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Chinese Family Law Review of Child Custody

A major shakeup of family law is currently occurring in China where a new proposal calls for a review of child custody procedures after the death of one parent. This proposal has been sparked by an even which happened in 2008. The Chinese actress Choi Jin-sil had sole custody of her two male children. In 2008 she committed suicide. Jun-sil's mother did not want the boys' father to gain custody of the children insisting that he was no more able to care for them when he had been denied any custody previously. This sparked a review of child custody cases in China if the parent with sole custody dies.

At present, there are no regulations for who will take care of the child after the parent with sole custody passes away. However, that is all about to change. On Tuesday February 2nd a revision to the law which states that the surviving parent must be evaluated by the court before they are granted full custody was passed in the Cabinet. After it has been ratified by the National Assembly it will come into effect three months from that date.

If the National Assembly does ratify the review to the family law, it means that any parent who wants to take on custody of their child will be evaluated by the court to ascertain their ability to do so. If they are judged to be unfit for any reason, the child will move into the custody of a different legal guardian. This will be a close relative if possible or someone that the child knows and trusts. It has not been made clear who will gain custody of the child if the surviving parent is denied custody and there are no other alternative guardians.

Do You Need a Family Law Solicitor?

Relationships sometimes breakdown and, when they do, you may be wondering what to do next. Here are 10 situations when a family law solicitor could be what you need.

1. Divorce is never easy, particularly from an emotional point of view, but once a decision has been taken to end the marriage, it doesn't have be a bumpy journey. Legal support will help you make sure everything you should be doing gets done.

2. You don't have to be married to live with someone, but if that relationship should come to an end, you do have rights and legal experts can help you find out what they are. This is particularly important if you have children from the relationship.

3. If there are children in a relationship, married or not, and it comes to an end, there are often issues regarding custody. If the children are not going to be living with you, a solicitor can help to arrange times to see them. If they are going to live with you, the solicitor can also help arrange a time for your ex-partner to see the children.

4. It's not just the parents that may benefit from legal support when children are concerned. Grandparents also have rights with regards to their children's children. So in the event that a grandparent has been told they can't see their grandchildren, a family law solicitor could help.

5. Even if children aren't involved, there may be other important issues for people coming out of a relationship to discuss - including property and possessions. If they need to be sold, then legal advice could help with the sale and the splitting of the payment.

6. Finances are another tricky issue, when a marriage ends. If your situation has changed drastically as a result of the the break-up, you may need a solicitor to help explain what you may be entitled to.

7. People entering into or breaking up from a civil partnership may also benefit from a family law solicitor. It's important to know your rights and they can help you prepare for the partnership or, in the event of a split, life afterwards.

8. While Pre-nuptials are more commonly associated with celebrity marriages, particularly in the United States, they still exist in the UK and when couples decide that assets of one or both partners should be protected, an agreement can be drawn up at the beginning. A solicitor will help ensure this is professionally and legally carried out, as well as explaining how it would work in the event of a break-down in the relationship.

9. You may need a family solicitor in the event that you decide to move in with a partner. There are cohabitation laws that you may need to know, while you may require support if moving into the home your partner is currently paying a mortgage on.

10. Domestic violence victims should turn to a family law solicitor to help them escape their situation as soon as possible. Whether you need help securing new accommodation, untraceable telephone lines or any other form of protection, they can help you remain safe and free of your partner.

If any of these circumstances relate to you, then why not find a family law solicitor to help you?

Most Common Family Law Questions

Work and family constitute a major part of the common person's life. When it comes to legal issues, it stands to reason that family law issues would be among the most frequently encountered problems, and people often need assistance, insight and guidance. It is no wonder that these are the most commonly asked questions of experts on question-and-answer sites. Here are some of the most commonly asked family law questions.

Questions about Harassment

Harassment can either be physical or mental, direct or indirect. Each type of harassment has its own legal implications. Regardless of whether the harassment is physical or verbal, real world or online, it is usually against the law. Harassment can also be in the form of stalking, which can be a civil as well as a criminal offense depending on your state of residence.

Questions about caregivers' rights

Being a caregiver is often a thankless job. It can have legal implications if you are not legally the guardian of the person you are caring for, if you are caring for the person's monetary assets, or if the person is not proven to be fully incompetent. The legal rights and limitations of a caregiver under each of the above scenarios can lead to a number of important questions.

Questions about Runaways

The laws regarding runaway children vary from state to state. In most cases, reporting a child as a runaway is considered valid if the child is 16 years or younger. Once the child is 17 years or older, the laws can change altogether. The child's age and state of residence can have a bearing on whether the child is legally allowed to leave or considered a runaway. Some of the common questions people have regarding runaways are: At what age is a child a runaway? When can you report a runaway? Is it a violation of family law if you shelter a runaway? There are no simple answers to these questions. Being aware of the statutory provisions of your state regarding runaways is the only way to be sure.

Questions about Adultery and Infidelity

Adultery is considered a crime in some states while other states consider it a misdemeanor. Depending on where you live, the law and implications of adultery can vary. Issues regarding adultery are never simple and usually have nuances that can lead to many questions. The most common among them are: What constitutes adultery? What is the fine for adultery? Can adultery result in incarceration?

Questions about Divorce due to Adultery

Whether adultery and infidelity can be used against someone in a divorce case depends on the state. The law in each state varies. Courts also consider whether there are children involved or not, and the ruling can vary based on these and many other considerations.

Family law spans many issues and aspects of family and inter-personal relationships. The implications of family law can raise many questions. Being aware of the provisions of family law in your state and in your situation is the only way to stay on the right side of the law.

Family Law - Don't Let Disputes Tear Your Family Apart

When you are faced with disputes and disagreements within your family and have trouble reaching solutions or keeping things amicable, it may be time for you to hire an attorney that specializes in family law. Even though everyone may have the best of intentions when they are trying to resolve disputes, everyone knows that things can get a bit testy no matter what the situation is. Family law attorneys have a wide area of expertise. They handle everything from divorces, legal separations, child support, alimony, custody disputes, adoptions, paternity issues, division of assets in divorces and more.

Depending on your particular situation, you may feel that you can get things resolved in a fast manner without having to go to court. Since family issues often results in both sides letting their emotions get the best of them, it is imperative to keep the lines of communication from breaking down and hire a family law attorney. You want to avoid letting things get out of hand and to keep things professional and any agreements completely legal, you can always request an arbitration with a family law attorney.

By utilizing the services of a family law firm, you can help to get personal matters resolved in your favor. Sometimes if you don't know what your rights are, you can end up being taken advantage of or having things ruled against you. If you want to give yourself a fighting chance, you need to make sure you have the right legal counsel that money can buy.

When you need assistance or simply legal advice, you can always go to a law firm that handles domestic affairs. You can get expert advice and receive guidance about what needs to occur for things to be resolved in your favor. Who knows, you may need help coming up with a good strategy or arrangement. It is always a good idea to hire legal representation when things need to be determined and they involve assets, children and legal issues.

Make sure that when you select an attorney, they have a good reputation. They should also have a lot of expertise and knowledge about laws regarding domestic and family situations. Since the laws regarding these areas can be quite extensive and complex, instead of trying to figure out what you need to do, a lawyer can help guide you.

Don't be ashamed or afraid to ask for help when things start to get a bit out of control. Sometimes it is necessary for you to seek legal counsel because the other party is being unrealistic and overly demanding. To prevent yourself from being treated unfairly, you should make sure that you don't enter into any agreements or attempt to do any litigation without proper counsel.

Do yourself a favor and stop making a stressful situation even worse by keeping matters professional and letting your lawyers handle everything. This way no personal feelings will get involved and cause any complications.

Do It Yourself Divorce/Family Law - Free California Resources

There has been a huge upsurge in the number of people who represent themselves in their divorce and other family law cases. Those other types of Family Law cases include paternity, domestic violence, dissolution of domestic partnership, annulment and custody cases. In some California jurisdictions, 80% of the filings have at least one person who is representing themselves. To help the courts handle so many people unfamiliar with the legal system, the courts, other state agencies and some non-profit agencies have established programs to help the DIY (Do It Yourself) litigants. This article will be the first of two to refer you to those resources for California family law cases. If you must file in another state, check your state court web site, that of your state bar association and visit your local law library. You will find similar information for your state there.

The web site for the California courts is a great source of information. Remember, though, that all of the government sites provide only general information, not legal advice on how to best present your particular case and that the information is available to both sides. Keeping this proviso in mind, the official sites can be very helpful.


The court web site offers all of the forms that are used in California. They can be viewed, printed and often may also be filled out electronically before they are printed. The site has a drop down menu which groups the forms by topics. In the "self help" section, there are some articles which tell you what forms you need specifically for different purposes, but not for all. There are many on-line businesses which also offer the forms and help you fill out the correct ones. However, they have their limitations. Besides charging money, they do not provide legal advice on what is best for you to say in your individual case. Also, they often limit their services to uncontested cases, those in which everything is settled, in which there are no disputes. If that is your case and you are willing to spend around $300 in addition to the court costs, use one of them. If there is a dispute or you don't want to spend the money, there are other alternatives. A paragraph on the court web site reads:

Going to Court Without a Lawyer? Need Help? The California Courts Self-Help Center can help you find the right forms - and provide other assistance with your case.


The court's web site is at http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov. The self help center at that site has more resources than I can list here. There is a section on Links and Resources which offers dozens of pamphlets and videos on the family law court experience including how to choose the right forms, what to do with them, how to prepare the domestic violence paperwork, what to do if you are served with that paperwork, what the child support and custody mediation processes are like, and more. There is a section on Free and Low Cost Help which can't give specific referrals, but which points you in the right direction. There are sections on Getting Ready for Court and on the court fees. Spend time here and you'll come away with a good idea on how to proceed.

FAMILY LAW FACILITATOR: http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/selfhelp/lowcost/

Every California family law court has an office of the family law facilitator connected to it. Their function is to help the do it yourself, self represented client get through the court process. They help you fill out the forms, though again, without giving legal advice, and tell you how to file and serve them. Since the service is free and, given the state's budget crisis, there may be a wait to get help. So long as you remember that their service is neutral, that it supports neither your side nor the other, that they can also help the other side, and that you don't expect direction on the substance of your case, the facilitators are very useful.

Family law lawyers are just beginning to realize that many people either can't afford to, or simply don't want to retain them. People now often simply want to use an attorney as a resource to provide the legal advice that the state services cannot. Legal support, rather than legal control, is a new form of service that is just beginning to appear.

Family Law Services

Family law tends to be quite complex. In addition to that, the cases related to it tend to be extremely emotional. In case you are financially unable to get a good attorney for such a case, consider getting pro bono or free representation or at least an attorney who charges a smaller fee. Family law services are a must in case you are dealing with such a matter.

There are some special types of law organizations that have proven that they can provide quality, experience and effectiveness when it comes to representation of members of families in difficult cases. Moreover, some of them work for a symbolic fee. Therefore, limited financial means do not equal lack of representation options.

Legal organizations are created in order to provide legal assistance in cases related to families that can be quite diverse. These might include child custody, divorce and child visitations. The typical legal organizations surely provide these fundamental types of representations at a fee that is based on the income of the client.

A very common type of organization that provides legal aid is the not-for-profit agency. It provides a very wide range of legal services for cases of all types. Such a legal aid agency does not take a fee or takes a very small fee based on the income. Another type of program for legal aid is the one offered in some law schools.

Almost all such schools located in the US offer clinical programs that help economically disadvantaged clients get the legal services they need. This way such citizens get the legal representation they deserve in court. A not-for-profit organization provides a lawyer for you to represent you during your case.

In the case of a law school legal clinic, you are provided with a last year student to represent you instead of a real attorney. The student chosen for this task is qualified to provide legal assistance of the required type. A licensed attorney supervises the work of the student on the case.

The benefits of taking part in one of those not-for-profit programs are that you get represented and that you have a bigger chance to win the case. You need not deal with the court issues on your own and wonder whether the decisions you are making are right. Family law services can be obtained even for free and are always the best option when it comes to solving any family matter in court.

Family Law - Dealing With Child Custody, Support and Alimony

What Is Family Law?

When a couple with children divorces, the hardest issues to resolve generally involve custody decisions. Such matters fall under the auspices of family law, a practice area concerned with issues such as marriage, divorce, adoption, child custody, child support and other challenges that face families.

In some but not all states, matters pertaining solely to family law are heard in special courts called family courts. States that use family courts include New York, Hawaii, Delaware, Maine and North Carolina. In other states, circuit courts may address family law in addition to other legal matters.

Family Law and Child Custody Agreements

Nearly all courts encourage parents to come up with a child custody arrangement without judicial intervention. Parents can design a plan themselves or with the help of a trained professional mediator.

In instances when parents for whatever reason are unable to negotiate an arrangement, the court will come to a decision for them using a standard that considers the best interests of the child. Each state has its own laws setting forth criteria that determine how this standard should be determined, however these laws share one basic assumption: Except in cases where a parent has been convicted of a crime involving violence or sexual abuse, it is generally accepted that a child's best interests include a continuing relationship with both parents. This means that custody will be shared in some manner whether the child spends time with both parents on an equal basis or one parent retains physical custody and the other has visitation rights.

Other factors the court evaluate in determining child custody include:

  • The ability of each parent to provide a safe, secure environment.
  • The degree to which parents are able to work together to promote the best interests of their child.
  • If a parent has functioned as the primary caretaker.
  • For a child over the age of 12, his or her own wishes.

Spousal Support (Alimony)

Another issue that comes under the jurisdiction of family law is spousal support or alimony. Alimony functions to mitigate the negative economic effects that divorce may have on the spouse who either is not earning a wage or is earning a lower wage than his or her erstwhile partner.

Courts have considerably more discretion in awarding alimony than they have in awarding custody. The Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act, adopted by many states as a model in this regard, suggests that the following criteria be assessed in determining alimony:

  • Length of the marriage.
  • Spouses' standard of living throughout the marriage/
  • Age, financial status and physical and emotional state of the spouses/
  • Length of time it would take for the non-earning or lesser earning spouse to become financially independent/
  • Ability of the spouse charged with making payments to support both the spouse receiving alimony and himself or herself.

Family Law Lawyers

Compared to all other types of legal practices, family law is perhaps the most sensitive and difficult to practice. The reason for this is because family law is dealing with issues such as divorce, legitimacy, child abuse, adoption, annulments, inheritance and family property disputes. This is why, when choosing a family law lawyer it is important to choose somebody who knows how to be sensitive when dealing with these types of unpleasant issues. A family lawyer who is good at his or her job will be able to minimize the pain when dealing with issues such as child custody and divorce issues.

Apart from dispensing legal advice family law lawyers will have additional responsibilities such as offering emotional support in an impartial and sympathetic way. A good family lawyer will win the trust of the client by listening to needs of the client. It is a careful balance between maintaining a professional attitude and keeping a personal touch with client.

Lawyer's fees will depend on what type of case the lawyer is working on. Some lawyers will charge an hourly fee and others will charge only after the case has been filed and a settlement is reached. For divorce cases it will depend on various situations such as, if there is child custody issues or property sharing issues. Most family law lawyers will charge by the hour for the simple reason that it is just easier. Hourly rates are influenced by two different situations, the region and county where the case will be tried. In extreme cases where the client is not financially stable enough to afford lawyers fees the court will grant what is known as Pendente Lite. A Pendente Lite is in a way a type of grant to help take care of low income clients while the court proceedings are ongoing.

The following are some useful tips to keep in mind when it comes time to choose a family law lawyer.
Experience: always try and get a lawyer who has a lot of experience. Only an experienced lawyer will know all of the subtle nuances of family law.

Location & Fee: Everybody would like to use the best lawyer available in town. Unfortunately the best ones will cost a good deal to hire. Location of the lawyer's office is also important as you may have to visit them on a regular basis.

Reputation: It is important to find out what the lawyers reputation is amongst both clients and other lawyers. This will help give you a good idea of the lawyer's level of competency.

Family Law Solicitors: Make It the Right Choice

If you require family law solicitors, it is important to be selective and expect the chosen firm to assist you with your legal queries throughout the process. However, given the array of competition, to be selective, there are certain tactical issues to look out for which help distinguish the good from the weak. Therefore, first and foremost, whilst searching, don't just pick the first firm that you see - a simple statement, however, statistics reveal a person will be impressed by what is initially presented to them, but under no circumstances is this an effective barometer for determining a suitable firm.

Instead, incorporate a system that selects the relevant information and criteria to judge a suitable candidate for your up and coming case by comparing the services on offer. Start by asking for a recommendation from somebody you know, or perhaps, word of mouth can often be the most efficient way of spreading information, so visit your friends and relatives to ask them of their experiences with such professionals because the services they got before should influence the kind of person you select for the work.

Once in the deliberating stages, there are several such techniques you can apply, which selects them based on merit and their ability - because essentially, this will be the ultimate residing factor which will determine the outcome of your case. This may be a timely exercise, however a face to face consultation is usually known as one of the most effective measures to undertake - effectively, the format can be delivered similar to an interview, allowing you to apply the appropriate pressure on the solicitor by preparing questions that can help uncover their attributes and ability to concisely present a clear message with minimal use of jargon.

Remember that you must have confidence in their ability to represent and assist you so ensure you are comfortable with them. You will be sharing with them sensitive information about your private life and relations so ensure you have enough faith in them to assist you.

In addition, for extra assistance turn to the internet to collect the information you need to make an appropriate selection because you will be able to save time in finding a suitable person. You will find lots of useful information online which you can use to your advantage to select the best candidate for the job. Go over their Frequently Asked Questions page and see if you can have your queries answered - this will be useful for helping decide relevant questions, and perhaps, provide a good basis which allows you to expand the difficultly of questions

Locality is always an issue whilst settling for solicitors, never mind specific family law solicitors. This enables the conversing of information to be dealt with more promptly - particularly when you will often require to meet the solicitor, rather than continuously talk over the phone or via email. A useful technique, but to ensure progression, having regular consultation meetings will be required.

Introduction to Family Law

The legal world is broken up into specific niches. The most commonly known are the fields of criminal and civil law where people are either accused of crimes or sued for money, respectively. Family law has become much more prominent as a field in the last forty years and we take a look at it in this article.

Ask someone what family law is all about and one word is continually mentioned - divorce. This is hardly a surprise since divorce is a part of the field and tends to get much more attention because it can be very splashy such as when two celebrities decided to call it quits. Ironically, the first legal issue a couple may face is not divorce, but prenuptial agreements before they actually wed. Regardless, both are considered the bedrocks of family law. That doesn't mean they are the only legal niches.

A divorce with a childless couple is one thing, but a divorce where kids involved is another. There is a small library of law in each state dealing with the two subjects that inevitably pop up. The first is child custody where the divorcing parents try to work out who the child will live with and how often the other spouse will get to see them. The second issue is child support where the court has to order one spouse to provide the other with compensation for caring for the child.

There is a certain negative connotation to the above three areas and rightly so. Our last area, however, is all positive. Adoption is considered a part of the family law niche and is critical in that it places orphans with parents desiring a child. It is literally a match made in heaven, a definite win -win. Attorneys providing adoption services consistently rate as the most satisfied it the practice of law. There are other odds and ends when it comes to family law, but these are the big four. This is often viewed as a brutal area of the law, but it need not be as adoption services can show.

Family Law Firms: Choosing The Right Divorce Lawyer

No one is a winner when it comes to getting divorced. But, you do need to not only get the best possible resolution; you also need to protect yourself and your children's best interest. There is no other way to get on with the rest of your life. Having the right family law firm on your side is crucial.

Choosing the correct attorney could be your most critical decision in successfully confronting your Family Law issues and beginning the next phase of your life.

Remember to keep in mind:

Your divorce lawyer is not your personal therapist. This is not the person to be talking to if you have any unaddressed emotional or psychological issues. They are only there to assist you legally.

Your divorce lawyer is not a minister or priest. If you really need spiritual advice, your lawyer is not going to cut it.

Your divorce lawyer should absolutely not represent both you and your spouse. There is just no way to be completely neutral to both parties. It is true that an attorney can represent one side with the other continuing without a lawyer. You should however be extremely cautious of any lawyer claiming they can represent both sides in a divorce.

Choosing the correct family law firm can help you retain your financial security. But, choosing the wrong one can cause you to lose assets that you should retain. Worst of all an incompetent lawyer could also cause you to lose your parental rights as well.

What you want is a knowledgeable attorney that is willing to fight tooth and nail for you. They should also walk you through the entire process and respect what you need during this hard time. Many times litigants will change lawyers multiple times before the case is even concluded. The reason being is that they do not put in the time or effort to properly find the right family law firm.

The process of divorce when you take it down to its essence is simply two people coming to an agreement about no longer staying married and figuring out how to best live their lives apart. Throughout this there are several key things that need to be resolved:

Parenting Schedules, Financial Support and Child Custody - You need an experienced family lawyer to handle this area as it is very complex.

Finance Matters - Money, banking accounts, money market funds and anything relating to your joint finances

Retirement Finances - IRAs, pensions, pre-determined retirement plans and anything relating to your retirement

Property - All tangible items including cars, jewelry, tools, furniture, photographs and all personal property needs to be sorted out

Life Insurance - Whole life insurance policies have cash value

Your Debts - I know that no one wants to take responsibility of the financial debts that come from a marriage but this is a complicated and critical subject for your lawyer to handle.

Spousal Support - Sometimes spousal support is granted if one party earns more money than the other in comparison. The length of the marriage will also determine how much is paid for spousal support.

The family law firm that you choose should fit the following criteria and should follow these standards:

Complete Knowledge Of Family Law

Without a doubt the overall thing you want in a family law attorney is knowledge of family law. Experienced family law firms will not only be familiar with the law but will also be up to date on legal trends and the legal system in general. A good lawyer will be able to handle any emergency that might come up during your case and handle it effortlessly.

Comfort Level

You are after all paying for their services so you should be at ease and always treated with respect. Often going with your instincts will help you choose the right lawyer. It is very important that you feel comfortable with your attorney so you don't hesitate to ask about anything, no matter how trivial you think it is.

Do They Want To Win?

Although this can be pretty difficult to figure out during your first visit it is much more likely that they will be aggressive and determined to win for you if they are exited at the onset. A disinterested lawyer will miss many facts about your case.

Do They Have Support?

Any good family law firm has multiple staff members including other attorneys and paralegals. The more complicated your case the more assistance will be needed. Oftentimes specialists are called in to help your case. Having the proper people supporting them will allow your lawyer to be more focused.

Divorce can be a very stressful and emotionally painful experience. In a difficult time such as this it's not only tough on you but on your family as well. Now is not the time to have the additional stress of wondering if you picked the right lawyer.

The lawyer that you have representing you should not be an obstacle. They should be experienced, strong and ready to fight for you and your best interests. With a good lawyer at your side you can focus on your family's emotional status. You will only make this time harder on yourself by not carefully choosing the right lawyer.

Reasons to Hire a Family Law Attorney

If you and your spouse have come to the unfortunate decision to file for divorce, I don't have to tell you how much is at stake. The most important thing you can do is find a family law attorney to have on your side through this difficult and stressful process. The following are some reasons why you would want to get a professional on your team:

Knowledge & Understanding to the many options in the Divorce Process: If you take some time and hire an experienced family law attorney, they will have had much experience handling divorce cases such as yours and will be able to tell you inside and out the options you have or actions you can take in your divorce. These are areas such as division of your property and assets, child support and child custody, as well as mediation.

Taking over the reigns - Put out the Fire: A huge advantage to hiring a family law attorney is turning the reigns over to them regardless of your situation. Turning all of the painful details and irritation of your divorce to your lawyer can be a great thing. For one, it allows you to not carry your emotions or any built up anger into negotiation. Your family law attorney can help put out the fire between you and your spouse. Usually more negotiation will get done once two lawyers are involved in the process because they are both objective.

Strength in Negotiation: Your family law attorney will have experience in negotiating with other lawyers which you probably do not have. If you try and represent yourself in your divorce, it is likely the lawyer your spouse hired will try to push you around. Having a family law attorney on your team will stop this from happening. Their experience with negotiating with other lawyers from their previous cases will give you an upper hand in your case.

Filing Paperwork - Crossing your T's and Dotting your I's: The amount of paperwork that is needed to complete a divorce can be crazy! Your family law attorney and their staff will handle all of this for you and of course, make sure you have all of the correct papers signed.

The Job of Family Law Solicitors

The term family law is an umbrella term which deals with many diverse aspects of any legal issues which arise in relation to married couples, unmarried couples, civil partnerships, pre and post nuptial agreements, divorce, cohabitation, legal separation and so on. This branch of law also deals with any issues which relate to children. These can range from visitation rights and contact cases, financial provision for them and also adoption.

No two cases are ever the same for a family lawyer. This area of the profession is best suited to those who are very people focussed and who have an empathy with others. Clients who visit family lawyers are often going through extremely tough times and as such may not be thinking correctly and may also be very emotional. Part of the day to day job of the family lawyer is to listen to and also at many times to give support to their client in their time of need. Obviously the lawyer will need to have excellent and astute legal skills too however as family law involves extremely emotive areas and subjects it is important that anyone planning to enter the field bears this in mind. For the client too it is important to know that the lawyer whom they are planning to visit is one who will be sensitive to their needs. Thankfully professionals who specialise in the area of family law tend to be very fair and non-judgemental so the client need not worry about beginning the legal process.

Most family lawyers would say that in the course of their work that they deal with three major areas which are children, finance and divorce. One day a lawyer could be working on a messy split where the couple cannot agree on their finances. Another day there may be a deep rooted dispute as to the upbringing of a child. Often an estranged parent or grandparents visit a family lawyer in order to find out what rights they have to see their children / grandchildren. In the UK it has been estimated that as many as 1,000,000 have been refused contact with their grandchildren according to figures provided by The Grandparents' Association.

As the majority of us will have a family at some point in our lives, so it transpires that this legal area deals with a huge cross-section of clients. From builders to bankers, at some point many of us will need to use the services of a family lawyer.

There are many family law firms in the country which will be happy to offer you help and impartial legal advice if you are experiencing hardship or problems within your family or marriage. You will be able to make an appointment for a consultation and the lawyer will help you with advice and guidance and will set you and help you on the correct way forward for you and yours.

Visiting a lawyer can be a daunting prospect but they are here to help and once you do get on the right path then you will be very glad that you did.

Family Law and Unmarried Parents

Family Law covers a broad range of legal issues, most involving the couple's minor children. The tone and outcome of the legal matter involving your family can be greatly assisted by having the right family law attorney. Family law issues do not always involve a divorce, or marriage dissolution. What about in the case of where there was never a marriage to begin with? This is a more and more common occurrence; children have been born into a relationship which involved cohabitation, but is not secured with any legal agreement. In a case where there has never been cohabitation, the father's rights may be greatly diminished.

Generally speaking, the courts look at married and unmarried father's rights quite differently. With a divorce of a legally married couple, both are considered to have the right to be fully involved in their children's lives in areas such as deciding where they live, and how they will be raised. The noncustodial parent would have the right to know where their offspring are living, and to see them according to the visitation agreement. In addition, they would have the right to information regarding school and medical records.

If the parents were not married, but did live together in the family home, and then separate, it is generally the mother who has automatic parental responsibility. If you are a father in this situation, it means that you do not have the same rights as a married father, and it might be more difficult for you to establish child visitation. Numerous other issues may arise for an unmarried father, even basic paternity can be called into question if he is not listed as the father on the birth certificate.

If you are in a situation where you have a child but have never been married to the other parent, it will be most advantageous to you to hire a qualified family law lawyer to assist you in reaching a suitable agreement so that you can be a part of your child's life. You will need guidance to determine things such as who claims the child on their income taxes, to who provides health insurance and other benefits. Even if you are not separated, but are in a happy cohabitation relationship with a child, it is a good idea to contact an attorney who can draft a legal agreement, much like a prenuptial agreement, which covers finances and child issues.

Much like with a marriage, covering some of these issues ahead of time can make any future separation go more smoothly for the individuals concerned, most especially the children. Remember, the court will decide on what it thinks is in the best interests of the children. Take the time to make those decisions yourself by contacting an attorney who deals with family law court cases. Do what is in the best interests of the children, and you will all be better off.

Top Reasons to Hire Family Law Attorneys

Hiring family law attorneys is needed whenever situations arise that require legal documentation or litigation. Some of the more common tasks include establishing guardianship for minor aged children, legal name changes, adoption, and child support.

Certain situations necessitate working with family law attorneys for a long period of time. This might include international adoptions or divorce. Under these circumstances, it is advisable to consult with multiple law firms to locate a lawyer whom you are comfortable with.

Complex legal issues can be difficult to deal with, so it is helpful to seek help from legal professionals who dedicate time and attention to the case. It's also important to locate attorneys experienced with the specific type of case.

As an example, couples who plan to adopt children outside of the U.S. should get help from family law firms who have experience in international adoptions. Another example is couples who are getting a divorce will need to get legal help to arrange child support and alimony payments.

Sadly, divorce is a primary reason for hiring an attorney. Legal help is required to abide by state child support rules, establish child custody, and file divorce papers with the court. Divorcing couples also need help to determine equitable distribution of jointly-owned assets and to arrange agreements which do not require a court appearance.

Few people will disagree that divorce cases are often the most emotional. This is due to the fact that divorce can bring about a tremendous amount of anger and frustration; especially when children are involved.

When cases involve spousal abuse there is a sense of urgency which often necessitates obtaining protective orders. In many instances, people need help removing children from neglectful or harmful situations.

Dire situations rarely allow individuals time to shop around for a lawyer. In these cases, people can obtain referrals from the state prosecutor's office or through the American Bar Association.

On the flip side, people often employ attorneys to prepare prenuptial agreements. Individuals who own a substantial amount of assets opt to protect them in the event their upcoming marriage results in divorce.

Prenuptial agreements can be tricky to arrange, so it's important to work with professionals who can present the pros and cons of this type of contract. Oftentimes, prenuptials create additional problems if divorce occurs and can prolong settlement proceedings. It is imperative for these contracts to be ironclad from the start to prevent problems later on.

Lastly, people often hire family law firms to help settle probate estates. Probate is the legal process used to close decedent estates. The process can be simplified by writing a last will and testament and identifying beneficiaries to receive inheritance property. If a Will is not presented to probate court, the estate is settled in accordance with state law.

It's never easy to settle a loved one's estate, especially during the grieving process. Engaging in estate planning can make things easier for family members and can go a long way in avoiding disputes over inheritance property.

It should be noted that it can be more expensive to hire a law firm that specializes in a specific type of law, such as international adoption. Most often, family law lawyers can provide services at a lower rate than those who work in one specific field.

Regardless of the type of legal case, it is always advisable to shop around for the most suitable law firm. Look for family law attorneys who possess experience and have an excellent track record. Also, seek out legal professionals who provide guidance and put you at ease.

Typical Family Law Topics and Services - Divorce

Unless you have encountered some sort of family related issue or perhaps a domestic problem, you will probably not be aware of the vast array of services and issues that family law encompasses. This sector within the legal system caters for all topics from divorce,inheritance disputes to custody of children, custody agreements and adoption. Formal names for the persons that represent the families and the other people directly involved are family lawyers, a family law solicitor, or family solicitors.

Family law |is very important given that it helps families resolve sticky situations. Whenever a husband and wife, civil union, or a domestic partnership comes to an unfortunate end there are often children, real estate, money and personal assets in contest that the involved parties will fight over. Each involved party finds some form of legal representation to assist them obtain their fair slice of the assets held by the couple. When children are brought in to the equation, parents usually sue for full or joint custody. Often the parents will not be able to come to an agreement on who get custody, it is then down to the legal system to make a final decision based on the presented facts. This will involve (in many cases) one parent being given full custody whilst the other parent will be granted visitation rights. The Judge may well grant some form of shared custody of the children in some form of split. This would necessitate a legal agreement to be drawn up that specifies who has access to which child on what days. This will often require quite a detailed agreement to make it perfectly clear who has access and to stop misinterpretation of the access leading to further disputes. It is quite common for a couple to use the same family solicitor to help them resolve family issues. However, when things are really messy it is often better to seek separate representation to ensure that your interests are fully covered.

When a divorce is inevitable and there is no way of resolving the issues then the couple will have to go through the family law process. The final verdict from the court will fix the split of property, assets and custody arrangements. The court will also set matters related to alimony. The family court system will be able to deal with topics covering spousal abusive behavior (physical or verbal), child abuse, legitimacy and child abductions. The areas cover a wide spectrum and really are a anything that relates to a married or legally bound couple. The court has strong and far-reaching powers over a couple. This includes the ability to grant or retract parental rights. These powers extend to forcing parties to seek help, attend classes or counseling to resolve their problems. The court can also enforce some form of community service as 'punishment' for the offenses made. The Family Law system is an essential feature of the law. Its aim is to try to resolve issues in the first instance and then take measures to ensure that no further harm can be done to involved parties.

Family Law Attorney: Financial Arrangements

Money is often at the center of cases involving a family law attorney. Whether planning for a relationship or dissolving one, money is often the central part of the discussion. Because money is such an important commodity, it is important to go into the case with a legal representative with experience in situations that families often face. You need a set game plan before any type of discussion begins. Here are a few examples of how finances affect relationships.


Before walking down the aisle, couples often make an appointment with a family law attorney to talk about a prenuptial agreement. This contract determines how the finances are divided if the relationship is terminated. It details how much money the husband will receive, how much the wife will receive, and even list out some specific circumstances that could change the arrangement.

Even though getting married is an exciting time with so many things to look forward to, people still want to protect their assets on the chance that things do not work out. This contract can be drawn up in the office, signed in the office and filed by the family law attorney.


When couples are not ready for divorce or they are waiting to take that final step, there are still financial questions that need to be addressed. If one person is living in the home, who is paying the mortgage? If there are car payments or credit card debt, who is responsible for handling them? Sometimes couples can work these things out amicably as they wait to see where the relationship is heading. Other times, a family law attorney will need to be involved to make sure that all money issues are handled during the separation.

If the couple chooses to get back together and work things out, the separation's financial arrangement is no longer necessary. If things progress and there is no way to save the marriage, more drastic measures need to be taken. In this case, both the husband and wife along with the children need to be financially taken care of in some way.

Divorce, Alimony, and Child Support

Divorce is not just dissolving a relationship. It is also changing the way that a couple handles their finances. A family law attorney can help to establish how the money should be divided between the two individuals. While some states adhere to a 50/50 policy, most of the time the situation is not that easily resolved. One person may be entitled to spousal support, also known as alimony.

The children also need to be taken care of financially. Custody of the children makes a difference in the amount of child support one-person pays to another. One parent may be responsible for health care while the other takes care of the cost of schooling.

Nine Ways to Communicate With Your Family Law Attorney in 2009

9. Call your attorney, but not every day.

8. Communicate with your attorney by e-mail, but don't abuse it.

7. Of course you can communicate with your attorney by fax.

6. Communicate by snail-mail. Bear in mind that this is a good way to communicate if there are several issues to be raised, but it is also a slow way to do so.

5. In communicating with your attorney, to save time and money, keep track of issues and raise several issues or questions at once, rather than calling or e-mailing on a daily basis with every issue.

4. Make sure that your communications are responded to. Whether they are phone calls, e-mails, letters, or faxes, you deserve a response.

3. If you have questions or issues, don't be bashful. Remember that your attorney is working for you. If you have a concern about an issue in your case, raise it. Communication is a two-way street, and it is important to communicate. You deserve answers. You deserve to know what is going on. You deserve to know what strategies are being raised. If there are issues that you have questions about, you deserve answers. They should all be in a timely fashion. There was once a study done with regard to phone calls and messages, and when a client reasonably expected a return call. The possible answers were: immediately, within two hours, within four hours, by the end of the day, within 24 hours, or whenever. The correct response was within three hours.

2. Trust is important. Having confidence in your attorney is important. Through communication and feeling that your attorney has your best interests at heart, this trust needs to be established. It is important to feel that you are not just a number, but are very important to your attorney because what you are going through in a divorce, child custody, or other family law related matter, is one of the most important situations in your life.

1. Meet with your attorney. Face to face communication is critical. At the initial consultation, this is how you establish a rapport. This is how you decide whether or not you are going to retain a particular attorney. Don't hesitate to ask questions. Don't hesitate to take notes. Make sure that before you retain an attorney, that this is the person who you will entrust one of the most important times in your life to. Don't hesitate to have regular meetings so that you can make sure that you are both on the same wavelength, and are doing things and working together. You and your attorney are part of a team, and this is important.

Family Law Attorney - Going Through a Support Hearing

Raising children can be both rewarding and challenging. It can be very rewarding to watch your children grow and develop throughout their lifetimes. It can be very challenging, however, to see them through this development.

Raising children can be very expensive, and if you are going through a support hearing, you may want to hire a family law attorney to make sure that the outcome is as good as possible for you and your children. Support hearings are usually held to determine how much a non-custodial parent will be required to pay each month in support to sustain the well being of their children.

If you are the parent that is receiving the support payments, you will probably want to make sure that the final decision of the court on how much the non-custodial parent is required to pay will be enough to cover the costs you have in raising the children. A family law attorney can help a great deal in this situation, because they can help make sure that all of the costs of raising the children are covered during the hearing and also that the final decision of the court is in the best interests of you and your children.

If you are the parent that is required to make the support payments, a family law attorney can also be a great help to you during the hearing. Although you probably want to provide as much money as possible to sustain the well being of your children, you probably do not want the amount you are required to pay each month to be too high. A legal professional can help properly portray your ability to make the payments and also how much you can realistically pay each month.

Whether you are the parent making the payments, or the parent receiving the payments, after the original court ruling is finalized, you may have the option of requesting a modification to the original support orders if your circumstances have changed. For example, if you are the parent making the payments and you have recently lost a job, or have suffered a pay cut, you might want to request a modification to the original court ruling to lower the amount of money you are required to pay. If you are the parent receiving the payments, you might request a modification if your child has developed special needs since the time of the original court hearing. Such special needs could range from medical attention to tutoring. A family law attorney can be a great benefit to you, whether you are making the payments or receiving the payments, because they can help determine whether you should request the modification and when you should request the change.

There are many situations where a legal professional can be of great help to you. If you are going through a court hearing regarding your children, it may be a good idea to look into the option of hiring a lawyer because they can help ensure that the outcome of the hearing will be in the best interests of you and your children.

Find a Good Family Law Attorney

If you are in need of locating a good attorney, one who specializes in family law, then you need someone who can look after your interests as well as the interests of your children. I have listed five options to help you find the attorney who is right for you.

1. Check with Friends, Family - People you know can be an excellent resource to help you locate a family law attorney. Somebody you know probably has been through a similar experience; their advice and support can be useful to you.

2. The Bar Association - A local or state bar association can be a wonderful resource as they will tell you which of their members specialize in Family Law. Get a hold of that list, contact the attorneys directly, and interview them. Typically, your first visit is free so that you can learn what the family law attorney will do for you, their fee structure, and much more.

3. Legal Aid Societies - Your state or county should have a legal aid society. If you find that the cost of retaining counsel is prohibitive, consider contacting your local chapter for help. Some will offer their services for free or "pro bono." Some attorneys will charge you based on a sliding scale, taking into consideration your ability to repay. For parents with limited means, this can be a terrific option.

4. Research - Your library has legal directories featuring all kinds of legal professionals, while the internet is an excellent resource for accurate and up to date information. Forums, list servs, ads, and articles like the one you are reading now can be good sources to help you find attorney related information.

5. Check the Phone Book - One of the most popular places for attorneys to list their availability is with an old stand by: your phone book. Right smack dab in the yellow pages you will find scores of attorneys featured with all the of their contact information listed, including web sites.

Divorce certainly isn't fun, in fact it is downright painful. Your children will suffer, but you can help ease the transition for them and you by finding an attorney who is compassionate and caring. For additional support and spiritual guidance, arrange a visit with your pastor today.

A Family Law Attorney Can Smooth Things Over

Smoothing things over becomes an unpleasant task for many amateurs in divorce cases, a task that these people are not usually prepared to face. Bitter words and harsh times can create even more uncomfortable, awkward and very tense situations or environments for the parties involved and even for those around them. Having a professional who can help to fix these situations and draft and create fair, just settlements for divorced couples can be invaluable to these couples as they go through the divorce process.

Strangely, when one thinks of a family law attorney, they often think of those lawyers we have seen on television that have sinister ideas and intricate plots to destroy the lives of their opponents. What one will discover if they spend any time at all with any attorney is that this is simply not the case. The vast majority of attorneys are committed to discovering what is fair and implementing a settlement that reflects this. A family law attorney is not interested in taking a bad situation and making it worse. This does not benefit them at all and goes against the sense of fairness and equality that they fight to protect. A family should never go through a divorce alone, without the counsel of a professional to guide them through what can become ugly situations and hard times.

Especially if there are children involved in the divorce, these situations can become bitter messes from the very beginning. Former couples sometimes spend countless dollars and a great deal of time trying to decide who is going to have custody of their children after their divorce. What is often forgotten in situations such as these is: what is best for the children? A family law attorney will bring their expertise in these situations and past experiences in similar cases in helping the family decide what is best for the children. Many families face the unpleasant requirement of putting their children through a messy divorce when the parents cannot get along or stay married to each other any longer. When divorce seems inevitable, the parents will usually fight often, be miserable and create tense situations inside the home, which their children often pick up on. So, getting divorced may be the best thing for the children in some cases, as nobody wants their children to grow up in these circumstances. A messy divorce, however, will often create the very thing the parents were trying to avoid, a tense and uncomfortable situation for their children. Having a family law attorney to help the parents through these troubled times will help to smooth the situation and create a fair and calm environment for the children.

As everybody knows, divorce is not a fun experience for any party involved, and that includes the children. A family law attorney can help the situation by bringing information, experience and fairness to the situation. This will help the ex-husband and ex-wife sort out their divorce and make the decisions that are best for everybody involved.

Why Experience Matters With Family Law Issues

Family law is a highly emotional legal specialty, as the issues that lawyers of this nature deal with are closely tied to the people and values that matter most to clients.

Often, one's first experience with this area of the law is a result of a difficult or traumatic experience such as child custody hearing, child protective services hearings, or divorce proceedings. These situations involve intense emotions as the relationship between former spouses and/or parents and their children, making an already challenging area of the law even more difficult to navigate. Emotionally charged proceedings create a stressful work environment, which is one reason why many attorneys choose not to practice family law.

However, it is very important as a client choosing a lawyer for this type of situation to make sure that you choose one who has experience and knowledge in this area so that you can be sure that your interests and the best interests of those involved are pursued.

Special issues with children

For example, family lawyers deal with issues of protecting children. The government can choose to place minor in foster care temporarily or to put the children up for adoption and permanently revoke the rights of parents if they feel that the child is in danger. They also work with judges and the courts to determine the emotional costs of divorce on children in an attempt to minimize damage to the children as these proceedings are conducted. These decisions can be painful and difficult for all parties, which is why it is particularly advantageous to have an experienced and skillful attorney on your team.

Regarding these difficult and complex issues, the law can often be vague and unclear, leaving a great deal of room for interpretation and confusion. For this reason, courts across the United States and in Louisiana often allow for family lawyers to use the option of "collaborative family law" as a way to resolve these issues without formal, traditional proceedings. Through cooperation, the parties involved can attempt to resolve their conflicts without the costs, time, and distress involved with conventional courtroom resolution.

In some cases, this works out very well for both parents and children. However, this is not universally the case, and if collaboration fails to settle the problems out of court, clients need to be prepared to take the issue to trial. A lawyer who has worked in family law for many years has participated in both collaborative settlements as well as formal trials and will be able to guide you through this trying process.

The issues covered by family law are very broad, ranging from simple divorces to end short marriages that involve no children to domestic violence and even paternity suits. Deciding what is best for clients can involve any number of specialists and governmental agencies.

If this sounds overwhelming, it is because resolving family law issues can be incredibly difficult and complex. However, lawyers who have chosen this as their practice are able to explain one's options and help them choose the best path for a resolution that serves the best interests of all parties.

6 Tips for Finding the Right Family Law Attorney

The term 'family law' relates to all legal issues involving a family. This includes marriage, domestic violence, divorce, adoption and child custody and support. Going through a family problem plays with your emotions; and you need someone who will be able to give you the right guidance and help throughout the proceedings.

And this person you can turn to for help in such situations is an attorney of family law. When you choose a lawyer, ensure they are someone you can trust and are comfortable with enough to discuss your personal and private matters. The right, experienced law firm will help you resolve all your marital and family cases as quickly as possible, at the lowest possible expense.

Here are some tips to ensure you choose the right lawyer to represent you in your case.

1. Choose a lawyer with extensive experience and knowledge in family law.
2. As different states have slight variations in their laws, choose a lawyer well versed in your state laws. To investigate this, consult your state and county Bar Associations.
3. Do not forget to discuss and finalize fees before you hire your family law attorney. As it is, filing for a divorce can expensive. If you are not aware of the necessary legal fees, you may end up in a financial problem after the case.
4. Most lawyers specialize in a chosen field of law. Make certain to hire an attorney who has maximum experience fighting family law cases.
5. As there are various family law attorneys out there, narrow down your search to three lawyers, and make your choice between them by holding consultations with them. Be ready to pay for your consultation, although many lawyers offer initial visits at no charge. Incurring this expense will allow you to make a properly informed decision.
6. Be frank and forthright during your consultation. Your attorney will decide whether or not to take the case based on the information you provide. Complete honesty with your attorney will provide them with the tools to press your case.

Family Law and Annulments

We have all heard about people getting their marriages annulled but a lot of people do not know what an annulment is or if it could apply to their marriage. In general, an annulment is a legal action that makes a marriage void. It is different from a divorce because a marriage that has been annulled is considered to have never existed. When two people get divorced, all marriage records remain recorded as well as the divorce. Each state has its own specific laws when it comes to getting a marriage annulled. Annulments are normally very rare and are only granted under very unusual circumstances.

An annulment can be granted for many reasons. The reason itself is often called an impediment and is why the marriage should not be valid. An impediment can be prohibitory meaning that it was wrong to enter marriage in the first place. These types of impediments include things such as already being married to someone else or marrying your brother or sister. Other reasons for annulment include insanity in relation to consent, not intending to remain faithful when marrying, deceiving one party in order to get consent, being abducted and forced to marry, and many others.

Under family law in some states, an annulment of marriage may be declared void by the superior court. If children have been born or will be born as a result of the marriage, it cannot be annulled. Anyone who enters a marriage that should be by law declared void has the right to file for a petition for annulment. They may also file for a petition for divorce as long as grounds exist. Service, jurisdiction, procedure, and pleading are the same as when obtaining a divorce. If annulment is granted, both parties will return to their status prior to the marriage and the marriage is considered void.

A court must decide to annul a marriage and make it legally invalid. Some people seek annulment through a religious court. Even if a religious court annuls the marriage, it is only legal if annulled through a court of law. Civil annulments can be granted for things such as incest, fraud, bigamy, and active substance abuse. They cannot be granted just because you are not getting along, dislike one another, or been wronged in a way that would normally qualify for a divorce.

Civil annulments are simpler than a divorce and they remove the legal foundation for the marriage. Division of assets is not an issue and each party keeps what was originally theirs. Certain state laws that pertain to things such as the two parties living together may change the court's ruling. Even though the laws are different in each country and state, the petition must commonly be filed before two years of the marriage have passed.

Family law attorneys can help you with questions you have in determining if your marriage can be annulled. By consulting with an attorney about family law and annulment requirements you can decide if annulment is an option for you. They can then help you get the process started by filing the appropriate paperwork for the annulment.

What Family Law Includes

Family law is a complex series of issues that can leave many people intimidated. That is when contracting a solicitor who can guide a family in need is so beneficial. Weathering the storm of divorce, separation, child custody, conveyance issues, wills and trusts is what a family law solicitor is hired to facilitate and help an individual or family through it all. Should an individual try and handle complex issues alone? Absolutely not. Always seek the advice of a solicitor pertaining to any and all legal issues. As the various laws are rescinded and updated one can get lost in the legal jargon. It is constantly changing and such issues as immigration, adoption and even issues pertaining to domestic terrorism are forcing the changes in family law.

Who is need of a solicitor? Immigrates who are relocating their families from one country to another. An individual who may be in need of a prenuptial agreement and even the issue of immovable property. Complicated issues that can arise for a family can drain a family financially and emotionally. A legal agent and his or her team has the delicate task of expediting matters so that a sense of normalcy can be restored to an individual or family. The matter of terrorism and domestic terrorism has become a sensitive issue that can divide a family's loyalty. Divorce among various cultures of people from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds can be quite a barrister's challenge. Dealing with custody matters and financial dealings is part of what the legal agents may have to deal with. Financial issues and delegating effectively with an individual's wish pertaining to their estate calls for the expertise and the experience of a qualified legal agent.

Another important aspect to the family solicitor's job is his or hers ability to hire the best investigative team. Background checks have become vital information when hiring qualified help, when it comes to child care. It is very important to know whom is dealing with children. Economic issues are forcing changes for families especially when it comes to inheritance issues, wills and trusts. Collaborative lawyers play an important part for families dealing with fair compensation and distribution of property and money. This kind of mediation is an alternative to dealing with a court proceeding. Emancipation is another issue that the solicitors deal with. Assisting a young person transitioning to adulthood is what family law solicitors can provide. Family law agents play an important part to a family handling family issues.

One Mutant X-Woman Could Have Practiced Family Law With the X-Men

Her name is Evangeline Whedon. Also known as "Vange", this powerful female mutant was known as the X-Men's lawyer in the Mutant Rights Coalition. Created by writers Chris Clairemont and Salvadore Larocca, the fictional character Vange first appeared in X-Men #21. Her storyline centered on her youth as a very successful prosecutor until authorities found out she was a mutant. Once found out, she was stripped of her title from the bar and evicted from her apartment. Her husband would eventually leave her. Nevertheless, as a powerful attorney, she could have easily helped much of the X-Men in the area of family law as many mutants ran away from home, taking up residence in Professor X's mansion.

A powerful mutant heroine, Vange is a metamorph who can change into various forms when she comes in contact with blood. Her most powerful transition comes in the form of a giant flying red dragon, a form she can change into whenever she wants. As a dragon, she can fly and assume all of the powers of a giant fantasy dragon. In several issues she helped some of the X-Men with legal affairs, but could have been very useful in family law. As a prosecutor, she was instrumental in the court consideration of the Mutant Registration Act, a law that forced all mutants to register and be recognized by the human controlled state government.

As an extremely experienced lawyer, it is reasonable to assume that Vange had some experience with family law. If this is the case, writers could have easily had her help with the orphanage and family battles that would occur with many of the younger children that took up residence in the Xavier Institute, although many of their families did not wish them to come back home. Many human families in the X-Men Universe abandoned or disowned their children upon finding out they were mutants.

Throughout the 80s and 90s, Vange would help several X-Men out of custody while protesting against various mutant incarcerations with the Mutant Rights Coalition. At one point, Vange succeeded in removing an anti-mutant terrorist from custody and into probation, making him her assistant as he was a brilliant, yet misguided, political scientist with some legal experience. By X-Men Generation Hope #8, she would act as the lawyer for fellow mutant, Teon, during a custody battle between him and his parents. This would be the only issue in which her character was seen practicing family law.

Considered an extreme national security threat by the US government, it was later revealed that Vange kept her powers after the human government "decimated" the mutant population of their powers. Nevertheless, she is still a lawyer for the X-Men and will shapeshift into a dragon any time she comes in contact with blood. With a gothic look similar to the main character in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Vange keeps a unique style and charisma as a former prosecutor for the state.

Family Law and Children

Family Law regarding children varies massively depending on the parent's relationship. When parents separate, their involvement with their children could be hugely different depending on whether they were married or not. Parents who were married will both usually have significant contact with a child, whereas the Father's rights are much diminished if they were not. The law treats married and unmarried Father's very differently.

When a married couple with children divorce, they are both legally entitled to full involvement in their child's life and in decisions affecting their upbringing. The absent parent has an automatic right to know where their child is living and to see them on a regular basis. He/she will have a legal right to certain information such as school and medical reports. These factors are designed to benefit the child, meaning they have the advantages of being with both parents.

If separated parents were not married, then the Mother has automatic parental responsibility. This means that the Father's rights are not the same as married Father's. He cannot prevent his child from taking their Mother's surname, even if he/she previously had his surname. The Father is also unable to take his child abroad on holiday, and has no say in the child's religion or school. If fact he could have no say in the child's life what so ever. He doesn't even have an automatic right to look after his child if the child's Mother dies. Unmarried Father's are treated similarly to step-father's even though the are the biological Father.

There are of course exceptions to these general rules. The law regarding unmarried Father's has changed with regards to children born since 1st December 2003. If a Father's name appears on the birth certificate and his child was born after this date he has the same legal rights as a previously married Father. However the law for children born prior to this date remains the same.

There are exceptional circumstances where divorced Father's are not given their normal rights. These will be cases where it is considered in the child's best interests that their Father does not have such as active involvement, or no involvement as all. Meanwhile there are ways in which unmarried Father's can request more involvement. The agreement of the child's Mother is the most obvious, and most Mother's are happy for the Father to have an active role. However, if the Mother does not agree it can be very difficult for the Father. They might then have to resort to getting a court order to force the Mother to allow access.

Many are surprised when they hear of the lack of rights that unmarried Father's have. The good news for Father's who will be in this position in the future is that the law has changed since December 2003. However, the difficulties to those Father's with children born previously to this are still the same as they always have been. The reason stated for both parents being involved in their child's future if they were previously married is that it is for the good of the child. Surely then, the same should apply to unmarried Father'.

Andrew Marshall ©

Finding Family Law Attorneys

Family law is a body of law that encompasses a wide array of issues related to family and domestic matters. A person faced with a family or domestic law issue may feel stress because of it's often complex nature. There are attorneys that specialize and practice primarily in this area of law.

Lawyers can deal with many issues that involve family and domestic related matters. Family law addresses marriage, civil unions and even domestic partnerships. Other issues that fall under the body of family law include adoption, legitimacy, surrogacy, spousal abuse, child abuse, and child adoption. Family law further encompasses matters such as divorce, property settlements, annulment, alimony, and parental responsibility (child support, child custody/visitation, and alimony).

Many attorneys limit their practice of law to the area focusing on family matters. Many family attorneys receive additional education and certification after passing the bar exam. These attorneys can become board certified to practice in family law.

When choosing the right family attorneys you have a variety of different options to help you find and select an experienced attorney. One way to locate reputable family law attorneys is to use the attorney referral service through the state or city bar association. The attorney referral service through the bar association will provide you a number of qualified attorneys in good standing.

Referrals from relatives, friends, neighbors or co-workers are also extremely useful in locating family law attorneys. This type of referral is useful because it will help you choose an attorney based on knowledge from someone who has been through an experience that may be similar to your situation. It will also help you evaluate the attorney based upon their representation of an actual client.

Once you have selected at least three of four potential family law attorneys you can then prepare for you initial consultation. The initial consultation not only provides you the opportunity to discuss your matter but to also evaluate the attorney. You will want to focus on key indicators such as how well the attorney carefully pays attention while you are discussing your specific family issues.

Another important indicator to focus on will be the response of the attorney after you go over the facts of your case. A good attorney will explain the law as it relates to your situation so you can understand and ask additional questions if necessary. An attorney that uses legal jargon and does not clearly explain the law is one you may not want to retain as this indicates their lack of skill when working with a client.

Initial consultations with attorneys will also cover retainers, fee agreements, and other necessary information. Always be prepared to provide documentation that relates to and supports your position and your case. With respect to the retainer and fee agreement you will want to carefully read over and ask questions so that you understand what agreement you will be entering into if you decide to hire the attorney.

When dealing with a family law matter you will want to take you time in choosing an attorney. Family lawyers recommend that prospective clients take some time to reflect on their initial consultation before making a selection.

10 Relationship Situations That Call For A Family Law Solicitor

Relationships are tricky. In an ideal world, love would conquer all and there would be no need for legal support at all. But unfortunately, adult relationships aren't like that. Even in positive situations, there will be situations that will need to be addressed in a professional and efficient manner. Then, of course, there are the negative situations where emotions can make it difficult to resolve important matters without the advice and guidance of an expert family law solicitor.

1. Cohabitation - It's not uncommon for couples to want to live together without (or even before) getting married. However, there remains some confusion over the financial implications for the relationship. With that in mind, a family law solicitor will often be required to help the couple find the most suitable solution.

2. Pre-marital agreements - When a couple decide to get married, sitting down to discuss what would happen if you spit up is a fairly unromantic notion. However, doing so represents a sensible decision, particularly as many relationships break down, even after many years. A family law solicitor will sit down with you both to discuss that eventuality and make sure you know what you're agreeing to and are happy with the decision.

3. Civil partnerships - For couples entering or separating from a civil partnership, there are many similarities and many differences in terms of the legal implications, both domestically and financially. By talking to a family law solicitor, they can better understand their entitlements and responsibilities.

4. Divorce - If a married couple calls time on their relationship, it will be important to get legal advice and support to ensure the process is resolved quickly. Whether the break-up is amicable or not, a divorce solicitor can be an invaluable support in knowing what is expected of them and to protect their rights.

5. Separation - Even if a couple is not married, there may still be some legal issues to sort out - especially if they have children together or co-own property. A family law solicitor will help them to understand what they are entitled to and what they are required to do.

6. Child custody - In unfortunate circumstances where an amicable agreement cannot be reached over child support or custody, a family law solicitor will be required to help resolve the situation in a way that benefits the child and protects the parent's rights.

7. Property and possessions - Another frequent bone of contention can be property and possessions. Where a couple co-own valuable items, such as a family home, both parties will have rights that need to be upheld. Solicitors will ensure this is the case.

8. Financial planning - Coming out of a long-term relationship can be very stressful, not least of all due to the financial restraints that often arise due to child support payments, having to find a new home or other costs. A family law solicitor is there to help people plan for the future.

9. Creating a will - For couples that get married, it will often be sensible to make a Will. This will ensure that, in the event of one of them dying, all beneficiaries are declared. If the couple own property together or have a joint bank account, it may be prudent for them to put in writing their wishes.

10. Updating a will - If a couple get divorced, their former partner may still be eligible to their assets were they do die. For that reason, it may be sensible to have a new Will drawn up following the relationship break-up.

Transformations to the Family Law Act Introduced the Concept of Family Dispute Resolution

The Family Law Act provides a road for the resolution of controversies about the time children will spend with parents and other important people in their lives.

Transformations to the Family Law Act in July 2006 introduced the concept of family dispute resolution. Parties are generally required to attend mediation with a registered family dispute resolution practitioner prior to filing an application in Court, except in certain scenarios.

Following the family dispute resolution process, this specialist will issue what is known a Section 60I Certificate. If you haven't been able to reach agreement with the other parties, you are able to use that Certificate as a "permit" to commence proceedings.

If you wish to go to Court, you'll want to prepare court documents. An "Initiating Application" is a document when you tell the Court what Orders you would want to ask them to make. An "affidavit" is a document when you tell the Court your story and the reason why you would like them to make the Orders you seek. You may need to file affidavits from other witnesses.

Within the court process, you need to attend Court. You might also need to attend meetings with a Family Consultant (previously known as Family Court Counsellor) or other Expert. That Family Consultant or Expert will prepare a Report for the Court to assist the Court in deciding what to do in your matter.


Courts to consider seeking advice from family consultants

(1) If, under this Act, a court has the power to:

(a) order a person to attend family counselling or family dispute resolution; or

(b) order a person to participate in a course, program or other service (other than arbitration); or

(c) order a person to attend appointments with a family consultant; or

(d) advise or inform a person about family counselling, family dispute resolution or other courses, programs or services;

the court:

(e) may, before exercising the power, seek the advice of:

(i) if the court is the Family Court or the Federal Magistrates Court--a family consultant nominated by the Chief Executive Officer of that court; or

(ii) if the court is the Family Court of a State--a family consultant of that court; or

(iii) if the court is not mentioned in subparagraph (i) or (ii)--an appropriately qualified person (whether or not an officer of the court);

as to the services appropriate to the needs of the person and the most appropriate provider of those services; and

(f) must, before exercising the power, consider seeking that advice.

(2) If the court seeks advice under subsection (1), the court must inform the person in relation to whom the advice is sought:

(a) whom the court is seeking advice from; and

(b) the nature of the advice the court is seeking.

If needed, your matter may go on to a Final Hearing. In cases like this, you and any other witnesses you have may be asked to attend Court to answer questions about their evidence.

If you have any questions about the process or if you would like any further information contact a family lawyer

Child Support Through Family Law

There are many legal responsibilities associated with a union and the children that are brought into it. When it comes to the dissolution of a family, family law counselors, attorneys and established court processes make provisions and guidelines for the property that is often involved.

Those things collected over the years can eventually be divided up because they can be retraced to ownership prior to the relationship. But, there are thousands of relationships that end each year with children and custody issues involved. It is true that some couples have a lot of animosity that they didn't resolve before the end of their marriage or the end of their mutual commitment. So they have to pursue legal determination and agreement of their child's custody and therefore their relationship with their child or children. But for individuals going through it for the first time, they have very few people to turn to for advice because every case has its own variables, influences, and potential outcomes.

The preparation and outcomes of any family law custody case depends on the two individuals involved - the person who is determined to claim majority custody and the person who becomes obligated to relinquish child support. For both parties, the date of trial should include their notice to attend the hearing, information about their ex's property, bank accounts, and the amount owed to them. While the other party, who believes that they don't owe or have the income to pay child support, would gather and produce the same information and include all of their expenses as well. Both parties can hire their own private attorney to help them file their claims and represent them during their case.

It is important to realize one's rights and obligations once a notice for the child support hearing has been issued. For anyone determined to be the obligor in their hearing for support, they are required by law to make regular attempts to meet that responsibility. Frankly, whether someone is unemployed or underemployed, according to family law requirements, receipt of unemployment or minimum wage still makes it necessary to offer one's child a portion of that income towards their general care. So to avoid the issuing of a warrant and withholding of payment out of their employment wages, it is important to make arrangements and stick with those plans. This is the best solution in regards to both parents' responsibility to the well-being of their child or children.

Find a Lawyer Who Specializes in Family Law

When it comes to settling issues that are entangled in the area of family law, sometimes the best way to reach a resolution is to hire a special attorney. There are so many different reasons why you may need legal guidance. You could be in the middle of a divorce or a legal separation, kids could be involved, estate disputes looming on the horizon and a whole slew of other situations that you may not be able to amicably resolve with your other family members. Laws are so complicated when it comes to familial affairs that it can be hard for you and the opposing party to reach any agreements that will not run afoul of the law. Not to mention that if things are not taken care of properly and legally, you leave yourself at risk for legal troubles down the road, which can create unnecessary burdens and stress in your life. That is why any time you are faced with questions, uncertainties or in need of guidance and direction about family affairs, you need to hire a reputable lawyer whose main focus is family law.

If you haven't been involved in legal proceedings with someone close to you before, then you have no idea of how long matters can be drawn out if one or both parties lack proper representation. Things can be delayed indefinitely and cause so much turmoil and chaos that it would be hard for you to lead a normal and satisfying life as long as your personal issues remain unresolved. If there are children involved in the middle, imagine what the toll of all the instability is doing to their psychological and emotional health. Keep in mind that certain situations that involve parents or other loved ones can cause damage that can take many years for them to get over, and some children never get over it.

Have you considered the financial burden these types of situations create? No one can reasonably afford not to hire a family law attorney if they want to receive an outcome that is in their favor. In fact, the best way to improve any chances you have is to hire the right kind of legal representation. It doesn't matter if you feel that things can be resolved through mediation. Protect your rights and your interests by hiring good legal counsel.

It is in your best interest to be properly prepared for any battle you are getting ready to fight with your relatives. Even if you have grown up together or vowed to keep each other happy, people change and when it comes to legal matters, good manners often go out the window. Situations and negotiations can get out of hand very quickly and any progress that was being made, may be gone with the wind. Don't let your family disputes drag on indefinitely. Hire a family law professional that can get them resolved in the best possible way and move on with your life.

Need Assistance With Family Law?

There are some times in our lives when seeking legal advice and assistance is better than trying to do everything ourselves. If you think that you may need legal assistance with family law then you may want to know how it can help you in your particular situation.

Many aspects of our lives, particularly in the area of human rights and protecting the people with less power (such as children, the elderly and in some cases partners) are protected by rules and regulations set down as law in New Zealand. There is an increasing need to ensure you have the backing of this in particular periods of your life, including entering a long term relationship, protecting assets, sharing assets during a separation and divorce, and planning succession later on in life.

If you have assets that need protection it may be a good idea to look at establishing some sort of family trust. This is a very good idea if your child's marriage looks unstable, or you want to ensure you have your assets looked after should you need to move into a rest home or be cared for later on in life. This can also include information relating to power of attorney, should anything happen to prevent you from being able to stay in control of your own affairs later on in life. Sometimes it can help to appoint someone who is not directly involved. You can also engage legal help when sorting out your will, and preparing the distribution of your assets once you have passed.

If you need family law assistance to help with your dependents, there is certainly a lot that a professional lawyer can do to protect you and your children, should that be required. This can include helping with the arrangement of custody agreements and what monies should be paid to which partner. Lawyers can also help with the distribution of assets and help divide relationship property up.

Often lawyers can provide you with one of the most valuable parts of seeking legal advice - the chance to check whether your plans and needs fit in with family law. It can sometimes be hard to know who to talk to, without it impacting others in your family. You can be assured that legal advice and help is all conducted in a confidential manner, protecting you, your family and your assets.

An Overview of Canadian Family Law

Having proper knowledge of Canadian family law is imperative for every citizen as it tells them about their legal authorities and restrictions. Family law in Canada concerns the body of Canadian law dealing with marriage, matrimonial disputes, divorce, property rights, family relationship, and kids' custody.

In Canada, this law is mainly statute-based. Under section 91(26) of the constitution act, 1867; marriage and divorce are handled by the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal govt. and is legislated under the divorce act. Matters of a private nature are legislated under section 92(16) of the act.

The legal provinces have exclusive jurisdiction over the solemnization of matrimony under section 92(12) of the constitution act, 1867 and jurisdiction over property division, spousal & child support, kids' custody and access, adoption, and child protection as part of the provincial govt.'s jurisdiction over property and civil rights under section 92 (13) of the act.

All these legal issues are tactfully handled by lawyers having specialization in family law. Flat fee system is the basis of case's fee concerned with family law. It is compulsory to give an advance payment of fee and service wage of family lawyers is directly proportional to their work experience.

Family is one of the main institutions of life. One cannot imagine "HIS" life without it. And this is the reason why in most of the cases like domestic violence and matrimonial differences, disputes are avoided at their best. Even other family issues concerning property and legacy are advised to be solved by mutual consent. However, in acute cases one should take help of legal experts to fight for their rights.

For instance, if your marital relations are not fruitful with your partner and you want to get separated from him/her, then you can take help of a divorce lawyer who is vigilant enough to represent you in front of jury. If you have your personal legal advisor, then take advice consultation from him or you can take help of numerous legal experts available online. Specialists of family law guide about the legal rights concerned with the process of separation between married couples.

As these issues are very delicate, you can't hire anyone. Do proper research by taking help of your friends, relatives, colleagues by asking them for the competent lawyers. You can also browse the websites of numerous divorce lawyers available online who have a great name and fame in the field because of their thorough expertise.