Most people have a general understanding of the work that Family Lawyers do. They can help couples prepare prenuptial agreements before marriage. They advise individuals about their rights in the event of the breakdown of a relationship, whether marriage or cohabitation. In either case, there will need to be an agreement reached with respect to the terms of separation and the division of assets. If the couple is married, then a legal proceeding (i.e., divorce) will be necessary to allow the spouses to move on with their lives by establishing new relationships when they are ready to do so.
It goes without saying that if there are children of the marriage or common-law relationship, the need for each party to be represented by a lawyer is critical. In some cases, it may even be necessary for the children to be represented independently by a Family Lawyer.
There are other occasions when a Family Lawyer may be needed. If a government agency, for example, becomes concerned and wishes to investigate whether a household is a safe or suitable environment for children, the parents will certainly need a lawyer to assist them to assert their rights in the process.
In short, if you are experiencing challenges in your marriage or long-term relationship, you will be wise to consult with a Family Lawyer before expressing your concerns to your partner or taking any steps to step away from or end the relationship.
Of particular note here is that a Family Lawyer is also the appropriate professional to consult if you find yourself in a relationship that has become abusive. Lawyers have experience and special handling procedures for these types of situations to ensure confidentiality and safety. If you feel you have no other options, simply walking into a Family Lawyer’s office with your children and whatever possessions you can carry is a safe first step to obtaining the assistance you need. You need not even make an appointment if doing so would put you at risk.