There are many reasons why you might need to contact a family lawyer. Perhaps the most common reason is filing for divorce. For this reason alone many family lawyers are better known as divorce lawyers. Divorce is one of the main responsibilities of family law; however, it is only one of the areas where a lawyer can provide help.
Family lawyers cover almost any legal actions that involve the family unit; from pre-nuptial agreements before the marriage, to adoption during the marriage, or the dissolution of the marriage. One thing that many people do not realize is that family lawyers also offer counseling when there are serious problems with a marriage. In fact by law they are required to attempt to help their clients resolve their problems before divorce becomes the only answer.
Many family lawyers receive special training in counseling and negotiation skills, along with their law degrees. This is because so many of the cases they handle involve very emotional situations. They need the extra training to be able to deal with people who are under stress or very excited, depending on the reason they have hired a lawyer. Sometimes the happy events require the help of legal representation; for instance the adoption of a child.
There are many reasons to contact a family lawyer:
Child custody: A practitioner of family law can help you negotiate with your spouse during the divorce proceedings to ensure that your children remain with the parent best able to care for them.
Child support: If you cannot resolve your differences the lawyer can help work out a child support payment that allows both of you to survive, and ensures that your children are provided for.
Visitation rights: Family lawyers can negotiate a schedule of visitations that work for both you and your spouse and allow your children to have time spent with each of you.
Adoption: Adopting a child can be one of the best reasons for contacting a legal representative. However, adoptions can be tricky and it is a very good idea to have a lawyer look over all paper work involved in the adoption.
Separation: Sometimes a separation will help you and your spouse work out problems with the marriage.
Protection from abuse: If your marriage has resulted in abuse then you truly need a lawyer to help provide the protection you deserve. They can get restraining orders filed so that you no longer have to live in fear.
These are just some of the reasons that you may need to contact a family lawyer. However, they give a fair representation of the types of cases a lawyer normally handles. Family law is an emotion fraught field of practice and it takes a special kind of person to deal with these emotions. It takes a person who can remain calm and reasonable even when their clients are not feeling that way.