Family law is a whole area of specialization on its own. It is a broad practice area, so many family lawyers sub-specialize, working in matters that concern either emancipation, marriage dissolution, property agreements, or adoption. To give a glimpse of what areas family law can cover, here are some common disputes that family lawyers handle.
Disputes that may need a family lawyer
Prenuptial agreements are essentially contracts signed before a marriage or civil union. The goal is to provide specifications for spousal support and division of marital if they decide to separate or file for divorce. Family lawyers can help in situations where one party chooses to contest the prenup, in cases where the agreement was not voluntary, or the prenup included unenforceable provisions such as limiting child support, etc.
Having a history of domestic violence means that there is power abuse, and both parties are not on an even playing field. A family lawyer can take the necessary steps to protect the victim and the child. If the victim refuses to face or be directly involved with the defendant during the process, the lawyer can represent their interests and speak on their behalf.
Termination of parental rights
There are grounds as to why parents can no longer be allowed to take care of their child. These include child abandonment and neglect, child abuse, or substance abuse. Competent family lawyers from firms like www.stangelawfirm.com, can help a parent terminate the other party’s rights to their child for safety purposes. In severe cases, the parent is charged with a misdemeanor or a felony offense.
Once a couple reaches a point where they cannot reconcile and want to end their marriage, a family lawyer may first try other alternatives such as family mediation and counseling. If the other options fail, the parties file for divorce, separation, or annulment with their lawyer.
Annulment erases the marriage from a legal perspective, declaring that the marriage is null and void and never valid. If one or both parties believe that the marriage should never have taken place, they may apply for an annulment. However, the marriage records will remain on their files.
A legal separation, on the other hand, technically does not end the marriage, so both parties cannot remarry. A couple that has agreed to separate legally means dividing marital assets and living separately for some time.
Finally, divorce can either be fault-based or not. While ‘irreconcilable differences’ is a common ground for divorce, faults used for grounds include adultery, abandonment, substance abuse, abandonment, and domestic violence.
Other disputes that may come with divorce proceedings include:
Spouse support and alimony
During divorce proceedings, a family lawyer may need to represent the financially dependent spouse on the other. Alimony, or spousal maintenance, is a series of periodic court-ordered payments to provide financial support to the spouse that earns lower income or no income at all.
Both parties can file a suit to get the legal guardianship of their child. The family lawyer must help the judge examine the parents’ mental, physical and financial capabilities by representing either of the parents. If required, they can also assist with requesting changes in the custody agreements.
Family property and estate
Common causes for family disputes include assets and property. Given the different motivations and the emotional baggage involved in the relationships between parents, siblings, and other relatives, it can be challenging to sort through joint or shared land ownerships. Some family members may want to sell common property, and some may not. They may sue each other over conflicts about their property.
To help them muddle through the complexities of joint ownership, a family lawyer can help them understand their rights as a member of the property-owning family and the legal consequences of any emerging business ideas, as well as interpreting the provisions in the will.
Because many possible problems may arise in a partnership or within a family, family lawyers can help their clients wade through the legal technicalities of these problems and represent them when their cases need litigation. In more severe cases, family lawyers will make sure that their client receives proper compensation.
For matters concerning family law problems, consult first with different attorneys to see which one can best represent you and your interests.