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Family Law Terms
A family law attorney handles the aspect of the law dealing with family related issues and domestic relations. Some family lawyers offer a certain amount of pro-bono work for families in need of child support and custody or paternity services. Find these popular terms defined below.
Child Support - Court-ordered payments made by the noncustodial parent to support minor children, usually in the case of a divorce. The noncustodial parent doesn't live with the children on a full-time basis. The actual marriage may not be completely dissolved before a noncustodial is ordered to pay child support. The family law attorney takes an in-depth evaluation of the noncustodial parent's assets and property to determine a reasonable and beneficial amount to care for minor children. Support agreements can be determined through mediation.
Child Custody - Legal and practical relationship between a parent or guardian with the children in regards to making decisions and caring for the child’s needs. Couples going through a divorce may decide to fight for full custody or share joint custody. Lawyers representing each spouse or guardian decide what is in the best interest of the child and how the division of time between each parent should be implemented. In the case of abuse, a parent may seek full custody. Couples that are applying for adoption often go through the process of gaining full custody and may be lucky enough to get a pro-bono lawyer.
Paternity - In the case where parents are not legally married, paternity must be verified. In this case, the father is required to sign the birth certificate in person and in front of a witness. If this does not take place in a given amount of time after the birth, parents may decide to seek the help of a family law attorney to establish paternity.
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It's important to have a family law attorney that you can trust and rely on. These attorneys can help your children and your family in a variety of difficult situations.
These attorneys can represent you if you ever need a divorce. More and more couples are getting divorces, and if you do decide to separate from your spouse, a good attorney will be invaluable. A family law attorney can also help you obtain custody of your children quickly. Long, drawn-out custody battles are horrible for everyone involved, and you need to do what you can to make your court case as short and simple as possible. To that effect, you could enroll in a mediation support program, and your attorney could help you with that too. Your attorney can also help you and your former spouse fairly divide up all of your assets. An attorney can help you and your ex spouse with property division too.
Even if you aren't in need of a divorce, you could probably still benefit from the legal counsel of a family attorney. An attorney can help you and your partner file for a certificate of marriage. An attorney could also help you through the adoption process. Lawyer's fees are usually expensive, but family attorneys will sometimes provide these services pro-bono. However, if you aren't sure whether or not your attorney will do something pro-bono, then don't be afraid to ask them.
Finally, an attorney is important if you're going through serious legal issues. If you've suffered from spousal abuse and you need to take your spouse to court, for instance, an attorney can help you tremendously.