Family Legal Insurance Plan
Many people need legal assistance at some point to manage challenging life events such as divorce or personal injury. The services of a legal professional can be critical to reaching outcomes or agreements that help individuals and families get through difficult circumstances
Our Family Defender plan provides affordable access to attorney services in a wide range of family and domestic law issues
Because the coverage included in your group’s U.S. Legal Services legal insurance plan may vary, please check with your group’s administrator for specific benefit details.
Divorce, Child Support and Child Custody
Attorneys with experience in divorce proceedings and child support and custody matters may provide counsel on a number of related issues, such as property division and calculating spousal or child support. Depending upon the specific benefits in your plan, the attorneys in the U.S. Legal Services network are available to help with divorce matters, providing services such as:
- Free consultations
- The preparation and filing of pleading and affidavits
- Drafting settlement agreements
- Representation at hearings for divorce
Additional services may include:
- The modification or enforcement of alimony or child support orders, which covers representation after a judgment has been entered
- The establishment of an uncontested guardianship or conservatorship for plan members who are appointed as a person’s guardian or conservator
Every adoption case is different, and an attorney’s help is essential to managing the complex process of adoption. There are many variables, such as the type of adoption, various state laws, where the child is from and more. Your U.S. Legal Services plan covers all legal services and court work in state court for adoptions.
Juvenile defense is a specialized area of family law, and juvenile offenses are managed differently than adult offenses. When a child is accused of an offense, he or she needs expert representation to navigate juvenile defense proceedings.
Personal injury legal services can cover a range of events, including but not limited to wrongful death, vehicular accidents, injuries or accidents in workplaces, and defective products. A variety of issues can be factors in personal injury law, such as medical treatment costs, pain and suffering, damage to personal property, long-term care, permanent disability, wage loss, and more.
This area of law deals with the rights of both landlords and tenants, which may vary from state to state. Issues may include leases and rental agreements, security deposits, housing discrimination, rights to privacy and safety, responsibilities for repairs or maintenance, evictions, and more.
Wills and Trusts
The Family Defender not only covers unexpected legal issues our members may face today, but also provides access to network attorneys who can assist with estate planning. Every family — not just those with substantial wealth — can and should plan for the future by having estate-related documents in place. These include:
- Wills that specify the distribution of property or other assets and name guardians for children
- Trusts that can be used to distribute property before, upon or after death
- Living will that specify healthcare wishes
Consult with a Network Attorney
If you have a personal or family legal need and are a member of a U.S. Legal Services plan, you may have access to a network attorney in your area who can advise you. Check with your group’s plan administrator for the specific benefits your plan offers.
This information is provided for educational purposes only. It is not intended as legal advice. Each situation and matter is unique and should be discussed with a U.S. Legal Services network attorney.
Custody attorneys provide advice to and, as necessary, represent one party when the custody of a child or children is being negotiated. The attorney advocates for his or her client, presenting evidence in court to show why that client should get or keep custody of the children. So, if you are seeking child custody, your family law attorney would advocate for you; meanwhile, other parties—perhaps a former partner or spouse or, less commonly, a grandparent who has an interest in the case—would likely have their own attorneys to represent their interests. In some cases, the court will appoint an attorney to represent the child’s interests. This could happen upon request of an adult party in the case or if the court decides a lawyer is needed for your child.
This is another type of law that isn’t technically considered “family law,” but can be extremely important if a family member is injured. Each personal injury situation is unique; times when it can make sense to hire a personal lawyer include when you or a family member has suffered severe injuries, including but not limited to ones that will cause long-term challenges. Other times when it often makes sense to consult an attorney include when liability for the injury is not clear; when there are numerous people involved in a situation, which makes determining liability more complicated; or when you feel as though insurance companies or other parties are not acting in good faith in a way that’s to your detriment. These are not the only situations when a personal injury attorney can help you to receive fair compensation, but they are good benchmarks to consider.
This is not typically considered part of “family law,” but your family may need this kind of assistance. This is the type of attorney that can help you to sort out your rights when a situation involves the relationship between a landlord and tenant (the person who is renting the relevant property). Landlords might need this type of attorney when seeking to evict a tenant for lack of payment, as just one example, or if being sued for discrimination or an injury that occurred on their property, while renters could use a landlord tenant attorney to have a lease reviewed before signing or if they feel as thought their legal rights are not being respected by their landlord. These are just some examples.
If you need a last will and testament, a living will, or medical and/or financial powers of attorney, this can be very important to your family (although this type of law isn’t considered “family law”). In this situation, it’s important to know your state’s laws (they aren’t all the same) to ensure that all is drafted and executed in a legal way. Although there are no-cost to low-cost ways to do it yourself, if there are errors made or the documents are not fully completed according to relevant laws, this can be a very expensive proposition. So, although you are not legally required to use an estate planning attorney, it can often be the best decision, especially if you have children, own a business, are in a second marriage, have significant assets, were recently divorced, or are in another category that makes it more likely than a misstep can be especially costly.