What Does a Family Lawyer Do?
We all need lawyers at least once in our lives to handle legal matters. There are different types of situations that we might face, and lawyers are professionals who have the knowledge and experience to help us deal with troubling legal matters. One of the most common types of attorney people may need is a family lawyer to deal with matters ranging from adoption to divorce to child custody and more.
According to IBIS World, the number of family and divorce lawyers in the United States is expected to increase by approximately 1.5% in 2022. This type of attorney is an expert at finding solutions to complex familial problems and knows how to protect their clients’ rights. Here, we’ll explain what a family lawyer does and help you figure out if you need the services of an experienced Charlotte family lawyer to solve your legal problems.
Roles of a Family Lawyer
A family lawyer is just what it sounds like. They are licensed attorneys who spend their lives handling all sorts of family issues for their clients. This could involve anything including divorce, child adoption, child custody, and guardianship. Family law attorneys also know how to help you resolve issues with property division and income determination.
Your Charlotte family lawyer is capable of working in a variety of situations and is competent in dealing with clients who are emotional and, oftentimes, in distress. Some of the matters our Charlotte family lawyers handle include:
Divorce is the most harrowing experience that a family can go through. It’s not just the parents who are having their lives disrupted – it is also the children. Sadly, many of our clients are at such odds with their soon-to-be ex-spouse that they can’t see the forest through the trees. Perhaps they were cheated on or treated poorly by their husband or wife. Maybe they found out their spouse had been hiding assets from them during the marriage. There’s no shortage of heartbreaking tales when one practices family law.
One of the skills your Charlotte family lawyer has is mediating between two parties who want nothing to do with each other. Even if you and your spouse are not on speaking terms, we’ll do our best to reach a settlement that satisfies both parties. Our goal is to make your divorce as seamless and as painless as possible.
2. Drafting Wills
Even though most of our cases involve divorce or custody matters, our team also handles other issues. For example, we draft wills for many of our clients. Some of these people used our services in some other capacity (such as a divorce) and come back to us for a will years later. One of the biggest misconceptions people have is that they don’t need a will until they’re much older. This is the biggest mistake people can make.
Once you’re in your mid-twenties or have a family, you need to get a will. And, if you already have a will but want to make some changes, we can handle that as well. We do modifications for both existing clients and people who had their will drafted by an outside attorney.
In addition to drafting the actual will, a Charlotte family lawyer can also help ensure that your estate and property are managed properly in the event of your death.
3. Assisting in Child Custody Agreements
If you and your spouse have decided to separate or get divorced, you’ll need to come up with a reasonable child custody agreement. (Of course, if you don’t have children, you won’t have to worry about this.) This process can be painful. Nobody wants to give up precious time with their children.
However, you need to do what’s best for your kids. A Charlotte family lawyer understands that the family law judges in North Carolina care only about what is in the best interests of the children. Therefore, we urge our clients to operate by the same rule.
Child custody agreements outline the schedule your children will follow as far as you and your ex are concerned. Most custody arrangements have the kids at one house during the week and at the other parent’s house every other weekend. There are other families who choose to have the kids spend an equal amount of time at both houses. Ideally, if both parents live in the same school district, they’ll work something out that won’t disturb their children’s schooling. Your family lawyer can help make this happen.
4. Alimony/Spousal Support
Alimony, or spousal support, is another area in which very few soon-to-be-divorced people agree. The party who feels they are entitled to alimony usually wants much more than the other spouse is willing to give. Alimony may be even harder for some attorneys to negotiate than child custody.
Perhaps this is because it can be really hard to get alimony modified once it’s ordered. Or maybe some people truly think they need a certain amount of money to survive. We try to encourage our clients to be realistic. We know what a judge or mediator will order so we try to stay as close to that bottom line as possible.
Regardless of what a client wants, your Charlotte family lawyer knows that the court will consider the following factors when determining whether alimony will be granted:
- Ability to work
- Level of accumulated joint debt
- Code of conduct of each spouse
You are required to provide this information to your attorney, so they have the best chance of getting you the best outcome possible.
5. Child Support
One of the other important issues your family lawyer can resolve is child support. The good news is that, in North Carolina, the court uses a formula to determine how much a parent must pay in child support. The child support guidelines in Charlotte consider the following:
- Income of both parents
- Health care expenses of the children
- Permissible deductions
- How much time the children will spend with both parents under the proposed child custody arrangement
- Any special circumstances, such as having a disabled child or a child who needs special medical care
If the other parent is potentially hiding assets or is intentionally unemployed, the lawyer can also gather evidence and report this to the court.
Can a Charlotte Family Lawyer Help You?
Our skilled team is here to serve you. We understand your goals and work hard to achieve the best possible outcome for all our clients. All you have to do is call one of our Charlotte family law lawyers for the help that you need.