Did you know there were nearly 58,000 family law and divorce lawyers and attorney practices in the U.S. in 2022? California, Florida, and Texas employ the highest number of them.
If you want to draft a will or do some estate plan, hiring a family law lawyer will help. But what other scenarios warrant retaining such a legal professional for counsel and assistance? There are many different things a family law attorney can help you, your partner, and your family with.
Continue reading to see four scenarios where it pays to retain the services of a family law lawyer.
- Getting Ready to Tie the Knot
According to one source, 2.3 million couples get hitched annually in the U.S. If this is the year you and your significant other wish to pursue happily wedded bliss, prepare as you can first. Falling in love doesn’t have to mean rushing into the institution of marriage. Ensure you hire a family law lawyer to explore the nitty-gritty before walking down the aisle and saying, “I do.”
It might not be the most romantic thing to do, but consulting with a family law lawyer before getting married is in the best interests of both parties entering the marital partnership. You’ll both know what your rights and obligations are in the relationship.
In addition to ensuring you and your partner understand the legal requirements for getting married, a lawyer can help with prenuptial agreements before the big day. That’s a good idea if you and your fiance may want to ensure that, if there’s a breakup, you both leave the union with whatever assets you had before entering it. A prenup isn’t just helpful in a divorce, however. It can also be a godsend if either party in the marriage dies since the prenup will address the division of assets.
- Preparing to End a Marriage
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there were almost 700,000 divorces in the U.S. in 2021. Unfortunately, marriages aren’t always until death. But if you’ve come to the end of your rope and wish to end your marriage, you’ll need a family law lawyer to help. Ending a marriage is a process that can drag on for years. You’ll want a family lawyer to help.
You’ll want a lawyer to stand up for you and pursue a fair and equitable division of property and financial assets. The process can be straightforward if you and your spouse take a level-headed, non-adversarial approach. A good lawyer can help you keep the end-goal in mind.
- Dealing with Child Custody Disagreements
If you’re going through a divorce and are warring with your spouse about child custody, you’ll want a lawyer representing you. It’ll be ideal if you and your spouse have the children’s best interests as the primary objective. If so, the process can wind up in short order. But a family law lawyer will help to bring even an acrimonious affair to a conclusion you can live with.
- Creating Civil Unions
Another reason to call a family law lawyer is if you need help setting up a domestic partnership or civil union. So, if you and your partner want to live together as a committed couple but don’t wish to get married, a civil union or domestic partnership is something to consider.
You’ll get some of the same protections afforded to married couples. A lawyer will walk you through the requirements and obligations of these arrangements.
A Family Law Lawyer Can Be a Godsend
These are some scenarios where a family law lawyer can help you. But one lawyer isn’t necessarily as good as another. So, do your homework. Instead of selecting the first one you come across in a directory, do some digging to find the right one for you.