Family Law Attorneys Who Put YOU First
Family Law Attorneys — Areas of Specialization
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Drama, stress, heartbreak—these are all common issues when it comes to family law.
Our attorneys can mitigate these problems and guide you through the legal process to a better situation.
If it’s time to move forward, we can help .
Frequently Asked Questions About Family Law
As court proceedings are generally public matters, most jurisdictions make family law matters like divorce proceedings a matter of public record unless there are circumstances in which divorce records need to be filed under seal (which are rare).
There are some exceptions to the open court rule, however—victims of sexual abuse, especially children, for instance.
Family lawyers can negotiate with the court to file records, or portions of records, under seal, meaning that confidential or sensitive information remains private.
You can legally appeal final decisions in family law court, as well as decisions that are not final or that do not dispose of all of the issues involved.
Family law lawyers can help you through the process of appealing a decision or ruling in the appeal process.
Keep in mind that there are strict time limits when it comes to this kind of thing, and appealing a ruling isn’t a way of having your case heard a second time—the reason for appealing in an appellate court is to review the case and gain further insight into how it was heard and decided by the trial judge.
Family law covers all areas of the law involving family relationships, including:
- Child Custody
- Child Support
- Any related family law matter
An Idaho Falls ID family law attorney can represent you in family court proceedings and help you negotiate in a way that works out in your best interest.
Some important terms to know that relate to family law are:
- Emancipation—The process by which a minor becomes self-supporting and assumes responsibility for his or her own welfare.
- Marital Property—Property owned by either spouse during the marriage that can be divided during the divorce.
- Alimony—An allowance that one spouse makes to another for support during or proceeding the legal separation/divorce.
- Paternity—Confirming the identity of a child’s biological father.
- Prenuptial Agreement—An agreement made by both spouses prior to the marriage in which future rights to one another’s property is waved in the event of a divorce.
Under family law, if one parent wants to move and bring children with them against the other spouse’s consent, the issue will end up in court where the judge makes the final decision.
If the request to move comes prior to the court making an initial custody order, then the court will apply the “best interest of the child” factors which are set forth in Idaho’s family law statutes. If the request comes after the custody order, then the parent needs to show 2 things:
- Proof that there has been a “permanent and material change of circumstances”—a major change in the child’s or parent’s life since the custody order that would justify the move.
- That the move is in the “best interest of the child”.
An Idaho Falls ID family law attorney can help you negotiate this matter in court and get you the best possible outcome.
Most family law court cases involve the following steps:
- Opening a case—A party needs to start the court action (or “complaint) by filing legal papers against someone. The person filing the legal complaint is called the Plaintiff—the person having papers filed against them is the Defendant.
- Responding to the case—The Defendant must file legal papers in response to the case. These papers are called the “answer and counterclaim”.
- Case management conference—This involves both parties appearing in court in order to discuss the issue. This usually occurs within 90 days of the Defendant’s filing of the answer-and-counterclaim papers. This is a crucial time when an attorney can help represent you.
- Mediation/settlement—Most judges in family court recommend the parties resolve their dispute out of court. Ideally, an agreement would be made by both parties regarding child custody, visitation schedules, etc. There are various settlement programs the judge can refer the parties to. These involve neutral parties that can help them come to an agreement.
- Motion practice—Getting a final order from the court can take some time. Sometimes parties need temporary orders issued from the judge in order to guide the parties as the case carries on. Both parties can file motions requesting these temporary orders from the judge.
- Discovery—This is the process by which both parties present their cases and find strengths and weaknesses in the other’s. This is an ongoing process occurring throughout the cases time in court.
- Trial—If a full agreement cannot be reached, the judge will set a trial where the final verdict will be issued by the judge. During this time, evidence, witness testimony, and other things are presented to the judge, who ultimately decides on a ruling. Here, your attorney can represent you and present your case on your behalf.
- Post-trial—It is possible to appeal a judge’s decision after a trial.
- Changing the order later—As circumstances change, court orders may lose their practicality or validity. There is always an opportunity to request changes be made by the judge.
There are of course other cases that fall under family law that don’t involve things like divorce, child custody, etc. These include issues regarding wills and estates, prenuptial agreements, and other things our Idaho Falls ID attorneys can help with.
Our attorneys mainly handle the following 5 areas of family law.
- Divorce issues—Our family law attorneys act as mediators, helping resolve divorce issues rationally and in your best interest.
- Estates and wills—Our attorneys can help you draft a will and ensure that your estate is handed off to the desired beneficiaries.
- Child custody agreements—We can help with drafting and amending child custody agreements.
- Prenuptial agreements—These are contracts signed by a couple before marriage or civil union. Prenuptial agreements outline provisions of spousal support and division of property if a divorce or separation occurs. Our family attorneys can help in drafting these agreements and help with matters that may arise from them later on.
- Litigant representation—While most family disputes are resolved outside of court, they do sometimes go to trial. Family law attorneys can represent you in court of this happens.
For Any Family Law Matter — Contact MZJ
You will find the right family lawyer at our law firm. Legal issues such as divorce, child custody, spousal support and property division can be extremely emotional. At MZJ, we understand the importance of these issues to you and your family.
You deserve a family law lawyer who will work closely with you to ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the best possible outcome in your case. We have a proven track record of meeting the legal needs of our clients through effective and efficient representation.
Our family law firm has a long history of success in handling cases. We have the experience and resources necessary to protect your interests and achieve the best possible outcome in your case.
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