When you face any type of legal situation and are unsure how you should proceed, it’s vital to secure legal representation from an attorney who has solid experience handling the type of case you’re facing. Family law is a unique area of civil law that pertains to family legal matters. Just like you would not want a lawyer who only handles car accident cases to represent you in a medical malpractice lawsuit, you do not want legal counsel who is inexperienced in handling cases similar to your current family law case.
If you need legal representation in the Midwest for any type of family law matter, take time to find an experienced attorney with a confirmed professional record in this area of law. The right attorney will have a tremendous impact on the outcome of your case. Consider the following examples of cases that fall under the purview of family law so you can understand the value of having proper legal counsel.
If you and your spouse decide to end your marriage in the Midwest, the actual legal process of dissolution is more complex than you may initially expect. Divorce is not simply a legal end to your marriage contract; it is also the legal process of assigning separate ownership rights to the shared property you and your spouse accumulated during your marriage.
Many people make the mistake of believing they do not need legal counsel for their divorces. Spouses may be on amicable terms and mutually decide to end their marriage, but this does not mean they do not need legal counsel as they navigate the dissolution process. Hiring an attorney to represent you in divorce offers several important advantages:
- Your attorney can handle procedural issues on your behalf, ensuring your case proceeds as smoothly as possible.
- Your legal team can assist you with complex issues like financial disclosure, child custody determination, and high net worth divorce issues.
- An experienced divorce attorney can help you take full advantage of the benefits of alternative dispute resolution, such as divorce mediation.
- Building a rapport with a reliable attorney can be advantageous if you ever need to revisit your divorce agreement with modification
Divorce cases are some of the most common family law matters to unfold in the Midwest and across the United States.
Adopting a child can be incredibly beneficial for the child, providing them with the same rights and legal protections as a biological child. Additionally, adoption can create more cohesion and closeness in a mixed family. All adoption proceedings in the Midwest fall under the purview of family law, and each state upholds unique laws concerning adoption.
Typically, for a child to be legally adopted, the adoptive parent must be married to one of the child’s biological parents, and the other biological parent must have lost their parental rights in some way. A biological parent no longer has parental rights when they die, forfeit their parental rights voluntarily, or have their parental rights involuntarily terminated due to bad behavior. A family court will only approve an adoption if the child in question only has one legal parent; the courts continue to uphold that a child’s interests are best served when they have equal access to two parents and the legal protections thereof.
In some cases, it is possible for another relative to legally adopt a child, such as an aunt or uncle, under certain circumstances. This is a possibility when a child’s parents both die or become unfit or unable to care for the child. No matter what an adoption case entails, the court has a duty to verify that the proposed adoption suits the child’s best interests.
Child Custody Determinations
Some of the most common proceedings that unfold in family court are child custody determinations. Many of these matters relate to divorce cases involving married parents, but unwed parents may also need to undergo child custody determinations outside of the divorce process.
Child custody determinations tend to be some of the most emotionally contentious family law matters in the Midwest. It is natural for parents to want the most expansive child custody rights they can possibly obtain, but it’s essential for any parent headed for child custody determination to be realistic about these proceedings. The family court has a legal duty to protect the best interests of any child involved in a custody case. Most parents that become involved in child custody determinations must temper their expectations about the outcome of the process.
It’s not uncommon for a child custody determination to touch on many other aspects of family law. These matters often relate to divorce cases, adoption cases, and other areas of family law. If you face any type of child custody case, it is essential to have legal representation from an experienced attorney who can provide measured, objective legal counsel throughout your proceedings.
Unique Aspects of Family Law
These are only a few examples of the types of cases that fall under the designation of family law. One unique aspect of this area of law that can potentially come into play with any type of family law case is the modification process. The family courts acknowledge that life can be unpredictable, and some events can materially change the nature of a family court order unexpectedly.
Family law provides a modification process for addressing these issues. Unlike a complex appeals process like one might undergo after a civil or criminal case, modification is a relatively expedient and straightforward process that allows a party to adjust an existing family court order. Modification is possible for divorce agreement terms, a child custody agreement, child support obligations, and other issues. The process typically only requires a single hearing during which the petitioning party presents their evidence to justify their requested change to the family law order, and the other party has the opportunity to provide a response.
No matter what type of family law matter you face in the Midwest, it is vital to have legal representation from an attorney who understands your case and has solid professional experience handling similar cases. Reach out to an experienced Midwest family law attorney as soon as possible if you believe you must face any type of family law matter in the near future.