Three Signs You Need a Family Law Attorney

Dealing with family law issues can be daunting, especially if you do not have any representation. There are quite a few legal matters in family law you should never try to tackle on your own. This is why you should hire a family law attorney in NY.

Your Spouse Files for Divorce

One of the first signs that you need a family law attorney is that your spouse has filed for divorce or is threatening to file for divorce. This is definitely one legal matter you should never handle on your own. You should also not let your spouse talk you into using their lawyer for the proceedings either. You need to hire your own family law attorney to deal with divorce.

Your Fiancée Asks For a Prenuptial Agreement

If a request has been made for a prenuptial agreement by your fiancée prior to marriage, this is definitely a sign that you need a family law attorney. This is not a document you can draft on your own and hope it works if it is ever needed.

If Children Are Involved

In what is associated with the first sign discussed in this post, if children are involved in your marriage and divorce is imminent, you will need a family law attorney. Custody battles can become fierce during a divorce and only a lawyer will be able to help you navigate the rough waters of a custody battle.

As you can see, there are three major reasons why you might need a family law attorney. This is not an exhaustive list, so be sure to monitor your situation and hire an attorney as needed.

What Are the Essential Elements of Successful Family Law Mediation?

While each family law mediation is unique, there are several elements that can often be found in cases that have been closed successfully.  Knowing these ahead of time to help you get the most out of the White Plains family mediation process and reduce any tension or anxiety feel about working through your family law conflict.

The first common element that contributes to success has to do with the selection of the right mediator.  Regardless of the kind of family law issue you are facing, find someone who is experienced and comfortable in working with those kinds of issues.  It’s rare that a family law mediation is straightforward, but knowing common stumbling blocks and ways to work through problems is a must-have for any mediator.

Second, bring an open mind to the table.  Of course you likely feel entrenched in your beliefs or you wouldn’t be in need of mediation services to begin with, but you have to approach the process with the right mindset or you’ll struggle to succeed.  One such example is refusing to compromise at all- if the other party feels the same way you’re going to hit a stalemate very quickly.

Finally, know what kind of communication is going to work for you.  You don’t actually have to be sitting at the same table as the other party.  You can try to work things out in separate rooms by having the mediator travel back and forth between them.  Just be clear about what you think will work best during the initial mediation session.  Setting solid ground rules and guidelines during this initial session can be especially fruitful in family law mediation.

Should I Represent Myself in a Family Law Matter?

It can seem very tempting to represent yourself when you’re headed to court for a family law issue, but you need to be aware of the risks of doing this.  While technically can represent yourself, it’s often in your best interest to retain a New York family lawyer.  More often than not, people who feel comfortable representing themselves are those who feel that they will have a relatively straightforward case in court.  What many find out is that the case can unfold and become more complex very quickly.

Laws relating to family issues in the state of New York can be very complicated.  It’s very frustrating to realize that you do not understand the nuances of the court system when you represent yourself.  Many individuals who choose to head into a family law conflict representing themselves get overwhelmed very quickly.  This is because the law is intended to be practiced by lawyers.  The best way to protect your rights and have someone advocating for you in court is to hire a New York family lawyer.  In any case, consulting directly with a lawyer can be a valuable exercise to get some grounding in the basic laws.

Many family law issues hit quite close to home, and therefore the outcome of such a case can have a significant impact on your life.  Don’t risk your outcome by making the mistake of assuming that you will be fine family and on your own.  Usually by the time you discover that you are no longer comfortable handling the issue alone, it is too late.  Instead, get help from the outset can feel confident that someone is advocating for you in court knowledgeably.

What Kind of Family Law Cases Can Be Mediated?

In the realm of Westchester family law, most people instantly think of divorce and child custody as the only kinds of issues that can be worked out through mediation.  The reality is that mediation is appropriate and successful in a wide range of family law issues.  When mediation is used instead of litigation, parties are more likely to work together and compromise while keeping their financial and time investment lower.

When looking into mediation to resolve your family dispute, selecting the mediator is a vital step.  You should confirm that the mediator is qualified to help address the issue at hand, so do your research in advance to determine his or her past experience as well as his or her comfort level in assisting you.      The mediator plays a crucial role helping you to communicate with the other party, so you need to be clear about how much the right mediator can assist your case.

In family law, conflicting parties might be more amenable to working together to resolve the dispute as opposed to escalating tensions and taking the concern into court.  Using mediation as a first stop in the effort to resolve something is a wise consideration that one or both parties may be exploring.  Select a qualified mediator to increase the chances of resolution success.

Key Elements of a Successful Prenuptial Agreement

More New York couples are seeing the benefits of prenuptial agreements these days, but these documents are only as powerful as what you put in them.  When done properly, a prenuptial agreement can help prepare you for the future and outline concerns that are most important for you and your life together.

Under the guidance of a Scarsdale family law attorney, your prenuptial agreement can address almost anything.  Some of the most common issues that appear in prenuptial agreements include the waiving of alimony or other support or specific requests which deal with the default rule in community property.

Agreements can be especially beneficial when you and your future spouse are linked to any of the following factors:

  • Owning part of all of a business
  • Expect to receive an inheritance in the future
  • One or both partners have assets already like retirement funds or a home
  • There are children from a previous marriage
  • One partner expects to support the other through an educational endeavor
  • One of you has significantly more assets than the other

In order to accomplish the drafting of such document, you’ll need to carefully consider all of the factors listed above and consult with a New York family law attorney.  Depending on your needs, you may need to add wording and guidelines that specifically addresses your situation.

Although it’s not easy to have a conversation about the importance of prenuptial agreements, it can be a valuable one that helps you and your spouse discuss critical financial issues and long-term plans.

Putting together a prenuptial agreement can be very prudent planning, even if it’s difficult to bring up the subject with your future spouse.   Gaining more awareness about family and financial concerns can be a very valuable exercise for you.

Is Family Law Mediation Better Than Working With a Lawyer?

Most people are aware of the opportunity to contact a lawyer to sort through family disputes that have gotten out of control, but there are other options too.  You don’t always have to turn directly to litigation when there is some kind of family law dispute like concerns over separation, divorce, or child custody.  In fact, you may be able to resolve your issues more expediently using mediation.

Mediation takes the conflict out of the court and allows you to work with an experienced Rochester family law mediator.  In this process, the mediator is a neutral individual appointed to help address critical issues.  Since you don’t have to rely on busy court schedules to address family law issues, mediation can usually address your concerns very quickly and in several meetings.  One of the most positive outcomes of opting to go this route is that you save both time and money.  Furthermore, you can benefit from reduced emotional trauma from having to go through the litigation process.  Mediation is far less adversarial than litigation and can actually help to improve communication skills or repair relationships.

Some couples go through the mediation process but also choose to hire an attorney to represent their interests.  This works in situations where you don’t feel comfortable directly negotiating with the other party or where the other spouse does not want to mediate.  You can still allow for a swift evaluation of critical family law issues without the headaches of litigation.

Mediation also tends to result in resolution that is more likely to be mutually agreeable between disputing parties.  Having some power, flexibility, and comfort with mediation are just a few of the reasons that family law disputes are being assisted by Rochester family law mediators

What Are New York’s Alimony Guidelines?

When you’re a party to a divorce, you likely have some questions about alimony and how it’s determined in the state of New York.  While alimony is not granted in every case, it’s worth understanding how the court considers needs and how it decides when alimony is applicable and under what circumstances it should be paid.

Temporary maintenance may be awarded when the divorce proceedings begin.  It takes into account the immediate financial needs of one spouse by evaluating the standard of living before the divorce and the reasonable needs of the spouse to be supported.

After divorce, alimony or spousal support can continue for a specific period or it can stop when certain life events happen.  Examples of these life events including the supported spouse living with someone else, the supported spouse getting remarried, or the death of either spouse.

New York uses a specific formula to determine what amount of spousal support will be awarded.  There are situations, however, when a judge may not use that formula.  If the formula is, for some reason, found to be “unjust” or not appropriate in the determination of New York spousal support, the judge then considers other factors.  These include the age and health of each spouse, the standard of living for the spouses during the marriage, and the earning capacities of each spouse.

Courts can consider many different factors in determining whether spousal support should be awarded at all.  This includes the existence of a joint household before the marriage, the future and present income of both spouses, the length of the marriage, the income and property that each spouse has, and the ability of the receiving party to become “self-sufficient” at some point in the future.

Need more information?  A New York family law attorney will be able to further explain the intricacies of the guideline.