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The Benefits of Choosing a Family Law Firm

Saturday, 11 January 2014

family lawyerIt may be hard to imagine what the future will be like as a divorced family, especially when you are just starting the process of divorce. Many couples decide to use a divorce lawyer sparingly and handle much of the paperwork themselves, and while this might make sense in the near term it could cause problems in the future.

The mistake many people make is assuming they understand the divorce laws in their state and they know how to navigate the local domestic relations court system. When they need to revisit a custody order, modify support, or enforce a divorce settlement they may find the process overwhelming.

How a family law firm can help

A family law firm offers clients a full-service approach that helps them deal with the various legal issues pertaining to divorce. Family lawyers also deal with post-decree issues, blended families, domestic violence and more. Rather than focusing on the divorce process only, these attorneys offer a depth of experience on many other aspects of the law.

As your family grows and changes in the coming years, it is reassuring to have the same law firm representing your interests. This way you won't have to start from scratch with a new lawyer who is unfamiliar with your case.

What can you expect from a family law firm?

Some of the more common family law topics include legal separation, annulment and divorce, but they also handle issues pertaining to custody rights, paternity, visitation, child support enforcement, spousal support, and alimony. Families that are considering adoption will need to work with a family law firm to navigate the legal issues and paperwork.

Attorneys in a family law practice might also deal with guardianship issues, child protective service, paternity and domestic violence. Basically, if the issue pertains to your family, a family lawyer will be able to help.

What are the most commonly asked questions for family lawyers?

How is child custody and visitation determined?

Many parents try to work together to develop a parenting plan that will be in the best interests of the child. This is often done outside of the courtroom with a mediator, which is often preferable to having a judge decide.

Is it possible for me to get an annulment instead of a divorce?

For religious reasons, many couples look to annulment as a way of dissolving the marriage. Unlike traditional divorce, annulment makes it appear as if the marriage never happened. While this may seem like a better solution, it is usually done very early in the marriage. Both divorce and annulment have similar court procedures, but annulments are less common because they offer couples less legal protection.

What is included in child support?

The concept of child support is not to pay for every incidental expense in a child's life. Formulas were created to help supplement the income of the custodial parent by providing a stipend for food, shelter, clothing and healthcare expenses. Because it is calculated based on the number of children and each parents share of the total household income, child support orders will vary greatly from one family to the next. Expenses such as music lessons, extracurricular activities, cell phones, computers and "extras" are not factored into a child support order, so these should be negotiated between the parents.

Can my new spouse legally adopt the children from my first marriage?

Family lawyers are very familiar with stepparent adoption and the laws of your state. In situations where the child's other biological parent is still living, stepparent adoption will be difficult because it requires that parent to surrender their parental rights to the child.

The court process for any divorce or family law matter can be daunting, especially if you don't understand your rights. Whether you are getting divorced or adopting a child, everyone needs an advocate to protect their interests. By working with a family law firm, you will get experience in every aspect of family law.

Photo Courtesy of Jannoon028 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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MPatMarrisonFor over a quarter century, we have helped people during what is often the darkest time in their lives. Divorce is not easy even under the best of circumstances. For most people, family is central. Having something go wrong in the family can have a ripple effect that extends beyond the home and into other areas.

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