When is the the right time for me to meet a family lawyer?

Perhaps you’re experiencing trouble in your home life and would like to better understand how Michigan’s family laws might apply to your circumstances. It isn’t a crime to consult privately with a lawyer, and you can be assured that lawyers have a vested interest in protecting your privacy. Members of the State Bar of Michigan are ethically obligated to preserve the confidential information provided to them by past, present and prospective clients.

Possibly you’re witnessing a relationship breakdown elsewhere in your extended family, as a grandparent or aunt/uncle or close cousin. You could be part of a blended family and you want to learn more about the benefits and hurdles of step-parent adoption. Perhaps you and your partner are considering how Michigan’s laws may affect your ability to adopt or foster a child, or are curious how your different benefits and resources may be impacted by marriage or other legal agreement. Maybe you’re considering remarriage and want to formalize some agreements between you and your would-be spouse before you tie the knot forever.

Perhaps you’re already a family court veteran – you’ve been through the legal processes regarding families and children, be it a past divorce, adoption, CPS case, dependency or juvenile matter. You want to know how past events may impact the present and future. Maybe there is personal trouble on the horizon – or things are great and you want to keep them that way. Maybe you're already litigating a case in court, with or without an attorney. Maybe you've realized that the legal system is complicated and that an advisor would make a difference in your case's outcome.

All of these types of people are welcome in a good family lawyer’s office. Many, perhaps most, of the people that family lawyers such as myself meet are not ready to “lawyer up.” Some of the individuals who I meet professionally don’t need a lawyer at all, or really need an introduction to a different lawyer for some other non-family court issue. Such interactions are a regular part of my job, and I encourage people who are experiencing a potential legal problem to reach out. I offer free consultations to most prospective family law clients, and many of my colleagues do as well. Family lawyers are generally a friendly, caring bunch who seek to promote the humanity of our legal system.

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