Q: What is Family Law?
A: If you’re considering separation or divorce, you should call our firm to discuss your options and the smartest path forward to protect what’s important to you in life. You should also call our attorneys if your spouse moves out or separates from you, or you’re involved in any sort of domestic disturbance.
Q: Are there other types of family law cases?
A: There are some topics in family law that are not related to a dissolution of a marriage, these include prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, adoptions, name changes, and transfers of custody for educational or other purposes. One other type of case exists and that is a Department of Social Services/Child Protective Services juvenile court case where parents may have their children removed from their care due to abuse or neglect.
Q: When should I call a family attorney?
A: You should call a family law attorney any time you receive a letter from an attorney regarding any of the above issues or you are served with a lawsuit involving any one of topics above.
What happens in a consultation?
The attorney should look over your biographical information to determine such information as the opposing party, date of marriage, date of separation, the number and ages of children. The attorney will then usually let you explain why you are consulting. He or she should then discuss the matter; in a separation scenario, the attorney should address:
- How and when to separate
- Custody and child support
- Alimony exposure
- Property settlement (equitable distribution)
- Methods of settlement
- Costs of negotiating an agreement and costs of litigation
- If you retain, you should be given a contract to review with billing practices spelled out.
Q: How do I know if I need a family attorney?
If you’re considering separation or divorce, or if litigation has already begun regarding your divorce, you need a lawyer. Although there’s nothing that prohibits you from representing yourself, the court will hold you to the standards of an attorney for your pleadings, evidentiary matters, and procedural requirements including courtroom etiquette and behavior.
In any family law situation hiring Weaver, Bennett & Bland is a major benefit. We will explain matters to you and will advise you. We will prepare the proper pleadings, file them and make sure they are served properly. Our lawyers will seek out and obtain evidence and present it properly in court, and then argue the appropriate law as it applies to your case.
In addition, alimony and equitable distribution (property) cases are “paper intensive,” meaning, there is a lot of gathering, organizing, analyzing and preparing documents for various purposes. Our lawyers and legal team members will be invaluable in such cases.
Agreements vs. Litigation
- Coming to an out-of-court agreement to resolve your family law matter is less time consuming and less expensive than litigation.
- Agreements also cause less animosity between the parties and do not place the children in the middle.
- Agreements can be arrived at through communications between you and your spouse, through negotiations with attorneys, or through mediation.
- Litigation is costlier than reaching an agreement, but the rewards may be higher (although the risk may be higher as well).
- You can ask that a judge rule on your requests for custody, alimony, and equitable distribution.