Most people have watched the drama of unhealthy marriages break apart around them, and also across the big screen. The scene is all too common; fights ensue over custody, investments, vacation homes, and whatever else bound man and wife together through their courtship. A family law attorney typically comes next. It’s no surprise that keeping divorce proceedings moving promptly and in a respectful manner requires some outside help. Here are the three main reasons you may want to consider a family law attorney before proceeding with a divorce.
If you and your spouse had children during your marriage, you have likely considered their fate many times before going through with a divorce. Where will they live permanently? How often will we switch visitation? How will we split their expenses? In order to resolve these questions and concerns, a family law attorney can provide their years of expertise in this area to these decisions much easier.
Depending on the level of respect and communication between the couple going through the split, custody decisions can be made in two ways. Either the parents will reach an agreement as a result of informal settlement negotiations (typically with attorneys present) or dispute resolution options like mediation. If neither of these options works, the court will make a decision. Typically, it is best for the children if parents can come to decisions together before taking the matter to court with the guidance of an experienced law professional.
When couples first get married, they typically invest in property together. When it comes to dividing this property, many different factors play a role in how the assets are split up. Most states use the “common law” systems of ownership, which is something an attorney would have far more experience in handling. You’ll need your past documentation such as the deed, registration, or any other title paper. If both of your names are on the paperwork, then property can be split half and half. Otherwise, things get a bit more complicated, especially if a prenup is involved. This is where a family law attorney can take over when worrying about how property will be divided in a couple.
It comes as no surprise that most spouses share some form of a bank account. Some couples maintain individual bank accounts during the marriage, but these funds can also be subject to analysis during a divorce depending on the employment status of both individuals in the relationship. Many couples run into trouble figuring out who is entitled to what, especially if one spouse stayed home from work to raise children during the marriage or if one spouse ran up a lot of credit card debt without their other half knowing of this activity. This is where a family law attorney steps in and takes the reigns to make sure your best interests are protected.
Before you take another step with your divorce proceedings, you should consider what an attorney could do for you in order to protect your way of life. Whether it’s time with your children, your home, or your financial livelihood, all of these factors should be safeguarded with the help of an experienced professional.