Category Archives: Family Law

Calculating CHild Support


Who will pay child support will depend to a great extent on where the children spend most of their time. If your spouse is the custodial parent, then you will almost always be  required to pay child support. Generally the courts hold that both parents are responsible for supporting the children, and when the children stay with one parent most of the time, chances are that custodial parent will require some assistance paying for the housing, food, clothing, and everything else the children need. But there are cases where the parent with primary custody has been ordered to pay child support to the non-custodial parent. When the custodial parent’s income is substantial greater than the other’s parent’s, the court can order the custodial parent to pay child support to the non-custodial parent based on the amount of time the non-custodial parent spends with the children. If you and your spouse share custody 50-50 and your income is significantly greater than your spouse’s income, you will generally be required to pay child support to your spouse even though you’re caring for the children half the time. Seek the assistance of an experienced family law attorney to calculate child support.

If you are expecting to pay child support, there are a many resources you could turn to for help in calculating what you might expect to pay in child support.  You can always use the Internet. If you aren’t connected at home, you can visit a café or public library where you can get online and do some research. Generally a parent who wants to get a general idea of how much support he or she is likely to be ordered to pay:

• Talk to an experienced family law attorney. The attorney will generally have a software that will calculate support under the state law. The attorney can provide you with the most accurate idea of how much child support you will have to pay.

• Use an online calculator (or downloadable worksheets) specifically designed for your state by either the court system, the child support enforcement agency for your state, or a commercial website. This will provide you with an approximate estimate of the child support you may have to pay.

• You can use one of the many online calculators to get a ballpark figure. However it is not nearly as reliable as either of the other methods. Firstly an online calculator will not provide you with the exact amount of support that you may be ordered to pay. The guidelines are not necessarily the be-all and end-all of what a judge would order.

A judge will consider your state’s child support guidelines when determining the amount of child support you may have to pay. Also the parent expected to pay child support can persuade the judge to reduce the amount based on the circumstances and other factors.

Calculating child support is complex. Consult with an experienced family law attorney. The attorney can guide you through the complex maze of child support guidelines in your state.

Family Law Overview

Family law is a generic but broad area of law dealing with the law of personal relationships. It covers a wide array of legal issues, from marriage, divorce, legal separation, adoption, child custody, child support, parenting time, division of marital property, juvenile law and a myriad of other issues. Within these issues, there are literally hundred of sub-issues.

When a marriage is ending, there are numerous issues which must be dealt with besides merely ending the legal relationship of marriage. The property accumulated by the parties must be equitably divided pursuant to state law, debts must be assigned, child custody must be resolved, parenting time for the non-custodial parent must be considered, and financial support of the child or children must be addressed. Issues regarding the continuation of health insurance, whether the family home must be sold, whether a parent decides to move from the area are other issues that commonly appear in the family law realm. Family law attorneys are trained to resolve these situations. At worst, issues of domestic violence may be present, bringing the realm of criminal law into the situation.

The large majority of family law issues are governed by state law. State laws in these areas vary widely, so it is important to find a family law attorney who practices in the jurisdiction where the issues will be determined. Federal law may also come into play, for instance, in the collection of child support and tax issues.

When children are involved, parenting issues do not end at the granting of the divorce or separation agreement. Parenting issues will continue until the last child reaches the age of majority and sometimes beyond. Ending the legal relationship with the former spouse or life partner does not necessarily end all contact with that person, or end all issues with them.

When personal relationships go bad, they are often one of the most emotionally volatile situations one experiences in their life. Thus, family law can be one of the most emotionally charged aspects of law. As the relationship is ending, many people are at their emotional peak. Many have become so stressed that they have reached the point of emotional deadness.

Thus, the family law practitioner, by their experience are prepared to deal with seeing people at their worst, and takes into consideration the stress of the relationship breakup is causing them. An experienced and quality family law attorney will handle the issues in a professional manner, attempting to remove the emotional aspect from the equation as much as possible, but will remain compassionate to the client.
Other family law issues are not so emotionally draining, and are often joyous occasions. Adoptions are a good example of this. Both the client and the family law lawyer will usually take joy in seeing an adoption move forward to a successful conclusion.

Finding the right family law attorney for you will help you go a long ways towards reaching a fair resolution to your family law issue. A knowledgeable, professional, family law lawyer can make all of the difference.

Spousal Support

Anyone who has ever been through a divorce knows how hard it can be. They know how draining a divorce can be in every way. There is no reason that one cannot file for spousal support. A good way to start this process is to consult a family law lawyer. This type of lawyer does specialize in family law. It does not seem as if a divorce or gaining spousal support should be tied to family law at first; but when going through the process of a nasty divorce, one realizes quickly how it deals directly to family law.

Spousal support is called such because it is a payment that is court ordered and generally is given to the spouse with the lower income. The purpose of such payments are to insure that both parties stay in the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed. The rulings on spousal support do vary state by state. If one is seeking this type of support one should definitely check the legalities and statutes dealing with this specific item. This type of support is also not to be confused with child support. Spousal support is exactly what it says it is. It is for a spouse.
Spousal support can also be called alimony; although the latter term is a more antiquated version of this type of support it still means the same thing. If this type of support is something that one is considering then a family law attorney would be the best person to let one know if there is a call for it. Even though most spousal support claims are made by the wife, there are circumstances where the husband is afforded this type of support. Since a family law lawyer can be more acquainted with the permissibility and statutes of spousal support it is best to let one of them handle the case and hearing instead of taking the bulk onto oneself.

There are certain stipulations put on this type of support and actions that will make spousal support cease. It can be anything from a hike in wages or a remarriage. These widely vary from state to state, and it would be advisable to ask about them when thinking of filing for this type of support. There are certainly a great many things to be considered when asking for any type of support from a spouse during divorce proceedings or even after they have come to a close. Spousal support is not the exception to the rule.

Any time a relationship ends it is difficult to think about the next day much less a long term future with a settlement. For this reason the family law attorney firm are the best people to have in ones’ corner. Before going down that road take the time to make sure that this is the right path. There can be no mistaking judgment if the attorney and the path are both the correct ones for this type of personal struggle to take.

Getting a Legal Separation

There are many reasons why married couples separate during their marriage. It is important to understand first of all the differences between legal separation and divorce. First, legal separation means that you live apart yet remain married. During a legal separation, there is usually an arrangement for visitation, custody, child support, spousal support and so on. However, the marriage remains in tact. Legal separation is often the first step taken by couples who are considering divorce.

When you are selecting a family law attorney to guide you through the process of a legal separation, understand that many of the documents prepared by the family law attorney are the same as those used for divorce. While you may be only considering a legal separation, the process is usually the same. Make sure that the family law lawyer that you select is well schooled in the process of legal separation and divorce, as this will be very helpful should you and your spouse decide to complete the process and become divorced.

Legal separation means the spouses are living apart yet the marriage is not dissolved. A family law lawyer will assist each party in the process of filing for legal separation and completing all of the necessary steps. It is important that these steps be completed in a way that is favorable to both parties in fairness and justness. Should the couple decide to completely divorce, normally the judge will utilize any legal agreements made during the legal separation as a basis for the finalized papers of a divorce.

While in most states legal representation is not necessary for an agreement to be made, there should be an order filed with the courts to protect both parties legally. Legal separation is not established just because you live apart. A few steps should be followed to ensure that each party is legally protected. The party that is moving out should remove their name from any lease or mortgage if possible. If the spouses cannot agree on joint bank accounts, then the accounts should be frozen until such a time that an agreement can be made.

Other things that need to be taken care of can be covered by the attorney that you choose to represent you in the matter. In some circumstances, attorneys can be very expensive. However, the piece of mind that you can obtain by having an attorney do the work for you is important. Attorneys deal with things such as legal separation and divorce on a regular basis. Make sure that you follow through on any and all obligations that are included in the separation agreement. Not doing so will result in further legal issues for you and also will not help you when you go before the judge for finalization of a divorce should you decide to do so. In the case of children, if you are to pay support and do not do so, you can find yourself lodged in jail for non-payment. It is important that all agreements you make are followed up on to ensure a civil legal separation and/or divorce, should you find that you cannot reconcile.

Divorce Law

Atlanta divorceDivorce is a part of family law. Most family lawyers deal in divorce matters but if you are looking for an expert, you should hire the services of an experienced divorce lawyer. A good  divorce law firm deals exclusively in divorce matters.

Divorce law is governed by state law. Each state has its own residency requirements for filing of a divorce petition. If you do not meet the residency requirements, then you cannot file a divorce petition in that state. Divorce attorneys are generally aware of the residency requirements of the states they practice in. An experienced divorce attorney will review your circumstances and determine if you meet the residency requirements for filing a divorce petition under your state law. If you do not meet the residency requirements, a divorce attorney can advice you of your options.

Once you meet the residency requirements, you must have a valid ground for seeking a divorce. The grounds for divorce are governed by state law. Consult with an experienced divorce lawyer to know if you have a valid ground for seeking a divorce under your state laws. Divorce lawyers can review your circumstances and advice you of the grounds on which you can seek a divorce under your state laws.

Once you file the divorce petition you must serve the papers on your spouse. Service must be made in accordance with your state laws. Divorce attorneys are well versed in the rules of service. An experienced divorce attorney can assist you file your divorce petition in the right court and also serve the papers on your spouse according to your state law.

If your divorce is uncontested, you should still use the services of divorce lawyers or family lawyers. In an uncontested divorce, a divorce lawyer can help you prepare and file the marital settlement agreement which lists the terms of the divorce and forms a part of the divorce decree.

In a contested divorce, you will be questioned by your spouse’s attorney. How you answer the questions will play an important part in the outcome of your divorce case. Divorce attorneys are experienced in the art of cross examination. An experienced divorce attorney can advise you on how to answer the questions and can also question your spouse to help you establish your case.

Child Custody

Child custody is a part of divorce law. Most divorce attorneys can assist you with child custody but if are looking for the best source of assistance with child custody issues, then you should hire the services of a child custody attorney. Child custody attorneys specialize in child custody issues.

Generally child custody is one of the most contested issues in a divorce proceeding. Usually the mother gets the custody of children especially of the children are young. But that does not mean that a father cannot get child custody. If you are a father fighting for child custody, an experienced child custody lawyer can assist you get custody of your child. Child custody lawyers can also help the mother in a child custody battle.

The court will consider many factors while determining the issue of child custody. Child custody lawyers and child support lawyers are generally aware of these factors. An experienced child custody lawyer can review your case and advise you on your options regarding child custody arrangements. There are different types of child custody – joint and sole. An experienced child custody attorney can advise you on which type of child custody is best suited in your circumstances. In joint custody, both parents share the custody of the child whereas in sole custody, one parent gets the custody of the child. If you do not get child custody, an experienced child custody attorney can assist you get visitation rights.

Since child custody litigation is often contested, the testimony of the parties and witnesses can play an important role in the outcome of the litigation. Child custody lawyers are experienced in the art of questioning the parties and witnesses. A good child custody lawyer can assist you in preparing for questioning by the other side and also advice you on how to answer the questions put forth to you. A child custody attorney can assist you gather evidence in support of your case and also question the witnesses to assist you prove your case.

Child custody mediation is voluntary but sometimes, in a child custody case, the court may order the parties to enter into a mediation to resolve the issue. In such cases, an experienced child custody attorney can assist you in the mediation.

Child Custody Lawyers Can Help You in Your Custody Battle

When you are going through a divorce and you have children it can be one of the most trying times of your life. No one wants to lose their kids. The very first things you need to do are call child custody lawyers and find one that fits within your perimeters. When you are fighting to win sole custody of your children you need a family lawyer in your corner. A lawyer can help you understand the legal statues and precedents of the family law process. They can help you figure out what your first line of defense and your offense should be. Child custody lawyers can show you a synopsis of what the courts will deem as an ideal parent and how you can fall into this clarification. Your attorney will tell you upfront what they think your chances are. You will need to be forth right with your child custody lawyers as the more information you divulge to them about your situation the better they can represent you and your children.

If you have had problems in your past with the law and you were charged with a crime even if you were a minor with an expunged record your lawyer needs to know. These types of miscommunications can make or break your custody battle. When you are interviewing child custody lawyers you will need to ask about their payment plans and how much they charge for a retainer fee. With the economy being what it is many attorneys now allow their clients to do a payment plan.  You may even be able to find an attorney that will take your case pro bono. You should make sure you contact child custody lawyers as soon as you possibly can as they will need the extra time to formulate a plan for the strategy of your custody case.

When you contact local child custody lawyers you will need to set up an appointment to meet with these attorneys most family law lawyers will offer a free consultation. You should always listen to that little voice inside yourself. Do you feel like the attorney cares? Do you like the attorney? You must be sure about your choice as you might have to work with this attorney for years to come. Some custody cases may seem to drag on for years so you and your attorney will have to be diligent. You might have to come to a compromise to get to the terms of a custody agreement that you and your ex spouse can live with.