Family law is the term given to the law practice area covered by a family attorney. The issues these lawyers mostly deal with involve legal relationships between and among spouses, children, and domestic partners. The lawyer who specializes in family laws need to have knowledge regarding a range of issues, right from child custody problems, visiting rights of a parent, domestic violence cases, divorce cases, issues involving juveniles, property rights, support obligations, foreign relatives to adoption rights.
In family law, the lawyers come across a number of different situations. In property division cases for example, the common understanding is court divides the property equally but, if you are in Texas, courts here believe in the “just and right” attitude. They weigh both the party’s situation and rights and then they give away the final decision. Sometimes if there is an involvement of children, the property might be divided unequally. If the case at hand is about divorce, Texas courts would first resolve the issue on properties, child custody and support. This does not take a very long time, however, as these are done all at the same time. In lawyer speak, this is what they call as “no bifurcation”.
There are many ways by which you can get in touch with a Texas family lawyer, the most common of which is online. The contact us page on this website will get you access to some of the best in this area.
When looking for a lawyer, you have to take into consideration several issues, one of which is the area of expertise of the lawyer. Check whether the lawyer you have in mind has a solid background in the area of your problem. Keep in mind that family lawyers can indulge in different types of cases. Do not be ashamed to ask them how long they have been practicing family law, and if he or she has handled a case similar to yours as well as what the outcome was. Check also what strategy they have in mind for your case. It is also advisable that you discuss financial matters with him or her before getting their services. This would include the mode of payment, hourly rates, and miscellaneous expenses (telephone calls, faxes, photocopies, etc.). That way, you have time to prepare yourself financially. Some lawyers would also allow you to negotiate directly with your spouse while some would even suggest that you undergo a marriage counselling first. You should also note where you could get in touch with them in cases of emergency.
Resolving Your Divorce With Divorce Mediation
Divorce and separation is a stressful and upsetting time for every child involved no matter how old they are. Even adults whose parents decide to separate after a number of years can still be traumatised by the events. And what makes matters worse is that the legal system in this country is not set up properly to deal with custody battle in a number of situations. When one parent decides that they want to move far away from the family home and take the child with them, the justice system is more commonly than not on the side of the mother. The child's wishes and emotional health play little part.
During the Victorian era, men were always granted custody whenever a marriage dissolved, no matter what the reason and the competence of the mother to look after their child. Now, we see that women are more often than not granted custody of their children when a marriage or partnership ends, often with a harsh settlement deal for the father.
Campaigners are now trying to find a middle point between these two extremes by making the child's life easier during this time and continuing their access to both parents, unless of course there has been violence or mental damage done by one party.
A report has been published recently which criticises the court's reluctance to give custody rights to fathers over mothers, and allows a mother to move far with the child so that the father is unable to see their child. It has called this action 'state-sanctioned kidnap' because the courts do not prevent one party taking their child a long distance away from their former partner.
Forcing a child to leave one of their parents, their other relatives, friends and the school which they have grown up in causes children emotional harm, stress and damage in the long-term. Judges have sometimes seemed to totally ignore the wishes of the child and granted custody to a parent when they showed a greater wish to stay with the other parent.
If you are going through a separation at the moment and children are involved, speak to a family lawyer like Raleys Solicitors who will be able to talk through your situation and help you decide on the best course of action for you and your child.