Most people will use the terms “Family Law” and “Divorce Lawyer” interchangeably with each other. The truth, however, is that Divorce Law is only one aspect of Family Law.
What is family law and what do family lawyers do? Family law is a legal practice area that focuses on issues involving family relationships, such as adoption, divorce, and child custody, among others. Therefore, family law attorneys are legal professionals that specialize in these specific matters. Family lawyers can also act as mediators when family disagreements develop and represent litigants in family conflicts that end up in courts.
Below are some of the things that an experienced and reputable family law attorney can do for you.
Child Custody/Child Support agreements
In the hardest of times when a couple separates, one of the most challenging problems to solve is children.
Court orders and settlement agreements involving both custody and support usually are included in the larger divorce case, but may be revisited as conditions change. For instance, child support may be altered after the non-custodial parent’s financial situation changes.
A child support order is determined by what is reasonable and necessary for the support of the child or children. It is presumed that the guideline support amounts represent the amount of support that is reasonable and necessary, unless it can be demonstrated to the court that circumstances exist that would make the guideline amount inappropriate.
Divorce and Divorce Mediation
Undergoing a divorce is probably one of the most draining experiences that a family can face, and divorce cases involving substantial assets or complex estates require specialized knowledge. A good divorce attorney is skilled at dividing marital property, calculating spousal support, and proposing a plan for child custody, visitation, and support (if applicable).
Attorneys can also cover divorce mediation. Divorce Mediators work with a couples involved in family break-ups to make arrangements, either to plan for a separation or divorce, or after the split has taken place, without the need for court intervention.
Domestic Violence Protection
Domestic violence is described as abusive behavior when a family or household member uses physical or mental maltreatment toward another family or household member. The IDVA uses the following terms as abuse:
1. Physical abuse
3. Intimidation of a dependent
4. Interference with personal liberty
5. Willful deprivation
An Order of Protection is a court order made in writing which prohibits, by law, further abusive behavior.
Who are persons considered to be family or household members?
The IDVA defines members to include:
1. A spouse
3. Girlfriend/boyfriend who have or have had a dating or engagement relationship
7. Significant other/partner
8. Persons who share or allege to have a blood relationship through a child
9. Persons who live together or formerly lived together
10. Persons with disabilities and their personal assistants
International Child Abduction (Hague Convention)
Although not a common practice for most family lawyers, some specific attorneys have the knowledge, experience and skills in Hague Convention cases to take on international parental child abduction cases.
The Hague Convention is a treaty that many countries, including the United States, have joined. Its purpose is to protect children from the harmful effects of international abduction by a parent. Proving claims in international child abduction cases under the Hague Abduction Convention requires analysis and careful development of all evidence and testimony that may support or defeat defenses to claims of wrongful abduction or retention. Therefore, choosing an attorney who has extensive experience in cases involving international child custody disputes is vital.
Reasons to Hire a Family Law Attorney
Now that you know what a family law attorney is, you’re probably wondering how hiring legal representation in your family law case would benefit you. Here are the major benefits that come with hiring a family lawyer.
How realistic are the claims coming from the other party? Can the other party actually receive what they’re stating they’ll receive? A family law attorney knows the law, as well as the outcomes of past verdicts, and can use that knowledge to help you receive the best possible outcome.
There’s a lot of red tape and substantial paperwork when it comes to family law proceedings. And that’s before it goes to trial. By hiring a family law attorney, you can rest assured the t’s crossed and i’s dotted. Consequently, you will not have to sweat about your case being thrown out as early as possible.
If a case goes to court, experienced attorneys can make sure that their client is prepared for everything that is going to happen when they enter the courtroom room, and will know exactly how to handle any particular situation that arises during the pendency of a family law case. This will keep the judge happy and the proceedings running smoothly and efficiently.
Peace of Mind
Ultimately, one of the best benefits of hiring a family law attorney to represent your interests in a case is the fact that you will be able to trust your legal issues are being duly dealt with. Whenever you have an issue or a family matter that requires legal representation, it’s essential to seek the assistance of a knowledgeable and experienced professional.
There are areas of Family Law that involve people who are involved in Civil Unions, Domestic Partnerships, and same-sex relationships. As a Chicago-based Family Law practice, we can ensure that the appropriate contracts and agreements are in place to help to avoid any issues in the future.
If you are facing a family law issue, contact the family law attorneys at Masters Law Group. Our firm handles family law matters in Cook County and surrounding counties. Masters Law Group concentrates in area of domestic relations, which includes divorce, allocation of parental responsibilities, child support and related family matters.
We offer a wide range of services tailored to our clients’ unique legal needs. Masters Law Group LLC has a unique depth of knowledge, experience and talent in the Family Law and Divorce field. Click here to view our practice areas. And click here to set up a consultation today.