Who Needs a Family Law Attorney?

EVERYBODY hates lawyers . . . BUT everybody loves THEIR lawyer!  Let’s face it; unless you are adopting a child, no one wants to need a family lawyer.  Usually unfortunate and unwanted circumstances in the family drive you to your lawyer.  From Prenuptial to Probate, trouble can arise, and often without warning and without easy answers.

Much like a dentist, you might not mind visiting a family law firm for some relatively painless and inexpensive preventative care, but when you NEED the services of a family lawyer (like the dentist), you’re unhappy, uncomfortable, and looking for some relief.

Family law attorneys can certainly help prevent problems to some extent, but when family problems come, regardless of how hard we try to prevent them, family attorneys are trained to help you navigate difficult and emotional times.  They help keep you focused on productive solutions to help your family move forward in a positive direction.

If you have a family, if you are in a family, if you came from a family, or if you spend a significant amount of time ENDURING a family, (I think that is about all of us) you may at times need a family lawyer to help you avoid pitfalls, to ensure that things run smoothly, and to make the seemingly inevitable difficulties as painless as possible so that you can get back to the business of living your life. You want to move on; you need the tools to be able to move on.  So, how can a family lawyer provide the tools and the roadmap to navigate you safely through just about any crisis?

Here Are The Top 5 Reasons Why You May Need A Family Law Attorney:

1) It’s Easy To Forget, But What You Read On The Internet Isn’t Always True . . .
Information posted on the internet is not monitored for accuracy . . . by ANYONE . . . There is no internet police or governmental agency out there checking up on Google to make sure that the information turning up in your search results is accurate. To be clear, some websites, authors, even law firms, etc., have their own internal policies to ensure accuracy, but you can’t be sure which. The author typing up the information you may be reading, while trying to solve a family problem, may be lawyer, but he or she may also be a wanna-be lawyer, a plumber, an accountant, or someone with way too much time on their hands out to have a good laugh. It’s much safer and advisable to meet with an attorney in person and know for sure that the information you’re getting is coming from a credible source.  It is illegal for individuals to practice law without a license.  You would never attempt a surgery or a root canal while watching a You Tube video . . . because that might hurt.  . .   In the same manner, attempting to navigate the legal system without a lawyer can quickly become unnecessarily, even permanently, painful.

2) The Internet Is A Wide General Forum: Different States Have Different Rules . . .
While some information on the Internet is not accurate, it stands to reason that someis.  There is an abundance of information published by respected attorneys, even the Courts, which is helpful and trustworthy; however, search engines, like Google, Bing, and Yahoo do not, actually they cannot, limit access to documents or information state-by-state.  What you find on the Internet may be just what you need for your case .. . if you lived in a neighboring stateFamily law is almost exclusively governed by state law.  What is accurate in West Virginia or North Carolina is most likely not accurate here in Virginia, and even our local Court rules vary city-by-city or county-by-county.  Attorneys are licensed in a particular state and can offer you particular advice and the local advice that applies where you live.

3) To Get What You Want, You Have To Know What To Ask For . . .
Most people know that you have to divide your property and decide issues like child custody when you are getting a divorce.  However, the divorce process involves so much more than this and the issues mentioned above are complex and fraught with dangers that, in some cases, are irreparable after the fact.  It can be too late to fix it.  This relates to more than divorces: almost all areas of family law can be negatively affected if the right questions are not asked.  Further, there are questions that you must ask at certain times or you may forever waive certain rights or options or assets.  Rights of which you are unaware cannot be realized.  This can be tragic. The specifics drafted by your lawyer in a well-drafted Order or Decree or what is accomplished at a thorough settlement conference or a hearing in Court are all meant to protect you, to provide stability and clarity for all foreseeable events, and to ensure all bases are covered.

4) It Is Difficult In A Traumatic Time To See In The Long-Term . . .
Without a lawyer, a family law problem often deteriorates into conflict about the short-term emotional issue at hand or a dispute about a particular pet issue at the unreasonable expense of the larger, longer-term issues. It is difficult to maintain perspective in the middle of a storm. An experienced attorney will be able to see down the road, to predict potential problems and conflicts and include provisions or safeguards that will either preclude future disputes or provide mechanisms to deal with future issues as they may arise.  The last thing you will want in the future is to end up back in Court requesting a clarification or modification of your Order or Agreement as this almost always translates into more time, energy and money spent trying to resolve the family issue. The only thing worse than wounds may be old wounds reopened.

5) You Are Likely Stressed, And There Is TOO MUCH AT STAKE . . .
Most people involved in a family law problem are in a situation in which communication is difficult or impossible.  This is typically a highly stressed environment—and another reason why tragically there is so much domestic violence.  While perhaps safer, it is even more difficult to express oneself in Court.  If family law issues could be discussed and resolved by the family, there is no need for a family lawyer or for the Courts.  But if not, a family lawyer will be your best advocate and speak for you with your interests foremost and paramount.  He or she can provide a type of barrier to give you some relief, in and out of Court.  Your attorney can answer your questions in plain English and will diligently work to protect everything that matters most to you.

You will likely feel even physically lighter once you have retained a family lawyer that you sense “has your back” and will represent you and speak for you.  If you have never been there, you must know that speaking in Court, in an environment where the rules are not intuitive, can be most unproductive to your case and personally traumatizing.  Family law attorneys understand what is at stake in family Court – often everything held dear – the structure of your family, the stability of your finances and the course of your future.   There is A LOT at stake in EVERY family law matter.  A family lawyer can provide you with the legal advice and expert guidance you need to make critical choices for yourself and your children.