Of all the types of law practice out there, family law is one that most people are likely to come in contact with. While family law attorneys are often portrayed uncharitably on television, in reality, family lawyers are often a tremendous source of guidance and support for people going through family transitions. Most family lawyers enter this practice area because they have a sincere concern for their clients and want to practice law in a way that makes a real and positive impact on people's lives.
Family law attorneys handle primarily divorces and related issues like child custody, child support, spousal maintenance (alimony) and property division. Divorce is one of the most difficult challenges a person can face. A good family law attorney understands that while a divorce is a legal process, it's also an emotional, financial, and social one as well. He or she will focus on the legal aspects, while guiding clients toward the help they need in the other areas.
While divorce is a big part of any family law attorney's practice, there's more to that practice than filing divorce lawsuits and arguing them in court. A little-known fact is that most divorce cases in Minnesota, probably upward of 95%, are settled rather than being decided at trial. Litigation skills are an essential part of a family lawyer's toolkit, but the best lawyers also know when litigation is not the best way to meet their clients' goals. Skillful negotiation, backed up by meticulous research, can often result in a good settlement and the avoidance of a difficult and painful trial, allowing clients to conserve resources and move on sooner with their lives.
Divorce negotiation need not take place within the context of a lawsuit, something many clients are surprised to learn. Depending on the situation, alternative forms of dispute resolution, such as mediation or Collaborative Divorce, may offer clients greater control over both the process and the outcome. Typically, this sense of control helps people going through a divorce to feel more satisfied with the result.
Family lawyers also help with other issues involving the intersection of the law and family life. They draft prenuptial agreements, assist with grandparents' rights and third-party custody issues, and deal with modification of support agreements in the years following a divorce.
Many lawyers handle some family law matters as a part of their general practice. While these attorneys may do good work, there are several reasons you should consider using an attorney who concentrates his or her practice in family law. This is an area of the law that sees frequent change. Family law attorneys have their finger on the pulse of changes in the law and often help to shape these changes, based on their experience of their clients' needs. Another reason to consider a family lawyer is that they have the experience to handle more complex cases. Many people have believed they had a straightforward, simple divorce case, only to have complications crop up after filing.
To learn more about family law services, and how a family law attorney can help you, talk to a qualified Minnesota divorce attorney. We invite you to contact Bloch and Whitehouse, P.A. at (952) 224-9977 to schedule a free initial consultation.