Many of us are familiar with the work that criminals lawyers do from the television shows and movies that garner our attention on a weekly basis. We have seen criminal lawyers stand in a courtroom in front of a judge and a jury and make compelling arguments for their clients.
While the work of family lawyers may not be well-known to those who have never needed one, the work of a family lawyer is just as important. At some point, you may find yourself leaning on the services of a family lawyer. What are some of the common cases that a Minnesota family lawyer takes on?
Common Types of Cases
Out of the different types of lawyers in the world, family law lawyers are probably the ones who people depend upon the most. As the name implies, family law is a legal practice that focuses on issues involving family relationships. It encompasses specializations such as the following:
- Child custody and child support agreements
- Pre and post-nuptial agreements
- Trusts, Wills, and Estate Planning
Family law lawyers have to be prepared to work in various situations. Family law lawyers often work with clients who are facing some of the most difficult moments in their lives.
Unfortunately, many marriages have ended in divorce. In most states, ”dissolution of marriage” is another way of stating ”divorce”. Essentially, a divorce is the end of a marriage contract. Researchers estimate that about 40 to 50 percent of marriages end in divorce. If you are going through the unfortunate circumstances of a divorce, an experienced family law team can represent you and advocate for you at a time when you need it the most.
A family law lawyer will help you make your way around the complex maze known as the court system. A family law lawyer will make sure you receive everything you are entitled to regarding the following:
- Property and assets
- Child support and/or alimony
Divorce is an emotional and complicated process in itself. When you factor in other issues that may arise during a divorce, your stress levels may begin to rise. An experienced family law lawyer can alleviate some stress and frustrations you are experiencing.
Child Custody and Child Support
The matter of child custody during a divorce proceeding or a proceeding that involves a couple who were never married can be highly contested and emotional. There will be several factors that will have an impact on child custody, including the following:
- Who has the stronger ties and bond with the child(ren)
- The mental and physical well-being of each parent
- Age of the children
- Stability of the home and environment that child will be surrounded by
Child custody and child support disagreements do not always land in court. Sometimes parents and their family law lawyers will reach an agreement without standing before a judge. However, if an agreement cannot be reached, the family law lawyer can help a parent gather essential and relevant information that will allow the court to make a custody decision.
Child support payments are awarded to ensure the child(ren) will have the resources they need while living with one parent instead of two. A family law lawyer will need information regarding each parent’s income and the current and expected future expenses of the child(ren). The child support formula will also include the following:
- Health care expenses
- Child care expenses
- Allowable deductions
- Overnight visits
The calculation of child support payments can also be impacted by other factors that will not apply to every case.
It is not a surprise that child support and spousal support payments are closely connected when a divorce is in process. Child support payments and spousal support payments are often a highly debated part of a divorce proceeding. Some states have their own laws in place that regulate spousal support payments. In states that do not have laws that regulate the payments, a judge will make a decision.
When you have a family law lawyer on your side, he or she will ensure you have the necessary information to receive the best outcome. Even if there are strict laws and regulations regarding spousal support, you will still need to provide the court with relevant information regarding the following:
- Length of the marriage
- Your standard of living during the marriage
- Ability to work and earn an income
- Current income
Your family law lawyer will make sure you have the information you need to make it through the complex process known as spousal support.
Trusts, Wills, and Estate Planning
If you want to have a better understanding how trusts, wills, and estate planning relate to family law, we want you to imagine yourself facing various scenarios. Can you imagine losing your assets in a divorce or a pre or post-nuptial agreement because you did not have an estate plan? With an estate plan, a trust, will, etc., you can protect yourself from losing everything or nearly everything.
What will happen to a couple with multiple children who were married for decades but have decided to get a divorce? There has not been an agreement on custody, but there is an estate plan in place that leaves the majority of the assets to the spouse. However, now that a divorce is taking place, one spouse wants to ensure the other does not receive any of the assets that was listed in the estate plan.
As a result, the estate plan will need to be changed in order to exclude the spouse from obtaining any of the assets and properties. Estate planning documents, trusts, wills, etc. are all related to family law because these documents can be used as another form of protection. When you partner with a family law lawyer, you will instantly understand how important these documents are.
If you are facing a family legal matter that needs a reasoned approach, we encourage you to consult with a family law lawyer. Contact Villaume & Schiek today for a free initial consultation. Please contact our law firm today at (952) 851-9500.
Disclaimer: The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individualsituation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.