Family Law Firms: Choosing The Right Divorce Lawyer

No one is a winner when it comes to getting divorced. But, you do need to not only get the best possible resolution; you also need to protect yourself and your children’s best interest. There is no other way to get on with the rest of your life. Having the right family law firm on your side is crucial.

Choosing the correct attorney could be your most critical decision in successfully confronting your Family Law issues and beginning the next phase of your life.

Remember to keep in mind:

Your divorce lawyer is not your personal therapist. This is not the person to be talking to if you have any unaddressed emotional or psychological issues. They are only there to assist you legally.

Your divorce lawyer is not a minister or priest. If you really need spiritual advice, your lawyer is not going to cut it.

Your divorce lawyer should absolutely not represent both you and your spouse. There is just no way to be completely neutral to both parties. It is true that an attorney can represent one side with the other continuing without a lawyer. You should however be extremely cautious of any lawyer claiming they can represent both sides in a divorce.

Choosing the correct family law firm can help you retain your financial security. But, choosing the wrong one can cause you to lose assets that you should retain. Worst of all an incompetent lawyer could also cause you to lose your parental rights as well.

What you want is a knowledgeable attorney that is willing to fight tooth and nail for you. They should also walk you through the entire process and respect what you need during this hard time. Many times litigants will change lawyers multiple times before the case is even concluded. The reason being is that they do not put in the time or effort to properly find the right family law firm.

The process of divorce when you take it down to its essence is simply two people coming to an agreement about no longer staying married and figuring out how to best live their lives apart. Throughout this there are several key things that need to be resolved:

Parenting Schedules, Financial Support and Child Custody – You need an experienced family lawyer to handle this area as it is very complex.

Finance Matters – Money, banking accounts, money market funds and anything relating to your joint finances

Retirement Finances – IRAs, pensions, pre-determined retirement plans and anything relating to your retirement

Property – All tangible items including cars, jewelry, tools, furniture, photographs and all personal property needs to be sorted out

Life Insurance – Whole life insurance policies have cash value

Your Debts – I know that no one wants to take responsibility of the financial debts that come from a marriage but this is a complicated and critical subject for your lawyer to handle.

Spousal Support – Sometimes spousal support is granted if one party earns more money than the other in comparison. The length of the marriage will also determine how much is paid for spousal support.

The family law firm that you choose should fit the following criteria and should follow these standards:

Complete Knowledge Of Family Law

Without a doubt the overall thing you want in a family law attorney is knowledge of family law. Experienced family law firms will not only be familiar with the law but will also be up to date on legal trends and the legal system in general. A good lawyer will be able to handle any emergency that might come up during your case and handle it effortlessly.

Comfort Level

You are after all paying for their services so you should be at ease and always treated with respect. Often going with your instincts will help you choose the right lawyer. It is very important that you feel comfortable with your attorney so you don’t hesitate to ask about anything, no matter how trivial you think it is.

Do They Want To Win?

Although this can be pretty difficult to figure out during your first visit it is much more likely that they will be aggressive and determined to win for you if they are exited at the onset. A disinterested lawyer will miss many facts about your case.

Do They Have Support?

Any good family law firm has multiple staff members including other attorneys and paralegals. The more complicated your case the more assistance will be needed. Oftentimes specialists are called in to help your case. Having the proper people supporting them will allow your lawyer to be more focused.

Divorce can be a very stressful and emotionally painful experience. In a difficult time such as this it’s not only tough on you but on your family as well. Now is not the time to have the additional stress of wondering if you picked the right lawyer.

The lawyer that you have representing you should not be an obstacle. They should be experienced, strong and ready to fight for you and your best interests. With a good lawyer at your side you can focus on your family’s emotional status. You will only make this time harder on yourself by not carefully choosing the right lawyer.

Why Experience Matters With Family Law Issues

Family law is a highly emotional legal specialty, as the issues that lawyers of this nature deal with are closely tied to the people and values that matter most to clients.

Often, one’s first experience with this area of the law is a result of a difficult or traumatic experience such as child custody hearing, child protective services hearings, or divorce proceedings. These situations involve intense emotions as the relationship between former spouses and/or parents and their children, making an already challenging area of the law even more difficult to navigate. Emotionally charged proceedings create a stressful work environment, which is one reason why many attorneys choose not to practice family law.

However, it is very important as a client choosing a lawyer for this type of situation to make sure that you choose one who has experience and knowledge in this area so that you can be sure that your interests and the best interests of those involved are pursued.

Special issues with children

For example, family lawyers deal with issues of protecting children. The government can choose to place minor in foster care temporarily or to put the children up for adoption and permanently revoke the rights of parents if they feel that the child is in danger. They also work with judges and the courts to determine the emotional costs of divorce on children in an attempt to minimize damage to the children as these proceedings are conducted. These decisions can be painful and difficult for all parties, which is why it is particularly advantageous to have an experienced and skillful attorney on your team.

Regarding these difficult and complex issues, the law can often be vague and unclear, leaving a great deal of room for interpretation and confusion. For this reason, courts across the United States and in Louisiana often allow for family lawyers to use the option of “collaborative family law” as a way to resolve these issues without formal, traditional proceedings. Through cooperation, the parties involved can attempt to resolve their conflicts without the costs, time, and distress involved with conventional courtroom resolution.

In some cases, this works out very well for both parents and children. However, this is not universally the case, and if collaboration fails to settle the problems out of court, clients need to be prepared to take the issue to trial. A lawyer who has worked in family law for many years has participated in both collaborative settlements as well as formal trials and will be able to guide you through this trying process.

The issues covered by family law are very broad, ranging from simple divorces to end short marriages that involve no children to domestic violence and even paternity suits. Deciding what is best for clients can involve any number of specialists and governmental agencies.

If this sounds overwhelming, it is because resolving family law issues can be incredibly difficult and complex. However, lawyers who have chosen this as their practice are able to explain one’s options and help them choose the best path for a resolution that serves the best interests of all parties.

Family Law Courts Are The Perfect Option For Solving Family Disputes

There are several cases in the court of justice and the varieties in them ranges a lot. So, there are certain classifications in the courts present in any judicial system of the country. Some of them like civil, criminal, consumer, taxation and many more are categorised according to the types of cases that come in the court’s way. The specialization for the lawyers is even categorised. But, there are consultants and firms who help in all your legal problems and that mean, one place solution for all your problems. Suppose you have a family legal problem then how would you get family law lawyers and trust on his/her expertise if found one? It seems a hard task to talk about.

The family law courts deal with the cases related to family issues. Family issues are many and the list is quite big to lay out with a complete explanation. Some of them are, adoption, prenuptial agreements, marriage, divorce, separation, legal separation, property division after the death of the parents, division of property on the breakage of marriage, domestic violence (western countries are very strict on these issues, even a mother can be arrested for beating her child), child labour, abuse on marriage to the lady, parental rights, juvenile and many other issues which make sense for having a justice.

The family law courts are criticized a lot about not giving a proper justice and forwarding the case to those higher courts which demands more money and more family law lawyers. So, in a sense they are considered of no use but this is a complete false notion. Instead of the family court the losing party calls for the higher court’s justice. There are also some other issues that has been under the family courts like, the cases relating to, criminal laws inside family, property related laws, probation laws and so on.

The family courts are the most crowded places in almost every country. They deal mostly cases relating to social and economic issues and these are numbered more than any other cases. These courts include less complex cases. The clients who enter into lodging a complaint may be new in these terms and the process might be intimidating for certain people. But, it is perfectly fine about all these because here you abide by the government’s support as they ensure you justice.

One important thing is not to trust anybody out here in this field and hence you must thoroughly understand the terms of the laws. It might be a difficult task for you but the terms relating to your particular case are very important to understand. So, you can readily go for those and make sure nobody cheats you.

Proposing Major Reforms For Family Law Court in Sonoma County – Elkins Task Force Report

In Sonoma County most people are likely to be effected to some extent by family law, whether it is personally or through family and friends. Given the current condition of the family court system in California, can it be repaired?

Because family law is an area of importance, where courts resolve issues important to the futures of our families, children and local communities, bringing change is multifaceted. On April 23, 2010 in San Francisco, The Judicial Council of California accepted the Elkins Task Force Report of 117 recommendations.

Developed by a 38-member task force, including several Sonoma County legal experts, this sweeping report is designed to increase access to justice for the thousands of Californians who appear before court judges. The problems which exist in California family court are legendary.

In 2007, the California Supreme Court faced a difficult question. Were procedures used in court, intended to make the process easier for the litigants, in fact violating their rights to due process? The Court concluded that more needed to be done and it issued a call for action which was what lead to the task force being established.

From the Elkins website, “Throughout its work, the task force has sought input from individuals and organizations with experience and interest in California’s family courts, through focus groups, a survey of attorneys, and extensive opportunities for public input via the task force’s Web site, letters, and phone calls.”

Experienced attorneys in Sonoma County are looking forward to the change that the Elkins Task Force is sure to bring to the current system for their clients.

Appearing in Sonoma County since 1997, Family Attorney Joann Campoy says of the approved Elkins Task Force Report “It is a significant study which provides many recommendations which I would like to see implemented in our courts”. Ms. Campoy based in Santa Rosa also stated that this report is “bound to “improve the processes for everyone involved in family court proceedings and better meet the needs of the public”.

The Council initially charged the Elkins Task Force with two different duties: (1) to conduct a comprehensive review of family law proceedings; and (2) to make recommendations to the Judicial Council designed both to ensure due process, and to provide more effective and consistent rules, policies and procedures in family law matters.

Now accepted, the recommendations are aimed at improvements-from securing more judicial officers for historically under-resourced courts with huge caseloads all the way to expanding legal services for the many people who cannot afford an attorney.

The Judicial Council also approved on the same day, the establishment of a committee that would implement the task force’s recommendations. People all await future news in Sonoma County to see what change the committee will bring once established to the family law courts.

Top Reasons to Hire Family Law Attorneys

Hiring family law attorneys is needed whenever situations arise that require legal documentation or litigation. Some of the more common tasks include establishing guardianship for minor aged children, legal name changes, adoption, and child support.

Certain situations necessitate working with family law attorneys for a long period of time. This might include international adoptions or divorce. Under these circumstances, it is advisable to consult with multiple law firms to locate a lawyer whom you are comfortable with.

Complex legal issues can be difficult to deal with, so it is helpful to seek help from legal professionals who dedicate time and attention to the case. It’s also important to locate attorneys experienced with the specific type of case.

As an example, couples who plan to adopt children outside of the U.S. should get help from family law firms who have experience in international adoptions. Another example is couples who are getting a divorce will need to get legal help to arrange child support and alimony payments.

Sadly, divorce is a primary reason for hiring an attorney. Legal help is required to abide by state child support rules, establish child custody, and file divorce papers with the court. Divorcing couples also need help to determine equitable distribution of jointly-owned assets and to arrange agreements which do not require a court appearance.

Few people will disagree that divorce cases are often the most emotional. This is due to the fact that divorce can bring about a tremendous amount of anger and frustration; especially when children are involved.

When cases involve spousal abuse there is a sense of urgency which often necessitates obtaining protective orders. In many instances, people need help removing children from neglectful or harmful situations.

Dire situations rarely allow individuals time to shop around for a lawyer. In these cases, people can obtain referrals from the state prosecutor’s office or through the American Bar Association.

On the flip side, people often employ attorneys to prepare prenuptial agreements. Individuals who own a substantial amount of assets opt to protect them in the event their upcoming marriage results in divorce.

Prenuptial agreements can be tricky to arrange, so it’s important to work with professionals who can present the pros and cons of this type of contract. Oftentimes, prenuptials create additional problems if divorce occurs and can prolong settlement proceedings. It is imperative for these contracts to be ironclad from the start to prevent problems later on.

Lastly, people often hire family law firms to help settle probate estates. Probate is the legal process used to close decedent estates. The process can be simplified by writing a last will and testament and identifying beneficiaries to receive inheritance property. If a Will is not presented to probate court, the estate is settled in accordance with state law.

It’s never easy to settle a loved one’s estate, especially during the grieving process. Engaging in estate planning can make things easier for family members and can go a long way in avoiding disputes over inheritance property.

It should be noted that it can be more expensive to hire a law firm that specializes in a specific type of law, such as international adoption. Most often, family law lawyers can provide services at a lower rate than those who work in one specific field.

Regardless of the type of legal case, it is always advisable to shop around for the most suitable law firm. Look for family law attorneys who possess experience and have an excellent track record. Also, seek out legal professionals who provide guidance and put you at ease.