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Category Archives: Family Law

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4 weeks ago Family Law

Top 6 Tips For Choosing A Good Family Attorney

When a family problem is at its worst and reaches the courts, the need for a good attorney is the answer. Hiring a legal counsel requires specific measures to ensure that the desired outcome is achieved.

Before you hire a lawyer, look for qualifications such as professionalism, trust and confidence, and expertise that can help you win the case.

This post will help you decide on choosing a good family attorney

1. Ask Around Or Check Reviews

Your family and friends can help you search for the best lawyers. These referrals can provide the widest search range as the experiences and recommendations of your referrals will help in shortlisting the best lawyer among all possible candidates.

Further, other professionals, such as psychologists and accountants, who usually work with divorce lawyers, can give you the best possible recommendations.

Asking previous clients of a lawyer can also help you visualize how professional they are in dealing with the same case problems.

Moreover, reviews on websites can help speed up the search for good lawyers. For instance, Emily McFarling’s firm in Las Vegas, NV has a website that lays out their services and provides updated client reviews that can help you decide in hiring the best attorney.

2. Choose An Expert

Family law is complex, and trends are constantly evolving with the latest cases. The perspective of the judge on a specific case may change in the future. Thus, it’s important to hire specialist family lawyers with deep expertise and experience in family law.

Also, verify if the lawyer has a specific set of skills that suit your needs. For instance, choose a lawyer who has ample courtroom experience.

If you’re dealing with divorce matters, make sure that the lawyer is a good negotiator. It’s important to do your research and find out the attorney’s record.

Family Attorney3. Meet With Your Lawyer

Meeting the lawyer in person can give you a bunch of information and the first impression you need to make an informed decision. Personal interviews with them can provide you with ideas on the lawyer’s work ethic and professionalism towards the case.

It’s important you can trust and confide with your chosen lawyer. After all, they’ll be working on personal issues involving your family. Make sure that you’re compatible working with them.

4. Find Someone Accessible

A good lawyer is attentive to the client’s needs. If the lawyer can be reached out easily and provide prompt feedback, then that could be your choice. It would be nice if the lawyer talks or explains in a converse manner, avoiding legal jargon that’s difficult to comprehend.

Furthermore, the location of the lawyer is also a factor. It’s much convenient hiring a lawyer in your local area to avoid stress in traveling during meetings.

It’s a plus point for a lawyer who updates their clients by keeping them informed during each step of the case.

5. Look For Warning Signs

Be cautious with red flags. If you’re sensing unethical behavior from your possible legal counsel, then it’s a downside. When carefully selecting a family lawyer, here are some of the warning signs you should avoid:

  • Sharing confidential information from previous clients
  • Unresponsive and distracted with phone calls and other consultations
  • Attitude issues like aggressiveness and laziness
  • Bold promises to clients
  • Poor reputation
  • Pushing deadlines
  • Not providing references
  • No personal connection

6. Pick A Lawyer With Reasonable Fees

Generally, family lawyers are expensive. Of course, some might choose a cheap lawyer to save themselves from the huge expense, but this might not always yield the most positive outcome overall. Family attorneys with a high hourly rate can be due to their efficiency at the job—that’s doing less time, but performing the best strategy for the case to win.

However, there is always a less expensive lawyer who has lower rates, probably due to their lack in demand and popularity. However, this doesn’t always correlate with their level of expertise, dedication, and professionalism.

It’s important not to rely on cost alone when deciding which family lawyer to hire. Look for the lawyer who can properly represent you and your family in court.

Bottom Line

The tips above can help you decide on choosing the right lawyer. Selecting a family lawyer is like searching for a name on the internet: it takes a lot of consideration, yet if you pick the right lawyer, you’ll find relief after that. A good family lawyer practices good work ethics and is an expert in the field. A compassionate and experienced legal counsel can provide effective representation in several areas of family law. After all, they should be your best representation in court, which is why professionalism, experience, expertise, personal compatibility, accessibility, and cost are taken into consideration. In the end, these measures will be worth it when you win the case.

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4 weeks ago Family Law , Divorce

Family Law and Divorce for Same-Sex Couples

Same-sex partnerships are a hotly debated issue around the world, but whatever your feelings are on the matter, they are now legal in most countries.

According to the 2008 census, there were as many as 565,000 same-sex couples; however, only 32,000 of these couples were legally married, as at that time, there were only six states that allowed same-sex marriages.

It was in June 2015 that the United States Supreme Court decided that same-sex couples have the right to marry in all states and that all of these states have to recognize marriages that have been legally performed in other areas.

Family law and divorce for heterosexual couples is complicated enough so when it comes to same-sex couples which is a newer idea, it is even more complicated.

There is legal uncertainty concerning the legal status of such couples, particularly because of the differences found with the different states and what their views are on these same-sex marriages.

Same-Sex relationship is legal in all states

The truth is, same-sex marriages are legal in all states and the people entering into these marriages have the same legal rights as other ‘straight’ marriages. A family law attorney for same-sex couples will know that these legally married same-sex couples who opt to have a child by whatever means are both legal parents of the child.

Family law and divorce for same-sex couples lawyers, therefore, are clued up on same-sex parenting and adoption, child custody, and support as well a same-sex divorce.

There was a time when things were complicated in states that did not recognize same-sex marriages or same-sex divorces, but now all states are required to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and they also grant divorces to same-sex couples.

Same-sex lawyers have to be pretty clued up

These skilled lawyers know that residency requirements for divorce are different, regardless of whether you are straight or gay. In fact, each state also follows its own rules regarding child custody after a divorce. The best lawyers for same-sex marriages in the United States also have to understand marital property as well as marital debt with same-sex couples and how to divide the property.

If you are thinking of marriage as a same-sex couple, the best lawyers can help you with making decisions that are right for you.

The best United States attorneys are experienced in matrimonial- as well as divorce for same-sex couples. The best, accredited lawyers have the skills and knowledge to help all clients in same-sex relationships, which these days are much the same as any other marriage – divorce, equitable distribution, child custody, visitation, pre-nuptial agreements and much more.

If you are in a same-sex relationship, find the best same-sex lawyers and get help on matrimonial matters, starting off with a free first consultation.

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2 months ago Family Law

Is There Good Reason To Choose A Female Lawyer?

In an ideal world gender should play little part in professional success. However, we don’t live in an ideal world and in some areas gender can have an impact.  One specific area where this can be seen is in family law.   In family law female lawyers have shown themselves to be very successful and, therefore, it could be advantageous, like playing online slots, to have one working on your behalf if you are going through a divorce.

According to the American Bar Association, women now make up 35 percent of all attorneys.  This is up from 28 percent in the year 2000 and it is continuing to increase. There is no question that women have made huge advances in the profession since the time that Arabella Mansfield took the bar in the United States back in 1869.  However, there are still less women attorneys.  In Fortune 500 companies women make up a quarter of counsel attorneys and their representation in judgeships is increasing all the time all around the country.

In recent years, many female attorneys are distinguishing themselves in family law. They are choosing to focus and concentrate on family law which includes all aspects of marriage from mediation, separation, issues concerning child custody and divorce.

To hire a female or male lawyer?

Many people who have retained a female lawyer in cases of family law state that their lawyer’s gender was advantageous.  They cited a number of reasons why:

  • Firstly, women are hugely knowledgeable of the law.   Even though they have been practicing law for the last one hundred years, they still get a lot of flack from the legal profession which is still very much male dominated.Women continue to be unfairly pressured both professionally and socially and are continually tested as regards to their knowledge, capabilities, their conduct and even their dress mode.  This would not be tolerated by their male counterparts.   Perhaps because of these challenges, only the best and most dedicated of women remain in the profession.

    When in court it is often the case that women family law attorneys show a better understanding of the law than the opposing male counsel.  This could be due to the amount of effort and dedication it takes for women to compete with their male colleagues.

  • Women are good listeners.  Women attorneys generally take the time to get to know who their clients are and to try to understand them.  Male attorneys are more likely to just carry out the regular duties of filling out the paperwork without really knowing what makes their clients tick.  By virtue of this quality, female attorneys are more likely to learn some important information which will help them with their client’s case.
  • The act of listening is also very helpful in that it will often make the client feel less stressed. Divorce and all the scary issues associated with it, child custody and financial loss, causes tremendous amounts of stress.  Knowing that you have someone in charge who is prepared to listen to you can alleviate much of that stress.
  • Women are socially skilled.  The fact is that only 5% of divorce cases actually get to court.  The majority of divorces are settled out of court by negotiation between both party’s lawyers.  Women have more of a tendency to be social and amiable and manage to get along with other attorneys.   This can be really important in reaching a fair and good settlement with their colleagues.
  • Women have a better understanding of women.   This can be an important issue, especially for male clients.  In many divorces, communication between the spouses is a real problem and often the cause of the divorce. A female family lawyer can often be helpful in explaining to their male clients how their spouses are thinking and help them to understand the best way to arrive at a mutually agreeable outcome.   A female attorney can also be useful in determining if, and when, a spouse is being dishonest or manipulative and can advise her male client when it is necessary to stand firm.
  • Women have personal experience.  Many female lawyers have been through divorce themselves or are the child of divorced parents.  They understand what the worries are about financial security and change and the fears concerning child custody and support. This personal experience gives them the empathy needed to work hard for their clients and make sure that they receive a good settlement at the negotiating table or if the case goes to trial.
  • Women introduce a softer touch.   If a husband has retained a male lawyer and the case does go to trial it can often seem like all the men are against the woman.  This is particular true if there are some difficult issues involved like drug abuse or unfaithfulness.   Women attorneys can present the same issues but it may be perceived in a more favorable light by the judge and not seen primarily as a male attack. This can be helpful for the husband in ensuring that his case gets a fair hearing.

How to select an Attorney

It is important to find the right female attorney, not anyone will do.  They need to be well qualified in family law and they need to be someone you can work with.  The chemistry should be right as good communication is essential and will facilitate good results.  If you need to hire a family law attorney, there are a number of useful things to do:

  • Word of mouth. Speaking with friends who have recently gone through divorce can be useful. What do they say about their experience?  Do they have positive things to say and did they feel that the attorney was a good advocate for them?
  • Make sure you have all the relevant paperwork with you when you visit an attorney. Marriage certificates, tax and bank statements, etc.  This will enable her to make a proper evaluation of what is necessary and you will be able to see her level of organization and expertise.
  • Clarify what it is you are looking for.   Is your divorce likely to be straightforward and somewhat amicable or is it likely to end up in court?   You need to decide whether you are looking for a tough advocate or someone whose strengths lie in being a calm negotiator.
  • Ask her about previous cases and experience.  How long has she been working in family law and has she received any special professional honors in this field?   Does she work with both men and women or only women? Check out her fees and how payment schedules work.

Find out why she chose to work in family law. You will likely learn a lot about your prospective attorney by finding out why she chose this particular field. This will help you decide if this is the attorney you wish to work with.

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3 months ago Family Law

WHY SEEKING A FAMILY LAWYER’S HELP IS RECOMMENDED

There are two lines of professions in which you should never conceal anything from the person you are hiring for help – Medical and Law. No matter how embarrassing or hurtful a situation might be, the only way to make it through it is by telling the truth to them. Being open about your current standing helps them to consider the complete range of options that you can choose, and might often save you from some trouble. However, if you decide to keep these individuals in the dark, then there’s a good chance that the lack of teamwork will worsen your situation.

The only significant difference is that people think that you turn to one of these professions when you are in pain, while the other is just a theatrical facade. Since the field of medicine helps conquer physical situations and prevents the fatal outcome, it isn’t hard to assume that medicine is a more noble profession. Unfortunately, these are people who haven’t visited a lawyer to discuss something as tragic as a divorce. It’s something that shakes you to your core and makes you feel devastated, but you still have to keep up a positive appearance before everyone to let your loved ones worry less about you. That’s a lawyer’s office where you share your mental traumas and discuss the practicality of a separation. And it is something that arrests you in a state of mental depression and deteriorates your health to a point where you can’t go on and think straight. That is why even if a courtroom drama would make you think differently, it doesn’t mean that you should neglect the nobility and fatality of this profession.

Many people suffering from a toxic marriage or a forced relationship turn to these as their saviors. That bestows a tremendous responsibility on the shoulders of lawyers, as they attempt to restore order to your life. However, not every lawyer operates at the same frequency, which is why you need to find someone that can understand or relate to your situation while making a suggestion. To find the best family lawyers, you need to take in recommendations and pay careful attention to reviews to stumble upon the right person for the job. One of your best options could be family law Ipswich, where you can find someone who understands the magnanimity and gravity of the situation and suggest solutions accordingly. Feel free to reach out and discuss your position with them, but don’t think about the alternative of suffocating yourself under this weight. There’s nothing to be ashamed of while reaching out for help to people who can relieve you from this ordeal.

Here are some reasons why you should consider seeking a family lawyer’s advice

1.Humane

Only the people who deal with these cases daily are capable of understanding your situation better and can offer adequate assistance. Family lawyers have been through a variety of heart-wrenching cases, and witnessed individuals suffer from the sheer consequences of their actions. The exposure has given them enough experience to handle these delicate situations more efficiently and be considerate while offering you the options. It won’t be wrong to suggest that struggling with these dark and terrible situations has made them more humane and sympathetic towards their clients.

2. Updated on Family Law

Family law isn’t as open and monotonous as people might think it is. It is ever-changing and evolving, which is why the people you hire to navigate you through it should be capable of handling this situation appropriately. Make sure that you know how to choose the right associates. Since family law specialists are up to date with these nuances, they can offer the best assistance suiting your circumstances. That is why people should consider family lawyers as a means to end their problems.

3. Property Settlements

While discussing the options of separation with family lawyers, one of the most prominent questions to answer is of property settlements. Some cases have parties that are either too interested or indifferent to the distribution of assets. In either case, you need to have lawyers who understand that decisions regarding property won’t affect your state of mind, so they need to get you the best possible deal while discussing settlements. Properties are tangible and can’t help reverse or improve the loss that someone is bearing, but that doesn’t mean they will stop living in this world. On the contrary, they should have some financial assistance to help accommodate them in these testing times. That is precisely the reason you need to have capable professionals working on your case.

4. Care for Children

Ending a marriage is a painful trial as it is, but it becomes even more excruciating when you have children included in this equation. Children are innocent and naive, and often don’t understand the reasons behind these cases. Exposing them to something so traumatic when they are at no fault in any way is agonizing. That is why you need to consider family law even more, as they are familiar with this dilemma and can help you get through it with the least collateral. So, best have them on board if you are trying to keep the matters under control.

Summary

These were some of the apparent reasons why people recommend to reach out to family lawyers in time. Not only can they help you get through with this phase, but also make sure that the magnitude of damage is minimal in the process. If you are someone going through these tough times, then you should start looking for some capable associates to help you.

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4 months ago Family Law

Krispen Culbertson: Interview with a Greensboro Family Law Attorney

Krispen Culbertson is a North Carolina state bar-certified Family Law Attorney. He has been practicing divorce and family law since 1999 and is the founder and senior partner of Culbertson and Associates, a well-known litigation law firm based in Greensboro. We were lucky enough to have an opportunity to interview Krispen and ask a few questions about his practice.

Can you tell us about your journey to becoming an attorney, from education to your career?

I’m a law graduate from Oxford University, England and Wake Forest University, North Carolina. I always wanted to work for myself, so, after graduation and a stint with a large firm in Winston-Salem, I started practicing as a solo attorney in Greensboro.

Is there a particular reason as to why you chose Family Law as your field of practice? Have you had any second thoughts about it since choosing that field?

In the beginning stages of my career, I used to handle cases in different areas of Law, mainly Federal and State Criminal Litigation and Appellate practice. I also practiced business law, civil litigation, international law and other general cases. When I began handling Family cases, I felt that this was something that I wanted to do. I wanted to help people going through the most difficult times of their life. I felt that I could make a difference and that my chief strength was that I wasn’t caught up in making things worse by encouraging the differences between these fractured families and furthering the litigation in order to make more attorney fees. Instead, I looked for quick, global solutions that my clients found acceptable which would short-circuit the arguing and the intensity. In the end, I found my clients liked me better for trying to keep what was left of the feeling of a family intact, not enlarging the rift. Especially where children are involved.

What do you think sets a great Attorney apart from an average one? What do you think is that one thing that makes great Attorneys the way they are?

In a word, it’s important to understand that it’s Playground Rules. By this I mean that in order to get true respect as a lawyer you have to be a good trial lawyer. Despite the fancy clothes and the rhetoric that lawyers use, it’s still like the playground: If you want to get the other lawyer’s attention, he or she has to be convinced that you could ultimately beat him in court. It’s just like the playground. If there is a bully or a kid that thinks he’s going to run a situation, you have to make him understand that if he keeps doing that, you’re going to show him up. So, the best lawyers are the ones that have a substantial track record of winning cases at trial. Especially in front of juries in the higher courts. Federal and Superior Courts are both higher courts than District Court, which is where almost all Family Law cases are litigated. If you can win trials in those higher courts, District Court looks easy, and all lawyer opponents and Judges know this.

In addition to this established trial winning ability, I think the passion for solving your clients’ cases and empathy to help them out is what makes an Attorney great. Then, of course, knowing an area of law in and out is also an important aspect.

Being a successful attorney already, what are your future career goals?

I’m a senior partner and founder of a Law firm called Culbertson and Associates. In the coming years, I will try to expand the firm and help people as much as I can. We will find ways to achieve greater excellence in every way. I have talented and expanding staff working with me and I would certainly like to add more young lawyers to the team.

What do you have to say about the goods and bads of being a Family Attorney?

The best thing about being a Greensboro family law attorney is the diversity of cases and people you encounter. One time, I had a case regarding child custody in the morning and in the afternoon, I had to attend a pretrial hearing on a murder case in a different State in the afternoon! I think, this field gives you an opportunity to help people with the thing that is (and should always be) the most important thing in their lives: their family and children. It is also often a situation when they are going through their worst phase in life. The fulfilment alone is tremendous. Unlike other areas of law, this area is quite steady and doesn’t fluctuate much with economy and politics, unless, of course, there’s a major law passed. I have children, and I understand how important it is for parents to salvage what they can of a relationship for their sake.

The downside, I would say, is the emotional aspect. When it comes to family issues, you would have to deal with people who are highly emotional and unpredictable. Unlike other areas, family law practice isn’t about money. It’s about people.

What have you learnt about life, being a family attorney?

Don’t take your family or marriage for granted. Divorce is a very difficult position to be in and trying your best to save the marriage is the better option.

What are the things that students wanting to follow family law should know? Do you have any tips for them?

The first step is to understand what you want to do. If spending a lot of time in courtrooms is your thing, then family law is the right path for you, but only after you’ve created and honed trial skills in the higher courts and in jury trials. (There aren’t any jury trials in family court as a rule, and juries are much more difficult and trickier and require substantially more skill. In Family Law Court, a Judge decides the cases, not a jury.) One thing you can be sure of is that this area of law can be highly gratifying. But there are times when it can be frustrating as well.

One thing I always suggest to young attorneys is to get a mentor. Work as an associate family attorney under a well-known family lawyer. Real-world is very much different from what is mentioned in the books and it is always better to learn from someone who has experience in the field you choose.

Family law is a field where you can thrive as a solo attorney, if you want to maintain control of your firm and law practice. I don’t know of a field in law, which nurtures solo attorneys as much as this. Corporates usually prefer a well-known law firm, while families usually prefer having a solo attorney represent them.

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5 months ago Family Law

How to Choose a Family Lawyer

Retaining an attorney is one of the most important decisions you can make, particularly if you need a family lawyer. Whether you’re drafting a prenup, settling a divorce or entering into a custody agreement, it’s essential to seek advice from a family attorney.

To ensure your interests are properly represented, you’ll want to ensure you have the best lawyer on your side. When it comes to choosing the right family lawyer, there’s a lot to consider. If you’re searching for a family law attorney, be sure to look at the following issues.

Experience and Expertise

Family law is complex, so it pays to work with a specialist attorney. By retaining an experienced family lawyer, you can ensure that your legal representative is well versed in the relevant, laws, guidelines and precedents. Furthermore, a law firm with extensive experience will be able to handle your case appropriately, compassionately and successfully.

Remember – not all family attorneys will specialize in every area of family law. If you’re dealing with a difficult custody battle, for example, you may need a lawyer who has experience in international child protection. Alternatively, if you’re negotiating a financial settlement as part of a divorce, you may need an attorney who specializes in company valuations and offshore financing arrangements.

Range of Services

Depending on your case, you may require additional legal or financial services. If you suspect your spouse is trying to hide their assets during a divorce, for example, your attorney may advise using a forensic accountant to uncover the potential fraud. Choosing a law firm that offers a wide range of services will ensure you have access to the professional network in you need throughout your legal proceedings.

An important element of family law is mediation and alternative dispute resolution. This enables parties to resolve issues without entering into litigation. As well as being cost-effective, this can minimize distress for everyone involved. When you work with a law firm that has in-house mediators, such as Cline Jensen P.A., you can take advantage of these alternative methods of dispute resolution and still have access to the specialist legal advice you require. With the potential to achieve a settlement more quickly, this collaborative approach can be a viable alternative to court action.

Reputation and Reviews

Although every case is unique, an attorney’s reputation can give you an insight into their working methods, their client care, and their success rates. A personal recommendation can be extremely useful, so you may want to ask family and friends whether they can suggest a reputable law firm.

Of course, not everyone feels comfortable asking acquaintances for law firm recommendations, especially if you’re dealing with personal matters. Fortunately, the internet is a great place to read client reviews and get the lowdown on various law firms and attorneys.

Seeking Family Law Advice

Before you decide whether to take action or what action to take, it’s important to understand your rights. By consulting a family law attorney, you can get the advice and assistance you need before you determine exactly what options are available to you.

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6 months ago Family Law

What Kind of Experience Do You Need Out of Your Family Lawyer?

When you look for trusted divorce lawyers in East Gwillimbury, experience sits near the top of the list of desirable qualifications. You want your family lawyer to know about the law as it applies to your situation and to use a career in the legal system to get you the best possible results. But what does the word experience really mean in this context? Here is a look at some knowledge your divorce lawyers should have.

Combined Legal Practice

If you schedule your initial consultation  with a family lawyer who functions as part of a law office, it helps to know how much combined experience exists within that office. In other words, if you visit and office of divorce lawyers in East Gwillimbury, how many years have each of them been practising family law? While experience is not the only way to gauge the quality of a lawyer, knowing that there is a whole legal team of knowledgeable professionals helps. If your family lawyer has the ability to consult with other lawyers with many years of knowledge, that increases the total intellectual power of your legal team. In the court, experience and knowledge mean a lot, so somebody who has been there and who can consult with other veterans helps immensely.

Case Experience

While a family lawyer in Keswick might have many years of experience, your case might seem relatively unique. In such a situation, it helps to describe the case during the free consultation and then ask how many similar cases the lawyer has tried. The more specific you can be in the consultation, the better an understanding you will have of your potential lawyer’s experience. For example, many family lawyers have dealt with child custody cases. If your child has special physical or emotional needs, that is a complicating factor. Even experienced lawyers might not have as much experience with this type of situation, and you should know what the limits of your lawyer’s expertise are.

Total Resources

While not strictly a matter of experience, you should also inquire about the resources at your lawyer’s disposal before you make a final choice regarding your legal representation. Does the lawyer serve as part of a larger office? If so, who else will be working on your case? What is their level of experience? These are all factors that you should take into consideration. When inquiring about this part of your lawyer’s experience, it might also be a good time to discuss rates and estimated charges. That way, you have a good idea upfront as to how much the representation will cost and what you are getting in exchange for the money you spend.

Knowing the experience, areas of specialty and combined resources that your lawyer has can help you make sure that the arrangement is a good fit. A trip to family court may be one of the most significant legal battles you experience—make sure that you are prepared for what that may bring.

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6 months ago Family Law

The Complete Checklist for What Should be Included in a Parenting Plan

Not every fairy tale wedding ends with happily ever after. When parents split up, it can be devastating for an entire family.

The first two years are especially difficult for children as they try to process the many changes happening all at once. Protect your children from added stress by creating a parenting plan with your former spouse.

What is a Parenting Plan?

Parenting plans are helpful for everyone. Parents have the chance to talk through a co-parenting strategy together and the court proceedings can move more efficiently if parents agree beforehand.

Parents who can’t agree on a plan will likely end up with a parenting plan assigned to them by a judge. Judges don’t know your children or spouse personally and can’t always give a fair assessment of what’s best for your family.

What is a parenting plan but a chance to ensure your children remain stable during the split? Working out a system with your spouse in advance means keeping your children emotionally grounded while they work through any grief.

The goal of a parenting plan is cooperation. Make sure the plan works for both parties to avoid later conflicts that could land you both back in court.

What Should I Include in My Parenting Plan?

In order for a parenting plan to be effective, it must be detailed. Families have complex schedules and needs that can be quickly summed up by ‘splitting it down the middle.’

Get specific about your expectations moving forward. Here are three sections to include in your parenting plan to help you get started:

Schedule

The biggest thing to manage during a family split is time. Time spent with a child is how you physically care for them.

Let the child’s schedule set the general structure for how daily schedules are created. For example, children enrolled in after school activities might stay late into the evening or go in early mornings for tutoring.

Parents should aim to keep the schedule as stable as possible during their split to avoid disruption. Write down where the children will be each day and for what time frames.

Discuss which of you can most easily take on each time frame until the entire weekly schedule is covered. Even if one parent provided the primary childcare in the past, most courts like to see children balance their time between parents.

This doesn’t mean your parenting plan should result in a 50/50 time split. You may need to get creative to accommodate one parent’s schedule.

For example, a parent who travels often for work might opt to take the children for an entire summer to make up for time lost. Make sure the schedule is easy for both parents to access.

Decide on a way to make updates to it over time. A phone conversation could easily be forgotten down the road.

Make sure all changes are in writing to avoid potential conflict and ensure the child doesn’t miss time with one parent. Shared digital calendars provided through email services or apps are a great option for tracking.

Expenses

Create a spreadsheet of child-related expenses. Child support will become a factor during your divorce proceedings, but in advance of that decision, you can ensure financial stability for your family.

Split the child’s expenses based on what makes the most sense for you short term then create a second version for the long term. This is helpful when one spouse works and the other one stays home.

It gives the stay-at-home spouse a chance to get financially stable and begin taking on more responsibilities more gradually. Make decisions in writing about variable expenses like whether or not to continue with an expensive soccer academy or music lessons.

Make sure both you and your partner agree to the terms before continuing long term, child-related expenses. An overextended spouse might fall short on monthly bills creating instability for the child.

Factor in both parents’ tax situation when thinking of medical expenses and childcare expenses. One parent might get full reimbursement of medical from an employer that can save the family money in the long run.

Holidays/Events

Plan for big decisions early. Grief worsens during the holidays which can make divorcing parents more emotional.

Don’t assume your regular parenting schedule applies to the holidays or around milestone events. Talk about where the children will spend Christmas or birthdays.

If you are religious, discuss major events that might require you to have the child during your partner’s scheduled time. The more you have in writing, the easier it’ll be to resolve misunderstandings.

Alternate major holidays that both parents celebrate. Track on a calendar who gets which year to help you and your children remember where they will be each year.

When to Get Lawyers Involved

In some high profile cases or when a question of safety is involved, you might want to consult with an attorney before or after you create your parenting plan.

Sensitive issues like one spouse’s wealth or mental instability creates a new set of barriers to overcome when making a plan. Most co-parenting plans assume spouses view one another as equal parents who can make sound decisions when it comes to the children.

A lawyer can provide a second opinion on how to communicate certain expectations to your spouse that you would have trouble doing on your own. Know that attorney fees can quickly escalate so have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish before setting up a consultation.

The Road Ahead

Every transitioning family needs a parenting plan. A parenting plan makes sure that you and your spouse create the healthiest environment for your children no matter how you feel about each other.

Divorce hurts, but the children will recover quickly in a nurturing, loving environment. For more information and legal advice, visit our blog for updates.

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9 months ago Family Law

How to Become a Family Lawyer: All the Requirements to Meet

About 39 percent of all marriages in the United States will end in divorce. At the heart of these dissolutions are family lawyers, the professionals who work out divorce agreements and represent clients in family courts.

If you have a passion for helping other people and would love to work in the legal industry, you can become a good family lawyer.

But what are the educational and certification requirements for joining this profession?

Continue reading for a complete guide on how to become a family lawyer.

What Does a Family Lawyer Do?

Before fleshing out the qualification requirements, let’s go over the typical duties of a family lawyer.

You already know these professionals help clients navigate the divorce process, but that’s a quick summary of the job. Before a divorce is finalized, these lawyers will hold meeting with clients, investigate issues like domestic violence, gather witness statements, negotiate settlement agreements with the other party, file applications in the family court, and attend hearings.

When family lawyers aren’t helping couples split, they are bringing them together by creating pre-nuptial agreements. These professionals also help couples looking to adopt kids and they can also serve as mediators in marital disputes.

So, how do you become a family lawyer?

Join Law School and Pursue the Family Law Area of Concentration  

The first step to becoming a family lawyer is to join a law school that’s accredited by the American Bar Association. To do this, you must pass the Law School Admission Test.

Once in law school, you’ll have the opportunity to choose a concentration in the second year of study.

As an aspiring family lawyer, you must major in family law. Some of the classes taught in this area of concentration include the formation and dissolution of marriage, women’s rights, dispute resolution, domestic violence law, and juvenile justice.

Upon graduation from law school, you’re ready for the next step.

Get a Licensed to Practice as a Family Lawyer in Your State

All states require lawyers to hold an active legal license in order to practice. As such, you must take and pass your state’s licensing or Bar Examination.

As part of the licensing requirements, your state’s Bar might examine your background (including criminal background, history of substance abuse, and academic misconduct) to establish whether you have the character to be a lawyer.

After meeting all the licensing requirements, you’ll be admitted to the bar. You’re now a family lawyer. You made it!

Find a Job

The last step in your quest to become a family lawyer is to find a job and put your expertise to practice.

You have a couple of options: Most starting family lawyers find employment in small law firms that specialize in family law. Others are hired by mid-size and large firms that have a family law practice, like this law firm.

You can also land a job in non-profit organizations that offer legal services to needy families and children.

Another alternative is to start your own small law firm. As long as you have the capital and the expertise to run a business, you can do it!

That’s How to Become a Family Lawyer

Family law is a rewarding area of law. You’ll earn a competitive salary doing what you love most; helping families.

With this guide on how to become a family lawyer, the path to your dreams is now well-lit. Your job is to take the first step.

Need more professional tips for legal professionals? Keep reading our blog!

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9 months ago Family Law

Benefits of Having a Good Family Lawyer

A family lawyer deals with cases that surround familial and domestic issues. If you are dealing with matters such as domestic abuse, divorce, spousal support, child custody, and many more, having an attorney that specializes in dealing with these matters significantly increase the chances of you getting the best result out of a court case and preventing any financial or mental backsets. 

If you think that you have met the love of your life and you don’t need to protect yourself legally, you are not alone. A competent family lawyer can help you to make some crucial decisions regarding prenuptial agreements, and how to distribute your assets to make sure that getting married is not the worst decision of your lifetime. 

If you think you are betraying your loved one by getting a prenup, it might prove to be a comfort to know that these laws are designed to facilitate residents of a house and to resolve disputes in a professional manner. 

So, let’s look at the benefits having a family lawyer will give you and your loved one. 

Knowledge of Family Laws

Family laws vary with a country from state to state. The most obvious benefit of hiring a good family lawyer is that he is an expert in family laws and understand them. These attorneys are experienced in finding loopholes in cases and presenting your story in a better way in front of the judge that can make a major difference between winning and losing a case. If you are living in the Ontario region, you should get the services of someone like a Family Lawyer Toronto. Law firms like these only hire lawyers that are well versed in family laws in the Toronto region. 

Unbiased View of the Case

Dealing with family issues can take its toll on a person. More often than not, emotional issues come into play due to which a person can miss out and ignore vital information that can be beneficial for your case. 

These lawyers are above any emotional bonds and therefore can take the load of researching and finding valuable evidence off your chest. 

Emotional Support

A divorce or a child custody case affects the father and the mother on a mental and emotional level. This might lead to a lot of stress, and you might find yourself on the verge of collapse. These family lawyers have an experience of dealing with such matters and are therefore not only an expert in taking care of legal proceedings but can also provide you with a much needed emotional and moral support in case you need it. 

Saves Time and Money

Family attorneys not only prove to save a lot of time, but they can save you a lot of money by resolving the matter as soon as possible. By eliminating the need for going to the court and finding out alternative solutions to the dispute, you will get precisely where you were looking for; a peace of mind. 

Can Act a Counselor

A lot of times, families only need a 3rd party perspective and someone to intermediate as a counselor and a therapist. Good lawyering services hire lawyers that have some counselling experience so that the husband and wife understand the importance of each other and instead of making any rushed decisions, think things through.

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