The 5 W’s of Family Law

The 5 W’s of Family Law

First things first, whether you’re involved in family law proceedings, thinking of involving yourself in family law proceedings, or just prepping yourself for the inevitable, take some time to organize your thoughts.

Who
Family law proceedings may take place between many different parties. (i.e. the county, your spouse, grandparents). Who is, or will be, the party in these proceedings? Ask, is this a child support case and, if so, should I get child support services involved? Maybe grandparents need to be joined in for custody issues.

The matter may be as simple as two parties; you and your spouse. But, take a moment to think about who may become involved.

What
What can you expect in family proceedings? First, think about your issues. Does it entail spousal support, child support, custody and visitation? Maybe domestic violence? Before filing your petition, or before you respond to a petition, take some time to decide which issues exist in your case and how to address those issues.

Where
Venue is highly important in family law proceedings. You must take into consideration where your case will be brought. Consider where your spouse lives, where your children live, where you live. You will, under penalty of perjury, state that the venue you choose is the correct one.

Furthermore, it’s important to have an idea of the whereabouts of your spouse. Once a petition is filed, you must serve the Summons and Petition on the other party. Mailing won’t cut it unless the other party signs a certain form. Also remember, personal service must be effectuated by someone other than you.

When
Family law proceedings is time and energy intensive. Depending on the issues of your matter, a case can take years. It is important to consider how much time you can put into these proceedings. Remember, an attorneys job is to solely work on your case.

Also, take a moment to consider when to file for dissolution. Look at tax consequences and other issues that may arise due to the filing of a petition for dissolution.

…Why
This is the big question. Why are you looking to involve yourself, or why have you been involved in family law proceedings? Can you work these issues out, or is it too far gone? Ask yourself if there is any chance of repairing your relationship, especially if there’s children. But, maybe you can’t. Regardless, it is important to plan accordingly.

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