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Family Law FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:

Do I need a family lawyer?

A:

You should consult with a family lawyer for any big changes in the family dynamic, including civil unions and domestic partnerships, marriage, prenuptial agreements, divorce, separation, property settlements, alimony, child abuse, spousal abuse, and child custody.

Q:

What does a family lawyer do?

A:

Family lawyers handle legal issues that involve your family members; including marriage, domestic disputes, divorce, property negotiations, and lawsuits.

Q:

Do I really need a divorce lawyer?

A:

A lawyer will assist you in identifying the issues in your case. A lawyer will also help you negotiate a fair settlement to avoid a trial. The lawyer will give you up-to-date advice regarding the laws on custody, spousal and child support, and property division. The lawyer will counsel you regarding the reasonableness of proposed settlement terms and what you might expect if the judge decides the case.

If a settlement is reached before trial, one of the spouses must still appear in court and present brief testimony to finalize the divorce, which your lawyer can do. If a settlement is not reached, the lawyer will prepare your case for trial and represent you in the courtroom. A lawyer will properly prepare all paperwork in connection with your divorce.

Q:

What is mediation?

A:

Mediation is a voluntary process divorcing spouses can use to find common ground to resolve their differences. A neutral third party works with the spouses to assist in the discussion. Lawyers may or may not be present. Mediation can occur at any time in the divorce process. Mediation has several advantages.

It is less expensive than a trial, and it can occur at any time. Solutions are created by the spouses (rather than the judge), and therefore they have a higher chance of success. The court may require that parents participate in mediation to resolve disputes that arise under parenting plans.