One of the most common situations a family law attorney will see involves issues relating to divorce. The two most common of these are how to divide property and who will gain primary custody of any children. However, it’s not unusual for our attorneys to also handle prenuptial agreements. Why is it so important to involve a lawyer when a couple decides to part ways? After all, in Delaware there is such a thing as “no-fault divorce” where neither party is legally considered at-fault for the split. A couple can dissolve their marriage quietly, without having to separate first.
When two people decide to get a divorce emotions typically run high. Two parties are unable to think clearly or gain a balanced perspective to establish a reasonable outcome such as how to split proceeds from the sale of a house and assets or which parent children should live with most of the time.
Instead of agreeing amicably as to how property should be divided and where sons and daughters should live (an uncontested divorce), husband, wife, or both disagree about one or more of the terms of their divorce.
Our team’s experienced family and divorce attorneys have seen situations many times before where two otherwise reasonable people lost all reason during a breakup. Their fighting frequently turned nasty, causing terrible damage to relationships and harming the mental health of their children.
Opposing parties could go through all of this turmoil without the help of a legal professional, but given how angry and disillusioned a husband and wife can become, their case will probably end up in court. A judge would see this is as a tragedy, especially where kids are dragged through the pain of a lengthy legal battle.
In contrast, a pair of professionals in family law will often keep the matter out of court, settling all issues around a table behind closed doors. If they succeed, this spares children at least some of the pain they would have experienced.
The Lawyer’s Job
The lawyer’s job is to wade through emotions to determine the facts about how much money from the sale of assets each party should receive and how non-liquid items should be split. He helps to settle disagreements about alimony and to determine which parent is best suited to the role of full-time parent and to draw up a visitation schedule for the other parent. In Delaware, mothers are not automatically granted the right of primary custodian.
An attorney also examines the life of his client, uncovering events that could affect the outcome of a custody battle. For instance, if he has a criminal record or is a recovering alcoholic, it is better to know the facts right away than to be surprised with them during proceedings. The other side might refer to such an event to cast a shadow over a parent’s fitness to care for a child.
Many attorneys represent fathers who never married the mothers of their children and seek visitation rights. They are sometimes retained until children become adults, relocating a child whose custodian becomes unfit. An attorney from The Delaware Lawyers is indispensable in securing the safety of young people dragged into divorce against their will.