Many people don’t realize that attorneys specialize in certain fields the same way that doctors do. For any situation involving parent-child relationships or other legal familial relationships, you need a family law attorney. A family attorney is a lawyer who specializes in legal cases involving marriage, children, and custody. Family lawyers are capable of dealing with a wide variety of situations, the basics of which will be covered here.
Paternity, the state of being someone’s father, is generally determined through a DNA test. This may be done by the father when attempting to claim custody or by the mother when attempting to claim child support. In a legal situation, a family attorney would be able to navigate the necessary legal processes to order and/or validate paternity status.
Custody is awarded to an adult who is found to be the best option as the primary guardian and caretaker of a child. Child custody decisions are made with the best interests of the child as the primary focus. A lawyer should be able to identify these interests and work for them in court, looking at factors such as the relationship between the parents, histories of abuse or responsibility, and geographic locations of the parents.
“Child support” is a sum of money that a parent is legally required to send to the spouse who maintains custody of the child. Parents’ income, health insurance, the cost of healthcare, and preexisting child support obligations are all taken into account when determining new child support obligations. Child support is meant to be used for healthcare, education-related costs, food, clothing, etc.
Divorced parents generally set up a visitation schedule. A capable lawyer is able to fight in court for a client’s visitation rights to their child, as well as ensure that a child is distanced safely from any dangerous situations.
Mediation is a common approach to resolving familial disputes in which a third party attempts to mediate between the two parties to come up with a compromise. In a court scenario, you, your spouse, and both lawyers are generally present.
The court will generally take action after a case to ensure that both parties involved follow the court’s orders and resolutions in regards to any of the aforementioned situations. A family lawyer will be able to help you if you feel that either you or the other parent has violated an order of the court.
Do You Need a Family Attorney?
Dealing with any court and legal processes can be overwhelming and confusing. A family law attorney can both help mediate and help navigate the intimidating legal process. In addition, a family lawyer can advise you on an appropriate course of action when dealing with a legal dispute.