When Is It Time to Call a Family Lawyer?
Because matters of the family are so personal, it can be daunting to think you might need to call a lawyer at some point to resolve a family issue. In this article, you’ll learn what family law attorneys, like ours at Mims Ballew Hollingsworth | Family Law, do when you need to reach out to one of us, and what to expect when you do reach out.
What Is Family Law?
Family law focuses on issues involving the family like:
- Marriage – Family lawyers can help with marital property disputes, prenuptial agreements, and similar issues relating to marriage.
- Adoption – Whether it’s an inter-family adoption (grandparents adopting a grandchild) or not, lawyers process all of the paperwork to ensure the adoption is legal and the government’s criteria are met. Sometimes lawyers are involved in foster care arrangements as well.
- Emancipation – A court process in which a minor assumes adult status under the law and is no longer under the care of their legal guardians.
- Divorce – This is what most people think family law attorneys handle–dissolutions of marriage and legal separations. This is definitely a big part of the job–but not the entire job.
- Child Custody – Family law attorneys help to divorce couples arrange for custody orders.
- Child Support – Child support is a regular ongoing payment made by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent until the children reach 18.
- Spousal Maintenance (Alimony) – Alimony is a legally required payment made on a regular basis for a set period of time from one divorced spouse to another for the purpose of supporting that person financially.
- Paternity – Lawyers can help prove or disprove that a child is the legal descendant of a male client. There is a legally established protocol for this, and a family lawyer can help.
What to Expect When You Meet With a Family Law Attorney
It’s time to call a family lawyer when you need to update, change, modify, or take action on any of the family law matters (or related issues) listed above. When you do call to set up a consultation, here’s what to expect:
- Don’t stress out. Your lawyer’s job is to help you and hopefully reduce some of the anxiety you’re feeling as they advocate for you and help you navigate the problem with a trained, experienced professional advocating on your behalf.
- At the initial consultation, you can ask for information about your rights, for the attorney’s legal opinion on your case, what the process will look like to move forward, and how much you can expect to pay for their services.
- Treat the initial consultation like a job interview. Even though you are going to the family law attorney’s office, you are interviewing them for the position of “my lawyer.” Ask about the lawyer’s experience, education, strategy, office logistics, and so on. You don’t need to hire the first lawyer you meet.
- If applicable, make sure to bring any relevant paperwork with you (marriage certificate, birth certificate, signed contract, pay stubs, tax returns). Maximize your time and the attorney’s time!
It’s Time to Contact a Southlake Family Lawyer Near You
If your situation dictates it, reach out to our Southlake family law attorneys from Mims Ballew Hollingsworth | Family Law today to see how we can help you as many families in Southlake, TX, and nearby. Contact our friendly staff today to set up a consultation.