When Do You Need a Family Law Attorney?

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The best attorneys to represent you in family court are those who practice family law, particularly when dealing with issues involving family relationships, like divorce, adoption, and child custody. They can also help you with a lot of other legal matters concerning your family.

Here are some of the times when you would need a family law attorney.

Prenuptial agreements

Before you get married, you might need a family law attorney to handle your prenuptial agreement. A prenuptial agreement or “prenup” is a contract written and signed by a couple before they are married. The contents of each contract may vary, but it is typically used to list the properties owned by each person, along with the debts they owe, and specifies what each of their property rights will be once they are married.

A prenup usually spells out the division of the property, and spousal support in the event of separation or divorce. It can also be used to pass separate property to children from previous partnerships, get protection from each other’s debts, and clarify their financial rights and responsibilities.

A family law attorney can assist you in drafting your prenup, and ensure that the contract does not violate any law. They will also help you with legal issues related to or may arise from your prenuptial agreement.

Adoption or foster care

While the foster care process does not necessarily require an attorney from a family law firm, you will need a family lawyer when you choose to adopt your foster child or children. Adoption is a complex process that varies depending on several factors, including the type of adoption, specific state laws, where the child is from, and whether the child has special needs.

To cover all of these factors, you have to consult with a family law attorney. Aside from providing legal services, your family lawyer can also connect you to other services that are necessary for adoption, such as counselors and OB-GYNs.

Divorce

Both parties need an attorney when going through a divorce, and the attorneys have to be versed with family law. They will help you come up with a settlement plan to avoid a trial. A divorce attorney is an expert at calculating spousal support, dividing marital property, and proposing a plan for child custody, support and visitation.

Since divorce is a draining experience for the entire family, it can also be difficult for a couple to calmly settle the case. A family law attorney can be a mediator in such cases, and help them tackle the matter rationally and within the law.

Last will and testament

Drafting your will

You need a family lawyer when making your will, wherein you state how you want your property and property rights to be managed after your death, and who among your surviving loved ones will get which parts of your assets. Aside from assisting you when drafting your will, family law attorneys also make sure that the estate is administered and managed accordingly following your death.

Family law attorneys play an important role in every stage of a family. They assist couples before marriage, help them welcome a child through adoption, guide the family through a divorce, and enforce what you want for your property after your death. Your family law attorney’s role is impossible to overemphasize, so you need to hire someone you can absolutely trust as a part of your family.

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