When it comes to family law, most people will think of the scariest things, like divorce or child support. Although family law attorneys handle many of these cases, there is much more to family law where attorneys are needed. Most lawyers are also compassionate and understand a family’s disputes and situations. Family law attorneys in New Albany handle the following cases:
- Adopting children;
- Parents who split up and are unmarried;
- Child support;
- Paternity issues;
- Assisted conception and surrogacy;
- Same-sex marriages;
- Prenuptial agreements;
- Estate Planning.
Adopting children is most common when a married couple wants a baby or child and cannot have one of their own. An adoption is also an option when a step-parent (usually the father) wishes to adopt the spouse’s child. That situation can go either way, but it is mostly the step-father who does the adoption to have the last name of the child changed to theirs and legally calls that child their own.
There is a massive amount of paperwork that goes into the adoption process. Family law attorneys specialize in this handling. All it takes at the end is for the judge to sign off, and the process is completed.
Unmarried Parents Split Up
This situation is common in our society today because many parents decide not to get married or wait to get married for a later date. Meanwhile, the child will almost always go with the mother when unwed parents split up. The process is like a regular divorce with children, but only the ruling is about what is best for the child.
If the mother is the perfect fit to provide the child with a good home, then the child will live with the mother. If not, there are situations where the mother was found unfit, and the custody went to the father. The other party will have to pay child support according to state law.
Every state in the US has a law that states that the noncustodial parent must pay child support or see that the child is taken care of financially. Many deadbeat parents will try to avoid paying child support, but most parents follow the law. The fines are hefty if caught not paying child support when the judge orders it. The family attorney will help calculate the amount according to what the noncustodial parent makes. A certain percentage is met where they will pay the state, and the state disperses the money to the parent with domicile rights.
The attorney can assist in obtaining child support, and they can also go after those who choose to defy the state law. Though the judge has the final say on the outcome, the attorney can persuade the decision of most judges to act in the domicile parent’s favor.
These issues are not specific to one issue or another. Anything can happen as a parent, and problems arise with work, school, home school, and other activities. From before becoming a parent to the child leaving the nest, issues arise where legal advice or action is needed. That is why the family law attorneys are there for you in your time of need as a parent.
Surrogate Parents and Assisted Conception
Surrogate parents are those who agree with a pregnant mother who wishes to give the child up for the best option for the child. It is modeled after the adoption laws but still requires a lot of paperwork. Usually, the surrogate parents are couples who cannot conceive. A family attorney can draw up the paperwork to give the best chance for the child according to the birth mother’s rights and the surrogate parents.
Assisted conception deals with clinics that administer the parents, help them conceive a child, and require a lot of paperwork. Family attorneys can assist in filling out and filing the paperwork and advise on the rights of the parents going through assisted conception.
If something happens to the parents, grandparents or other family members can get custody of the child to raise them. The first process is determining if the legal guardian candidate fits the role. Then the attorney will take it from there and file the papers necessary. Once the paperwork is filled out, it gives them all the rights and benefits needed to help raise the child.
In a few states, same-sex marriages are legal. These are also known as Civil Unions for those where it is not yet legal. The paperwork is drawn up in the same manner as though it were a man and a woman, and it gives the couple the same rights as a married couple according to the law.
These agreements are made before the wedding day. It is an agreement between the couple that whatever one spouse has, the other cannot touch it should they get a divorce. This usually consists of businesses, substantial amounts of money, inheritances, homes, boats, vehicles, and other items or money the couple wishes to keep separate.
The attorney can assist with the paperwork, and they can help if the couple splits up. The attorney will review the prenup and calculate all remaining items accumulated within the marriage that are not in the prenup. It will go to community property and be split accordingly unless it is in the contract.
Among all that is listed, nothing is more vicious than when a person dies. The family remaining will always fight over the inheritance left behind. Estate planning eliminates most conflict because a Living Will is drawn up, splitting the estate according to the person’s wishes. Some people continue to contest the Will, but the final answer follows the Will of the deceased.
The planning process begins when the Living Will is written, and a Power of Attorney is chosen when it’s time. Beneficiaries are selected for all accounts, homes, properties, and items to be passed down if mentioned. At the time of the person’s passing, the attorney will gather all the beneficiaries listed in the Will, and they will have what is called “The Reading of the Will.” This is where the attorney goes through the Will, appoints the estate, and divides everything according to what is written. Everyone in the room must agree that they understand what is written and sign off on what is theirs at the time of disbursement. The attorney also acts as a referee to keep everything as civil as possible, and they can also work with family members who wish to contest the Will.