Are you wondering if you need to hire a family lawyer? Click here for thirteen telltale signs that you need to seek family law services.

Did you know that in the United States, 37.6% of all marriages end in divorce? Many divorcing couples will require a family attorney.

When it comes to family law matters, you are likely to seek legal advice. These matters are very important, and it is best to get family law services than to seek advice from friends and family. In family law situations, timely legal counsel can assist you in making better decisions.

If you’re trying to decide if you need a family attorney, the answer is yes. Divorce is hard enough. You don’t want to miss out on important times with your kids.

Read on for 13 signs you need to seek family law services.

Reasons to Seek Family Law Services?

Family lawyers specialize in family law matters such as divorce and paternity issues. Some family lawyers are experts in a few other areas, such as child custody, support, visitation, and the rights of minors.

Family laws vary from state to state. Family lawyers must be familiar with the laws regarding legal residences when one spouse has moved out of state alone or with minor children.

When to Hire a Family Lawyer?

You can retain a family lawyer at any time. Unfortunately, most people only consider hiring a lawyer for family law services when it’s time to get a  divorce.

You may need family law advice in various situations, such as the following:

1. Pre-nuptial Agreements

There was a time when pre-nuptial agreements were for the rich and famous. Today, they can apply to anyone entering a marriage with assets they want to protect in case of divorce.

A prenup can cover many different things between you and your partner. There are no laws specifically dealing with prenups in Maryland. It’s all governed by contract law, so hiring a lawyer is strongly advised for both parties.

2. Divorce and Separation

Suppose you and your significant other are headed for divorce or an annulment, and you have children, assets, and debts. In that case, you need an expert on family law sooner rather than later.

Divorce and annulments can be very messy and involve complex laws.

Apart from these family laws, there are also long and hectic procedures that you may not be able to go through on your own, including:

  • Filling notices
  • Hearings
  • Depositions
  • Discovery
  • and more

You will also be very emotional due to the divorce and figuring out your future. It’s best to start researching family law services as soon as divorce seems imminent.

3. Child Custody and Maintenance

When it comes to child custody, it’s all about what’s best for the kids. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to child custody because each case is different, and each child is unique.

Sometimes, a judge may deny custody or visitation rights to protect the kid. They can lift the visitation order if the Court finds no chance of further abuse or neglect.

Things that judges look for in child custody cases include:

  • Age, health, and sex of a child
  • Character and reputation
  • Child’s preference
  • Fitness of parents
  • Impact of child
  • Maintaining family relationships
  • Opportunity for visitation
  • Parent agreements
  • Parent residences
  • Voluntary absence or abandonment

A good family law lawyer can make all the difference in your case. Their services are worth every penny in saving you time and energy during a divorce.

4. Emancipation of Minors

Perhaps you have minor children who are approaching 18 years of age. He or she may be over the family dynamics and want to start adulting sooner rather than later.

If you have a child under 17 and the parents want to set them free legally, they must seek legal advice. This will give the child the right to self-reliance, and the parents will no longer be held responsible.

Family law is also a very sensitive area, and judges tend to look at the child’s interests first. Therefore, you must seek legal advice from an experienced family law lawyer.

5. Relocation

If a parent wishes to move to another state with their child, they will need to file a petition with the court if the other parent objects. This is especially true when the move would affect the child’s custody rights with the non-custodial parent.

A family attorney can advise on filing a petition with the court to change custody and visitation rules. Under Maryland law, moving a child is considered a per se change in circumstances that require the court to reconsider the custody agreement.

6. Resolve Financial Issues

Money is often at the forefront of marital problems. Once your spouse decides divorce is the only option, they may hide financial assets. Hiring a lawyer can help you figure out what’s best for you.

Don’t be surprised if they suggest talking to a bankruptcy lawyer. They’ll recommend this course of action if there’s no way to work out a settlement through negotiations or mediation.

If that doesn’t work out, you might want to consider filing for bankruptcy together. You’ll need both lawyers’ legal help to ensure everything goes smoothly and the court system schedules the bankruptcy and divorce accordingly.

7. Court Ordered Health Insurance

In Maryland, a spouse can be ordered to continue or reinstate coverage for the other spouse under their group health insurance. Usually, a spouse can stay on the same plan until the date they divorce.

After the divorce, the former spouse usually can stay on the plan for up to three years or, according to Maryland law, indefinitely under COBRA, which can be costly.

The Court can split the cost of spousal health insurance benefits between the two spouses while the divorce is in process and after it’s finalized. This expense is in addition to alimony and child support.

8. Intervention Orders

“Cruelty of Treatment” is another name for ongoing domestic abuse in Maryland. For it to become the leading cause of divorce, it must last for a long time.

If someone is being abused, they may need to go to the courts to get help. Hiring an attorney will help you prove that acts of violence against members of your family or household require an intervention order.

9. Medical Decisions

Parents face medical decisions like whether or not to vaccinate their children. When you’re going through a divorce, you’ll need a custody order to help you make the right decision.

Even if you don’t have legal custody, you still have the power to fight for what’s best for your child in court. Suppose the legal guardian refuses to let you do something that could save or improve the child’s life, like surgery, a vaccine, or any other medical procedure. In that case, you can ask the court to intervene.

10. Property Settlements

Maryland is considered a fair or equitable distribution state and does not require divorce judges to split property in half. Instead, the court has the discretion to distribute the parties’ assets in an equitable manner in all circumstances.

Marital property, which includes any property acquired by either party during the marriage, is divided equally unless the court determines that equal distribution would be unfair. Hiring an attorney during property disputes can help you with property settlements.

11. Recovery Orders

Family law services are instrumental in assisting in recovery orders. These orders are imposed when the custodial parent cannot care for their children due to substance abuse.

The courts can order the parent into recovery and place the children with a non-custodial parent, relative, or foster care. Hiring a lawyer may be your best chance to gain custody of your children or determine their placement with a trusted caregiver.

12. Abandonment

When things get tough in a marriage, one spouse may choose to leave the home. If one partner leaves and abandons their spouse, it’s considered abandonment. It can be a legal ground for absolute divorce if they are gone for 12 consecutive months.

Spousal abandonment can result in legal sanctions against the spouse that left. These sanctions may include alimony and asset allocation issues.

Hiring a lawyer to represent you in these matters is crucial. You want to ensure that the divorce is handled properly.

13. Reproductive Rights

Maryland is among the most popular places for Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) treatments. It has a lot of fertility clinics but not a lot of laws in place.

When a married woman gets In vitro fertilization (IVF), the husband is the legal father by default. An issue can arise if fertilization occurs, but the couple chooses to delay the implementation of the embryos.

A family lawyer can help the couple decide the next steps if either or both parties want to use the embryos after the divorce. Another issue is Maryland law only deals with the rights of married men, not those of same-sex spouses.

Do You Need a Family Attorney?

As you can see, family law services encompass a wide degree of legal matters pertaining to families. The ultimate goal is to assist families in remaining whole and protecting everyone’s best interests.

At Blattner Family Law, we want to help you protect what matters the most…family!

Contact us today for a FREE evaluation. Or call 443-241-8987.