Are you in need of a family lawyer but unsure about what it is they do? Here are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding family lawyers.
Q: What is Family Law?
A: Family law is an area of legal practice that concerns family relationships, such as adoption, child custody, visitation rights, child support, divorce, annulment, alimony, domestic violence and more. Though the umbrella of family law shades all family relationships, many attorneys choose to specialize in one specific area, such as divorce, child custody, alimony, etc.
Q: Are Divorce and Annulment the Same Thing?
A: Both are court procedures that dissolve a marriage. However, they are different. Whereas divorce ends the marriage legally, an annulment not only dissolves the legal matrimony, but retroactively erases it as well, making it as if the marriage never happened.
Q: How is Child Custody or Visitation Decided?
A: During a divorce, child custody or visitation rights are determined by many factors. If the couple can come to an agreement without the courts involvement, however, the court will usually be willing to honor the arrangements. If, on the other hand, neither party can come to an agreement, the court will take the parents’ ability to provide, health and even the child’s preference into account when making a decision as to the best placement of any children following a divorce.
Q: What is Child Support?
A: After the court has determined child custody, the noncustodial parent will often be required to make court ordered payments to the primary guardian of the child. Child support is intended to supplement the primary guardian’s expenses for basic childcare needs, such as food, shelter, clothing, education, health and even medical expenses.
Q: What about Mediation?
A: Not all family disputes have to go to court. Family mediation, also known as family law mediation, can be an option when both parties wish to avoid a court trial. With the use of a third party mediator, usually an attorney, family disputes can be settled at much lower costs. However, agreements that come about by mediation may not be legally binding, due to meditations informal nature.
Q: Which Terms Should I Know?
A: 1. Emancipation: a court process in which a minor becomes self-supporting, assuming adult responsibility for his or her own well-being, emancipating themselves from the care of their guardian.
2. Alimony: an allowance to one’s spouse for support pending the legal separation or divorce.
3. Marital Property: property accumulated by either spouse during the marriage period that is subject to division during a divorce.
4. Prenuptial agreement: an agreement made between couples before marriage that relinquishes any future rights to each other’s holdings in the event of a future divorce.
Q: Do I Need a Lawyer?
A: The court process and legal provisions regarding family law are often confusing and easily misinterpreted. Due to the complex nature of family law (combined with the fact that family law cases are the most contentious in nature), hiring an attorney to handle the case is recommended.
Again, when it comes family law, common cases include divorce filing, child custody cases, child support, adoption or foster care, domestic dispute and even alimony. When dealing with such personal – life altering – situations, hiring an attorney will make a difference, especially during emotionally difficult times.
Family Lawyer Near Me
With over 30 years of experience, Attorney Paul H. Bowen Esquire is a qualified family lawyer, dedicated to helping you successfully achieve the outcome you desire. The sooner you contact Mr. Bowen, the sooner he can begin working on your case. Call today to set up a consultation of your case.