Most people don’t recognize the importance of developing a relationship — or, at least, an understanding of — some basic principles of family law. While all of us probably hope to avoid the pitfalls of an unhealthy relationship with others, especially those so close to us, disputes do happen and they do occasionally result in a situation which may require legal mediation.
The sort of incident that requires mediation can be varied, and related to any number of things. Most family law firms report that divorce, issues pertaining to child custody, or child support disputes are some common ones. How common? To put things in perspective, and to echo the earlier sentiment about needing to develop at least an understanding of your rights should you find yourself in hot water, consider the following: researchers have combed through industry data and officially estimate that almost half (40-50%) of all first marriages will end in divorce. This is up an astronomical amount from just a few decades ago, where divorce was taboo and typically thought of as a last ditch resort for truly failed marriages.
The same experts estimate that an even higher percentage, perhaps as many as 60% of second marriages will end in divorce. The numbers are clear — marriages just aren’t guaranteed to last anymore. Depending on who you ask, they’re not even likely to last.
Considering all types and all motivators of divorce, one occurs every 36 seconds in America. Too many couples will have agreed to a divorce during the time you spent reading this article. By the end of today, another 2,400 will have been divorced, 16,000 by the end of the week, and nearly a million by year’s end.
It’s simply a matter of being prepared. Even if marriage isn’t the issue for you, consider that the child support “industry” generated $37.9 billion in 2011 alone. Family law is very important in the U.S., and family law firms might as well be on every street in the country.
Luckily, you don’t have to be in hot water already in order to familiarize yourself with these issues. Family law questions are quite common, and most divorce attorneys or child custody attorneys are more than happy to answer questions.