What is it that makes Family Law Attorneys different?
Welcome to our Family Law website. Our mission is to provide information to our readers, informing them of all aspects related to the practice of Family Law in Kansas City.
The Difference Between Services Offered By General Law Practitioners And Family Attorneys
Understanding the differences between a general law practitioner and a family law attorney could make a huge difference in your future or the future of your children. Both professionals play important roles in modern society and are often involved in family law cases. They both go through rigorous education, certification, and training programs as well.
However, there are some cases when a general practitioner would best suit your case and times when a more specialized attorney would be best. It s important that you understand what each of these professions entails, how they are related, and the different services they provide. There are some services a general practitioner offers that a family attorney does not and vice versa.
The first step towards choosing the right professional for the job is having a general understanding of who they are and what they offer. Following is a brief introduction to each field followed by an outline of the services they offer that differ from the other.
What Is A General Law Practitioner?
As the name implies, general law practice involves a broad spectrum of practices. Rather than focus on one specific specialty, such as family law. personal injury law, or criminal law, the attorney chooses to study and practice multiple areas of law. Often times, the attorney will practice five or more different areas of law within their general practice.
Many attorneys start their career as general law practitioners. Over time, they settle down into one specific category of law and begin to specialize in that area. Therefore, it s entirely possible for a family attorney to start their career as a general law practitioner.
It is also not uncommon to find general attorneys working in small towns and communities. They thrive in these environments because there may not be a wide variety of attorneys who specialize in all of the different practices locally. Instead, locals will come to the general attorney for the majority of their legal needs.
In larger cities, attorneys often seek specializations to help themselves stand out from the rest of the competition. Rather than attempting to serve as an attorney on every type of legal matter, they become experts and authorities in a single practice. This increases their business from people seeking legal help within their specialization. It often justifies an increase in fees as well depending on the attorney and their expertise.
The array of possibilities makes it impossible to pinpoint which services a general lawyer will provide exactly. They generally attempt to learn about family law, property law, criminal law, probate law, and business law at the very least. This allows them to work with the majority of clients who come to their firm.
There are some cases where a general lawyer will not have sufficient information to assist you with your case. This may happen in a highly specialized situation. For example, perhaps you are going through a divorce with a lot of moving variables, assets, and claims. This would be a case best suited for a family law attorney.
What Is A Family Law Attorney?
A family law attorney is any attorney who has specialized in family law. As for family law, that is a practice of law that handles family matters and domestic relations. It could include divorce, marriage, adoption, child abuse, or any such related case. When dealing with such a sensitive and important area of life, it is often best to seek the assistance of a lawyer with this specialization.
One of the most common areas where family lawyers are utilized is when dealing with divorces and annulments. These are rather tricky cases that can involve a lot of valuable assets and even impact the guardianship of children. It s also a good idea to understand the key difference between a divorce and an annulment.
An annulment, much like a divorce, is a court proceeding that ends a marriage. However, unlike a traditional divorce, the annulment will completely dissolve the marriage in a way that makes it so that it had never occurred in a legal sense. There are few criteria that warrant the annulment of marriage. Otherwise, the marriage must end via a divorce.
This is only one area in which a specialized family law attorney would be the better choice. They will understand the annulment and divorce laws in their area. They know whether a marriage could potentially be annulled or whether divorce is the only option.
Legal ramifications that come from the divorce which involves either spouse are often handled by family attorneys as well. This could involve spousal support, child custody, or child support. Once again, these are all very sensitive matters that are best delegated by a professional who specializes in family law.
For example, deciding on child custody as well as visitation rights after a divorce can be a long and tricky process. The court s job is to make a decision that is in the best interest of the child. It is up to the family attorney to show that living with you is what s in the best interest of the child.
The family attorney will know what the courts are looking for. They can advise you on any changes you need to make in your life. You may need a larger home with more space, or you may need to seek fit employment. If there is anything holding you back, your attorney will let you know, and you can work on meeting those goals before your next court date.
Whoever doesn t end up with primary custody of the child will often owe the other parent some amount of child support. This is money that one spouse is required to pay to help support the raising of the child. It may pay for education, health, food, clothes, or shelter.
Once again, a specialized attorney can help ensure you receive the child support you will need in order to raise a child on your own. They will present the information to the court, and the judge will render a decision regarding the exact amount that is owed.
Spousal support is a somewhat similar scenario. This type of support is more commonly known as alimony. It is the money that one spouse must pay the other for a period of time following the divorce. The alimony is meant to help recognize the spouse s contributions to their marriage and to help that spouse achieve their own financial security.
It s More Than Just A Fancy Legal Title.
A general law practitioner who wishes to become a family law attorney has to do more than just simply change their title. There are certain steps they must take before they can label themselves as a specialist in any area, including family law. These steps are there to protect clients and prevent the possibility of fraud. This way, when you hire a specialist, you know they ve taken the necessary steps, and they know what they are doing.
Board certification may differ from one state to the next. However, there are usually some steps that are the same or closely related no matter where you are at. For example, a lawyer usually needs to have a certain number of years of experience before they can seek specialization. A family law attorney isn t a fresh graduate. They have had a few years serving as a general attorney and learning how the legal system really works.
They will also need to have handled a minimum number of cases relating to the practice they wish to specialize in. This minimum number can vary from one state to the next. A general attorney will begin handling cases of a certain type primarily after deciding where they want to specialize. This will prepare them for working with similar clients and on similar cases in the future.
Finally, there are often special education courses that must be completed before an attorney can specialize in any given area. The type and length of the education will vary depending on the practice and on the location of the attorney.
It s safe to assume that a specialized attorney has been in business for quite a while and is very knowledgeable about their practice. They have received additional, specialized education relating to their field and have handled a number of cases in that practice.
Knowing Who To Choose, Family Law or General Law.
Choosing the right type of attorney is very important. There are plenty of services that a family attorney offers that you can t get from a general attorney. If your case focuses on divorce, child custody, or strictly domestic matters, then it s a good idea to work with a specialist.
But what if your case is unique and involves multiple areas of law? Such cases are not entirely uncommon. With those cases, it may actually be best to work with a general attorney. One who has decided to remain a general law attorney and has practiced multiple areas of law for a long time.
If you are unsure, you can simply ask the attorney you are considering working with. Most are honest enough to let you know if you are better suited working with a specialist or a general practitioner.