A majority of American families do not maintain a regular relationship with a legal advisor, such as a family law attorney. This lack of ongoing contact can make it difficult to locate and retain an attorney quickly when the need for one arises.
If you are wondering whether your family could benefit from having a family lawyer on retainer, this information can help you make the right decision.
Divorce and custody
One of the most common uses for family attorneys is when a divorce or custody issue arises that must be handled through the court system. Family law attorneys are able to handle the entire divorce process, as well as assisting with the arrangement of financial support and a custody agreement geared to the best interest of minor children.
Couples who have decided to divorce should not, however, share a single family attorney. Even when amicable, couples who share a divorce attorney are foregoing the opportunity for private legal representation and advice solely focused on their situation.
While family attorneys are known for helping parents deal with custody issues pertaining to minor children in the home, they can also help with extended custody issues, such as guardianship. A timely example of an extended custody issue is when a parent, grandparent, sibling, aunt, uncle, or other close relative is seeking guardianship of a grandchild, sibling, niece, or nephew whose parent or parents have become unable to provide care or a safe home environment.
Substance abuse and other serious issues affect thousands of families, often creating a need for a financially and emotionally stable relative to assume legal guardianship of minor children, on either a temporary or permanent basis. Each state's laws regarding this type of guardianship can differ, making it critical to have an attorney guide families throughout the guardianship process.
Grandparent's rights cases are also within the scope of attorneys who work in the family law field. When the parents of minor children have become estranged from their own parents, they may be unwilling to allow their children to have a normal grandchild-grandparent relationship.
Grandparents who are unable to successfully reason with their adult children for the purpose of having contact with their grandchildren may be able to petition the court for regular visitation.
It is important to understand that cases involving the rights of the grandparents can be handled very differently from state to state, so make sure that you discuss the laws applicable in your state with your attorney before making a decision to proceed with legal action.
Safeguarding the future
Another important function that family attorneys perform is to help safeguard the future of families. In addition to setting up trusts and assisting with will preparation, a family attorney can also assist their clients with preparing important medical directives, living wills, and powers of attorney documentation that will help protect them in times of crisis.
Family law attorneys can also help families understand the need for life insurance policies and how policies should be structured to benefit specific situations. Additionally, family lawyers can provide advice about matters pertaining to existing or potential disputes with other family members.
Families who want to protect assets, including money, personal property, and real estate holdings, may also utilize their family law attorney to draw up prenuptial agreements prior to future weddings.
When there is an inheritance
Family law attorneys are also capable of helping those who are inheriting something of value. For example, when real estate is bequeathed, the beneficiary may find that there are legal issues attached to the property that must be dealt with, including issues with titles and deeds, boundary disputes, or claims from other relatives.
When considering the services of any family attorney, consider calling to schedule a short initial consultation. This brief meeting will help both parties determine whether they feel a working arrangement would be beneficial before any formal retainer fee is discussed.
For more information, contact a family lawyer in your area.Share
26 February 2021
It can be hard to know what to do to protect yourself legally in the immediate aftermath of a car accident. You’re liable to be disoriented or in shock, you may be injured, and you’re surely worried about your passenger or the other driver. At least, that’s how I felt. The thing is, the things you say and do in the immediate aftermath of an accident may affect a legal case later. Depending on who’s at fault and what the laws are in your state, you may want to sue the other driver for damages, or you may find yourself being sued. My blog is designed to give you tips for a car accident lawsuit, no matter which side you find yourself on.