Stressful moments can bring out the best and worst in a family, especially in uncertain times like these. Oftentimes, this accumulated stress can eventually lead to arguments and even complex situations that can only be resolved through legal intervention. However, to keep problems within the family, members might not realize or acknowledge these problems until they become overly complex. At times, the relationships are too far gone to salvage.
This is where family lawyers come in handy.
Not only can they help acquire the correct documents for certain legal contracts like marriage, child adoption, or estate planning, but they can also help a client resolve any issues concerning abuse claims and divorce, among other things. And while other families often avoid any legal intervention for fear of the cost, many don’t realize that not hiring an attorney can end up costing more, not only financially but also emotionally.
With that in mind, here are the signs that it may be time to contact a family lawyer.
You’re Experiencing Family Issues
Families get into situations and problems that often call for legal intervention. However, many categories fall under this area, so you must have someone well-versed with the laws surrounding these issues to help you make important and well-informed decisions.
In the past year, domestic violence has been cited as the “pandemic within a pandemic,” with 2020 seeing the rates of both domestic violence and calls to the appropriate hotlines soar. And with families spending more time at home, the stress and anxiety brought about by the pandemic have further aggravated tensions between family members. This is due to both financial and emotional instability because of job loss, a lack of personal space, etc.
This global health crisis has also allowed abusers to take advantage of time spent at home, preventing victims from contacting the authorities in fear of getting hurt. Some even use technology to keep track of victims’ movements.
Choosing to adopt a child, while a good act of humanity, is a lengthy process where you might encounter various problems, especially if you’re not too familiar with the process or requirements needed. This is especially true if you’re planning to adopt in a foreign country. Having a family lawyer can help you move the adoption process forward, get advice, and even get referrals to recommended adoption agencies based on your needs.
There are sometimes situations where a child’s parents are unable to provide for their needs. When this happens, a guardian is often appointed to help decide what parents usually have to make for the child.
One of the most common issues that require the assistance of a family lawyer is the divorce process. Not only is this an emotional event for both parties, but there are many issues to resolve even after the separation. This includes child custody, which can be a difficult process for both the parents and the child. It often entails child support, visitation rights, and other issues concerning the child, which may require assistance from a lawyer who’s well-versed in child custody cases.
You’re Not Sure about How to File Family Documents
Certain documents might be needed if you cannot write your own checks, authorize someone to make your healthcare decisions for you, or allow a child’s caretaker to make important decisions for your children if you are unable to do so yourself. Family lawyers can help you draft and file these documents if you need them.
If you would need to give legal permission to someone to act on your behalf with regards to your business, family, and other legal matters, your lawyer can also help you get a Power of Attorney (POA).
You Want to Draft Your Will or Estate Plans
While many of us aren’t comfortable thinking about a will, those who want to get ahead and draft their will and estate plans need the presence of an attorney who can keep a record of the contents of the will. Once you’ve decided to retire, or if you’ve passed away, your attorney will be in charge of passing over the property and making sure that the will is followed. However, if any conflicts were to arise, the attorney can help by providing legal advice and acting as a mediator.
Arranging for a Domestic Partnership or Civil Union
Domestic partnerships occur when couples would like to live together without having to get married. On the other hand, civil unions apply to couples who are allowed to enjoy marriage rights despite not being married.
Unfortunately, the law prohibits these kinds of unions and partnerships depending on the country or state you reside in. Consulting a lawyer can help you determine whether these partnerships and unions are legal in your area and, if they are, give you advice on what you can do about getting your rights protected.
Apart from these examples, there are many other situations where you might require the help of a family lawyer, whether it’s to represent you in court or act as a mediator in legal family issues. This can include land disputes, damage to property, and physical injury, among other things.
When hiring a family lawyer, make sure that you meet them beforehand, discuss your needs, and consult with other attorneys. This will help ensure that you’re getting a capable family lawyer who can help you resolve and legal family issues and is someone you can trust and rely on.