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Marriage Lawyers Near You

For your marriage to stand the test of time, you’ll find that adequate legal counseling is essential. Consulting marriage law lawyers near you to help you understand state laws and dynamics such as debt, custody, property ownership, or tax benefits may set you up for success in marriage.

What is a Marriage Lawyer?

A marriage lawyer is a legal practitioner with appropriate training and experience in state rules of marriage and with experience as a family lawyer.

So then, what sort of relationship does the law consider a marriage? A marriage is a legal union between two people who have purchased a marriage certificate. However, couples with no marriage license who live together for an extended period as husband and wife are in unions recognized by some state laws as a common-law marriage.

What Does a Marriage Attorney Do?

A marriage attorney is a legal expert with a specialty in the following laws that apply to marriage:

  • Family law
  • Tax laws, including income tax, estate tax, federal and state tax laws
  • Trust law
  • Rights and obligations under the Social Security Act
  • Health insurance requirements and laws on spousal benefits
  • Employment and business law
  • Medical, death, and other legal benefits or protections

Your attorney takes time to understand the challenges or opportunities arising out of your marriage. The attorney will then question you to know your interest and advise you on actions to take within the context of the relevant federal and state laws.

When to Hire a Marriage Lawyer?

In every state, state-specific laws outline procedures for initiating and continuing a legally valid marriage. Consult a lawyer for marriage near you before, during, and after the termination of a marriage.

1. Working with a Marriage Attorney Before Marriage

Before marriage, you will need to hire a marriage attorney to help you navigate the following questions:

  • How do you and your future spouse deal with debt and obligations acquired before marriage?
  • Do you have assets and properties that you wish to keep owning separately or jointly with your spouse after marriage?
  • Is a prenuptial agreement an option you are considering?
  • Do you intend to change your name?
  • Do you have a will?

2. Engaging a Marriage Attorney During a Marriage

Working with a marriage lawyer helps you leverage the financial benefits of marriage. Such benefits include transferring property to your spouse without a gift tax or credits from filing joint taxes.

3. A Compassionate Marriage Lawyer Will Help You Navigate Divorce

Divorce or separation is a heavy, emotional experience. Working with a divorce attorney expedites the process, ensuring that you secure the best terms. A marriage attorney will advise on issues concerning child and spousal support and property distribution and present your interests in court.

How Do I Choose a Marriage Attorney?

While choosing a marriage attorney, find the best marriage lawyer near you. Working with a local lawyer guarantees the attorney will advise you accurately according to your state laws. Make a list of potential attorneys near you, then visit or contact each to gauge their suitability by asking the following questions.

  • How long have you been a practicing attorney?
  • What percentage of the cases you handle are related to marriage law?
  • What sort of clients related to marriage law do you support?
  • What other relevant qualifications, training, and experience do you have?
  • How do you approach marriage law matters similar to mine?
  • What is the likely outcome of my case?
  • What are your values and philosophy when it comes to marriage law practice?

How Much Does the Average Marriage Lawyer Cost?

A reasonable marriage law attorney costs $300 to $600 per hour, depending on experience, qualifications, and the complexity of your case. Though there are different price structures among firms and attorneys, most attorneys choose to charge depending on the number of hours spent on your case. The fee and billing structure your attorney may offer to you may include:

  • Flat Fee - If your case requires the drafting of trust documents or estate documents such as wills, living wills, and power of attorney, your attorney may opt for a flat fee since it is easy to estimate the level of effort that will go into protecting your interests.
  • Hourly fee - Your attorney will inform you what their hourly fee is and require you to pay a retainer upfront. Hourly fees are standard when the matter is complex and the attorney cannot anticipate the direct costs. The retainer covers expenses related to the case, including filing fees, travel fees, mailings, process server fees, and paralegal support. If the retainer is depleted before the conclusion of your matter, you will be required to replenish it.

Do Marriage Attorneys Usually Charge for Consultations

Marriage attorneys near you may not charge for the initial consultation. An initial consultation is when a potential attorney listens to your issue and discusses with you possible actions. Once the attorney determines the complexity of your case, the person will then communicate the appropriate billing structure.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is required in most states for a marriage to be legal?

Most states will simply require consenting spouses, two witnesses, and someone to officiate the ceremony. The rules apply to all situations, even in states that allow same-sex marriages. For a marriage to be legal, the spouse must:

  • Be 18 years of age or above and of sound mind
  • Not be married to another person at the time of your marriage
  • Be a person who is not related to you by blood
How much does a marriage green card cost?

A marriage green card, also known as a family-based green card, costs $1,760. To qualify, the person applying for a green card must have entered the United States legally and married a legal citizen or a person with permanent residency. Marriage is one of the few immigration law benefits not available to people who enter the country illegally.