Family Law

Divorce
dissolution of marriage
scales of law

Family Law Attorney

Families are dynamic structures, varying through time. Sometimes there are good seasons, and families need to explore legal options for child or adult adoptions. Sometimes there are painful or uncertain seasons where families need to explore options for divorce, child custody issues, child support, or visitation actions. Whether you need a legal expert to guide you through the good times or bad, our family law attorneys are here to provide the services you need.

Divorce: The dissolution of a marriage by judicial decree.
(ref. legaldictionary.net)

COMMON SUBTYPES OF FAMILY LAW:

Child Adoption

According to Montana Law, child adoption is defined as “the act of creating the legal relationship between parent and child when it does not exist genetically. Child adoptions include a “legally free for adoption” child, stepchild, or emancipated child, (ref. Courts.mt.gov)

Adult Adoption

  • Adult adoption is for children (or persons) over the age of 18.
  • This process simplifies estate planning for families with stepchildren.

Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce)

  • The process of cutting the legal, marital ties between two people through the court system.
  • Parties divide and distribute property, can ask for spousal maintenance (alimony), and if there are children resulting from the marriage, a parenting plan, and child support

Parenting Plan (Custody)

  • The court system uses parenting plans to determine the custody of minor children, including when and where each parent will be with and responsible for each child.
  • Includes who is responsible for decision-making and provides for the financial care of the child.

Child Support Determinations

  • District Courts Montana laws and Administrative Rules governing both parents’ duty of support to a child.
  • Amounts are determined to be reasonable or necessary for the child’s support, and without regard to marital misconduct.

Grandparents' Visitation Actions

The district court may grant to a grandparent of a child reasonable rights to contact with the child (MCA 40-9-102)

Wills

Wills help to solidify who issues such as legal guardianship, power of attorney, and estate planning.

(Subtype definitions above include information from courts.mt.gov and Montana Code Annotated.)

THE DO’S AND DON’TS OF DIVORCE:

  • DO be reasonable and cooperate as much as possible with your soon-to-be-ex. Reasonable compromise yields quicker and easier results in divorce cases.
  • DO support your children (of any age) through this process. It’s even tougher on them than it is on you. Don’t make them pick sides.
  • DO let your spouse know when and where you both will spend time with your kids while you work out permanent custodial arrangements.
  • DO fully disclose all your assets and property. A Judge can throw out a divorce decree based on financial deception, putting you back in court years after you thought everything was final; worse, non-disclosure in Montana could result in forfeiture of that asset/property to your ex.
  • DO consider individual counseling to assist you, especially with emotional issues; after all, your attorney may not be the best source for any advice other than legal.
  • DO ask your attorney if anything doesn’t make sense. Your attorney works for you, and should help you understand every part of the divorce process.

  • DON’T make big plans to take a job in another state or move out of the country until your divorce is final. Your new life could interfere with getting your divorce finalized. If you have children, a Judge could prevent you from taking them out of the county or state or even make you bring them back.
  • DON’T violate any temporary custody or visitation arrangements. It could make it tougher for you to get the custody or visitation rights you want.
  • DON’T “give away” property to friends or relatives and arrange to get it back later. Hiding property can mean your ex can take you back to court to settle those assets and you could lose them all together.
  • DON’T rely on “advice” or information from your best friend, a relative, sheriff/police officer or dry cleaner. Each case is unique, each situation different from what your buddy may have gone through. Get sound advice from an attorney who practices in the family law arena.
  • DON’T go it alone. Divorce is complicated, and an attorney can make sure that your interests are protected.

Grizzly Law has several attorneys who specialize in family law in Montana. We know the laws and issues pertaining to divorce, child support, custody, guardianship, wills, probate, adoption, and much more. Family units have become more and more complex when considering biological parents, grandparents, step-parents and many other types of family members. Our family law attorneys also handle pre and post-nuptial agreements and proxy marriages.

Contact us at 406-752-7122 or click the “Contact Us” button below to schedule your initial consultation.