Family law attorneys normally deal with divorce, separation, adoption, child custody and support matters, etc. The family attorney may also be engaged by the parents of a wayward child where the child has been involved in a delinquency issue that has been brought to juvenile court.
When the issue is the dissolution of a marriage there are a number of services that the attorney provides on behalf of his or her client. Getting a divorce is a step which will have a significant impact on a person’s life for a long time, in many cases Bellevue family law attorneys attempt to explore the possibility of marital mediation and reconciliation with the client. There are many jurisdictions where a cooling off period must be observed; other jurisdictions demand mediation as a way to determine the division of marital property, child custody and visitation rights and any payment of spousal maintenance. The mediation process takes place with the respective attorneys present; the process usually results in an agreement of settlement which can be given to a judge for approval and signature.
If mediation fails to arrive at a settlement agreement, the individuals will go to court and have their respective family law attorneys plead their case. Once this is done, the judge will settle the outstanding issues by decree; there are no jury’s in cases involving the ending of a marriage. In some cases, the dissolution of the marriage by the judge is not the last time the client will see the lawyer. The parties to the divorce may seek modification to custodial orders and child support which will reflect any change in circumstances such as one parent leaving the area. The judge who first granted the divorce is usually the judge that is called upon to determine any modifications as in most jurisdictions this judge retains control over post decree matters.
A divorce action is only part of what a family law attorney does. People who wish to adopt a child will often hire a family law attorney in Bellevue WA to assist them with finding an agency that is responsible for placing children for adoption. The attorney will prepare the petition to adopt as well as any testimony that is needed to supplement the petition. There are cases where the adoption is contested; it is the task of the attorneys to prove to the court that the adoption is in the best interests of the child.