Family lawyers specialize in areas involving matrimony and children.
These areas include:
- Child custody agreements
- Divorce agreements
- Prenuptial agreements
- Cohabitation agreements
- Domestic violence
- Child support agreements
- Parental Leave
- Family property
- Recognition of paternity
- Spousal support
Do I Need a Lawyer?
A family lawyer can play a significant or limited role. If spouses are deciding on a child custody agreement, and are agreeable on the terms, then a lawyer could simply draw up papers for both to sign. However in the case of an acrimonious separation, a lawyer can argue everything from child custody, to who gets the glassware. Either way a lawyer will play a role.
What Will it Cost?
That depends entirely on your circumstances. Drawing up a simple contract can run between $750 and $1,500. A more elaborate one, requiring court appearances and several hours of work, can run into the tens of thousands. Legal aid is an option for those with limited financial resources. Remember, every time you receive a phone call, email or letter from your lawyer, he / she is on the clock. Legal fees add up.
How Do I Find a Lawyer?
- Start by asking friends and family. It is likely someone you know has been divorced, or been involved in a child custody arrangement, or the specifics of your case. If not, it is likely they know someone who has.
- Contact your provincial legal society to find a lawyer in good standing. Family lawyers are held up to intense scrutiny as their cases frequently involve children.
- Many family lawyers will provide a free initial consultation where you will have a chance to decide if this is the right lawyer for you.
- Make sure you have all documentation prepared. If you’re talking about custody, bring your children’s birth certificates. If it’s a divorce, you will need to prove ownership of assets. Same stands for a prenup. Regarding child support you will need proof of income. Talk to your lawyer during the initial consultation to find out what you will need.
- A small firm will often be able to provide more concentrated service to your case. A large firm will be able to devote more energy to a complex case.
- Make sure you are very clear as to your specific needs i.e.: a child custody agreement. Don’t waste your time or the lawyer’s.