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Marriage provides a family with a structure that is beneficial for all children, but with divorce, destruction of that structure is inevitable. The sooner a family law attorney can aid in the legal process, the sooner the proceedings will end, allowing everyone to move on with their life and begin nurturing their children again. The divorce process can be a lengthy one, especially without an experienced family law attorney. The process typically involves questions and concerns about the division of marital property, child custody, child support, and spousal support. If litigation is required, your family law attorney must be prepared to devote all legal resources required to present relevant facts and all applicable law to the court for consideration.
Divorce and family law litigation differs from any other civil litigation. Family law deals with a very emotional area of the law often involving anxiety, anger, and depression, and sometimes clouds the clear path to a beneficial solution for all. The behavior of the parties during the litigation process may change the course of the case and directly affect the ultimate outcome of the case. An experienced family law attorney provides sensitive and timely advice and legal solutions to problems in all areas of family law.
Mediation is a process that uses a neutral third-party representative to help settle disputes. Mediation gives people who have a disagreement over issues in a family law case help in reaching an agreement with each respective family law attorney and a neutral person skilled in problem solving. Most mediators in family law cases are trained as licensed social workers, psychologists, and other mental health professionals. Lawyers who are trained in or practice family law also may provide family law mediation.
Your family law attorney can help you decide if your case should be mediated. If there is a disagreement over custody of minor children, parenting time with minor children, child or spousal support, or allocation of debt and distribution of property, the parties may, with their family law attorneys, call a mediator to help them resolve their disputes without going to court. Due to the high volume in family courts and because the court process often fails to adequately resolve the issues, courts encourage the mediation of disputes in family law cases.
Family law attorneys can help ease the pain and emotions in a family law case by expediting the process and assisting you in organizing your thoughts and concerns throughout the legal process. An experienced family law attorney will ease the stressful process of family law cases and help to find a rapid solution.
Your family law attorney will help you in filing a petition for mediation. As soon as a petition is filed, the parent filing the petition must tell the court that there is a controversy over custody or parental visitation with a child. The parents are required to attend a mediation orientation session and meet with a mediator to try to resolve those disputes. The rules for mediation depend on the jurisdiction in which mediation will be performed. In some jurisdictions, the court requires the parties to attend mediation when one or more parties ask the court to hold a hearing on custody or parenting time. Other jurisdictions have no mandatory requirement for mediation, but the court maintains a list of private mediators who will, upon request, assist parents in resolving custody and parenting visitation disputes.
In cases when children are not involved, many jurisdictions have a number of private mediators who will assist parties in family law cases to resolve their disputes. This service covers divorces and other types of family separations and can be arranged with your family law attorney.
With the help of your family law attorney, you will be encouraged to give information to the mediator before the mediation process begins to help the mediator resolve the dispute. Family law attorneys are usually not encouraged to attend the mediation if the sessions are to resolve custody and parenting time disputes. Family law attorneys should be in attendance when mediation sessions address issues that are financial, including property, debts and support.
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Child custody rights may be shared by both parents or, primary child custody rights may be awarded to one parent or legal guardian. Since the 1970s the family court will award child custody rights contingent with the best interests of the child.
Child custody for fathers following a divorce is one of the most important aspects of a dissolving marriage. Throughout history the legal presumptions about child custody for fathers has changed significantly. Before the twentieth century children were regarded as the property of their father. Under common law, child custody for fathers was commonly awarded, as children were considered a father's rightful property. A major shift occurred after this period in history, as family courts came to favor mothers in child custody cases. It was presumed that under normal circumstances, children did better when placed in the sole custody of their mothers.