Family law refers to all legal affairs that deal with family relationships – these can include marriage, divorce, child custody and wills. Often these situations can become messy and it’s incredibly helpful to have the assistance of family lawyers because they can assist you with drafting legal documents, representing you in court, or participating in negotiations. If you are in a difficult situation that concerns your family members, then you may need a family lawyer. For your benefit, this article details the five most common times that you should consider enlisting the assistance of a family lawyer.
1.) Before Getting Married
Most people believe that getting a lawyer involved before getting married takes the romance out of things – this is not the case. Marriage is actually quite a complicated legal affair, and so a family lawyer can help you to understand the intricacies of the situation, and they can also explain your rights and responsibilities. There are certain legal requirements for marriage, and instead of getting confused and perhaps making a mistake, you are better off having a professional explain these to you.
Also, if you are entering into a marriage with a range of your own assets and wealth, then getting a prenup is essential for your safety and the security of your finances. This is especially important if there is a substantial difference in wealth between the future spouses. A family law attorney will expertly create a prenup that protects your assets during divorce or even after a death.
2.) If You Get Divorced
The most obvious time you will need a family lawyer is when you are going through a divorce. Depending on the situation, this can be a very complicated legal affair that you cannot enter into without the expertise of a qualified lawyer. There are a variety of factors that need to be figured out during a divorce, such as child custody, dividing assets, and alimony. A family lawyer will create a plan with you and then negotiate and communicate your demands, ensuring that you have the best chance of getting the results you are hoping for. They also know how to delicately navigate the situation in order to avoid conflict with your spouse.
3.) During Issues With Child Custody
Child custody issues do not only happen during a divorce, they can also occur when you need to fight against the state or other family members who are trying to have custody of your children. A family lawyer is essential in these situations, as you will need all the help you can get to ensure you are treated fairly and continue to have access to your children. During a child custody lawsuit, you will need to prove that you can sufficiently provide for your child (or children), and a lawyer can help you navigate this. If the child custody dispute is not to do with divorce, and you were wrongfully accused of something like abuse, then a lawyer will assist you with proving your innocence and stopping the affair from becoming a criminal lawsuit.
4.) When Planning a Will
If you don’t prepare a sound will, then various issues can arise within your family after you pass away. It’s always a good idea to create a thorough will or estate plan so that you can protect the unity of your family, and ensure that your assets are divided properly and treated in the way that you desire. Your will is only considered valid if you have followed legitimate legal processes to create it – if you have not then your family can contest what you have said in your will. It’s also very difficult and confusing trying to write a will on your own, so it might be hard to know where to start without consulting an experienced legal professional.
5.) If You Are Adopting a Child
Adopting a child is a very delicate procedure, and requires careful consideration and planning, so it’s extremely important to engage the services of a trusted family lawyer. The process could very easily fail if you don’t have the support of someone who knows what they are doing. You have to prove to child welfare services that you are an extremely capable parent, and this involves handing in documents to different authorities and doing a lot of paperwork. A lawyer will complete all these tasks accurately, and support you if you need to appear in court to settle any differences.
Choose an Experienced Family Lawyer
If you have entered into any of the above situations, and are feeling a bit overwhelmed or out of your depth, then it may be time to contact an expert family lawyer. A qualified, experienced divorce attorney will be able to help you negotiate and properly communicate your needs – they will also ensure you are fairly treated and have the best chance of a positive outcome.
This article is not to be used as a replacement for advice from a qualified legal professional, it is always recommended that you consult a lawyer for any necessary information.