Family law is a practice that covers legal issues involving family relationships. Adoption, divorce, child custody, child support, and alimony belong to its jurisdiction.
Family Attorneys handle matters concerning these areas. Some specialize in adoption, emancipation, paternity, alimony, etc.
State laws govern the rules and procedures in family law.
Some Terms That Fall Under The Jurisdiction of Family Law
A minor goes through a legal court process through which he or she becomes self-supporting and assumes responsibility for his or her welfare. It’s emancipation from the care of his or her parents.
The division of properties shared by two people in the event of a divorce.
An allowance provided to a spouse for after a legal separation or divorce.
Origin or descent from a father (to establish paternity is to confirm the identity of a child’s biological father).
A prenup is an agreement made between two people before marrying. This agreement dictates that they are to give up rights to each other’s property after a divorce or death.
Why It’s Infinitely Better and Wiser To Hire a Family Attorney For Your Case
A family attorney has the knowledge and experience to back him or her up in representing you in family court.
Things could not augur in your favor if you represent yourself. A family lawyer can help you in the following:
Your attorney will work with your spouse’s attorney to devise a settlement plan to avoid a trial. Family attorneys are skilled at dividing marital property, determining the amount of support, plan for child custody and support.
Child Custody And Child Support
Court orders and settlement agreements may change if the non-custodial parent’s financial situation changes.
Paternity cases are usually so a mother can prove (through DNA testing) that the father is the biological father of the child so that he can provide child support payments.
The times when a dad files for paternity is when he wants to have a relationship with the child.
Adoption / Foster Care
Adoption is a complicated process due to the types of adoption available, where the child is coming from, the difference in state laws, to name a few.
Consult with a family lawyer if you wish to adopt a child from somewhere or adopt a foster child.
Representing yourself may be a bad idea for the following reasons:
You Don’t Have Knowledge Of The Law Concerning Families
Although you can access the information online, it’s lengthy and complicated unless you have the experience, you will probably struggle with interpretation. Legal jargon is pretty difficult to understand. Simply having access to the information will make you a formidable representation.
A professional will be able to guide you and help you navigate the mountain of information available online. A family attorney can help you understand the impact of each statute to your case.
You Have No Experience In Preparing Documents And Writing Drafts
Representing yourself in court means studying and planning by preparing documents, and drafting materials. You do not go to court unprepared, without studying the law and the merits of your case and drafting documents that are admissible in court.
In some cases, you have to submit materials for the other party and then file it with the court. Unless you’re a family lawyer yourself, it will be difficult.
Lawyers also develop relationships with judges and know how a judge wants the materials drafted.
You Are Not Familiar With Your Rights
Chances are, you are not aware of the full spectrum of your rights, which is why lawyers have specializations to help people know their rights.
You consult with a lawyer who specializes in divorce or paternity for this professional spent years studying law and have a better understanding of it than you.
It is a complicated area and the cases that fall under which can last for months before resolving.
You Don’t Have The Time
Preparing for a court case is equivalent to having a full-time job if you are representing yourself. If you have a day job, you are going to struggle with time, and you will have a diminished capacity to study and develop your case.
While a lawyer is going to cost you money, imagine having to miss work so that you can study and prepare for your hearing.
In the long run, it’s cheaper to hire a family attorney. Mishandling your case could lead to losing a chunk of the settlement.
By hiring a professional, you are saving not only money but also time.
The Serious Costs Of Representing Yourself
There are serious costs to turning up unprepared for court or forgetting to file something or making a mistake in a document. And it’s not only regarding settlement costs. Lay people representing themselves are held to a higher standard as the other lawyers. You will not get a sympathy vote just because you are not a lawyer.
It does not augur well for you if you represent yourself in a complicated case where the stakes are high.