In the U.S., the family and divorce law industry is worth more than $11 billion.

Every year, people spend a lot of money working with lawyers who can help them handle family-related issues like divorces, child custody battles, and a variety of other problems.

In some cases, such as a divorce, it’s easy to see why a family lawyer is necessary. It’s not always that clear, though.

If you’re not sure if hiring a family lawyer is the right option for you, keep reading. Listed below are eight areas of the law with which a family lawyer has the qualifications to assist.

1. Divorce

Divorce is one of the most common reasons why people seek the assistance of a family lawyer.

A family lawyer can help you and your spouse create a settlement plan and avoid having to go to trial. They can help with issues like marital property division, spousal support calculations, and making plans for custody, child support, and visitation.

It’s especially important to hire a family lawyer to help you with the divorce process if your spouse has hired one. This will ensure you get treated fairly and have adequate representation.

2. Child Custody

It’s helpful to have the guidance of a family lawyer when you’re dealing with child custody issues, too.

In situations where custody agreements, visitation arrangements, or child support payments need to change, a family lawyer who specializes in child custody cases is a good person to have on your side.

They can help to renegotiate arrangements and formulate a plan that is best for everyone involved, including the children. 

3. Paternity

If a mother is not receiving child support from a child’s biological father, a family lawyer can help to ensure the father meets his legal responsibilities and provides care for his child.

A family lawyer can also help biological fathers to file paternity so that they can have a relationship with their child, even if the child’s mother doesn’t necessarily want them to have one.  

4. Adoption or Foster Care

In situations where a couple is trying to adopt a child, a family lawyer plays an instrumental role.

The adoption process is very complex and is subject to a lot of variables, such as the type of adoption a couple is hoping for, the birthplace of the child, whether that child is a foster child, and other state-specific laws.

A lawyer can help couples to navigate this process and ensure that things go as smoothly as possible.

5. Wills and Trusts

In the event that a family member passes away, a family lawyer can ensure that the instructions in that person’s will are carried out as the deceased individual intended.

A lawyer can also help with the estate planning process and ensure that inheritances are allocated and trusts are established in the proper way.

6. Familial Disputes

Sometimes, a family lawyer is needed to help settle familial disputes. This includes things like lawsuits and disagreements over property or other assets.

A family lawyer can help to diffuse these situations, keep the issue out of court, and work with all the involved parties to reach an agreement that is mutually beneficial for everyone.

7. Juvenile Matters

Family lawyers can assist with a variety of juvenile-related matters, too.

This includes issues of child abuse and child neglect. It also pertains to situations in which minors have been accused of engaging in illegal behavior.

A family attorney will ensure that the child gets the representation they deserve and receives fair treatment.

They can also help to negotiate with a judge or other lawyers to reduce the severity of a child’s punishment if they’ve been involved in a crime.

8. Protection Orders

For cases of domestic violence, a family lawyer can be an important ally. Family lawyers can help victims of abuse secure protection orders to keep themselves and their children safe from their abuser.

A family lawyer can also ensure that the victim of abuse and their children get the help and support they need to stay safe and recover from the trauma they’ve experienced.

How to Choose the Right Family Lawyer

If you’re going through any of the situations listed above, there a good chance that a family lawyer could be very helpful to you. Of course, you need to make sure you’re working with the right person.

There are hundreds of thousands of lawyers in the U.S., and they’re not all created equal. Here are some tips to help you ensure you’re working with a qualified family lawyer:

  • Consider their practice area and make sure they specialize in the situation you’re experiencing (divorce, custody, etc.)
  • Ask about their background and find out where they went to law school and how long they’ve been practicing
  • Ask for an assessment of your case and the outcome they typically see in situations like yours
  • Ask for references or testimonials from past clients (and follow up with these people to make sure they’re legitimate)
  • Ask about their rates and fees and how they charge for their services
  • Find out who will be working on your case (the lawyer with whom you’re meeting that day, another lawyer, a paralegal, etc.)

Be sure to consider how well you get along with the lawyer you’re considering, too. You’re going to be spending a lot of time with them, so it’s important that you like and respect them and feel liked and respected by them in return.

Hire a Family Lawyer Today

As you can see, there are a lot of different aspects of the law with which a family lawyer can help you.

Whether you’re dealing with a divorce, a custody issue, or anything in between, a family lawyer is a great person to have in your corner.

Do you want to learn more about what a family lawyer does? Are you interested in hiring someone to help with your case?

If you’re located in or around the Greenville, South Carolina area, we’re here to help at Briggs Law Firm. Contact us today to learn more about our services or to schedule a consultation.

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