When I tell people that I am a family law attorney, they usually follow up the statement with a statement of their own: “You mean you’re a divorce lawyer?” And while I do help people through their divorces, there is much more to being a family law attorney. Before we get to what the much more is, I should say that I’m not offended by the term “divorce lawyer.” Divorce is often the most difficult experience a person goes through, and I’m honored to be able to help my clients through it. Here are just a few things (other than divorce) that a family law attorney does:
- Prenuptial Agreements: These agreements are made in contemplation of marriage. They are usually used to give some reasonable expectation of how assets will be handled during marriage and/or if the marriage should ever dissolve.
- Postnuptial Agreements: Similar to prenuptial agreements, but they occur after the marriage has been entered.
- Domestic Violence Issues: Domestic violence order can be entered prior to, during, and/or after a divorce. Domestic violence orders can even be entered between people who live together, but are not in a relationship (and in more circumstances not covered here). Family law attorneys (hopefully) understand domestic violence dynamics and how to advocate for clients in need of protection, or clients who have been accused of domestic violence.
- Children Born to Unmarried Parents: Families with children born outside of marriage are often in need of family law attorneys as much as a divorcing family is. With a child born outside marriage there are issues of paternity, child support, and parenting plans to be discussed.
- Post-Decree Matters: A divorce decree is often not the last time a person needs a family law attorney. It can be just the first of many orders entered on behalf of the divorcing couple.
So, while I’m not ashamed to be called a divorce lawyer, there is much more to family law. Please contact us if there is a family law issue that we can help you with.