How MyPhillyLawyer Can Help Serve Your Family Law Needs
By Dean I. Weitzman, Esq. on August 15th, 2014
Known for our distinguished work and expertise in the legal fields of personal injury, vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, birth injury, criminal defense and estate planning, MyPhillyLawyer is also now your best source for family law assistance.
In June, MyPhillyLawyer opened its first-ever office in Northeast Philadelphia, far from the bustle of Center City, where our newest attorney, Ms. Irena Shiloh, is working with clients on a wide array of family law cases. Irena, a graduate of Drexel University’s Earle Mack School of Law, received her undergraduate degree in business administration from Institut Franco-Americain de Management in Paris, France.
So what exactly is family law and what does it mean to you and your family?
MyPhillyLawyer’s family practice deals predominantly with child custody, divorce, child support, alimony, protection from abuse and petitions for contempt. Custody cases usually involve biological children, but may also involve grandchildren, stepchildren, adoptive children or children to whom a party stands in loco parentis (acting as a parent).
Parties in domestic relations matters are frequently unrepresented, however it is always advisable to have an attorney who genuinely cares about your case and works with you toward long-term results. Just like you are willing to go to a doctor when you have medical issues, you should allow a good lawyer to handle your legal issues.
But why do people need a lawyer in domestic relations cases? What is it that a lawyer can do that a non-lawyer can’t do? There are many aspects of family matters that are complex, require strict knowledge of the laws and experience with the court system. For example, the rules of evidence are so complex that you could damage your case simply by not being familiar with them. Inadmissible evidence against you could end up being admitted solely because you didn’t know you could object – or on which basis to object.
Another prevalent problem is the opposite of the issue described above: you may think you have strong evidence in your favor, but that evidence could actually be inadmissible—meaning, the judge can’t hear it or see it no matter how important it may be for your case. In such a case, a lawyer may find alternative ways to present the evidence in your favor. Next, parties to domestic cases often think that certain evidence should prove their case without fail, when in reality, it works against them and damages their case if introduced.
Another significant mistake people make about evidence is regarding its importance and relevance. Pennsylvania statutes and case law imposes on courts factors and rules that courts must consider in domestic relations cases. That means that your own perception of what’s right and wrong may be correct – subjectively or objectively – but different from how things work in the courtroom. For example, marital assets acquired during the marriage are joint property, even if bought with one party’s income and put in that party’s name.
Furthermore, the bad conduct of either of the parties is irrelevant when it comes to distribution of marital assets. This means if A and B were married for ten years and A was a good spouse who worked very hard to acquire a home, cars and significant savings, while B was unfaithful and not earning any income during the marriage, a court would consider all assets as joint and not inquire into the character of either spouse.
Another example is that courts favor custodial arrangements that promote a child’s relationship with both parents. They try to be objective and keep in mind the best interest of the child rather than punish the “bad guy” and reward the “victim.” Many parties have a problem understanding what really matters in child custody cases. Unfortunately, some judges have the same problem. Some parties are so determined to obstruct their child’s relationship with the other parent that they resort to lies and serious false accusations for personal vendetta. This is where an attorney can help bring the truth to light and expose the false allegations of the other party in a manner that courts understand and accept.
Finally, and probably the most important thing, is that many people who encounter the family court system for the first time think that the judge assigned to their case will review all the evidence carefully, will hear and assess everyone’s testimony and detect lies with the ability of a polygraph. Certainly, the judge must see things clearly and rule in their favor – or so they hope. Judges can’t and don’t review all evidence and they are not polygraph machines. Some judges are more diligent and patient than others. And some are wiser and more experiences than others.
People also often believe that judges are always fair and just. Sadly, this is not always true. Judges come with their own life experiences and judicial experiences. Judges are just people with good and bad qualities that reflect accordingly in their judicial decisions.
Without legal representation, you are likely to make numerous mistakes, highly detrimental to your case. To achieve maximum results, you to bring with you an attorney who is familiar with the Pennsylvania rules of civil procedure, the Pennsylvania rules of evidence, local court rules, the substantive laws (laws on divorce, child support, etc.), and who knows how to present your case before a judge or a master in the most favorable light for you.
Divorce and custody matters can be traumatic for all parties involved, especially for children. It is best to amicably agree on issues such as property division, custody arrangements, spousal or child support. Working amicably toward solutions is always possible but not always imaginable, as most of the time, two divorcing spouses are two people who are very angry at each other. Many attorneys take advantage of this anger to fuel the animosity between the litigating parties, which brings more money to the attorneys, but only prolongs the agony of the clients and drains them financially.
At MyPhillyLawyer, we take domestic relations cases with great care, always considering the long-term effects, especially when children are involved. We want our clients to be happy and maintain good relationships with their children 10, 20 or 40 years down the road.
While in personal injury there is usually a one-time victory, in family matters, our slogan “When Winning Matters Most” continues to take effect long after a hearing is over and a judge has issued an order. We take a holistic approach to your family matters and work with care to insure that your issues are resolved as quickly and painlessly as possible. We frequently encounter opposing parties, and even opposing attorneys, who won’t settle or cooperate. In such cases, where negotiations are fruitless, we aggressively fight to protect your interests and achieve your goals. Each case is unique and we employ creative methods in achieving your goals. We listen and we care about our clients, about their children, about their financial welfare and about easing the distress that necessarily comes with all domestic relations matters.
We here at MyPhillyLawyer stand ready to assist you with your legal case, ranging from personal injuries to vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, birth injuries, criminal defense, estate planning and family law.
Call MyPhillyLawyer at 215-227-2727 or toll-free at 1-866-920-0352 anytime and our experienced, compassionate, aggressive team of attorneys and support staff will be there for you and your family every step of the way as we manage your case through the legal system.
When Winning Matters Most, Call MyPhillyLawyer.