Family law is a field of the law, which primarily deals with domestic relations and family matters. There are lawyers who deal only with matters related to divorce or family breakups. In certain countries like Canada, the practice of family law has been made mandatory by law. In such a case, the lawyer is allowed by law to be called a ‘family lawyer’. The word family is used in the United States also to refer to the entire society, which is made up of families. Hence, family lawyers also have to deal with family matters that involve other people, not necessarily his family.
In the United States, family lawyers deal with the matters of civil unions and domestic partnerships. A civil union is one where two people get married through the intervention of a third party who guarantees them a degree of legal protection from the law. On the other hand, domestic partnerships are one in which two adults are legally registered as husband and wife but do not have a civil partnership. This is done in view of the fact that domestic partnerships are much easier to dissolve than civil unions. In a few states in the United States of America, domestic partnerships are known as marriages.
Both civil unions and domestic partnerships provide their participants with certain entitlements on personal property and legal rights. Civil unions offer greater protection on the rights of children, though they are no less qualified to lead their own lives. Domestic partnerships give their participants greater rights on issues related to property settlements, tax responsibilities, spousal and child custody, and child adoption. However, the right to work and receive remuneration for this activity is limited in both cases.
Advantages for Hiring a Family Law Attorney
There are some advantages to having a family law attorney. The first advantage is that he can advise his client in cases that are likely to end in divorce proceedings or annulment of marriage. If either of these procedures is initiated without the help of a professional, it is more likely that the outcome will be unsatisfactory.
Apart from the above-mentioned advantages, there is another major advantage of employing a family lawyer. It is not uncommon for some abuse to take place at the workplace, especially if the employer does not have a family lawyer on his payroll. If an employee suspects that he is being abused, a proper investigation cannot be conducted without the assistance of a professional. An employee may try to report the abuse but maybe rebuffed by his employers. A family lawyer working on his client’s behalf will be able to assist in ensuring that the complaint is properly investigated.
Another advantage of having a family lawyer is that he is familiar with the legal procedures that must be followed when handling family disputes and other such legal issues. He is also aware of the various safeguards that are available to ensure that the fairest outcome is obtained. In most cases, the role of a family lawyer is critical during divorce proceedings. Most arguments that arise in family law cases result from strained relationships between the two parties. In such circumstances, a good court representative is critical.
Family law is a specialized area of the legal field that concerns primarily with domestic relations and family matters. In Canada, family law specifically refers to the areas of family affairs, including spousal and marital status, child, family and child abuse, adoption, termination of marriage and divorce, division of property acquired during the marriage, alimony, division of children, etc. Family issues can also include immigration, division of the estate, and other related issues. In the United States, family law can also be utilized to deal with adoption, spousal and marital status, child and parent abuse, separation or divorce, child adoption, juvenile delinquency, paternity, and numerous other family-related issues. The laws of the state may also vary and family issues are always extremely sensitive.
How to Find a Good Family Lawyer?
For a person to get a good family lawyer, he must make inquiries about his prospective ones and ensure that his requirements are met. Family matters cannot be handled by someone without appropriate information and without the required experience. One of the main requirements of a good family lawyer is evidence of his previous record and work experience. It is essential to check whether the family lawyer has any past record of unethical practices. Family lawyers may either work on a contract basis or on a freelance basis. If a person wishes to work on a freelance basis, he should make sure that he provides all the necessary details to his potential employers.
A good family lawyer always ensures that they have a well-stocked library of important books and that they are updated with the latest resources and laws in the field. Most family lawyers do not work on a fee basis. Generally, the fees of such lawyers are high since they require a lot of research and paperwork work to prepare and file cases.
Family lawyers who work on a contract basis usually focus on a specific geographical area. There are many aspects that one has to consider while choosing a family lawyer. He must be experienced enough to deal with situations that may arise at any point of time and that have to be solved in an efficient manner. Clients can hire family lawyers on a per project basis, on an hourly or daily basis, or on a monthly or annual basis depending on the requirements and preferences.
When you are looking for a family lawyer, it is important to get started asking around. It is better to hear back from three to five attorneys before selecting a suitable one. One should try and get quotes from at least three to five family lawyers so that one can have an idea of the costs that he is going to incur. The best way to get started asking around is to talk to friends and relatives who had used a family lawyer in the past. Someone living close to you may be willing to lend you their name or he may be able to recommend one. It is also important to contact the Bar Association of your city so that you can get the list of lawyers working in the area.
Once you shortlist a few attorneys, you can then approach them and discuss your case. You have to be clear about what you want in the contract, the fees, and other important aspects. Family attorneys should be able to understand your situation and should therefore be able to draft a contract that meets your needs. The attorney should explain all the legal provisions of the contract in such a way that you are not left in a confused state when the case is finalized.
Mike Fisher is JSBNI’s senior staff writer with years of experience researching and writing about a variety of legal topics. Previously, he worked as a reporter for the Massachusetts Street Journal and got his start at newspapers in New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.