If you are facing legal issues that are family related, it’s very likely that you’re going through one of the most difficult times of your life. There is no legal requirement that you must use an attorney for your marriage dissolution, contempt, child custody, child support, visitation issues, paternity cases or any other marital litigation. However, due to the complexity of the family laws and procedures, a person without a lawyer can be at a disadvantage.
Even if both spouses or individuals intend on resolving their case through mediation or settlement, failure to use a lawyer can end up causing the most important paperwork involving your rights and the rights of your children to be deficient or improper.
If you are facing a divorce or custody issues, keep in mind the following guidelines:
1. Seek marital counseling with your pastor or a Christian family therapist. Your marriage is worth this effort, especially if there are children involved.
2. Discuss the issues with your spouse – including custody issues, division of assets, child support, visitation, alimony, etc. You may agree on more than you realize.
3. Generally, the more you and your spouse compromise on issues, the less money is spent on attorney’s fees.
4. Avoid arguing or yelling with your spouse, especially in front of your children.
5. Never keep the children from your spouse unless it is to protect them from abuse or neglect.
6. Avoid adultery or promiscuous behavior. Be a model for your children and/or family.
7. Keep a journal of incidents and comments between yourself, spouse and children.
8. Make copies of important documents, such as tax returns, birth certificates, bank statements, vehicle titles, etc.
9. Always be honest with your attorney and the Court.
10. Always think, speak and act in terms of what is best for your children.
Seek legal advice from a competent lawyer to discuss your issues, in order to protect the legal rights of yourself and your children.