Divorce proceedings are often emotional and they can become quite adversarial. A family attorney will help you create a settlement plan and, ideally, avoid a lengthy trial. They are able to investigate and divide marital property, determine spousal support, and develop plans for child custody, support, and visitation if you and your spouse have children together.
It is also helpful to have an advocate and ally on your side if your divorce is not proceeding as amicably as you would wish or if your spouse is abusive and/or bullying. Again, it is about protecting your rights under the law and ensuring that your voice is heard.
Even if your divorce is amicable, it is helpful to have a lawyer to help you get through the ins and outs of the process, making sure all the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed so you do not run into trouble down the road.
Child Custody and Child Support
This is another area in which tensions and emotions can run high. Your lawyer is your representative - and they are also a cool head when you need it. In this case, your family attorney can help develop custody and support agreements. Even if these are settled in your divorce, they may need to be revisited as circumstances change (e.g. the non-custodial parent’s income changes, a parent loses a job, etc.).
In these cases, a mother may want to file a paternity case to prove an individual is the father of her child/ren in order to secure child support payments. On the other hand, a father may file a case to ensure they can have a relationship with the child/ren (e.g. visitation, shared custody, etc.). Paternity is established through DNA testing, and a case will work out the details regarding support, custody, and visitation.
Adoption can be complex, and a successful outcome depends on a variety of factors (e.g. where the child is from, whether there are family members contesting the adoption, etc.). Your family lawyer will work to ensure that your best interests, and those of the child, are served.
Situations that involve domestic violence may also be heard in criminal and civil courts. In some cases, family court may be charged with determining how best to protect victims and provide them with a safe environment.
Family law situations hit close to home. Make sure that you have an experienced lawyer by your side to help you work through the process and take the next steps in your life. Contact Robert P. Laney today for a consultation.