If you’ve never met a lawyer, you might be feeling intimidated. On top of that, family issues are so personal that they can be even more intimidating. In this article, you’ll learn what kind of cases family lawyers handle, what to look forward to at the first meeting (including what to bring with you), and when it’s time to seek the help of a family law attorney.
What Constitutes “Family Law”?
Family law emphasizes issues concerning the family, such as:
- Marriage – Family lawyers can help with property disputes between spouses, prenups, and any other issue concerning marriage.
- Paternity – Family lawyers can help prove or disprove that a child is the legal descendant of a male client.
- Divorce – Most people think of divorces when they think of family lawyers. Yes, it’s true family law includes dissolutions of marriage, annulments, and legal separations. As you can see, though, family law is much broader than just divorces.
- Alimony – Alimony, or “spousal support,” is a payment made on a regular basis for a set period of time from one divorced spouse to the other. The court mandates such payments for the purpose of supporting that person financially (on a temporary basis).
- Child Custody – Family lawyers help couples getting divorced to come up with child custody plans and obtain the necessary legal documentation relating to those plans.
- Child Support – Child support is a financial obligation to one’s children involving making regular payments for their care to the non-custodial parent. These payments are required until the child reaches the age of 18.
What to Expect When You Meet With a Family Law Attorney
You need to contact a family lawyer when you require an update, change, or modification to any of the family law matters discussed above. When you set up your first meeting with the family lawyer, here’s what to expect:
- At the initial consultation, you can ask about your rights, the lawyer’s fees, his or her opinion on your case, and what the process will entail.
- Don’t panic. Your family lawyer’s job is to assist and reduce anxiety. He or she is on your side, advocating for you, informing you of your rights, and handling all the required documentation.
- Think of the initial consultation as a job interview. You are interviewing the attorney for the position of “my family lawyer.” Ask questions about his or her experience, education, strategy, office logistics, and so on.
Bring the Relevant Paperwork With You
The lawyer will let you know what to bring to your consultation. It really is important that you dig up the specified documents so the attorney can fully review your case. To make the best use of the lawyer’s time and your time, let someone know in advance if there is a document you don’t have. The types of paperwork a family lawyer might ask you to bring include:
- Copies of legal documents from earlier, related proceedings
- Marriage license
- Birth certificate
- Signed contract
- Pay stubs
- Tax returns
- Bank statements
- Report cards
- Social worker reports
Contact an Aurora Family Lawyer Today
Reach out to our Aurora family law attorneys at CNL Law Firm, PLLC, right away to see what we can do for your case. Contact us today to set up your free consultation.