5 Essential Services Provided by a Family Lawyer

divorce lawyers

A family law lawyer is an attorney who deals with legal matters involving divorce, child custody, and other related issues. An excellent way to find a family law attorney is to ask for references from previous clients and look for reviews online.

If you are facing a difficult situation regarding your family, it is time to consult a New York family lawyer. Oddo & Babat is here to assist you with any family law concerns.

Cohabitation Agreements

While some couples choose to live together without marriage, a cohabitation agreement can help protect their assets and financial interests. A Pearland family lawyer can assist with drafting a contract that will be considered valid and enforceable under state law.

Cohabitation agreements typically outline property and income accumulated, gifts or inheritances received, expenses (including utilities, insurance, and grocery costs), and how the assets would be divided upon separation or death. It is often best to prepare this contract early in the relationship while both partners are on good terms.

Having such an agreement in place can help resolve disputes quickly and easily. This is especially important for heterosexual and same-sex couples. It can also provide clarity and peace of mind for anyone who may worry about the future of their relationship.

Postnuptial Agreements

Postnuptial agreements are a type of legal contract that couples can create to establish their financial interests in the event of divorce. They can include topics such as property division, spousal support entitlement, and the waiver of inheritance rights. While critics often vilify these types of contracts, they can provide peace of mind to couples concerned about the prospect of divorce.

They can also provide a platform for couples worried about discussing finances before their wedding day to work through the issue honestly and responsibly. However, it should be noted that courts evaluate several factors when determining whether or not an agreement is enforceable, such as fairness, disclosure of assets and liabilities, and the absence of duress or coercion.

Separation Agreements

A legally binding separation agreement dictates how spouses handle their affairs during separation. It outlines essential terms like property division, who lives in the marital home and establishes child custody, visitation schedules, and spousal support.

This legal document may also include provisions about future debts, which spouse is liable for them, and how long alimony payments will continue. In the event of a divorce, this is one of the most important documents that can be presented to the court for consideration.

However, a properly executed separation agreement is only valid if both parties have given full financial disclosure and have had independent legal advice before signing. Otherwise, the court might deem it invalid and unenforceable. Regardless, a separation agreement can save couples time and money in the long run.

Application for Spousal Support

Under New York State law, a spouse or former de facto partner has a legal obligation to support their spouse to the extent that they cannot meet their own reasonable needs from their income and assets. Spousal support (also known as maintenance) is generally based on a guideline calculation that considers both parties’ income and the length of the marriage.

If you are facing a separation or divorce or have questions regarding custody, child support, or property matters, a family lawyer can help.

Emergency Protection Orders

In situations where someone infringes on another’s personal space or rights, such as domestic violence, harassment, or stalking, an emergency protection order may be issued. These can be obtained from the Family, Criminal, or Supreme Court.

If you are a victim of abuse, call the police and show them your protection order (and write down their name and badge number). Also, plan a safety route, including the best places to go, where you can keep cash, spare clothing, and keys to your house and vehicles.

While restraining orders and estate planning are family lawyers’ most common services, they also handle more specialized cases, such as contested paternity. Family law remains a complex and vital area of legal practice.


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