Whether you are a couple that is getting married or a parent that is dealing with divorce, family lawyers help clients with issues related to their families. Often, they provide legal counsel to resolve disputes, prepare prenuptial agreements or other documents, or represent their clients in the courtroom for cases ranging from divorce and child custody to property settlements.
When a family law case involves children, the courts consider the best interests of the child when making a decision about custody and visitation. Lawyers are familiar with how courts in their area of practice decide this issue, and can provide their clients with realistic expectations about how the process will go.
A good family lawyer will know how to gather evidence, such as school records or the testimony of psychologists, that can be used to prove or disprove a claim. They also should be able to explain the laws that govern custody, so that their clients can make sound decisions based on those laws.
They can also advise their clients about alternative methods of resolving their cases outside of court, such as collaborative divorce. Using this method, couples work with lawyers trained in collaborative divorce to determine their needs and goals for their families and to find an agreement that they can all live by.
Collaborative family law is a relatively new way to handle divorce or other family conflicts, and it’s gaining in popularity as people realize that it can be less expensive and more flexible than going to a trial. If you have a case that can be resolved through collaborative law, hiring a family lawyer who is experienced in the process can save you time and money and ensure that your rights are protected.
Another important area of family law is estate planning. This can include drafting a living trust or will, which gives you the power to distribute your estate and personal belongings after your death. Sometimes, a will can be difficult to draft, and an expert in family law can help you ensure that your wishes are followed and that the process is smooth and efficient.
A family lawyer will also be able to advise you on how to obtain the best possible child support amount from your ex-spouse or other party. This can be especially important if you are struggling to make ends meet and are trying to maintain financial stability for your family.
Every family has a right to receive some form of financial support from the other parent, and this is an important aspect of family law. Many states have special rules that determine how much a parent can receive in child support, and family lawyers will be able to advise their clients about those rules.
They will also be able to assist their clients in fighting allegations of abuse and neglect by the state. These charges can be difficult to defend and they may involve a significant amount of time and money.