Are You Dealing with a Family Law Issue?
Family law matters can be overwhelming and incredibly sensitive. The longer the problem remains unresolved, the greater the toll it can have on the welfare and well-being of you and your family. An experienced Binghamton family law attorney will help protect your rights.
Family Law Issues
There are many legal issues that face families, such as child custody, child support, divorce, domestic violence, legal separation, annulment, paternity or spousal support. Of course, as diverse as families are, there are more Family Law issues that land under this broad category of law.
Remember dealing with a Family Law issue will not only have an impact in your life emotionally, but also legally and financially. It is very important to take the time to discover long-term solutions for your family’s needs and future.
What does family law mean?
Family law covers a broad spectrum of legal matters that have to do with families, and not all of them mean something terrible has happened. The term family law can refer to adoptions, divorce, child custody, paternity, child support, guardianships, prenuptial agreements, property division, and many other issues.
What does contempt of court mean in family law cases?
In family court, a judge can hold you in contempt of court if you fail to comply with any court orders. This could include refusing to follow your custody plan, failing to pay child support, or disparaging your ex when a judge orders you not to. Being in contempt of court could mean spending time behind bars or other penalties, such as garnishing your wages to pay back child support.
How do courts resolve family law disputes?
Courts generally like to resolve family law disputes by helping people like you and your ex find an amicable compromise. This allows people to continue to work together in the future, such as when it comes to making parenting decisions. If necessary, a judge may order you and your ex to meet with a mediator to find a solution. If you cannot agree, the judge may schedule a hearing to decide the matter, at which point you will have to comply with whatever the ruling is.
Best Time to Seek Legal Help
No matter what your legal issue may be, it is always best to seek legal help early in the process. An attorney can help secure what is likely to be the best possible outcome for your situation and avoid both unnecessary complications or errors.
Tips on Approaching an Initial Attorney Consultation
- Use the consultation as a means of gaining a better understanding of your legal situation.
- Ask the attorney how many cases similar to yours he/she has handled. An attorney’s experience and knowledge can speak to their expertise (or lack of) in addressing your situation.
- Your attorney should be able to articulate roughly how long a case like yours will take to resolve and what sort of procedures to expect.
- Determine how comfortable you are working with the lawyer and/or law firm.
How will an attorney charge me?
A reputable attorney will be very upfront about how he/she will charge you. The three most common fee structures that attorneys use to charge for their services are:
- Bill by the hour
- Contingent fee agreement
- Flat fee agreement
Depending on your specific legal situation, it’s possible that only one type of fee structure is available. For instance, criminal defense attorneys almost always bill by the hour. In a flat fee arrangement, an attorney accepts a one-time payment to help you resolve your issue. With a contingent fee agreement, the client pays little to nothing upfront and the attorney receives a percentage of the money recovered if you win your case.
Common legal terms explained
Personal jurisdiction – Requirement that a particular court have authority over a person, in order to bind that person to the judgment of the court, based on minimum contacts. International Shoe Co v. Washington is a landmark Supreme Court case outlining the scope of a state court’s reach in personal jurisdiction.