Practicing law can be a very rewarding career, but only if you’re in a field that’s fulfilling. You have the option of becoming a lawyer in matters revolving around probate, criminal, civil, juvenile, malpractice, corporate and employment, to name a few. There are literally hundreds of different areas of law that you can get into, but only a select few will entice you for many years. One area that’s popular is family law.
Family law deals with everything to do with married and unmarried couples and their children. In many cases, you’re dealing with divorces, marriage, child custody, visitation, child support and alimony. Becoming a family law attorney can be a blessing and a curse, as it can bring forth great victories, as well as great losses. It’s important to prepare yourself for the mental exhaustion associated with being a family law attorney, especially when it involves children. Helping a parent “win” their child is a heavy load to bear, but at the end of the day, you will feel like you’ve helped keep a family intact.
If you’re considering becoming a lawyer, here are five reasons why you should practice in the area of family law.
You Can Help Families Overcome Grief
Divorce is always a devastating experience for children. Even when the parents are in agreement about the divorce, there may be disputes about how the children will be shared by the parents. In most states, the best interest of the child factors is what the judge considers when determining who the child will live with majority of the time. The term custody has been overthrown in most states, replaced with majority time-sharing. The parent with most of the time is now considered the majority parent. As a lawyer, you will help negotiate with the other party to come to an agreement or convince the judge that your client’s parenting plan is the best for the children.
You Can Act as a Child’s Advocate
A lot of family lawyer end up becoming guardian ad lidems, which is a child’s advocate. They speak with the children and speak to the court on their behalf. Young children are normally kept outside of the court, so a GAL is able to include the voice of the children when it comes time for the judge to make a final decision about time-sharing.
You Can Have a Rewarding Career
Being a family law attorney can be very rewarding financially. There are thousands of families that go to court each year, many of which are looking for an attorney. Your best bet would be to offer flat rate fees, in case they only want you for limited scope purposes. Some may only want you to help with the drafting of their documents and others may want to do the documents, but you show up to court during hearings and mediation. Try to be flexible, so you can fit your services within their budget. The average pay of family lawyers in the U.S. is $136,260. You may also get extra gifts from your clients, such as a case of flowers from 1-800-Flowers.
There are many reasons you should become a family law attorney, just make sure you’re doing it for all the right ones!