Divorce is an unpleasant reality that can affect any family. Marriages fail for reasons that are out of control. Although the stigma surrounding divorce in the past decades is gone, the process is not always easy. The divorce may be amicable, the two parties could be in agreement to split, but it could still be difficult to untangle the knot that has there for years. Children, property, among other complicating factors make the divorce process hard. This is where a good Philadelphia family law attorney comes in.
If you are planning to file a divorce or your spouse has already initiated the process, consider hiring a local and credible legal professional. Even if you believe you understand the laws that surround the process, divorce can be emotionally draining. Here is why you should hire a family law attorney in Philadelphia.
First, for divorce to be granted, several issues including the following must be settled:
1. Division of Property
This can be a tricky division to complete. The couple may have gathered a house or houses, family heirlooms, investments, and savings among other property over the period of their marriage. In some cases, debt is also involved. The answer to the distribution question depends on the state laws where the divorce is filed.
In Philadelphia, the law states that once the case is taken to court, the judge decides what is equitable without necessarily splitting the property into two. This means that a two-third of the property is given to the earning spouse. Each spouse is given a certain percentage.
Understand that while most of the property may have been owned by one party, it is still subject to division as long as it was acquired after the wedding and before the separation. If you are concerned about property and debt division, it might be necessary to seek legal assistance from a professional family law attorney.
2. Spousal Support
Also known as alimony, spousal support is a monthly payment given to either spouse in line with the court decision or settlement agreement. Alimony limits unfair economic effects after a divorce by creating a continuous flow of income to the lower-wage-earning party. Most of the states have unique requirements which the disadvantaged spouse must meet to be eligible.
For instance, the court might require you to have been married for a certain period, and you might also be expected to give proof of limited work experience. If you are considering a divorce, check with an experienced lawyer about your eligibility for alimony. If you are eligible and your spouse has refused to pay, seek help from an experienced Philadelphia family law attorney to help you get the amount you deserve.
3. Child Custody
A divorce decree specifies the parent who takes custody of the children under 18. Sometimes, the parents may complete this arrangement voluntarily, or through the help of a family law attorney. When a decision is not reached, the court may intervene and make a decision based on the interests of the children. One of the most challenging parts of a divorce is deciding who keeps the kids. In that case, ensure your parental rights are being protected by discussing this issue with a qualified family law attorney.
4. Child Support
After a separation or a divorce, one of the parents is given custody by the court while the non-custodial one is ordered to pay a certain amount for child support.
If you are facing a dispute, a family law attorney can intervene by representing you in court proceedings. They will work to help you obtain the best results in the enforcement of an existing order, disproving, or establishing paternity.
Family law attorneys are experienced, meaning they are good at handling divorce cases. They can guide you on the best course of action and the steps to take to ensure you are successful in the end.
Why Should You Hire a Family Law Attorney?
Divorce is an emotional process. You might be experiencing feelings of sadness, depression, and even anger. The level of these heightened emotions can affect your judgment. If you are planning to represent yourself at a court of law, you may not have the emotional stamina to make wise decisions.
A divorce attorney can help you to keep your emotions in check and let you know when you are being unreasonable. They should prevent you from sabotaging your case.
Note; divorce proceedings are governed by many laws, all of which vary depending on the state your finances and marriage are. A family law attorney understands the law and can give unbiased advice on the best course of action.
Manage Difficult Details
In a divorce process, legal paperwork is needed for the management of taxes, assets appraisal, and to communicate with the judge and the legal team of the other spouse. Missing a court date and not signing could cause you to be prosecuted for fraud, perjury among other crimes. Your attorney should help in accelerating this process and keeping the paperwork.
They are Affordable
By the end of the divorce process, your financial state will largely be determined by the decisions made before the settlement of the case. Understand that family law attorneys are not expensive. Most of them accept payment after the final settlement.
You can get Options you did not Know Existed
An experienced family law attorney can evaluate your situation and predict the possible outcome in a court case based on previous cases. Representing yourself means delaying the process.
Your attorney can create a reasonable proposal for the settlement and advise you on whether to counter-propose, settle, or take the matter to court.
To negotiate divorce settlements, you also need to have the legal knowledge to receive a fair settlement. Your lawyer can leverage their understanding of Philadelphia family law to negotiate with the attorney of your spouse.
They can help you Focus on the Bigger Picture
The sole objective of each spouse is to win the case. A family lawyer, on the other hand, lays more emphasis on creating a reasonable deal. This means they may encourage you to compromise on specific issues to boost your chances of winning in court.
If you find a good lawyer, they will advise you not to waste too many resources trying to fight every issue. They should help you to set priorities even when it means losing some of what you might have wanted to achieve.
Steps for Hiring a Good Family Law Attorney in Philadelphia
Finding the right attorney plays a vital role in the final outcome of a divorce case. If you do not know the qualities to look for in a good attorney or the tactics to use, you might end up investing too much in the wrong one. Here is some expert advice on finding the best family law attorney in Philadelphia.
1. Be Real
The first step is to realize that a divorce just like any other process is legal. It entails the dissolving of assets and solving custodial issues. The wok of your family law attorney is to represent your case well and not act as your therapist as most spouses expect. You must be realistic about why you need an attorney.
2. Interview your Potential Attorney
A phone call should be your initial step. Find out what their experiences are and their specialization with Philadelphia family law. Check their rates and seek to know the type of clients they represent. They might expect a retainer or an hourly rate.
You might also get a free consultation to discuss your situation. Because the process might involve other resources such as forensic experts, parenting coordinators, financial experts, and coach facilitators among others, find out if your attorney has access to them and if they can be relevant to your case. What is the track record of the attorney? Even if your case may not go to trial, find out what the success rate of the lawyer is.
3. Be Decisive
Choose a local attorney who is knowledgeable and professional. Be sure you trust them and are comfortable with them. The attorney should also recognize your children are important to you and make reasonable child support arguments and custody arrangements.
The right attorney has the legal knowledge needed for your case, guides you through the process, negotiates well, understands the court system, and creatively solves problems. Whether your case will get to trial or not, the attorney you choose must be highly experienced in family law.
Should I Hire a Lawyer for Family Law?
If you are facing legal matters involving family issues in Philadelphia, consult a family law attorney to guide you on the proceedings. Whether you are planning to navigate child custody, divorce, or want to adopt a child, hiring an experienced lawyer can give you the peace of mind you need. Your family attorney should guide you through the details and give you a nuance of the legal system in Philadelphia, as well as represent you in court. Start your process today by contacting William Kirby – Family Law Attorney today.