Every lawyer’s professional goal is to help their clients through their cases. However, only a handful of them achieves such ambitions with family law attorneys’ emotional and personal impact. As Jensen Family Law – Mesa notes, this is because family law cases carry some type of gravitas that other areas of the law lack. With topics such as children’s welfare or justice for abuse, family law attorneys guide the involved parties through some of the most challenging times of their lives using their vast experience and empathy. If you’re looking to dive into family law, keep reading to understand everything you need to know about becoming a family law attorney.
What Does a Family Law Attorney Do?
Every lawyer is supposed to listen to the client’s problems, provide them with the best possible solution and help them through the process. However, family law attorneys have a few additional responsibilities, which include,
- Preparing the necessary documents,
- Finding the best possible solution,
- Drafting agreements and contracts, and
- Negotiating with opposing parties to reach a compromise
In short, family law attorneys must know what they are doing. Because of their inexperience or lack of knowledge about the laws and procedures, many lawyers dealing with family court cases end up getting their clients into legal trouble without knowing what they were doing wrong in the first place.
Every family law attorney is, however, different from the rest. Therefore, as you can see in the rest of this article, it’s not always about knowing the law; it’s also about applying that knowledge in different situations. The legal procedures and laws dealing with family court cases are complicated and change pretty often. Therefore, a family law attorney must be up to date with the latest changes.
As you already know, the American family law system is based on three principles: fathers having equal custody rights, mothers having equal custody rights, and joint legal custody. Before you can decide which of these three parenting techniques is best for your case, you need to know what these terms mean and what options they have, and their limitations. Many other essential aspects should be taken into consideration when making your decision.
These are the three types of legal documents you can ask a family law attorney to create:
- Custody Orders
They define which parent the child will live with when the parents are separated or divorced. There are over 4000 variations of custody orders that exist. Some states have their specific custody order forms, while other states have a blank form that you must fill out yourself. In either case, the documents should explain each parent’s custodial rights and responsibilities, visitation schedule with the child, etc.
- Child Support Orders
They ensure both parents contribute equitably to their child’s needs regarding food, clothing, shelter, and medical care.
- Access Orders
They determine which parent the child will live with when separated or divorced but are not yet officially divorced.
How to Become a Family Lawyer
Some people believe that the path to becoming a family lawyer is paved with expertise in law and legal issues. For others, it’s the love of family. If you’re one of those attorneys who would rather be at home with your spouse and children than going to work every day, then you may want to consider a career as a family law attorney.
A family lawyer deals mainly with domestic or marital disputes without any criminal charges involved. This is a necessary job that doesn’t get much public attention but needs to be done.
Requirements for Becoming a Family Lawyer
A family lawyer requires a strong interest in the law and human behavior and an exceptional command of their field. You need to think on your feet and respond to the many complicated legal situations that can arise from a family law case. You’ll have to get an undergraduate degree in Earth Science, Psychology, Political Science, or Humanities with good grades. Some schools only accept applicants who already have a bachelor’s degree.
After graduating from law school and passing the bar exam, the next step is to choose a specialty. You can specialize as a family law attorney by taking additional classes, but it’s not required. Next, you have to decide where you want to work. Once you have a good idea of your career’s direction, it will be easier to think about where in the world of family lawyers you’ll end up working.
- Choose Your Preferred Work Setting
If you want to work in a small town or rural setting, there are employment opportunities as a family lawyer. If you’d rather have a more active lifestyle with lots of cars driving around and people coming in and out of your office, choose an urban area. If you’re interested in becoming a family lawyer, make sure that you have the right qualities for that kind of position. You have to deal with stressful situations daily without letting them get to you too much. You also have to have patience, persistence, and a positive attitude.
Eventually, you’ll build an impressive client base that will enable you to branch out and work from your own office on a full-time basis. This is when the real money begins to roll in. It can be highly lucrative to work as a family lawyer because of all the issues that can arise from family life. All you have to do is be persistent and have the desire and patience to do what’s needed of you.
Get the Help You Need
Your clients will rely on your experience and know-how to guide them through these difficult times. A family attorney helps individuals through sensitive and challenging situations regularly.