Many people, when they imagine a lawyer, can only think of what they see on television. They may think of a criminal defense lawyer or prosecutor strutting around the criminal court with a person’s life on the line. Or else, they think of the personal injury lawyers that advertise during the commercials for those who have been wrongly injured. There’s nothing wrong with this limited understanding of the law and lawyers, of course, but it can lead to serious difficulties for people who don’t realize there are lawyers available to help them with their own legal troubles.
Take, for instance, family law. This is an area of law that many people don’t even know exists, and yet, whenever a family issue becomes a legal issue, there are lawyers available to advise and argue for you. What sort of issues does this include? The family law firm Adams Law Firm lays out the legal options very clearly:
- Child custody
- Child support
- Spousal support
- Enforcement of divorce agreements
- Prenuptial Agreements
- Division of assets
- Grandparents’ rights over children
- Child protective services
- Paternity tests and all attending cases
- Modifications of child support, custody, and divorce
- Contempt of court for failing to meet agreements
- Visitation rights
Some of these terms may not even be familiar to those who need a lawyer to represent them. For instance, paternity tests can be used to prove who the father is, using DNA. This can then be used to either get child support for the mother and child, or else for the father to get visitation or custody of the child. In other words, it’s a process that works both ways. Grandparents’ rights aren’t often discussed because they are somewhat limited in most states, but in some situations, a grandparent can win the right to visitation or even custody of their grandchild. As you can see, family law is expansive and involves just about every situation in which a family may find themselves when connected to the law.
So, what does it matter if people don’t know about family law and how a family lawyer can help them? After all, people probably do know that divorce lawyers exist. Surely they’d discover a lawyer exists for their other family law needs as well.
Maybe, but I’m not so certain. You can imagine someone trying to get paternity rights over their child who isn’t aware that a lawyer can help them reach their goal. You can also imagine grandparents who need to get legal custody over their grandchild completely lost in the process and too stressed to look into whether there are lawyer that can help.
There are plenty of situations in which a lack of knowledge could lead to profound injustices for families. A child could be denied time with their father just because the father doesn’t know how to get a lawyer’s assistance. A child could be denied a safer home because the grandparents don’t know how to contact a lawyer to pursue a case. That’s why it is so important to understand what family law is and how it can help you.