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Everything you need to know about Family Law

October 4, 2019

Introduction

Family is one of the most important aspects of a person’s life. Your family plays a huge role in the development of your personality and character. Everyone loves their family but things can sometimes take a turn for the bad. All that glitter isn’t gold; there can be a lot of issues within the family as well. Sometimes these issues can reach a higher level and you might have to hire legal help to sort the issues out.

Family law refers to the legal practice pertaining to domestic and family matters like child custody, adoptions, divorce, civil unions, property issues and other similar issues. This can relate to any legal matter both inside and outside the court. Family law is a very lengthy and broad concept. There are many sub categories in the law. In addition to that the family law is also linked to other forms of law like criminal justice and real estate. 

There are many small things that you have to keep in mind when you are going through a family law case. A small mistake can cost you thousands or may be millions of dollars. Family law cases can sometimes get very ugly however you can also find cases, where couples decide to happily part ways. They mutually agree to end the marriage and move on with their lives. In such cases the legal proceedings are carried out in a good and friendly environment. All the parties involved don’t even have to go to the court to carry out the proceedings. They can just carry out the legal proceedings at mutually agreed venue, hug out and move on with their lives.

Federal Law vs. State Law

In the United States there are two types of legal systems. One is the federal legal system and the other one is the state’s legal system. The federal law and state law both have their own unique legal system and each state has its own unique legislation. Family Law comes under the jurisdiction of state law. The federal government can introduce a bill or law to create or amend a family law however it is up to the states to mold their law according to the constitution and the new legislation. The laws can differ in different states. So if you are someone who is going through a family problem then you need to be aware of the family laws for the state you are in. Your legal case can differ exponentially based on the state you are in. The federal law does not deal with any case related to family law. The family law in San Antonio is based on the family law guidelines as stated in the Texas family law.

Family Law In The Modern World

Studies have shown that there been a drastic increase in family law matters in the recent years. This may be due to the fact that people are more aware of their rights in the modern world. San Antonio is no different than other places in the world. The family law cases have seen an increase in Texas in the recent years. 

Effectiveness Of Collaborative Family Law

Collaborative family law has shown some very positive results. Not only do all parties get a positive outcome but it also helps in preserving the relationship between the family members.  One of the best things about collaborative family law lawyers is that the lawyers make an agreement with each other that they will not represent their clients in court if any of the parties decide to take the matter to court. 

How Is Family Law Different From Other Forms Of Law

One of the most unique things about family law is that it involved emotional attachment of the parties involved. Sometimes it is two people who once loved each other but have to separate ways due to any given reason. Such cases relate to the private life of people which is why the lawyer is strictly obliged to keep all the information to himself/herself and only reveal what is necessary in the court.

What Is The Role Of The Lawyer In Family Law

Unlike other forms of law, the family law lawyer performs a lot of services. He/she doesn’t just fight your case but also provide proper advice to you on how you should carry out your relationship in a positive manner.  The courts also try to act as a counselor or mediator. They do so, so that the relationship can be preserved.

What Affects The Family Law in Different States

The family laws are largely based on societal factors.  One common example would be marriage between same-sex couples. Different states have different laws regarding same-sex marriages. Few years back, some states did not allow same-sex marriages so family law did not recognize same-sex marriages and thus they did not have any coverage under the family law. One thing to keep in mind is that family laws can change with changing environment. As the world progresses and the society experiences a lot of change then all this is bound to result in the change in family law. Family law has changed drastically from the past and it is expected that it will change more in the future as well.

What Are The Questions You Should Ask Before Hiring A Family Law Lawyer

Family law proceedings can sometimes get very ugly. The emotions are always high during family law cases. This is why you need a professional lawyer who has the right expertise in the field. Cases like child custody are very emotional. A wrong choice of lawyer may result in your child getting away from you. So there is a lot to lose in family law cases. You have to be very picky in choosing an attorney. You have to make sure that the person you are hiring can help you win the case. You can identify a good lawyer by asking a few questions from the lawyer and yourself.

You Need To Ask Yourself If Your Lawyer Has A Good Character

Before hiring a certain family lawyer, you need to ask yourself if you lawyer has an ethical character or not. A lawyer who is known to violate ethical law standards is always at a risk of getting his license cancelled especially in a state like Texas. So when you are thinking about hiring a lawyer in San Antonio, make sure he does not have any ethical violations to his name in the past. 

Has Your Lawyer Got Any Experience In The Specific Field

The family law has several sub categories. Divorce, Child custody, domestic abuse and many other related issues. Your lawyer might consider himself a family law lawyer but you have to ask them if they have every taken up a case similar to yours. You should choose the attorney based on his/her expertise. If you are going through a child custody case then choosing a domestic abuse lawyer wouldn’t help you that much. Another thing to keep in mind is that the family law coincides with a lot of other types of laws. So having experience in family law isn’t enough to make a lawyer a good family law attorney. Your lawyer should have experience in other affiliated terms as well. A collection of great skills and expertise is what make a person a great family law attorney.

Family Laws In San Antonio, Texas

Family law in San Antonio is based on the family laws of the state of Texas. There are many different aspects involved in the family law. Things like divorce, child custody, and domestic abuse are all a part of family law but all of this is not that simple. Each sub category also has hundreds of smaller clauses that make it a complete law. If you are going through a family law case that it is crucial for you to hire a lawyer that is from that state. So if you are based in San Antonio, you should hire a family law attorney who gained most of his family law experience in Texas. Your attorney should be knowledgeable about all the old and new clauses of all the different sections of family laws in Texas. In addition to your attorney, you should also have all the basic knowledge about how family law works in Texas.

Community Property Law

Texas is one of the community property law states.. If you are wondering what is community property law then you have come to the right place. The community property law states that the property purchased by any of the spouses during the marriage will be considered as joint property and will be divided after the divorce. 

Legal Separation Law 

There is no legal separation laws in Texas. This is why informal separations are more popular in Texas. Couples who face problems in life and want to take some time off can go ahead with informal separations. This can give couples the time to think about their situation. They can think how they want to proceed during this time. People usually patch up during this time. usually people just need a break from relationship. This time can act as a healing process for both the partners or spouses.

Waiting Period

Some states in the United States require couples to wait for a specific period of time before the divorce can be finalized.  The family law in Texas requires couples to wait for 60 days.

Mediation In San Antonio

To understand the law of mediation in San Antonio we should first try to understand what is mediation. 

What Is Mediation?

In law , mediation refers to the practice of bringing two parties on opposite sides to an agreement. The mediation process is carried out with the help of a mediator.  Mediator can be any third person who is impartial towards both the parties. When two people or two parties are having a problem, then the  best thng they can do is reach an agreement outside the court. If you don’t  want the court to make a decision for you and if you don’t want solicitrs working the entire thing out for you then the most sensible thing to do is to get a mediator. It should be kept in mind that getting a mediator is totally voluntary. If you don’t want , you don’t have to get in the mediation process.

Premarital Agreements

Premarital agreements are very important in the current world , where the divorce rate is increasing with each passing year. As an expert in the field of law, we always recommend out client to sign a premarital agreement as that would help you a lot in case there is an issue in the marriage. Like a lot of other cities in the United States of America ,San Antonio follows uniform pre marital agreement act.

Does Texas Have Common Law Marriage

Did you know you don’t have to involve the governemnet to get married in Texas. Texas’s Family Law states that common law marriages are legal and valid. If you are not aware of what a common law marriage is then let us help you out. 

What Is A Common Law Marriage?

 A common law marriage is an information yet legal form of marriage. It is also known as marriage without formalities due to the fact that there arent many restrictions or formalities in it as a traditional marriage. You don’t have to get a license or even arrange a wedding ceremenoy.  The common law marriage however enjoys all the legal perks of a traditional marriage. You have to fulfil certain points in order to make your informal marriage official. Both the partners have to agree that they want to get married. In addition to that they should live together as husband and wife. Last but not the least, everyone around you should know you are married , you shouldn’t hide it from anyone. You should introduce each other as spouses.

What Rights Do The States Have When It Comes To Family Law?

The legislatures may propose a change in the family law of the state they are in. Since America can into being , the state of Texas has seen a lot of change in it family law. Societal factors have also played a huge role in that. Stated hold the right to introduce or make amends to family law as per required. 

Some Important Family Law Terms That Everyone Should Know

Emancipation

Emancipation is one of the most important family laws. The laws in all states of the United States state that the parents are responsible for their children’s basic needs until the  child reaches the age of maturity. Emancipation can only be obtained through court. The minor has to file a petition in court asking for emancipation. If the court approves the emancipation request, the child then no longer is a responsibility of the parents instead the child takes the role of an adult him/herself. The parents are no longer responsible for fulfilling the minor’s needs anymore.  Minors can file for emancipation for many different reasons. It give the minors freedom to make their own decisions and think about their own welfare. Even though the person is still a minor, the parents don’t have any right or claim to the child’s earnings. A lot of parents’ arent fans of the emancipation aspect of family law as they believe it give minors the freedom to make important decisions which they cannot make on their own.  This is totally false. The court carefully studies the case and only grants emancipation once it has decided that the minor is mature enough to live alone and support him/herself financially. 

Emancipation Of Minors In San Antonio

Minors can apply for emancipation in San Antonio given that they are resident of the state of Texas. The minor has to be at least 17 years old to file a petition for emancipation. If the minor is 16 years old and living in his/her own apartment and has a good job that can support the minor financially then the minor can apply for emancipation in San Antonio.  It can cost around $1000 to $1500 for a minor to get emancipation in San Antonio. This amount is very large for the minors and it is due to this large amount then most of the willing minors are unable to apply for emancipation. 

Purpose Of Emancipation

Emancipation is actually a very important aspect of family law. There is no doubt that some parents have their reservations about the emancipation law and rightfully so as they believe it can be dangerous for their kids.  However it can also  be problematic if the minor earns a lot of money and his/her parents put a claim on his income.  The main purpose of emancipation is not to give minors the freedom to whatever they want to do but to protect their the minors and their earnings. Teenage celebrities who earn a lot of money usually apply for emancipation so that they can reap the benefits of their hard word. They have the right to be called the owner of their own money. They don’t have to have a guardian to take care of them. This gives the minors much more freedom to live their lives and manage and enjoy their money.

What Are The Limitations Of Emancipation

Emancipation might offer a lot of freedom to the minors however if the court accepts the emancipation request of a minor , this does not mean that the minor can now do everything an adult can do. there are still some things that the minor has to carefully observe. Minors who have been emancipated can still not buy alcohol , get married or vote until they reach the legal age naturally. 

Property

The property bought by either of the spouses during the course of the marriage is bound to come under fire in the divorce process. This property is also known as marital property. It should be kept in mind that in the states where there is community property law, the marital property is divided in the same way as community property. In states where the community property law isn’t followed the court is responsible for the division of the marital property. There is also a concept of separate property. Separate property is the property that one of the spouses bought before the marriage. This term can also be used for the property given to one of the spouses as a gift or if it was attained in inheritance.

Antenuptial Agreement

Antenuptial Agreement is also known as prenuptial agreement. This agreement plays a huge role in the divorce process. Many people are conscious about prenups. Some are conscious about signing them and others are conscious about their validity in court. 

Prenuptials agreements hold up in the state of Texas so if you are a resident of Texas , you should definitely get a prenup signed. If the prenup agreement is based on the Texas family code then nothing can overrule that. Prenuptial agreement basically divides the assets of the basis of ownership. The agreement keeps in effect during the marriage and when the couple’s divorce. One spouse does not have the right to the other spouse’s assets. It is very important for couples to finalize prenuptial agreements before they get married. 

How Much Can A Prenuptial Agreement Cost In San Antonio

Prenuptial agreement in San Antonio can cost around $500 - $6000. This is just an average range what the residents of San Antonio should expect to pay for a prenuptial agreement.  The cost for prenuptial agreements can vary from lawyer to lawyer. The more complicated the case , the more it costs to get a prenup.

When Should You Hire A Family Law Attorney

No one in this world is perfect. People make mistakes which can cause families to break apart. In some cases , it’s just love that has faded away and the couple does not want to stay with each other anymore. When you think that you are facing an important issue that can only be resolved through the legal system then you should take legal help. It is crucial to hire a good family law attorney who is well qualified in the field. Family law is a very broad term and Family law attorneys can help you with a lot of different family related issues. So no matter the issue , you should try and get an attorney who help you win your case. As there is a lot at stake in family law cases, It is important to choose an attorney who is well qualified for the job. Family law attorneys can help you with the following things.

  • Child custody

  • Divorce

  • Adoption

  • Family visa

  • Child visitation

  • Grandparents rights

  • Prenuptial agreements

  • Domestic abuse

  • Alternative to court

  • Paternity

  • Guardianship

  • Case to provide child support

and many more!

Family Law And Other Legal Practices

Family law is a very broad concept but in addition to it being a broad concept in itself it also coincides with a lot of other legal practices as well. So when you are looking for the best family law attorney , try to look for a lawyer who has experience in other aspects of law practice as well. Lawyers who have experience in other forms of law can help fight your case in a better way.

Family Law: Immigration And Naturalization

Thousands of people move to the United States to experience that American dream. This process of people coming in to the united states to settle here is known as immigration and the law that pertains to people becoming US citizens is known. Immigration and naturalization are very closely related to family law. Usually a family member that is a citizen of the United States sponsors other members of his family to immigrate to the United States. This is  a very detailed concept in itself. The family based immigration law helps people stay together with their families. This law allows legal  and permanent residents of United States of America to bring their relatives to the USA. 

Who Can You Bring To The United States Under Family Based Immigration Law

The immigration law is mostly federal business.  It is governed by the federal law. Whether its San Antonio or any other city in Texas the family based immigration law is almost the same.  Legal citizen of the United States  can invite their family members or relatives to come live in the united states.  These relatives or family members can be;

  • Spouse Of The Legal US Citizen

  • Parents Of The Legal US Citizen (The legal US citizen who wants to bring his/her parents to the United States should be at least 21 years old)

  • Minor Children Of Legal US Citizen (Who Are Unmarried)

How Does The Family Based Immigration Work

The family based immigration works on a very complicated system. The family members chosen to be brought to the United States can be immediate relatives of the legal US citizen or relatives selected through the complex family preference system. Every year a specific number of visas are granted to family members of the US citizens. Nearly half of all the visas given to people every year are family based visas. If you are a resident of San Antonio and your family lives in another country. You can file the documents to sponsor them to come and live with you in San Antonio.  You have to be 21 years or above in order to bring your parents in to United States. If you married outside USA , you can file documents for your spouse’s visa. Your spouse can also be given a temporary spouse visa at start. After their documents are processed, they can be awarded a permanent visa.

Best San Antonio Legal Practice

A good attorney can make a huge difference. The proofs and witnesses are important as well but the way they are presented in the court is also important. The attorneys are responsible for presenting all the findings in the court. When you are involved in a family case you need to research and choose the best lawyer around you. There are many different lawyers and law firms in San Antonio. It is very important that you do your research before you select a family law attorney. 

The caliber of the legal team and their experience in the respective law field is very important. You can’t hire a real estate lawyer for family matters however a family law attorney that has vast experience in division of property after marriage will be an ideal choice to go for. Family law is a broad term and you have to keep in mind that different family law lawyers have different expertise. 

If you and your family are all residents of San Antonio, then you should file the case in San Antonio. You cannot file a family law case in other states when you are a resident of the state of Texas. The same goes for all other states. When you are a legal citizen of San Antonio, Texas. All clauses and family laws of Texas will apply to you. There are many credible and well educated family law attorneys in San Antonio. All you have to do is do your homework and make sure the lawyer you get is the right person for the job.

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