The reality is, family isn’t always forever. There could be complex situations that your family may face. Spouses grow apart. Children aren’t being taken care of as they should be. Spouses may be able to settle on an agreement outside of court or through mediation. But when they can’t agree on a matter, this is where the law steps in.
There are many branches of law that lawyers specialize in. One area of legal practice is family law. Lawyers who practice this focus on familial issues such as adoption, divorce, and child custody. Some also focus on paternity, emancipation, parental competence, and more. These lawyers represent clients in family court proceedings, and also draft documents like property agreements and petitions. So what do family lawyers handle? These are some of the common cases that family attorneys may face.
When spouses file for divorce, they must establish grounds for it. And it must be registered in their home state. So if their hometown is in Sante Fe, MN, they must find a family attorney in Santa Fe, MN. Common grounds for divorce include irreconcilable differences, adultery, desertion, and cruelty.
When a divorce is uncontested, both spouses agree on all the issues of the divorce. When it is contested, spouses will disagree on one or more issues, thus needing to litigate these issues in court. Contested divorce tends to be more expensive, but at times they are unavoidable.
Child custody may happen when the couple has a child or children of minor age. Custody has two parts: physical and legal custody. Physical custody is how and when the child gets to spend time with the parents. Legal custody, on the other hand, involves each parent’s decisions on how to raise the child. These may include medical care, education, and religion.
In most cases, a judge would award joint custody of the child to both parents. But in cases where a parent is involved in domestic violence, the judge would award one parent with sole custody.
When adopting a non-biological child, this involves assuming the parents’ legal rights and responsibilities to the child. This includes revoking the rights of the biological parents, or the biological parents may have already relinquished their rights. This may also occur when stepparents want to adopt their stepchildren.
When couples separate, they must decide how they’re splitting up the property they got during their marriage. This includes finances, personal property, stocks, real estate, and even debt. Splitting up property can be difficult, especially when the joint ownership has been mingled with private property. What other couples do is create a premarital or post-marital agreement, which states property division.
If, as a couple, you fail to create one of these agreements, this can be settled outside of court. But sometimes, a family attorney may need to step in when properties are being contested.
Family lawyers are beneficial when it comes to helping solve familial issues. But as much as possible, try to settle matters like property division outside of court. Get a family lawyer when problems arise and things have to be contested. It’s best to find a lawyer in your area as they will be experts on the laws that govern your state.