The recent pandemic has caused a significant strain on the family structure in a variety of ways. Lockdowns and loss of income have been associated with a rise in domestic violence and divorce. Dealing with legal implications can be incredibly expensive for victims of abuse with little to no income. Without legal assistance, these individuals may not get the justice or assistance necessary to move forward in their lives. Some lawyers, such as Farzad and Ochoa Family Law Attorneys in California, are stepping up to offer pro bono work to those in greatest need of financial assistance to escape abuse or get the legal representation they need.
Pro bono work in family law can assist people in a multitude of ways alongside divorce and domestic violence. Family law is designed to help define and protect the rights and responsibilities of family members in a wide array of circumstances. These matters typically revolve around areas of matrimony, child care, and financial settlements. Issues that arise can often be settled without having to go to court. Here are six facts that highlight the importance of family law that you need to know.
Family Lawyers Can Help Victims of Abuse
The importance of family law is crucial for victims of domestic violence and abuse. All too often, these individuals are in situations they feel they can’t escape because they don’t have the financial means or resources to do so. There are a variety of ways that domestic violence attorneys can assist victims. These lawyers can help with getting a temporary or permanent protective order in place, which could save the victim’s life. This protective order can remove an abuser from the home and prevent them from making contact or getting physically close to the victim.
A domestic violence lawyer can file a lawsuit on the victim’s behalf against the perpetrator. The civil lawsuit can seek compensation for any financial losses, medical expenses, or pain and suffering caused by the abuser. An attorney can also help the victim file for divorce and receive spousal support, child custody, and their fair share of the marital assets. The victim will receive legal representation and advocacy in court. Any communication or negotiations with the abuser can be handled by the attorney, so the victim doesn’t have to be subject to any more conflict or abuse.
If you are charged falsely with abuse or neglect, the importance of family law can be heightened to prevent you from going to jail or experiencing lifelong consequences. It can affect your ability to see your children and even terminate your rights to them altogether. You can be restricted in the types of work you’re allowed to do, especially with anything involving working with children. A family lawyer can help you gather evidence to prove your innocence and advocate for you with the courts. A lawyer can advise you on how to work with child protective services and social workers while your case is being handled in court.
Divorce Lawyers Can Help Families Going Through Difficult Times
Unfortunately, many married couples don’t live happily ever after. The importance of family law can come into play before, during, and after marriage for couples. A family law attorney can help draft prenuptial agreements to help prevent financial disputes in the future. If the couple decides to end their marriage, a divorce lawyer can help them work out asset distributions, child custody, and alimony. This is especially helpful because emotions can be fully charged during these situations and cloud a person’s judgment.
One of the biggest decisions divorcing couples face is custody of the children. Emotions and tempers can flare between the two parties, making it difficult to come to a civilized agreement. The importance of family law is crucial for helping these two parties mediate in order to serve the best interests of the children. A child custody lawyer can help parents settle custody arrangements, parenting time, child support, and other relevant matters. These matters can be settled out of court to help cut down on expensive legal fees and court costs.
Divorce Lawyers Can Help Separating Couples Make Major Financial Decisions
Splitting finances during a divorce can be incredibly complicated. The longer a couple is together, the more entwined their financial accounts can be. Divorce lawyers can assist separating couples make major financial decisions with things like mortgages, refinance loans, and retirement accounts. They can also offer legal advice regarding tax implications and credit rating impacts that may occur as the result of the divorce. The attorney will help the couple sort through all their assets and income to create an equitable dissolution for both parties. They can also help a couple manage future financial decisions with their children after a divorce, such as paying for college tuition or other major expenses.
A family lawyer can help a couple figure out what to do with a business that a couple owns together. One spouse may not be willing to sell the business in order to provide the other spouse with their fair share. A lawyer can help the couple work through options such as a buyout settlement or navigating co-ownership after a divorce. If a couple can’t negotiate the matter themselves, the court will have to decide the fate of the business. There are various factors the court considers when trying to make a judgment for equitable distribution that may not work in your favor if you don’t have a family lawyer.
The importance of family law can also come into play once a divorce is completely settled. A family lawyer can assist with reviewing contracts for apartment leases, car insurance policies, and other similar documents. They can help divorced individuals protect their credit and financial accounts from poor financial decisions made by an ex-spouse. You may need to set up legal documents for guardianship as well as trusts for your children if something should happen to you. Family law attorneys can also help you make modifications to agreements made with your ex-spouse as circumstances change in the future.
Family Lawyers Can Point Clients to Other Helpful Professionals
Financial advice from other professionals can boost the importance of family law for couples who seek legal counsel. A dream wedding can quickly become a couple’s worst nightmare with all of the expenses involved. This can lead to numerous arguments about money. A family lawyer can help couples find financial planning experts in their local area to help them budget their money to live within their means. They can also refer couples to other specialists that may be useful in a marriage, such as family therapists and family planning professionals.
The number of people who have an estate planning document or will has been decreasing since 2017 by 25%, according to estimates. Without these documents in place, the surviving spouse and family can lose assets in probate to pay for funeral costs and debts from the deceased spouse. Heirs may not receive family heirlooms such as a fine art collection or other memorabilia. A family lawyer can refer a family to a trustworthy estate planning professional to help prevent future legal disputes. This can help individuals have peace of mind knowing everything is sorted out for their families beforehand.
Adoption Lawyers Can Build Families
Another way the importance of family law comes into play is for couples who wish to grow their family through adoption. The adoption process has several legal implications that must be addressed in a proper way. An adoption lawyer can help simplify the process to build families faster. They can locate and facilitate communication with birth mothers, oversee living expenses, and protect financial investments. These services may vary among different adoption lawyers where you live.
An adoption lawyer can help protect a couple from adoption fraud and decide on the best type of adoption for their situation. A family lawyer can also defend a birth mother who gives up her baby under safe haven laws from being charged with abandonment. An attorney can review paperwork before it’s signed to protect the rights of adoptive families. They can also help the new family access health information and medical records for the child they are adopting. You can receive legal advice every step of the way to ensure that the adoption process goes as smoothly as possible.
Family Lawyers Make Sure Children Have Proper Care
The importance of family law is most notable when it comes to achieving proper care for children in a multitude of circumstances. Besides child support, an attorney can assist with helping parents pay for medical expenses or special needs from medical malpractice or abuse. They can deal with matters regarding guardianship or emancipation. If a parent isn’t properly taking care of a child, the other parent may wish to seek termination of parental rights. If necessary, family law attorneys can work with social workers, mental health therapists, and other government employees to ensure the child receives proper care.
The importance of family law can be beneficial when it comes to a child’s education. Parents can be charged with educational neglect if they don’t enroll their children in school or the child is frequently late or absent. The legal consequences can vary from state to state, but these situations can lead to a child being taken away from the parents by the state. An attorney can help you with options for avoiding these legal consequences and resources to ensure the child gets the education they deserve. A family law attorney can also protect children with special needs from teachers and schools that may be neglecting or preventing them from receiving a proper education.
Other matters family law can address with children include juvenile work permits, underage marriages, and criminal activity. Family law can help protect the rights of grandparents with visitation and help a parent establish paternity. A family lawyer can help protect children against all forms of abuse and neglect and ensure they get the education they deserve. They can also help parents establish trusts and other financial accounts for their children and keep them protected until the child becomes an adult.
A family lawyer can also fight for a family who has been negatively impacted by defective products or other unfortunate accidents. For example, if a child was injured by defective windows in a family’s home, a family law attorney may be able to sue the window manufacturer for compensation. They can help you gather the evidence and witnesses necessary to help you win your case. If the attorney doesn’t specialize in these kinds of cases, they can refer you to attorneys who do.
The importance of family law permeates throughout all aspects of family life. Conflict within families is unavoidable, but there are ways to help prevent these situations from getting out of hand. If you try to handle matters yourself, you may make things worse, and it can cost you dearly in the long run. Family laws vary from state to state, so it’s necessary to seek out an expert who can help you understand your rights and responsibilities to peacefully resolve matters. Because of the emotional nature in many of the cases that family law handles, legal expenses can escalate quickly if family battles are drawn out in court.
Lawyers that offer pro bono work can help mitigate matters quickly for struggling families in need of legal representation. If you need a family lawyer, contact your local government or research attorneys online that work on a pro bono basis today. Make sure to research attorneys carefully and request a consultation to ensure they are the best fit for you. You may need to meet certain requirements before you’re eligible to receive free legal help. The attorney can advise you on the next steps you need to take to ensure you receive the peace of mind or justice you need.