Disagreements between family members are common. But when these arguments morph into a full-blown legal battle, you will need to enlist some external support to back you up. That’s where a family law attorney enters the scene.
As the name suggests, family law attorneys specialize in all things family law. These include marriage, divorce, custody, guardianship, and estate planning, among others. Given that all these are complex, layered situations, it’s up to the lawyer to protect your rights and serve your best interests.
That said, you might not know when to hire a family law attorney, especially if you haven’t walked this path before. To ease your confusion, we’ve compiled a list of seven instances where you’ll need one.
7 Situations When You Need Family Law Attorney
Ready? Let’s dive in!
1. You’re Looking to Prepare for Marriage
Marriage may seem like a straightforward celebration, but it can also have complicated legal stipulations. In this regard, the attorney will guide you through the requirements for nuptials in your home state, assist you in navigating relevant issues, and advise you on your rights and responsibilities.
A family law attorney can also help you draft a prenup agreement before you say ‘I do’. If you and your spouse bring pre-owned assets into the marriage, a prenup will decide how the wealth gets divided in the event of an unfortunate accident or death. It also allows you to assess your current financial situation, so you can make informed decisions moving forward.
2. There’s a Divorce on the Horizon
The United States has the sixth-highest divorce rate in the world, with nearly 50% of married couples calling it quits. In 2022, the divorce rate is expected to be at least 44.2%, meaning for every 6.1 people that get married, 2.7 will be divorced.
Most divorces come with ample distress, heartache, and trauma. The couple may be too highly strung to make rational decisions on their own. Under such circumstances, a divorce lawyer can intervene to let both parties approach the issue wisely and within legal bounds.
A skilled family law attorney will walk you through the entire divorce proceedings from start to finish. They’ll also help you with the paperwork and negotiations that can come up during the case. Working with a lawyer allows you to relax and feel confident that everything is being handled the right way.
3. You Want Alimony
During a divorce, one of the former spouses may receive ‘alimony’, based either on a mutual decision between the couple or the court itself. This type of support usually comes when one spouse can prove that they were financially dependent on the other (for example, stay-at-home mothers/fathers).
A family law attorney in Utah will assess your chances of being approved for alimony. Besides, they’ll analyze if these proceedings are worth your time and effort.
4. You’re Fighting for Custody
Custody battles are one of the most stressful aspects of a divorce settlement. When both parents are on good terms with each other, these issues can be ironed out with ease. But the situation is far direr for couples going through a bitter separation.
Most people want to spend as much time with their children as possible. They also want a settlement that’s best suited to their child’s welfare. Hence, it’s important to have an effective strategy to get the outcome you’re looking for.
With family law attorneys in Salt Lake City Utah, you’ll get the expertise necessary to receive full custody (or anything closest to it) as and when possible. They’ll build you a strong case and ensure you are reunited with your children.
Here, it’s worth mentioning that child custody cases are not triggered by divorce alone. You may be embroiled in a custody battle with the State or other family members in the event of your spouse’s death or suspected negligence. If you’re wrongfully accused of child endangerment, a family law attorney will see that you’re proven innocent.
5. You’re Involved in a Civil Union or Domestic Partnership
Civil unions are legal relationships, usually between couples who live together and share a common domestic life but are not married. They can be formed by either opposite or same-sex couples.
Both civil unions and domestic partnerships have some of the same protections as marriage, including property rights, health coverage, tort claims, and adoption. However, they involve multiple legal jurisdictions, requirements, and compliance. Not only will you have to navigate state-based laws, but you’ll also need to make preliminary frameworks (like a prenup) if necessary.
While this isn’t exactly a walk in the park, attorneys for family law can break down the legal processes and help you follow them to the tee.
6. You Want to Adopt a Child
There’s nothing like welcoming a child into a loving home. Adoption allows couples and single adults to enjoy the unique experience of parenthood and share their lives with a child.
Experts estimate there are nearly 1.5 million adopted children in the USA. Although every parent has their reason to choose adoption, some of them are as follows.
- The adoptive couple has struggled with infertility and cannot safely bring a child into the world.
- The adoptive parent is single, unwilling to marry, but ready to start a family.
- The adoptive parents are a same-sex couple who want to raise children together.
As heartwarming as it is, child adoption is a strenuous process that often takes months to materialize. You must first prove that you are physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially capable of taking care of a child.
That’s not all. Adoption may also give way to disputes, such as the child’s birth parent threatening to extort you or even rejecting you on legal grounds. In some instances, you may have to go to trial to settle differences and support your claims.
But there’s no need to despair. A competent family law attorney will guide you through the paperwork, deadlines, and court trials, so there are no disruptions to bringing your child home.
7. You Plan to Draft Estate Plans and Wills
A will or estate plan protects your assets once you pass away or are incapable of making decisions independently. It safeguards your heirs from liabilities and legal issues arising from the transfer of ownership.
However, preparing an estate plan can be quite a challenge if you don’t know where to begin. Furthermore, the validity of wills and estate plans depends on the legal processes used to create them.
Family law attorneys in Layton Utah are liable for assisting people in drafting these documents. They can ensure your wishes are carried out once you pass away. Moreover, they can also provide legal advice and act as a mediator in there are conflicts.
The Bottom Line
Difficult family situations can disrupt your peace of mind big time. The aftereffects can impact every phase of your life, making it harder to focus on anything else. However, working with a family lawyer can help you get the best resolution and secure your family’s future. We hope this post has given you some insight into the types of cases handled by professional family lawyers.
Are you or a loved one in need of a family law attorney in Utah? Look no further than Jeremy Atwood Law, LLC. We offer a wide range of services for families, from marriage and divorce to property division and probate. For more information, contact us today!