Things can get heated in any family dynamic. But how do you know when your disagreement has progressed to a point that you need a professional to intervene? And then, do you need a family counselor? Or should you be turning to the best family law attorney in Mattoon, IL? If you’re not sure whether or not your current family disagreement requires an attorney’s help, keep reading to learn a few situations in which you should contact a lawyer.


Impending Divorce or Separation

Divorce is the most obvious and the most common reason for calling an attorney who specializes in family law. Marriages are legally binding contracts, which means that you need to have that contract legally ended if you no longer want to be married. While you can technically get divorced without hiring an attorney, doing so can be a very bad idea.


Even if your divorce is amicable, there are details regarding division of property, spousal support, and child custody (if you have kids) that you really shouldn’t try to work out on your own. You may end up giving up far more than you should as a result. And, in the case of child custody, the court may require you to work with a family law attorney to ensure the child’s or children’s best interests are being met.


Changes to Child Custody Agreement

Even after a divorce, you may find yourself needing the services of a family law specialist somewhere down the road. This is especially true if you have an existing child custody agreement that needs to be modified. Changes to a child custody agreement can change for any number of reasons: one parent moving, a job loss, changes to household living arrangements, etc. If you or your spouse are experiencing significant changes to your lifestyle, it may be worth revisiting your current child custody agreement and modifying it to ensure that your child’s needs are still being met. Child support can also be modified if the child’s needs change in such a way that the cost of raising them is significantly impacted.


You can’t modify a child custody arrangement via verbal agreement either. This must be done in court with legal documentation. And, just as you should have a lawyer on your side when the initial child custody agreement is made, you should have one for any modifications as well.


Spousal Support Modification

Spousal support is another aspect of a divorce that can be modified down the road based on changing circumstances. If your income changes, your spouse’s income or living situation changes, or one of you comes into a large sum of money, this may call for your current spousal support agreement to be modified.


Pre- and Postnuptial Agreements

Divorces and their subsequent agreement modifications aren’t the only times you might need an affordable family law attorney. Sometimes, you might want one before you get married, or even while you’re still happily married. Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements can greatly benefit both parties should you and your spouse ever divorce.


However, you need to ensure that all of your rights and your property are protected, and that the agreement is created in a way that is legally binding. Failing to do so could actually result in your pre- or postnuptial agreement being thrown out of court when you get a divorce.


If you find yourself in any of these situations, please contact the Law Offices of Winter-Black & Baker, a family law firm in Mattoon, IL, to schedule a consultation. We’ll be by your side, regardless of what your exact family law needs are. Give us a call at 217-235-3400 today.