Most people, when they hear the term “family lawyer,” probably immediately think of divorce. A lot of family lawyers do focus their practices on divorce. But family lawyers also handle many other kinds of cases. This blog will look at some of those areas.
Part of the reason that most people think about divorce when they think about family lawyers is that most family lawyers do handle a lot of divorces. Divorce is stressful; the process disrupts the family and often involves violent emotions between parties who do not like one another anymore. A good family lawyer can help temper these emotions and can even serve as a mediator between the parties to reach a sensible resolution to the issues in the case. The best family law attorneys can bring the parties to work together sufficiently to reduce their court time and thus their costs.
Child Custody Matters
Another subset of family law involves creating and helping establish court orders regarding child custody matters. These arrangements usually arise out of divorces but may also be needed when parents are unmarried. In either case, the family lawyer can help you decide and understand what will happen regarding your children.
The custody of your children will be governed by the written agreement you and your spouse create or one the court orders if you cannot agree. Parenting plans remain subject to modification so long as your children are minors. A family lawyer can help you with amendments to the agreement should they become necessary. Other kinds of custody-like issues include guardianships and adoptions are also handled by family law attorneys.
In a world where we often get married or remarried at later ages, when one or both parties may have significant financial assets, it is becoming more common for the couple getting married to enter into a prenuptial agreement dealing with some of these financial issues before getting married. A prenup is a written agreement entered into by a couple before they get married. Although there are no specific requirements as to what the agreement must cover, the primary purpose is to define what will happen financially if the couple divorces in the future. It will address spousal support and division of marital assets. A family law attorney can help draft a prenup and help you deal with any disputes that arise out of an existing prenup.
Estates and Wills
Even though there are attorneys whose practice is wholly concentrated in Wills and Estates, many family law attorneys also handle these matters. A family law attorney can help you draft your will, a written document stating how your property will be distributed on your death, and help with your estate’s administration after your death.
Family Law Litigation
Most of what a family lawyer does is draft and implement various agreements about family law matters. However, when those agreements do not work out or when the parties simply cannot come to amicable settlements, a family law attorney can be beneficial in handling the litigation over such matters. They will know the underlying case law and the facts about your case.
FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY FAQs
Do family law attorneys handle domestic violence cases?
Yes. A family law attorneys can work with the parties in a domestic violence situation to assist in drafting and obtaining restraining orders and orders of protection. Family law attorneys can also help victims of false accusations of domestic violence respond to those allegations.
Do all family law attorneys do divorces?
No, but most commonly they do. As with most attorneys, family law attorneys tend to concentrate their practices in certain sections of their broader “specialty.” Thus, attorneys who handle a lot of prenuptial agreements, guardianships, adoptions, or similar cases may not handle divorces. Some divorce attorneys do not handle prenups, guardianships, and so on.