Family lawyers are lawyers that are specialized in family law. They know how to find the way in the family courts. These lawyers can be helpful for family related legal issues, like:
- Care and protection
- Child Support
- Collaborative Family Law
- Day to day care and contact
- Will and Estate Planning
- Death and family protection
- Domestic violence
- Family Mediation
- International / The Hague
- Legal aid
- Mental Health
- Paternal Responsibility
- Protection of personal rights and property rights
- Spousal maintenance
Family law involves a lot of issues. Family laywers have their specializations within family law.
Mediation is a valid alternative for litigation. If you have a conflict related to family matters as in the list above, you can also consider to contact a mediator. The mediatior helps both parties to come to an agreement that is beneficial for both. Usually the process is much shorter and the costs of mediation are considerably lower. You can more information about it in mediation and in Collaborative Family Law.
How to Select a Family Lawyer
- Clearly define the problem you need support for and what you expect from your lawyer
- Find out in which state the competent court resides
- Ask in your network: family, friends, colleagues
- Ask for a list of associated lawyers at your competent family court
- Ask for references of lawyers with experience related to your problem at the court
- Check whether the lawyer is licensed in the state of action
- Verify with your state bar association to find out if the lawyer is okay
- Does language or culture play a role?
- Have a meeting with your lawyer of choice to check out:
- Did the lawyer of your choice represents or has represented your counter partner directly or indirectly
- Ask about her or his experience with similar cases: what was the lead time, the costs and what were the results?
- If your purpose is divorce and you have children, explicitly ask if he or she has experience with divorces where children were involved. Also ask about the ages of those children
- Explain what you need and what you expect from a lawyer
- Discuss fees: try to get a fix fee or agree on a maximum
- Agree on the deliverables of the family lawyer: what will you get exactly?
- Agree on how and when you contact each other
- Find out how easy it is to contact your lawyer. You will get the first experience when making the first appointment
- Find out how quickly he or she responds to your questions
- Finally, it is important that you feel at comfort with your lawyer. If it does not feel good and you are in a law firm, just explain and ask if a colleague can take your case instead.
Documents that family lawyers create regularly are:
- 401K Rollover Requests
- Copyright Applications
- Custody agreement
- Divorce Papers and Worksheets
- Requests for a Credit Report
- Affidavit for ID Theft
- License Agreements
- Loan Agreements
- Living Wills
- Organ Donation Form
- Premarital Agreements
- Promissory Note
- Power of Attorney
- Sub-lease Agreements
- Small Claims Worksheet
- Work for Hire Agreement
For the simple documents, you do not need to involve a lawyer but you can get and fill out the forms yourself. A good resource for creating these documents is Family Lawyer.