What to Look For in a Family Lawyer

What to Look For in a Family Lawyer in Las Vegas If you’re dealing with a family law matter, such as divorce, physical custody, or visitation rights, you’re going to need the help of a family law lawyer near Las Vegas. Since family law can be highly complicated and family law cases are often contentious, it’s important to choose a family attorney with stellar credentials. However, there are many other factors you may wish to consider, such as the availability and affordability of the family attorney.

Experience
It’s a good idea to ask the attorney about his or her background and experience. You can ask which law school the lawyer graduated from and how many years he or she has been practicing. You might also ask the Henderson divorce attorney whether he or she has previously handled cases similar to yours.

Availability
Divorce litigation may sometimes seem like a full-time job for you. You’ll need to find important documents, meet with your lawyer frequently, attend mediation sessions, or attend court hearings. Since you’re likely scheduling all of this around your normal work hours and other responsibilities, it can be very helpful to find a family attorney who offers flexible scheduling. Attorneys tend to work during normal business hours; however, you may be able to find a lawyer who offers appointments seven days per week. Be sure to ask the attorney if he or she offers after hours appointments.

Affordability
The process of divorce, obtaining child custody, and other family law matters is often quite expensive. For divorce in particular, you can expect to divide up assets and debts, and you’ll likely need to adjust your budget to reflect your household’s reduced income. This is why affordability is a critical concern for many people who are searching for a family lawyer. Choosing the least expensive lawyer available may not be best for your case. However, you could look for an attorney who offers flexible payment plans.

Compatibility
When you consult a family lawyer, you’re likely going to be discussing highly sensitive and personal matters. It’s important to work with an attorney with whom you feel compatible and comfortable. During your initial consultation, consider whether the lawyer answers all of your questions thoroughly and whether you feel comfortable sharing personal information with him or her.

The Different Types of Child Custody Arrangements

Custody issues are a complex part of family law that vary from state to state. If you’re going through a divorce or separation and there are children involved, it’s a good idea to consult a child custody lawyer as soon as possible. At a family law firm near Las Vegas, you can discuss your goals for the outcome of the case, such as obtaining joint custody . Your child custody lawyer can also help you understand what you might expect from the proceedings and which types of child custody arrangements the judge may establish.

Physical Custody
When a judge establishes physical custody, it means that a determination has been made regarding which parent’s residence the child will live in. The court may consider a wide range of factors when making this decision. The overriding factor concerns the best interests of the child. The court may also consider the capacity of each parent to provide care, the child’s relationships with various members of the family, the child’s age and gender, the continuity of a stable home environment, and each parent’s history of domestic violence, or drug and alcohol abuse. Depending upon the child’s age, the court may also consider the preferences of the child.

Legal Custody
Your child custody attorney in Henderson can help you understand the differences between legal and physical custody . If you’ve been awarded legal custody, it means that you have the authority to make major decisions regarding how your child is raised. This includes decisions regarding the child’s education, healthcare, and religious upbringing.

Joint Custody
Many people who consult a child custody lawyer have the intention of pursuing joint custody. Joint custody may refer to either physical or legal custody, or both. When parents share joint custody of a child, it means that they both have the authority to make major decisions for the child and to have the child live at their residence. Typically, the child will primarily live at one residence and have frequent visitations with the other parent.

Sole Custody
When a parent is awarded sole physical and legal custody of a child, it means the child will only live with that parent. The other parent may or may not have visitation rights, depending on the circumstances. Sole custody may be awarded in cases involving domestic violence and similar situations.

A Look at Joint Custody

In Nevada, without evidence to the contrary, the courts assume that joint custody is the best solution for children after a divorce. What does it mean to have joint custody of your child? A child custody lawyer in Las Vegas can help you understand all of the ramifications of this type of custody. This video also explains more.

Joint custody encompasses legal and physical custody. Joint legal custody means a shared right to make important decisions about a child’s life, such as medical decisions. Physical custody refers to where the child lives. You may ask your child custody lawyer to allow one parent to have physical custody, or you may choose for your family lawyer to negotiate shared physical custody. Your child custody lawyer will help you present a case which demonstrates that your desired custody outcome is in the best interest of your child.

Grounds for Divorce in Nevada

While divorce is an emotionally trying experience, itis important to keep the legal aspects in mind to protect your children and your financial future. That starts with meeting with a divorce attorney to understand grounds for divorce. If you have made the decision to divorce, seek out a Las Vegas divorce attorney to get the process started. Here are the basics you need to know about the legal grounds for divorce in this state.

Irreconcilable Differences

Nevada has a strictly no-fault divorce system. That means that your divorce attorney can’t make the argument that some action by your spouse has led to the divorce, though he or she may argue that certain behaviors have led to an adverse financial effect when it comes to the distribution of property or that certain behaviors would have a detrimental effect on the best interests of a child in relation to the child custody aspects of your case. That notwithstanding, most divorces are granted on the grounds of irreconcilable differences, also sometimes referred to as incompatibility. This simply means that you and your spouse are unable to work out the differences between you in a way that allows you to continue with your marriage.

Separation

Grounds for Divorce in Nevada Although irreconcileable differences is one ground for divorce, Nevada also permits an application for divorce after spouses have been living apart for at least one year. Note that if you choose to divorce on this ground, your separation must have been physical and your divorce lawyer will need to prove that you have not shared a residence at all during that 12-month period. In the case of a desertion—when your spouse has left without warning and severed ties from the family for a period of 90 days—your divorce lawyer can apply for permanent support payments for yourself and your children without yet having to file for divorce.

Mental Illness

Courts will award your petition for divorce if you can demonstrate that your spouse has been suffering from insanity for two years prior to your filing. During the divorce litigation, your attorney may need to call an expert witness to prove your spouse’s condition. Establishing that your spouse has been suffering from insanity for this period may also impact the division of property and child custody aspects of your case.

Meet Kurt A. Smith, Esq.

Kurt A. Smith, Esq. is uniquely qualified to help individuals navigate issues pertaining to family law, business law, insurance law, and other specialty practice areas. As the founding attorney of Smith Legal Group, a family law office in the Las Vegas Valley, Mr. Smith is devoted to providing aggressive legal representation for his clients and maintaining the highest ethical standards.

Meet Kurt A. Smith, Esq. | Las Vegas, NV On his path to becoming a family law attorney, Kurt Smith obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and then earned his Juris Doctorate from the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He then worked for a national law firm in the areas of insurance law and civil litigation. He has also served as a Project Manager for IBM, playing a critical role in the company’s globalization initiatives. Mr. Smith also gained key experience working as an insurance adjuster, during which he gained an in-depth knowledge of accident reconstruction and on-scene accident investigations. After founding his own family law firm, Mr. Smith has been honored to serve residents of Las Vegas with outstanding legal representation in the areas of family law, commercial litigation, personal injury, bankruptcy, corporate law, and insurance law.