Family law attorneys specialize in a variety of cases, including cases that involve divorce, child custody, child visitation, child support, spousal support and guardianships. There are many reasons to hire a family law attorney and many benefits that can be reaped when retaining the services of a legal professional.
Familiarity with Cases
If you receive paperwork regarding a family law matter or you initiate a proceeding regarding a family matter, you are likely a novice who has never dealt with the issues at hand previously in your life. Even if you have contested the matter on a previous occasion, your familiarity with the family court system is likely limited. Family lawyers are familiar with all aspects that pertain to cases and will know how to handle paperwork that you receive.
Family attorneys are aware of various civil procedures that can affect your case. Each state has its own set of rules pertaining to how a party can be properly served with papers pertaining to family law cases. Attorneys are also aware of jurisdictional restraints and will comply with these restraints so that your case is not immediately thrown out. These matters are very important and can dictate whether a subsequent ruling is valid or not. If a party was not served properly or if the court does not have jurisdiction, the case must start all over and any decisions that were made in the interim will be overruled.
Family lawyers make their living convincing judges and other parties of the merits of his clients' cases. They are knowledgeable about all aspects pertaining to family law and the various elements that must be proven in each family law case. For example, a lawyer must prove that a change in custody is in a child's best interest. This standard is determined based on numerous factors, including past physical violence, alcohol abuse or drug abuse, the child's relationship with both parents, the amount of time that he has spent with both children and other factors. Most lay persons do not have this knowledge of the law and do not know which information may be relevant during court proceedings.
One of the most important reason to hire a family attorney is to protect your rights. The stakes of these type cases are often high, including children being removed from the home by a child protection services agency, losing custody to another parent, losing assets through a divorce or not being able to protect a family member who is not capable of caring for himself. When the stakes are so high, it is important to hire a professional who can handle these matters and advocate for your rights.
Likelihood of Success
Hiring a family lawyer increases the likelihood that you will succeed in your case. Judges recognize when parents hire attorneys that they are serious about the family law matter and are willing to sacrifice financially in order to pursue a matter in which they believe. A party who does not have adequate counsel is less likely to be taken seriously.
Level Playing Field
When one party has an attorney and the other party does not have his own legal representation, this can quickly cause an imbalance of power and bargaining power. The party with legal counsel will likely intimidate the other party and will have an advantage inside and outside of the courtroom.