Legal proceedings for a divorce can be an arduous and highly emotional experience, and adding children into the mix can make this time nearly unbearable. To alleviate some of the stress, it is imperative to hire a family law attorney. They are experienced and equipped to answer the hard and fast truths about divorce and custody. Here are a few of the tough questions an attorney can handle.
Can I Modify a Court Order or Judgment?
Under certain circumstances, a judgment can be changed. Custody arrangements can be altered if the child’s needs change or if one of the parents has to relocate. If there is a difference in income or employment status, the court can address a previous order as well. As soon as there is an indication that a court order needs to be modified, contact a lawyer.
Will I Have to Pay My Spouse’s Attorney Fees?
Whether or not one spouse would have to pay for the other’s family law attorney fees varies from state to state. In some cases, if one qualifies as a dependent spouse, he or she would be entitled to lawyer fees. The status of “dependent spouse” is determined by several factors-mainly how much disposable income the person has, and whether he or she depends substantially on the other person for financial support. The traditional example of a dependent spouse is a stay at home parent. However, working parents can also qualify.
Who Pays the Travel Expenses for Visitation?
When parents live in different states, the cost of travel can become a huge expense. Judgments will differ by state, but in most cases, the non-custodial parent will pay for the child to go for court-ordered visitation. In some instances, if the custodial parent has made the decision to move out of state, the judge may order the custodial parent to handle the travel expenses. It is also possible that the court will ask both the parents to create a trip trust fund to ensure that when visitation is needed, there are resources available.
If I Lose My Job, Do I Have to Continue to Pay Support?
If a party’s financial circumstances have changed in any way, they are still required to pay the agreed upon amount of support. However, it is encouraged that the affected party notify the court as soon as possible and pursue a modification to the court order. Financial hardship is a valid reason to ask for an adjustment to items like the amount of payment or payment schedule. It should be noted that until the court approves the modifications, all persons should continue to send support in compliance with the original order.
Going through a divorce or custody battle is not only emotionally taxing but also very complex. Laws differ from state to state, and they can also change. It is important to hire someone who is knowledgeable of the most current legal proceedings in the jurisdiction of the case. A family law attorney can help to navigate the proceedings and make way for a clearer and more effective experience.