of relevant events can help significantly, too. So, even if you didn’t keep comprehensive records in the past, or didn’t organize them well before, start doing so now. Keep track of relevant dates and times, locations, conversations, and so forth.
How Legal Benefit Plans Can Help
You may know that you need legal help, but also recognize that the fees are more than you can afford. That’s why legal benefits are so helpful. These are voluntary benefits plans that employers offer to their employees—and, as a member of a group legal plan, like Family Defender™, you would have access to the legal help that you need, simply by paying a low monthly fee.