Divorce and family law attorneys deal with issues such as spousal support, child custody, property division and estate planning. Most states have laws that govern these matters and attorneys must be licensed to practice in order to advise clients on the legal issues they face.
Children often feel the impact of divorce. Be sure to acknowledge their sadness and avoid arguing in front of them.
The dissolution of a marriage is a life-changing event that affects everyone involved. In addition to the legal proceedings and emotional turmoil, there are often financial changes, moving expenses, and decisions about property, children, and alimony.
Depending on the circumstances, spouses may be able to work out an agreement about their divorce without having to go to court. This option is called uncontested divorce. Spouses who agree on all issues, including alimony, child custody, and property division, can prepare a written settlement (called a marital settlement agreement) that is filed with the complaint for divorce.
If there are children in the relationship, a divorce decree must address how the parents will share time with the kids (parenting time and/or physical custody) and how they will make decisions about their children’s health, education, and welfare (decision-making authority). Many states have established guidelines for determining what amount of child support a parent must pay.
Studies have shown that children of divorced parents have lower academic performance than children of intact families. This is usually due to the increased stress levels and loss of love, attention, and stability they experience in a split family. To help them cope with these challenges, it is important that both parents continue to be involved in the children’s lives and that they celebrate all significant family events together.
Child custody is one of the most important issues that parents face after a divorce or separation. If you and your spouse can work together to agree on a custody arrangement, a family court will most likely accept it. If you are unable to reach an agreement, a judge will make the decision for you based on the best interests of your child.
There are many different types of custody arrangements, including sole legal custody (which grants one parent the right to make major decisions regarding the child), joint physical custody (where both parents share time and responsibility for caring for the child) and supervised visitation. Courts also consider a variety of factors, including the children’s preferences, whether the parent is able to provide a stable home environment and relationships with extended family members.
If one parent has a history of domestic violence, drug abuse or alcohol addiction, the judge may not award that parent custody rights. Similarly, if a parent is suspected of parental alienation, where they are trying to turn the child against the other parent through emotional manipulation, the judge may not grant them custody. If either parent’s circumstances change, they can file a request for modification with the family court, but the judge will only make a change to the custody order if it is in the child’s best interests.
When domestic violence is present or threats of violence are made, it may be necessary to take legal action through a court. Orders of protection, also known as protective orders or restraining orders, are legal directives that restrict certain behaviors and have serious consequences for the person who violates them.
A judge can issue a full or limited order of protection to limit contact between individuals. The full order prohibits all contact including emails, texts, phone calls, social media interactions, or any other form of communication. It can also require the person to move out of your home, follow custody or visitation orders and relinquish possession of any firearms. In some cases, a person can be charged with Criminal Contempt of Court for violating an order of protection in NYC Supreme Court or Family Court.
State laws vary, but in general to get a restraining order, you must show that the offending person threatened or committed violence against you and that you have a reasonable fear that they might hurt you again. A restraining order can be temporary (ex parte), lasting only a few days to a couple of weeks, or permanent if the judge decides after an evidentiary hearing that more protections are needed. Permanent restraining orders can last for up to several years. You do not need to be related by blood or marriage to get a restraining order against someone, it can be against your neighbor or even a coworker.
Estate planning involves creating a legal document that specifies who receives what from an individual’s property when they die. This includes all personal belongings, real estate, financial assets and more. It also includes provisions for naming a legal representative (executor) to oversee the distribution of these items after death. The process also typically requires a thorough inventory of all assets and their values to determine the extent of an estate.
Regardless of wealth, careful estate planning can help prevent family squabbles after someone’s death. Even if siblings normally get along, the potential for a cash grab or a bid to claim a sentimental treasure could raise family tensions to an unmanageable level. A well-written will and clear instructions on the distribution of belongings can minimize such disputes.
Many people put off estate planning for various reasons, including believing that they don’t own enough, that they’re too young or that it’s expensive and complicated. However, it can be one of the most important things you do for your family. A lawyer can provide valuable guidance and support in this process. In addition, he or she can be an invaluable resource when it comes to talking with your family members about your plans and goals. This can be a difficult subject to broach, but it’s vital for keeping your loved ones out of trouble after you’re gone.אמיר בר לב