What Can a Family Law Attorney Do for You?

Family relationships are more often than not, very rewarding and beneficial to all concerned parties such as couples, their children and even their relatives. This can be clearly seen when it comes to deal with the natural human instincts almost everybody needs such as amicable companionship, acceptance and even the sense of belonging.

However, family life is not always rosy and blissful, and there often comes a time in relationships like marriage, where the involved parties become estranged, and either of them might wish to bring it to an end. This is where family law comes into play.

This happens to be an indispensable component of law that concerns itself with dealing with the issues that can occur in family life. Which is usually geared to effect if not an amicable, a final resolution into the issues that might crop up in such relationships.

Naturally, in such scenarios there are diverse complex issues that need to be addressed, particularly in divorce. These include fair division of assets, custody and visitation rights, in cases where a marriage has produced offspring, spousal and child support and a horde of other issues that need to be resolved.

In such cases both parties are legally permitted to enlist the help of suitable family law attorneys who can effectively represent them in these matters. Which in nature happen to be intricate, protracted, and necessitating a high level of familiarity into the workings of family law. This as most informed individuals might know, invariably greatly differs from one legal jurisdiction to the other.

It is thus extremely prudent for individuals who wish to take any legal action pertaining to their family affairs to find time to obtain the aid of competent and experienced family law attorneys. These professionals happen to be well versed in family law, and can make a huge difference in assisting their clients obtain the satisfaction they need. While also more to the point, avoid the sometimes traumatizing and nasty situations that arise when it come to issues like divorce.

Some of the areas that fall under the expertise of these lawyers include:

Divorce

This happens to be the most common issue most family law attorneys routinely resolve. For the most part they can assist couples wishing to terminate their marriage, settle crucial issues. These include division of assets, crafting and the execution of prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, custody rights, and even spousal and child support.

In such cases both parties are encouraged to seek out of court negotiations for the benefit of all concerned persons. Family law attorneys are highly skilled in the art of counselling and conflict resolutions, which in most cases should be enough to reach an amicable concession on what each party gets from their failed marriage.

However, if this isn’t forthcoming, these professionals can initiate the litigation process, which brings a court of law judge into the picture. Such a magistrate usually arbitrates all the unresolved issues pertaining to marital unions and their dissolution.

Children related issues

On the other hand, family law attorneys can also play an influential role in the handling of issues related to children affairs and their wellbeing. These can naturally include children issues that arise from the separation or divorce of their parents. Or other factors like assisting couples who wish to adopt children through the its legal workings, termination of parental rights, and any other related issue.

Additionally, these lawyers can assist troubled or abused children who wish to legally emancipate themselves from their parents. While also representing those that happen to face juvenile law for misdemeanors or other serious offenses they might have perpetrated.

Family Law Facilitator – Getting Help From Family Law Facilitators

This article provides information on what a family law facilitator (herein after referred to as “facilitator”) is and can and cannot do in terms of providing you assistance with your family legal situation. Each California Superior Court should have an attorney or facilitator office (sometimes called the family court clinic) that can provide free help with your family legal related matters. These attorneys work at the court facilitator’s office. Some facilitator office’s have both attorneys and paralegals on staff to provide non-legal assistance to consumers seeking help with their family legal issues.

What a Family Law Facilitator Can Do – The services provided at the California Superior Court by each facilitator office at can vary. In some counties the family law facilitator can show you how to fill out court forms, help you with your dissolution or divorce or child custody issues while others do not. Some counties limit the facilitator’s services to only child support issues, spousal support issues and protracted health insurance cases. In some counties a facilitator can meet with you individually and provide you information and options but cannot act as your attorney, represent you or provide you with legal advice.

What a Family Law Facilitator Office Cannot Do – A facilitator cannot be your attorney and represent you on your case. Also, a family law facilitator does not provide you with legal advice. You’ll need to hire your own attorney for legal advice about your situation and strategy for your case. As a result, there is no attorney-client relationship between you and the court facilitator. The facilitator is available to the public and can therefore typically help you and the other party. Notably, your communication with the facilitator may not be private or confidential. If that’s the case, if the facilitator office is subpoenaed to court there may not be an attorney-client privilege that would protect your conversation and make it confidential.

For local family law facilitator rules and information you would do well to consult your local California Superior Court facilitator office. For legal advice about your situation however, you’ll want to consult with an attorney in your area to find out where you stand legally on this matter, how the law applies to your situation and what your legal options are.

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Family Law Courts

Family law courts take up cases relating to all kinds of family related issues. These can be adoption, prenuptial agreements, marriage, divorce, separation, legal separation, annulment, alimony, division of the property accumulated during the marriage, domestic violence, negotiation, adjudication, child custody and support, child abduction, kidnapping or child seizure, emancipation, abuse in the marriage, parental rights, paternity, juvenile, felonies, and many such cases related to family.

Family law courts also deal with regular cases relating to criminal laws, property related laws, probation law, trusts, and so on. However, the majority of the cases that come to family law courts are the divorce, separation, abuse or child custody cases. A number of details need to be considered when it comes to these cases. Family law courts are specialized in all the legalities involved in such cases.

As you can imagine, family law courts are some of the most crowded courts in America. They deal with social and economic issues so universal that the courts can hardly bear the brunt of the demand. As a result, family courts are notoriously underfunded. Economically disadvantaged people often get left by the wayside when trying to gain monetary compensation for just cause.

Family law courts are the subject of much criticism as well for prejudice. Many think one gender or the other is favored in family courts. This may or may not be the case, but it might be impossible to study, since the numbers are so great. Until then, the family courts are a necessary aspect to a society in which people can treat each other unfairly sometimes.

Compassionate, Sensitive, Knowledgeable Family Law Attorneys Committed to Your Cause

Look for caring, compassionate, exceptionally knowledgeable and competent family lawyers when you have family issues, their characteristics make quite a difference in the outcome.

Family law issues deal with sensitive matters related to children or issues between couples that could possibly have far reaching repercussions impacting the future of a family. Family law issues are compounded and made more complex by the emotional factor, making for tangled webs that are difficult to unravel and, in a number of cases, end in bitter acrimony. This is where the characteristics of a good family law attorney or lawyer assume center stage and could make quite a difference to the outcome.

Competence is the key to success. The best family law attorney will dedicate hours to learning their craft, acquiring knowledge about the intricate labyrinthine laws and in using these when needed to bring about a positive result in their client’s favor. Competent family law lawyers are distinguished by a strong belief in themselves and their vision and consistently hard efforts they put in to achieve goals. Another distinguishing characteristic is exceptional communication abilities and convincing powers. Knowledge of laws is one thing, putting it across convincingly in an effective way to the deciding authority is another and this is where a family law attorney with these qualities can make the case turn in your favor. Aggression is another quality family law attorney or lawyer must possess if they are to come across as stout defenders of their clients’ rights. All these factors, besides the merits of the case, do influence the outcome when matters go to court.

However, there is much more to selecting a divorce attorney or family lawyer aside from their competence and skills. Family matters are intricate and complicated and cross woven with emotions running high. Compassion, understanding and the ability to take in a situation, empathize and try to resolve it before it goes to the last resort in a court of law are qualities that are just as important. Consider a case where a young family member has become liable for prosecution for drugs or alcohol use. Family law attorneys, with a background in dealing with juveniles and with a thorough knowledge of how the system works, can nip the issue in the bud.

A competent, compassionate and caring lawyer can advise and handle a juvenile tactfully while aggressively taking up the issue with authorities to nip the issue in the bud before it becomes a case. In the event it does, he pursues it with single minded commitment, fighting fiercely for his client. Consider family matters such as divorce, custody of children, support, visitation rights and all the other issues separation throws up. Family law attorneys and divorce lawyers, in these cases, must have people skills, tact and an ability to develop rapport with his client and also with the other family members who, in all likelihood, will be opponents in court. Their first attempt would be to resolve the family issues in the family through across the table discussions, taking the extreme step of litigation when all else fails. Background, experience at various levels and zeal coupled with knowledge of family law attorney lawyers prove decisive, whether it is to resolve matters amicably or through an extended, acrimonious legal battle.

If you are faced with a situation that needs legal assistance, consider you should consider all perspectives. It is the difference between losing and winning.

Before Hiring an Attorney for Your Family Law Case, Ask a Few Key Questions

Choosing an attorney to represent you may be one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make. The more selective you are in choosing the best family law attorney for you, the more confidence you’ll have — in the representation and in the legal proceedings. Ultimately, you want favorable results for yourself and your children. Of course, you want to ask how much you’ll be charged for lawyer services, how much for paralegal services, how and when you will be billed, and how much of a retainer fee is required. But don’t make your decision based on fees alone. Here are a few questions you should also ask before you consider hiring a particular lawyer.

Key Question #1: Has the lawyer been sanctioned for an ethics violation?
Attorneys are held to high ethical standards regarding how they practice law and the customer service they provide to clients. Each state’s bar association regulates its members and, when necessary, disciplines attorneys with sanctions to punish for acts of professional misconduct. Arizona’s attorneys must be members in good standing with the State Bar of Arizona in order to practice law within the state.

A grievance filed against an attorney can lead to reprimand, probation, suspension, restitution, and revocation of the attorney’s license to practice law within the state. A relatively minor infraction may be the attorney’s failure to pay bar member dues timely, leading to an automatic suspension and an easy remedy. When an attorney’s conduct is egregious, as with a felony conviction, then automatic interim suspension followed by sanctions like disbarment may result. You need assurance that the character and competency of your attorney justifies your decision to hire.

Poor legal judgment causes problems for clients.
When hiring an attorney for your divorce, child custody, or parenting time matter, determine whether the lawyer has been disciplined, so ask:

— Was the attorney disciplined for mishandling a legal matter because of inexperience in the law?
— Did the attorney fail to adequately prepare the case?
— Did the attorney fail to get assistance from a more experienced attorney when they should have?
— Did the attorney fail to take reasonable steps to protect a client’s interests both during and after the representation?
— Did the attorney fail to put forth reasonable efforts to expedite the litigation, delaying a case unnecessarily?
— Did the attorney mishandle client funds?
— Did the attorney neglect an entrusted legal matter?
— Was the attorney advanced a legal fee, but failed to refund the unearned portion?
The exercise of poor legal judgment by an attorney can result in significant problems for a client.

Key Question #2: Is the lawyer’s practice focused on family law?
The one constant in the law is change, sometimes in an obvious way and sometimes in a hundred subtle ways. The courts continue to interpret laws differently, and our legislatures continue to pass new laws and change existing ones. Rules of civil procedure, evidence, and local court rules vary from one judge to the next. When the attorney’s legal practice is focused on family law, then that attorney is in sync with emerging trends in the field. Case management is very difficult to streamline when the attorney is not completely tuned in to the controlling laws. The experienced lawyer focused exclusively on family law, who has tried many divorce cases, has worked with complex asset divisions, has handled contested custody matters, and has been successful. That attorney will guide you through your case fluidly, efficiently, and knowledgeably. A focused practice is a focused lawyer.

Choose a family law practitioner.
You want to know whether the attorney you’re looking to retain has a genuine focus on family law, and is not merely dabbling in divorces as circumstances allow. These are the types of questions you should ask before hiring:
— Do you practice family law exclusively?
— What percentage of your law practice is devoted to family law?
— What access do you have to specialists and experts within your firm and outside your firm?
— How many years have you been practicing family law?
— Have you been litigating divorce trials for five years or more?
— Have you handled complex asset and property divisions in divorce?
— Are you well-versed in child custody matters?
— Are you recognized by the public and by your peers for your abilities and experience as a practitioner of family law?

If after your questions are answered, it is apparent that the attorney is not sufficiently experienced in family law, or lacks a genuine focus in family law practice, then keep your options open and continue interviewing other potential attorneys.

Key Question #3: Will this attorney be handling your case, beginning to end?
At some law firms, the attorney you meet in your initial consultation is not the attorney who will be representing you. Allowing your case to be assigned to whoever has a light schedule at the firm this week is not being very selective. You are not a commodity and neither are attorneys. Make sure to ask if the attorney you’re interviewing will actually be the attorney handling your case. Will some other lawyer at the firm be assigned to your case after you’ve paid your retainer fee?

The attorney you first meet may be the firm’s presenter, skilled at promoting the law firm and bringing in new clients. But the firm’s presenter may or may not be the lawyer who will be assigned to your case. If you’re interviewing one attorney, but will be working with another, then the prudent course of action is to interview the family law attorney who will actually handle your case. At the interview, ask the question: “Will you be the attorney handling my case?” If that answer is a negative, then ask “Who will be?” and interview that lawyer before you make a hiring decision.

Meet your new lawyer, in the middle of your case.

When you work with your lawyer, you necessarily develop a rapport. You’ve talked about your case face-to-face. You’ve talked on the phone. You’ve received written correspondence. You’ve given detailed descriptions and provided supporting documents. You’ve emailed a hundred times. In all of those exchanges, your lawyer has watched your mannerisms, noted your frustrations, and observed subtleties in your gestures, voice, and tone. Your lawyer gets to know you, and understands the full context of your words.

There is probably nothing more frustrating than working with a family law attorney, developing a solid relationship of trust with good communication, and then have your case reassigned to a different attorney at the law firm. When reassigned to a junior lawyer, you may reasonably question the importance of your case to the law firm. You may feel that your divorce or child custody matter is not valuable enough to merit keeping a more experienced attorney on the case. Such concerns can only undermine your trust in the lawyer and the firm.

Choose your attorney carefully and, before you hire, take a good look at the attorney’s legal team.

You’ve taken the time to interview the family law attorney in person. You think hiring that attorney is in your best interests and will carry you from the beginning of your case to a favorable resolution. One last thing, though. Before you decide to hire, take a look at the qualifications of the entire legal team at the law firm, from partners, to associates, to paralegals. A favorable outcome in your case may depend upon it.