Family law focuses on legal issues involving family relationships, including marriage, divorce, child custody, and adoption. Attorneys specializing in family law may be hired to draft legal documents, represent clients in family court, or assist with family negotiations. A family law attorney helps people legally navigate sensitive situations that can be intensely personal and emotional.
Top Reasons to Hire a Family Law Attorney
Most family law professionals represent clients in matters related to divorce. However, family law represents a broad spectrum of issues, including emancipation, foster care, and reproductive rights. Family law matters are personal and involve close family members.
Therefore, hiring a trusted legal professional to walk through the process with you can help ensure that emotions do not take over and that legal rights are adequately protected.
Some of the more common family law practice areas include:
Divorce: You may have heard the statistic that nearly 50% of marriages end in divorce, and sadly, that is still relatively accurate. According to a recent Forbes article, the divorce rate has declined over the last decade, as has the actual marriage rate. Divorce attorneys work with their respective clients to create a settlement agreement without going to trial. Family law attorneys are adept at dividing marital property, calculating spousal support, and devising a fair strategy to approach child custody, visitation, and support.
Child Custody and Child Support: Court orders involving both custody and support are typically incorporated into the overall divorce case but may be revisited as circumstances evolve. These may include the child needing healthcare or a change of financial status for the non-custodial parent.
Paternity: Paternity, or confirming the identity of a child’s biological father, is typically determined through the use of DNA testing. The test may be requested by a single mother seeking support from the child’s father; or by a biological father seeking a relationship with an estranged child.
Adoption: Although deep emotions inspire the act of adoption, it can involve an exceptionally complex legal process. Variances in state, local, and national laws can be challenging to understand and navigate, and the assistance of a family law attorney is invaluable in ensuring the proceedings go as planned.
Laws May Be Regional
Marriage and divorce laws vary by state, as each state has the right to determine “reasonable formal requirements” for marriage. These requirements may include legal age and capacity as they relate to marriage, as well as the procedures and governing rules for divorce and other family law matters.
If you are married in one state and seek a divorce in another, you should speak with a family law expert to understand your rights and responsibilities.
Additional Family Law Areas
Emancipation: Through the legal process of emancipation, a minor seeks to become self-supporting, assuming adult responsibility for their own welfare and severing the responsibility of their parents.
Determination of Alimony: Alimony is the financial allowance made to one spouse by the other for support during or after a legal separation or divorce.
Prenuptial Agreements: A prenuptial agreement is made between parties before marrying and stipulates the future rights to each other’s property in the event of a divorce or death.
Family Law Attorney in Sarasota
While you may know Richard V. Ellis and his team as bankruptcy attorneys, they are also proficient in all matters related to family law.
Call us today if you are in the Sarasota area and need advice on prenuptial agreements, divorce, or child custody situations. We are here to provide compassionate but skilled legal support to those going through difficult family-related circumstances.