There are some legal matters relating to your family that you might be able to handle on your own, such as petitioning the court for a name change after you get married or even going through an amicable divorce when there are no children involved. However, there are also times when it's good to call an attorney at least for legal advice, to protect your interests and those of other family members. Note a few of those times here and why legal advice about family law is so important.
1. When you feel your parent is failing mentally
Seeing a parent begin to fail mentally can be difficult for any adult child, but note that you typically cannot simply take over your parent's finances, force them into a retirement home, or take any other action against them without some type of legal intervention. You may need a court order to move your parent into a full-time care home without their consent, and this may include getting a statement from a doctor that they need full-time care.
You may also need certain court orders to start handling their finances for them if they haven't consented to this. Even if you mean well and know that your parent is no longer capable of handling their checkbook and bills, you should protect yourself from accusations of theft when it comes to their property and finances.
2. If grandparents are interfering with visitation or want to request visitation
In some areas, grandparents may have certain limited rights to visit their grandchildren after a divorce. However, this doesn't mean they can simply take the children as they wish, such as picking them up from school without the parent's consent.
If you are the parent, rather than assuming how the law works when it comes to grandparents and their rights after a divorce, speak with a family lawyer. If the grandparents have a court order in place allowing them visitation, you as the parent cannot interfere with that. If they don't, you have the right to deny grandparents visitation.
If you are the grandparents of children affected by divorce, you also need to ensure you speak to an attorney before you take children without a parent's permission. Don't assume that because you're the grandparent and grandparents are sometimes allowed visitation that you can do as you please. Without a court order in place, you might face claims of custody interference or other legal entanglements.
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