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Washington Township Family Lawyer

Washington Township Family Lawyer

When many people hear the term “family law,” they automatically think of divorce. While it is true that divorce is one important aspect of family law, it is far from the only one. In fact, this area of the law covers a number of issues, including paternity, domestic violence, prenuptial agreements, and child custody. Each of these topics comes with a variety of unique issues, so if you have questions about one or more of these aspects of family law, speak with an experienced Washington Township family lawyer who can explain your legal options.

Child Custody

Many couples with children who decide to get divorced are able to come up with a parenting plan in an out-of-court setting that accounts for shared parenting time and child support. However, this is not always possible, in which case, a court will be required to step in and create a parenting time schedule based on what would be in the child’s best interests. Making this determination requires an analysis of a series of important factors, including:

  • The relationship between each parent and the child;
  • Each parent’s ability to provide for the child’s basic needs, including food, clothing, and medical care;
  • Each parent’s ability to provide guidance and affection to the child;
  • The child’s level of comfort in his or her home, school, and community;
  • Whether either parent has a criminal record, or has been accused of domestic violence or substance abuse;
  • The physical and mental health of all parties;
  • Whether the child is considered mature enough to have a reasonable and legitimate preference to live primarily with one parent;
  • Each parent’s willingness to facilitate an ongoing and close relationship between the child and his or her other parent; and
  • The permanence of the existing or proposed custodial home.

Only after assessing these factors will a court create or approve a custody arrangement.

Establishing Paternity

Another important aspect of family law is establishing paternity and the legal rights and obligations that come along with it. This process involves determining the identity of a child’s biological father, which can be especially important in cases in which a child’s parents are unwed and the mother is refusing to provide a father with access to the child. In these situations, there are one of two ways to establish paternity, which include:

  • Voluntary acknowledgment; or
  • Genetic testing.

Once paternity has been established, the father will have all of the rights and responsibilities that go along with being a parent, including providing child support and visitation.

Prenuptial Agreements

Many of the problems faced by divorcing couples could have been avoided if the parties had entered into a prenuptial agreement before beginning the marriage. These agreements allow two parties to come to an arrangement regarding the distribution of assets, retaining ownership of business interests, and even alimony payments. However, these agreements will only be enforced by the court if they meet a series of strict requirements. To ensure that your own agreement is valid, please contact our legal team for assistance.

Contact an Experienced Family Lawyer Today

To speak with one of the dedicated Washington Township family lawyers at Iafrate & Salassa about your questions and concerns, please call (586) 263-1600 or complete one of our online contact forms and a member of our legal team will help you schedule a free case evaluation.

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