When is the right time to consider bringing a family lawyer on board? Or decide if it’s even necessary at all? Deciding you need a family lawyer is certainly not an easy decision to make for most families. Some people assume that getting a family lawyer on board is admitting that you’ve failed to handle your family dynamics on your own.
We’re here to let you know that this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, engaging a family lawyer shows maturity. It confirms that you’re prepared to deal with a particular matter amicably—within legal confines. But at what point does hiring a family lawyer cease to be an option but a necessity? When it comes to hiring family lawyers Essendon residents mostly do so when faced with the following issues.
Faced with Divorce
A family lawyer will definitely come in handy when there’s a divorce looming. As you can imagine, divorce isn’t the easiest subject to deal with for all parties involved. A family lawyer will help put things into perspective and assist with the following issues:
- Make the process easier especially if one party isn’t forthcoming. A divorce lawyer acts like an arbitrator between the two parties in this regard.
- Allocation of assets.
- Discussion surrounding alimony.
Conflict Concerning Child Custody
The issue of child custody is often a sensitive issue among separating parents—whether they were married or not. A family lawyer will ensure that the process is fair and doesn’t favour one gender over the other. It’s no secret how messy discussing child custody can be.
You’ll need a competent and knowledgeable family lawyer who can:
- Mediate between the two parties until they find a suitable solution.
- Make the process as quick and painless as possible for both parents & children involved.
- Help parents reach an agreement regarding visitation rights if the matter is settled out of court.
When Preparing for Marriage
The general consensus is that family lawyers should only be sought when there’s a problem in the family. But this isn’t always the case. Smart people know to involve a family lawyer before there are any disparities. Engaging a family lawyer before you get married is an excellent idea.
Just like going for pre-marriage counselling, it’s wise to seek legal counsel with regards to issues such as:
- Information on the legal requirements for marriage in your state. What exactly does it mean to be married in or out of community of property?
- A lawyer can also advise you on your legal responsibilities or rights as a husband or wife.
- Draft a pre-nuptial agreement in the event that each party brings his or her own assets into the marriage or if there’s a sizeable imbalance of wealth between the two parties. As you’re probably aware, this agreement will come in handy in the event of death or a divorce.
When Preparing to Form a Domestic Partnership
Not everyone is keen on getting married—and that’s understandable. Other people may prefer to form a domestic partnership with their love interest under a civil union.
It’s important to know that even though you won’t be getting married, you still have rights in that relationship. A family lawyer is the best person to explain:
- The rules of your civil union in your home state.
- What your rights are in the event of a separation. Are you entitled to any assets you accumulated while staying together?
- You can even draft a prenup.
Read More: Difficult Choices Regarding Family Dynamics
Families looking to adopt will find the input, advice and assistance from a family lawyer beneficial. Adoption is a pretty huge step. With it comes a lot of considerations that can easily be overlooked by the lay man when embarking on this journey. Again, a family lawyer will make the process go much smoother—and quicker—by ensuring the following:
- The family understands what exactly they are getting into by explaining the adoption process including detailing emotional, cultural and ethical issues that may arise.
- Explain the importance of acknowledging the child’s birth parents in the event that he or she wants to know in future.
- Clearly explain the financial aspect of the entire proceedings.
Drafting a Will or Trust
In the unfortunate event of your death or if you become incapacitated, you need to ensure that your assets and dependents are protected. It’s certainly not advisable to leave such matters to chance or until it’s too late. Rather consult with a family lawyer who’ll gladly assist you with issues regarding:
- How best to divide your assets among your dependants
- Protect your heirs from any liability
- Prepare the necessary documents
It’s apparent that having a family lawyer is non-negotiable in any of the above-mentioned scenarios. It’s advisable not to wait until it’s too late but keep a lawyer on board to help you with any issues you might face in your day to day life such as signing contracts, lease agreements or general advice. You’ll thank us later.