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 Merrick 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.
Top Questions to Ask When Hiring an Attorney
- How many years have you been practicing law? How long have you practiced law in the local area?
- How many cases similar to mine have you handled in the past?
- What is the likely outcome for my case?
In legal practice, experience matters. An experienced attorney will likely have handled issues similar to yours many, many times. Therefore, after listening to your situation, the attorney should have a reasonable idea of the time line for a case like yours and the likely resolution.
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 to Find the Right Attorney
- Determine the area of law that relates to your issue. Attorneys specialize in specific practice areas around legal issues within the broad field of law.
- Seek out recommendations from friends, family, and colleagues. A successful attorney or practice will typically have many satisfied clients.
- Set up consultation appointments to get a better understanding of your case as well as gauge your comfort level with different attorneys. Find the attorney who is the right fit for your needs.
Common legal terms explained
Pro se – This Latin term refers to representing yourself in court instead of hiring professional legal counsel. Pro se representation can occur in either criminal or civil cases.
Statute – Refers to a law created by a legislative body. For example, the laws enacted by Congress are statutes.
Subject matter jurisdiction – Requirement that a particular court have authority to hear the claim based on the specific type of issue brought to the court. For example, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court only has subject matter jurisdiction over bankruptcy filings, therefore it does not have the authority to render binding judgment over other types of cases, such as divorce.