Family Law
Family law encompasses all aspects of family and personal relationships.  It includes marriage, adoption, paternity, divorce, custody, support and estate planning.  We can assist you in a wide range of domestic situations from pre-nuptial agreements to domestic violence.  These are highly personal and emotional issues that we strive to handle with compassion and skill.

Common Family Law Questions 

Do you need a lawyer in family court?

It really depends on the situation.  Family court includes divorce, alimony, spousal support, child support, custody, and protection from abuse orders.  There are some matters that the parties can resolve without attorneys if they agree.  When parties do not agree, legal advice is strongly recommended.  Without an attorney, you may agree to something you did not intend or miss out on something that you may want.

What do family lawyers do?

Family lawyers can help you stay out of court by working with the other person or their attorney to settle disputes such as custody or visitation with your children. If agreements cannot be reached, a family lawyer will advise you on what litigation is necessary to preserve your rights and come to a fair resolution.  You may be agreeing to pay too much spousal support or maybe missing out on a share of your spouse’s retirement benefits. 

How to get a court ordered DNA test?

 DNA testing is used to establish paternity.  It is usually a simple cheek swab of the child and possible father. A party may need a court order to compel the DNA test in a custody matter. A positive match means the person is the father and has legal rights.  If you are filing for child support or opposing paying support, the court can order the test to ensure the responsible party is involved.

What happens after emergency custody is granted?

If emergency custody is granted, the court is already involved and entered an Order.  Follow the Order until you go back to court!  If you don’t agree with the Order, you have to file a petition with the Court to have it reviewed and modified.  If the Order is not followed, it is considered contempt of court. 

How do I file for child custody?

 A complaint for custody must be filed in the county where the child lived for the last six (6) months.  Each county is a little different, but in general, you will be assigned a date and time for a conference to try to work out an agreement with the other party. There is physical custody and legal custody. Every case is looked at on its own facts and based upon a child’s “best interest”. Family law attorneys can help you understand your rights and how this process works

Who pays court costs in child custody cases?

 Each party is responsible for their own court costs in child custody cases. 

What constitutes an emergency custody hearing?

The courts consider conduct which endangers a child to be an emergency.  If a parent is having a significant crisis, that may be an emergency that would warrant modifying custody or changing visitation.  Leaving the area with the child, withholding a passport or social security card may be an emergency. Concealing the whereabouts of the child is an emergency. Missing practice for soccer is not.