Our team can tell you that family law is more than just navigating the difficult terrain of your divorce. In fact, family law encompasses any issues that may happen within your family, including financial burdens and any changes that may occur within your family dynamic. Here are just some of the many services with which our family lawyers can help:
- Divorce: Filing for a divorce is difficult, but a great family attorney can help you navigate difficult-to-read documents and attempt to reach a settlement option with your spouse.
- Marriage: Family law isn’t all about separation. We can also help you and your soon-to-be spouse understand the changes that may occur in regards to your finances, taxes, and income. They will also go over the terms of a marriage, including your prenuptial agreement.
- Custody: Child custody is an incredibly sensitive topic. When it comes to gathering evidence and reaching a compromise between ex-partners, navigating issues over child custody is something our team excels in.
- Abuse: Sensitive issues like spousal or child abuse need to be handled with care. During a trying time, you need all the help you can to ensure you and your loved ones stay safe.
- Guardianship: The biological parent of a child does not have to be their guardian. Sometimes other family members or friends can do a great job serving as a guardian to a child in need. When you want to become someone’s guardian, your family lawyer can help establish the guardianship of a child and go over the duties of this new role.
- Adoption: Going through the proceedings of adoption and foster care is seemingly impossible, whether it’s your first or third time doing it.
- Settlements: We can also help you reach settlements in regards to splitting up property and alimony.
What Our Law Firm Can Offer
Picking our team of Arlington family lawyers at Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC can ensure you are getting great legal representation and counsel during an often difficult time. We can offer the much-needed objective viewpoint when emotions are running high and there’s a lot at stake. Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC can provide the following when you work with us:
- Experience; Our lawyers have of years working with family law claims. We have a record of wins for multiple kinds of cases, and will navigate the sometimes difficult road of family law for you with our expertise and skill.
- Testimonials; We have many pleased clients who won cases with our help.
- Compassion; We understand that whenever the family unit is split up, there can be significant pain. We will work hard to ensure your claim is a peaceful one, and that you will be happy with the result in the end.
Terms to Know
At Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC, our team understands that not everyone speaks “legaleze” and to that end we make it a point to explain terms they need to know in order to follow the progress of their case. When someone experiences confusion about terms or concepts, it can be stressful because the outcome of their case is extremely important. By having a basic understanding of the pertinent legal vocabulary, it can allow our clients to feel empowered.
We welcome questions and the opportunity to provide the information our clients need in order to follow the progress of their case. Call us today if you would like to talk with Arlington family lawyers from Texas about your legal needs and how we might be able to help you reach a positive outcome.
Here are some of the most common divorce and family law legal terms you might come across throughout the life of your case:
- Action. This is a legal proceeding or lawsuit that is litigated in a courtroom.
- Affidavit. This is a written statement by a witness or other participant in a legal proceeding which the person signs under oath that it is the truth.
- Alimony. Financial support that is provided by someone to their former spouse or partner. It is also referred to as spousal support or maintenance.
- Annulment. A legal proceeding that can dissolve a marriage and declare it as having never happened in the first place. This is also possible by certain religions whose institutions can declare a marriage that occurred within their church as void or annulled.
- Appeal. When the party who lost in a legal action asks a higher court to reconsider the decision made by the lower court.
- Complainant. The party who files the lawsuit. They are also referred to as the plaintiff or the petitioner.
- Common Law Marriage. A marriage between two people that is recognized by the state in which they live, and which may be honored by certain other states, but not all. This type of marriage does not involve a civil, religious, or legal ceremony.
- Community Property. Property or assets accrued by one or both spouses during the time they were married. In a divorce action, a couple’s community property is often divided equally between them.
- Discovery. The process of getting information from the other party in a legal proceeding.
- Legal Separation. A court order that allows a married couple to live separately but remain married.
- Non-Custodial Parent. The parent who does not have physical custody of the child.
- Paternity Test. A scientifically proven method to determine if a man is the biological father of a particular child.
- Petition. The legal filing that begins a lawsuit.
- Petitioner. The spouse who filed the divorce petition. The petitioner is also known as the plaintiff.
How Guardianship for Minor Children is Established
Our lawyers know there are numerous reasons why an adult may need to establish guardianship of a minor child. That child’s biological or adoptive parent(s) may have passed away or permanently given up their parental rights. Custody rights may have been taken from the child’s parents or the child’s parents may be temporarily incapacitated by injury, illness, or incarceration. It is also possible that a child’s parents simply need to leave the country for an extended period of time and need to ensure that their child’s care is appropriately supported.
Whatever the reason, if you are in a position where you need to name a potential guardian for your child or you need to establish guardianship for a child who is not your own, please know that you do not have to navigate that process alone. We can assist you with your legal needs at this time.
Legal How-To: Establishing Guardianship of a Child
Parents of minor children often name the individuals they wish to serve as guardians of their children in their estate plans. As a result, the court is able to understand these parental preferences in the event that the adults in question pass away prematurely. Other times, guardianship is sought simply because the need for such an arrangement arises, even if a child’s parents are still alive. In either case, the adult(s) seeking guardianship over a child should work with an attorney to fill out paperwork mandated by the state.
At that time, they will likely need to submit to interviews, a home inspection, and a criminal background check. Just as all other child custody matters are, guardianship determinations are made based on the “best interests of the child” standard. Your TX family lawyers at Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC can explain how this standard may be applied in your unique situation.
Advice for Those Considering a Divorce
If you’re considering a divorce, before you actually file any paperwork, you should take a step back and think about how you’re going to handle the dozens of decisions you’ll face. Where will you live? How will you pay your bills? What about your bank accounts? Think about taking steps to safeguard your future interests before you jump into a divorce.
– Gather Documents
Start by getting copies of your financial statements, legal documents, and identification. You may also want to get your tax returns for the past two to three years. Even if you don’t plan an acrimonious divorce, it’s a good idea to keep copies of these records in a safe place away from your marital home.
– Talk to an Attorney
Before you take too many steps toward divorce, you should discuss your rights and responsibilities with Texas family lawyers from Arlington. Depending large amounts of money before a divorce could put you in a precarious situation in which you owe your spouse money. You’ll need to know how to protect your rights to ensure your future.
– Open New Accounts
You should consider opening your own bank account to keep your money separate. Talk to your lawyer about your state’s laws, because this account could be construed as marital property if you aren’t already divorced. Before taking large amounts of money out of your joint accounts, you should discuss the legal ramifications. State laws determine how property is handled in your jurisdiction.
– Get a Post Office Box
While you’re preparing for divorce, you may want a confidential place to receive mail from lawyers or financial institutions. Having a post office box can provide security and allow you to get mail in one place if you do have to move. You may also want to establish credit in your own name. Use the post office box to get credit card statements.
– Inventory Your Assets
You’ll need to know your state laws to determine how your marital assets will be divided. First, you should make an inventory of items that have significant value. Take pictures with a time-stamp. Note which items were acquired before the marriage or received as part of an inheritance. Remember to include life insurance policies, deeds, and intellectual property.
– Secure Your Digital Information
Check your digital accounts on the family computer. If your spouse has access to these accounts, it might be wise to sign out and change your passwords to avoid providing information about your future plans. Check with our Texas family lawyers located in Arlington about other steps you can take to make sure you cover your bases.
Legal Guidance Is Available
Whether you are a parent interested in making a potential guardianship designation in the context of your estate plan or an individual grappling with the pressing issue of a child in need of a legal guardian immediately, please do not hesitate to connect with us right now. When it comes to addressing the needs of minor children, it is almost never a good idea to “hold off” tending to these needs, even if the process of achieving that aim is particularly challenging.
Once we have a strong understanding of your unique situation, we can advise you of your legal options accordingly. At that point, you will be able to make an informed decision moving forward. Dealing with the issue of guardianship for minor children can be understandably intimidating.
We can take the legal “heavy lifting” off your plate so that you can concentrate on the needs of the child in question. Please consider scheduling a consultation with a member of our legal team today.
A Family Law Firm That You Can Turn to for Answers
Navigating Texas family law can be difficult, but our team is here to help. We offer a free consultation to discuss your legal needs and how we may be able to support you. If you are considering filing for divorce, or have another pressing family law issue, contact our family lawyers in Arlington, TX at Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC.