Sometimes, not everything in a family goes as planned. People get divorced, child support and custody need to be discussed, teens wish to be emancipated, and so on. In some cases, things go really wrong and domestic abuse occurs, leading to an investigation and an unsafe environment for a spouse and/or children.
When these kinds of situations come up, a family lawyer can be a huge help. They can serve as a source of legal knowledge, a voice of reason and compassion in emotional situations, and overall simply ensure that things go as smoothly as possible.
There are also happy reasons to hire a family lawyer, like an adoption, surrogacy, or a prenuptial agreement before a wedding. A family lawyer can help you through many of life’s large events.
But even though family lawyers can be incredibly useful in all of these situations, there are a couple of instances where a skilled family attorney is not just useful, but necessary if you want to have the best possible outcome.
When Disputes Arise
Every family has its problems, and many people find themselves needing a family lawyer to help sort through them. In the case of a contentious divorce, a family lawyer could help with separation of property and finances, work through the prenuptial agreement (if in place), and set up alimony if necessary. A postnuptial agreement can be drafted and sent to both parties, without ever requiring that the ex-spouses talk to one another.
They can also help if there are children involved, and work out custody agreements, child support, and any other specifics that are necessary to find agreement on. When discussing child custody, things tend to get a little heated. A family lawyer helps present the offers and ideas without ever requiring that the ex-spouses interact. A decision can be made with each spouse’s counsel, without getting emotions involved.
Family lawyers also work with people who wish to forfeit parental rights, or work with teenagers who wish to file for emancipation. If there is abuse involved, that’s a separate issue that can also be handled by a family lawyer. Some can also help if your child has been charged with delinquent behavior and can represent them as a minor in a court. Family lawyers are also familiar with other issues involving extended family, such as preventing contact, limiting visitation, and so on.
Paternity and parental rights are also a huge reason to hire a family lawyer. In the event that a paternity test must be done, a family lawyer can contact the child’s family as well as the father, discuss visitation and child support, or help with issues that arise should the child not be his. This means less stress on the individuals involved, and specific plans of action provided depending upon the results.
When Abuse Is Involved
In the case of abuse, family lawyers can be incredibly supportive and can expedite the process by which a person is convicted or at least placed under a protective order. If a spouse is being physically abused or threatened, or is unable to leave the marriage (due to coercion by the other spouse), being represented by a family lawyer can help keep that spouse safe. If children are the victims of abuse, a family lawyer can represent the child or children against the parents, or can represent the child and victimized parent against the accused parent. And, of course, a family attorney can also represent someone who has been accused of domestic violence to ensure their rights are protected, that the claim is not false, and that they are able to get the help they need.
In the case of an accused abusive situation, a court will determine hearings and supervisions that require both parents to undergo evaluation, along with the children. Hiring a family lawyer can make it much easier to maneuver through court proceedings, while also maintaining safety and contact with law enforcement with much less effort.
When You Just Need Counsel
Sometimes, it’s not all doom and gloom. As mentioned above, family attorneys can represent you through some of the happiest days of your life. They can draft up prenuptial agreements, and also create adoption plans or surrogacy agreements. Using a family lawyer in these situations removes a lot of stress, and also provides a level of expertise that makes the process much smoother and more efficient.
When you don’t use a family attorney in situations like these, you might experience loopholes or become too emotionally involved to make the most desirable choice. Family lawyers take that off your plate.
What it comes down to is that family lawyers can help with many aspects of family life. If you hire a family attorney, you will benefit from their expertise and ability to handle any domestic legal situation that is naturally stressful or that you’re not sure how to deal with.