Dealing with family issues is not just an emotional ordeal. Most of the time, it is a legal burden especially if you are not knowledgeable about family laws. Family law pertains to the rules that involve the affairs of the family which include laws relating to adoption, child custody, child support, child visitation, divorce, domestic violence, premarital agreements, spousal support, and other family issues. Here are the most common aspects of family law that you need to know for you to be prepared in dealing with a family law case.
Marriage is not only a romantic union a legal and business agreement. Because of the nature of marriage, it may be wise to consult with a family law attorney about the advantages of getting premarital and prenuptial agreements. Several couples find it beneficial to negotiate and settle financial issues and the possible problems such issues can cause before entering into a marriage.
Divorce dissolves a marriage contract between two spouses. From a legal viewpoint, divorce restores a person’s right to marry another person. Divorce laws also determine division of marital property and debts as well as support and custody of the children. Although each state addresses these issues in a different way, most states follow the same basic principles of divorce and use fairly consistent standards.
Divorcing couples can usually obtain a divorce in a quick manner if they reach an agreement on resolving different issues of the divorce such as child support, custody and property division. However, most couples still cannot avoid having disputes about their financial arrangements and the custody of their children. Thus, the reasonable advice of a family law attorney may have a positive impact on the outcome of your divorce.
Child Custody and Visitation
Often, child custody and visitation arrangements after divorce are common sources of conflict for divorcing couples. Child custody deals with both physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody implies assigning parental rights and responsibilities to one parent concerning the day-to-day care and activities of the children. Legal custody entails assigning the legal rights and responsibilities concerned with the child’s upbringing.
Parents can settle negotiations regarding child custody and visitation. However, if they are not able to reach an agreement, the court makes decisions for them. In general, the courts award child custody by determining where it will be most convenient for the children and where they will thrive. Parents can be able to deal with child custody and visitation agreements that focus on the children’s best interests by getting the assistance of a family law attorney.
Usually, the obligation of parents to financially support their children lasts until the child reaches 18 or 21 years old depending on state law or when they become self-supporting. A child support order may be entered during or after a divorce and either parent may be ordered to pay child support depending on certain factors.
A parent may face legal penalties if he or she fails to be current on his or her child support obligations. Every state has a child support enforcement office that works with the family court to suspend professional or business licenses, require payment of future dues in advance or put a non-paying parent in prison when child support obligations are already overdue.
Family issues may cause a number of legal effects. Therefore, you need a family law attorney to explain the family laws that apply to your particular situation and guide you to make the best decisions for you and your family.
There is another post that relates to the understanding the laws for family issues during divorce.