Why seeing a lawyer right away can save you from problems later
To Learn Your Options: A good family law attorney can discuss the different legal options you have when you face a domestic dispute. Is divorce the answer? Is there an alternative? How should I protect myself during reconciliation attempts? A family law attorney can give you information as to your options, even if you're not sure about divorce.
To Obtain Information On Your Rights: The decisions you make during a family law case can affect you and your children the rest of your lives. No one should make these decisions without properly being informed of their rights under the law. You should not trust the other side to properly explain your rights under the law. You should educate yourself to your rights through a consultation with a qualified attorney. Many attorneys will provide consultation on an hourly basis without the necessity of a big retainer. You should get the information you need to make these very important decisions as soon as you can. Ignorance is not bliss... in Family Law, ignorance can cause great harm to your family, your assets and your finances.
To Preserve Your Assets & Protect Against Unnecessary Joint Debt: During a divorce, the families' finances can be examined and divided by the Court. It is important to get legal advice as soon as possible to protect your financial future. If you have a will, living trust, life insurance policies, and other assets with named beneficiaries, it is important that you seek the advice of a lawyer as soon as possible to determine the effect a divorce may have on your estate planning. Many times waiting until someone has filed for a divorce is too late.
To Get Information On Parental Responsibilities During the Dispute: During a family law dispute it is important to remember that the parents' decisions and behavior can change the lives of their children. Parents need to be especially sensitive to their children during a custody battle. It is important that the children are not emotionally battered and dragged into the conflicts between their parents. A good lawyer can provide advice as to parenting plans that will work in the best interests of your children. In addition, a good lawyer can refer you to counselors and therapists who can help your family get through the difficult times.
Generally, debts incurred during the marriage are community obligations. This includes credit card bills, even if the credit card is in one name only. Student loans are an important exception because they are considered separate property debts. Community property possessions and community property debts are divided equally unless both spouses agree to an unequal division in writing. If spouses can't agree on the division of debts and possessions, a judge makes that decision.
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