Family lawyers can help families with complicated histories, joint investments, recurring marital problems, property divisions, and modern family settings. They deal with any family-related legal issues such as filing a divorce, adoption, last will and testament, prenuptial agreement, and child custody. They’ll even help you find a way on how to avoid paying alimony if you have valid reasons (i.e, your spouse cheated on you or state laws disqualify them from receiving alimony).
Family issues are highly emotional, and people involved often won’t think objectively to come up with resolutions. Family lawyers are not only there to draft legal agreements. They are also there to provide support, guidance and paint a picture for their clients of what their new life will be like after family negotiations. Lawyers will always take fair steps for both parties and help their clients move on to a better life.
How to look for a family lawyer
If you’re considering getting a family attorney, you should look for a trusted firm within the county where you live. For instance, Vista Family Law Firm has served the Southern California area, particularly San Diego County, for more than 20 years. This local advantage means they know their way around Southern California laws, which will significantly help make better contracts and win cases. Lawyers who know the local customs, court staff, and judges would best serve your interest.
What can a family lawyer do?
- Divorce or annulment
A couple undergoing marital problems and who wants to file for divorce or annulment often cannot talk to each other objectively. They need a mediator who can talk them through the legal requirements and explain their rights, responsibilities, and privileges. A family lawyer can help guide you through the legal procedures, represent you in court, protect your reputation, take care of the paperwork, and help you see a future wherein you can start your life anew.
- Child custody and support
Handling child custody agreements is one of the most painful consequences of divorce, and one of the hardest things to decide is who gets custody of the child. There are different arrangements, including sole custody, joint custody, or primary physical custody. There are crucial things to consider, such as visitation schedules, child support, parenting provisions, and how to make these agreements official. Family lawyers can serve as a mediator who can guide the family and draft these arrangements and make it legal for everyone involved to follow.
- Pre and post-nuptial agreements
Records show a spike in couples seeking the help of lawyers to draft prenuptial agreements. More millennials are doing this as they get married at a much later age and accumulate assets (and debt). Family lawyers can help draft agreements based on the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act, which covers property ownerships, the right to buy and sell properties, or spousal support in case of marriage dissolution.
Legally adopting a child is not as easy as applying for a job in an agency. There is a lot of paperwork involved and court hearings if necessary. There are also different state adoption laws, and a local family lawyer will surely know existing rules. There are many types of adoption—private adoption, step-parent adoption, or you may be a couple of the same gender who are legally married and want to adopt a child. Depending on the complexity of the adoption, court hearings may be necessary, and a lawyer can help prepare you for such situations.
Alimony and spousal support are some of the most common family cases that family lawyers handle. There are different rules in every state and factors to consider and compute, such as the amount of income, ability to work, and joint assets and debt. There are many factors to consider when computing and negotiating alimony, and family lawyers often serve as mediators for such complex issues.
You need to be smart when hiring a family lawyer in order to save time, money, and emotional stress. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Lawyers generally don’t mind being asked about their past cases and legal fees. They know it is part of their job, and they will handle all your questions professionally. Choose a lawyer who has experience handling a case the same as yours because they already know what to do. An experienced family lawyer can also represent you in the courtroom aggressively, if necessary.