The family law lawyer is your go-to guru for domestic disputes and arrangements. That being, with a major focus on kids and money matters. They represent the parties involved in a divorce, advising and assisting in the range of issues relating to this.
Child custody and support, property settlement, prenuptial agreements, and will statements all fall under the umbrella of things the a reputable family law lawyer can help you with. Let’s break these down…
The first thing you need to know is that the family law lawyer and this sector of legalities operate outside the main court system, involving judges and staff specializing in the complexities of domestic disputes – including but definitely not limited to child abuse cases, and financial matters such as superannuation disputes.
The family law lawyer you consult may have a particular area of specialty, but most have a wide range of skills and knowledge of the discipline that they draw on to help you. These include…
These disputes can take the form of the umbrella of issues listed above, and it’s your family law lawyer’s job to guide and support you through the formal procedures, which leave a lot of us in the dark if we’re not familiar with the ins and outs of the system. Here’s a bit about the major areas of focus…
- Children – custody, support, and permissions
If parents are unable to come to an agreement on their own regarding the rights to custody, living arrangements, and financial support of children through a divorce, they should seek legal support.
This includes (but not limited to) prescribed schooling payments, rent, utility payments, medical and dental fees.
Legal personnel recognize the difficulties that make these decisions so complex, and operate in the best interests of the child – including their right to see both parents should either be seen fit following a mental health assessment, grandparents, siblings, and other relatives.
- Property planning
This regards all matters regarding property and asset settlement between married or de facto couples. The family law lawyer can guide both parties towards a mutual agreement.
This is the ideal case – for property and ‘marital assets’ to be divided to the satisfaction of both spouses – however if you’re unable to find a truce, a file for settlement must be taken through the court system.
The family law lawyer will help you both identify the values and liabilities in property and financial assets, and take a holistic approach to evaluating these in the fairest way possible.
It’s highly recommended that all couples thinking of going into a de facto relationship or marriage consider speaking with a legal advisor, and have a pre-nupital agreement drawn up.
What is this? A legally-binding way to put all the cards on the table early on. This is not to say to expect things to go wrong, but as they say, ‘hope for the best, prepare for the worst’. It efficiently plans out where assets will go before things getting messy and emotional, should they go south.
If you’ve missed the boat and are already in a marriage or de facto, you can always create a postnuptial agreement.
- Wills and trust
The fourth major duty of the family law lawyer is to help families work on wills and testamentary trusts. Having a valid will means legal protection of assets to remain after the passing of the respective loved one. In a similar sense to the pre-nupital agreement, this is an effort to avert disputes down the track.
Fergus Murray is the lead editor for Business News Ledger. Fergus has been working as a freelance journalist for nearly a decade having published stories in the New York Times, The Plain Dealer, The Daily Mail and many others. Fergus is based in Detroit and covers issues affecting his city and New York State. When he is not busy writing, Fergus enjoys jogging.