Every day, people rely on family law attorneys to represent and defend them in family-related negotiations and court proceedings. These legal professionals specialize in family law and handle a wide range of legal issues that impact families, such as divorce, guardianship, adoption, child custody and spousal support.
Due to the emotional aspect of such matters, family law attorneys often possess excellent communication skills, empathy and strong “people skills.” Family law attorneys may act as mediators to help resolve out of court conflicts between family members. They also represent litigants involved in family conflicts in the courtroom.
Six Common Family Law Cases
Here are some of the most common types of cases handled by family law attorneys:
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the national divorce rate is 2.9 divorces per 1,000 people. Family law attorneys guide clients through a complex legal separation or divorce to achieve the best possible outcome.
Great family law attorneys provide a strategy or “game plan” for their client’s case based on experience and extensive knowledge of the legal field. Divorce attorneys gather supporting evidence for cases, help set the terms for child custody or support, and ensure that the client receives his or her fair share of the marital property.
One of the biggest challenges that couples face when separating involves child custody arrangements. Child custody battles may take a long time, and be emotionally draining, especially when neither side is willing to compromise. When parents are unable to come to an agreement on their own regarding child custody, a family law attorney can intervene to streamline the process.
Family law attorneys understand custody laws in their respective states and often answer legal questions that may apply to their client’s case. In Maryland, the courts generally determine child custody what is in the child’s best interests.
Many couples choose to draw up a prenuptial agreement before marriage. This critical legal document helps protect assets and plan for a financially stable future. Family law attorneys assist in this process by helping their clients prepare a complete inventory of all their assets and debts.
It is common for courts to scrutinize prenups and some documents may be deemed invalid if not properly prepared. A family law attorney not onlyrepresents a client in court, but also delivers invaluable legal advice. For example, this includes advising clients what the prenup should include and how it should be written to avoid possible future misunderstandings.
Estates & Wills
When a family member passes away, it can be challenging to decipher a will and settle an estate. Family law attorneys are knowledgeable in all areas of estate planning and help clients create wills and estate plans tailored to their unique needs. Family law attorneys also deal with matters relating to children’s trusts, guardianships and Medicaid planning.
Having a well-drafted will or estate plan allows clients to distribute their assets to their beneficiaries and achieve their final wishes. Family law attorneys ensure that clients do not leave financial burdens for their families.
Family law attorneys also assist with adoption. An attorney may offer significant assistance in the beginning stages of the process by helping the client select a method of adoption, locate an adoption agency and explain the legal aspects of adopting.
Depending on the unique circumstances of each case, a person may be required to appear before a court. A family law attorney accompanies their clients to court or even appears on their behalf. Attorneys can help the prospective legal guardian to facilitate that the adoptive child’s best interests are protected.
When a parent is unwilling or incapable of caring for their child, the court may appoint a guardian. A guardian is tasked with making legal decisions for another person who is unable to make those decisions on their own. Guardianship does not only apply to children. Sometimes, a guardian is appointed for anelderly person or individuals with mental incapacities.
A family law attorney helps clients better understand the guardianship process and represents the person seeking guardianship in court. Family law attorneys also assemble information for a court to evaluate regarding a potential guardian.
Speak With A Family Law Attorney
While most people associate family law attorneys with divorce and child custody, these legal professionals also deal with many other types of cases. Due to the complexity of family law, it is critical to have a knowledgeable and trustworthy attorney on your side to answer questions and provide legal representation. For more information about what a family law attorney does or to speak with an attorney about a case, call Siegel Law at (410) 792-2300 or contact us online.