Understanding what family lawyers do, why you need them and how to find one

That Lawyer that provides legal services for your father in his company, gets your brother out of police trouble and helps your mother sue her employers is not a family lawyer, however, he may be your family’s lawyer.

In other words, family Law practice is an area of competence is law practice with defined and specific roles. Unfortunately, many people particularly non-lawyers confuse that lawyer who is at the family’s beck and call with a lawyer who is in family law practice.

If a Lawyer is your family’s lawyer, it does not necessarily make him/her a family lawyer. If what he/she does is to provide legal services to your father’s company, he/she is a company or corporate lawyer, if he/she helps your mother with her intellectual properties like trademarks, patents, copyright, that lawyer is an Intellectual property lawyer and if he/she is always going to court to defend your brother in a criminal charges, he/she may be a criminal lawyer or a Human Rights Lawyer.

The good news is that a lawyer can have more than one area of competence and can deliver services in different areas of law. That is how lawyers are trained. However, in recent times, lawyers are beginning to choose areas of competence restricting their scope to about three or less.

Who is a family Lawyer?

A family Lawyer is a lawyer whose practice involves matters related to family law practice eg, Divorce, Probate etc.

What are the duties of a family lawyer?

The duties of a family Lawyer include:

  1. Divorce:

Divorce is an area of law practice classified as family law practice. It is sometimes defined as Family Law and Divorce. It involves legal advice and filing of papers in divorce proceedings. It also includes all other issues that arise from divorce proceedings like custody, Maintenance, settlement, Separation etc   

51 Things every Nigerian woman  should know about the law on Divorce and Marriage 

  • Wills: (Probate)

Family Lawyers draft wills for their Clients. It is always advisable for every man and woman to write a Will even if you own only one house. It does not only reduce the likelihood of a family dispute, it has some other commercial benefits for your beneficiaries which the family Law can advise on.

  • Letters of Administration: (Probate)

A letter of administration is usually granted on behalf of someone who dies intestate. i.e. who dies without writing a Will. A family Lawyer advices on what to do and how to go about it. A family lawyer also takes steps in obtaining letters of administration. Letters of Administration can also be obtained in respect of properties not included in a will.

  • Guardianship and Adoption: 

Family Lawyers advice clients on the best way to obtain guardianship and adoption. Laws on guardianship and adoption differ from state to state, county to county depending on the country.

There are other duties of a family lawyer but these above are some of their common duties and why you may need them.

Most family law related cases are usually emotionally charged, so to avoid mistakes with what you say or do, it is important you hire or seek the advice of a family lawyer at the earliest possible time when you are confronted with any of the issues above.

With the Covid-19 pandemic changing the way many things are done, more people across the world are searching for legal representatives online. Click here to find verified or unverified family lawyers.

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