Navigating the complexities of family law cases is a challenge, even for experienced family law attorneys. This is why the average person often finds the law so confusing when they need to get a divorce. There are so many variables to understand in such a short amount of time. And you can’t afford to make mistakes when handling a divorce. Any errors will likely affect you and your finances for the rest of your life.
Keep reading if you want to understand how having a lawyer on your side can help your family law case.
One of the more complicated parts of any family law case is the legal procedures required by the court. Before your case even begins, you need to fill out a mountain of paperwork. All of your paperwork needs to be filed with supporting evidence and notarized. It must be filed in the correct court, and you will likely need to fill out follow-up paperwork on a relatively tight schedule. If you miss a deadline or fail to provide the right information, your case could be set back weeks or months in the best-case scenario. In the worst-case scenario, a judge will make a summary ruling in favor of your ex-spouse.
This is how having a lawyer on your side can help your family law case. Your attorney has experience handling these types of cases. They know exactly what paperwork is due at what time and how to respond to legal motions from opposing counsel. Additionally, your attorney can recognize when motions are frivolous or just intended to draw out the process.
A law firm that handles family law has a whole staff dedicated to ensuring your case moves through the system smoothly without missing any deadlines.
There are two major factors to consider during divorce proceedings — your financial future and your ongoing relationship with your children. The latter only matters if your marriage produced children. If it didn’t, financial matters are just about all that needs to be hashed out in a divorce. However, that isn’t a minor thing since the finances in question usually involve every asset you have gathered.
Regardless of why you got married, the U.S. government treats a marriage like a business partnership. Your assets and the assets of your partner were mixed at the time of the marriage. When you dissolve your marriage, the government considers it the ending of a contract. But unless your contract has a plan for how to deal with that dissolution (prenuptial agreement), the court needs to determine how to separate those resources in the face of a breach of contract by one or both parties.
That is a horribly unemotional way to look at the situation, especially when your life may seem to be falling apart, but that is the way courts treat it. This is part of why you want attorneys navigating the complexities of you family law case. They don’t have an emotional connection to the case and will handle the disbursement of your financial assets without emotion. This is critical since your financial assets may include the following:
If you are like most people, you expect these assets to stay in your possession for the rest of your life. You probably even planned your retirement years around many of them. Having to suddenly split them with your ex-spouse can significantly alter your financial future.
An experienced family law attorney will do everything in their power to ensure you retain as many of these assets as possible.
The other factor to consider is child custody. Family court is usually more sympathetic to your circumstances when determining child custody. Judges know that no matter how custody is determined, children and parents will be separated, probably more than any of them want.
While it may seem like you can negotiate a fair child custody arrangement without a lawyer, especially if your children are old enough to participate in that conversation, this isn’t a good idea. There are several factors involved in child custody arrangements that you and your ex-spouse likely never thought of. You will typically need a different arrangement in the summer than during the school year, for example. Additionally, your arrangement must account for vacations, holidays, and the changing schedules of all parties involved.
Experienced family law attorneys have handled similar cases and can provide several plans that might work for your family’s specific needs. And if your ex-spouse takes a hostile approach to child custody, your attorney can fight to prevent you from getting inaccurately portrayed as a bad parent or abusive. That is the kind of thing that can blindside you in a custody dispute. But your lawyer expects those kinds of tactics and is prepared to counter them.
Judges have a lot of leeway in family law cases. Depending on the judge and how your case goes, you could end up with full custody of your children or be legally prohibited from even visiting them without supervision. Similarly, you could be financially set for life or in the poor house at the end of a divorce.
You should tell your lawyer what outcomes are most important so they can fight for them. If the most important thing to you is that your children don’t need to move, for example, your attorney will fight to keep your house from being sold off. Prioritizing outcomes increases the likelihood that you are satisfied after your divorce.
Divorce is traumatizing for everyone involved. There is no reason to exacerbate that trauma by trying to deal with the bureaucracy of the legal process on your own. Contact the experienced family law lawyers at Panella Law Firm at 407-233-1822 to learn more about your legal options.