Many of these areas, such as marriage, are rapidly changing and require a firm that is educated on these many changes. There are many words and phrases that are used when dealing with this type of law that you may want to familiarize yourself with if you are going through one of these cases. For example, there is the term marital property. This is often heard during a divorce case and is referring to any property that is acquired by either spouse during the course of a marriage. These will be items that are later divided amongst the couple during divorce.
Another phrase often used in divorce cases is alimony, which refers to an allowance that is paid to one spouse by the other. This is used as support, either during the divorce case or after the legal separation has taken place. A final term that many may have heard of but do not fully understand is prenuptial agreement. This is a formal agreement that was made between the couple before the marriage and gives up any future rights to property in the case of a death or divorce.
Some legal terms that may arise during child custody battles are confusing to those who are not familiar with this area of law as well. For example, you may hear the term paternity, which is used to define the father of a child. Undergoing a paternity test can be important during some child custody and child support cases. Also, should a minor want to become self-supporting, assume adult responsible for their own welfare, and no longer be legally tied to the care of their parents, you may hear the term emancipation.
Of course, a great family attorney will help you fully understand every aspect of your case. However, educating yourself beforehand can ensure that you are not taken advantage of and that you make the best decision when finding your attorney. As mentioned, there are many reasons to hire a lawyer and depending on the uniqueness of these cases, you will want to find someone who specializes in your specific type of case.
One of the biggest reasons to hire a lawyer is if you are going through a divorce. If this is a simple, more civil case, you may be able to settle your separation with simple mediation. However, if is a more complex or contested divorce, you may need a more experienced legal team. Of course, along with marriage often comes children, which can add even more difficulties to your divorce. Every parent wants the best for their children, which means handling custody and visitation is something you want to hire an educated professional for. If safety is an issue, this can require you to hire someone who specializes in family law. Also, things such as child support can be altered frequently, which will require you to work with your attorney multiple times.
Another area that is often overlooked, but may require a family attorney is adoption and foster care. The adoption process can be very complex, though it may not require an attorney it can be a good time to get some legal advice when needed. The laws surrounding adoption can vary by area, which means you will want to find a firm that has worked with many adoptive parents in the past.