You got your divorce decree or had your support or custody hearing, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t be seeing much of your family lawyer anymore.. In actuality, you may need to build a relationship with your attorney until each of your children turn 18. Here are some things to think about.

Divorce – your agreement or court order may provide for transfers of specific property, or payments toward equitable distribution, or perhaps alimony for a period of time. A family lawyer will remind you of those open items, help you effectuate them, and assist you in enforcement proceedings if your now ex-spouse is in default of his or her obligations.

Support and custody – orders in both types of cases are modifiable for different reasons. A divorce lawyer will explain that to you and other helpful information to you, remind you to keep us up-to-date, and help you evaluate from time to time the need to report changes to a court, or to consider petitioning for an increase or decrease in your payments or time with your children as may be applicable. At Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP, our attorneys will also assist in enforcing the orders if the other parent violates them.

Estate planning – your change in status, or the requirements of a family law agreement, may indicate a need to create or modify your estate plan, meaning a will, power of attorney, trust, or advance health care declaration. You may need to secure and make changes related to life insurance. We’ll explain what these are, what should be addressed, and suggest changes.

Referrals – if needed or helpful, a family lawyer can refer you to an accountant, mental health professional, or financial advisor to counsel you in these areas.

Social Security – An attorney will counsel you before and during the proceedings as to the effect of any event such as divorce on your rights and amounts payable.

Tax issues – A divorce lawyer will advise you about the extent of declarability or deductibility for tax purposes of payments made or received, or property transferred, and of attorney’s fees.

Paperwork – Finally, a family lawyer will return all of your original documents, and ensure that you have copies of all relevant items such as court orders and agreements.

We hope all this will be helpful going forward after the trial is concluded.

David I. Grunfeld, Esquire