The Future of Family Law

Years written on a road. The closest year is 2023, and the years increase by one the further away they get.

Who says the law has to be staid and rigid? A lot is happening in the family law space, much of it in response to changing norms and beliefs in the greater society around us. From how couples confront family issues to the way people communicate during cases to ever-evolving laws, suffice it to say that some aspects of family law are sure to play out differently than similar scenarios even twenty years ago.

It’s the job of a good lawyer to keep up with trends such as the ones below and come up with smart legal strategies to benefit their clients’ cases.

Less Adversarial Divorce Cases Through Mediation

There has been a shift away from high conflict litigation in court in recent years. The model most divorcing couples seek tends toward less adversarial processes such as mediation – a trend that is expected to continue.

If you are hoping to avoid litigation, you have a lot of company. A qualified family law attorney will be able to walk you through the process and minimize the stress that proceedings can cause in divorcing couples.

Growing Role of Technology and Online Legal Trends

Changes during the pandemic have had lasting implications on the field of law. Just consider how it has affected the habits of law students (ie., the country’s future lawyers). In a 2022 American Bar Association (ABA) survey:

  • 52% of respondents would choose a remote Zoom class over an in-person one.
  • Close to 69% want to earn more credits through distance education.
  • As a result of changing norms, the ABA now lets students take half of their classes online.

Technology has influenced other areas. Marriages, divorces and other legal proceedings are being conducted online. According to Family Lawyer Magazine, technology has contributed to “a self-help approach to the segment of the market who needed an affordable solution to their uncontested, simple divorce.”

Use of Therapy to Help Resolve Disputes

As therapy is embraced by children and adults alike, it is also being used more frequently as a helpful tool in family law cases. For example, mandatory or court-ordered therapy can require family members struggling with mental health to attend sessions. Divorce can be hard on children, and it is the job of courts to ensure their best interests remain a priority in any case. Generally speaking, courts can issue orders requiring counseling – for kids as well as adults – if:

  1. A child’s wellbeing is at risk;
  2. Both parents agree counseling is necessary;
  3. Violations of parenting time have occurred; or
  4. A parent violates the terms of the parenting plan in a way that impacts the child.

More Disputes Involving Pet Custody in Illinois

Thanks to a recently passed pet custody law in Illinois, we may be seeing more litigation around the fate of shared pets as couples split up. Roughly 85 million families in the U.S. own a pet. As a result, pet custody cases will likely become more commonplace. Judges will need to make decisions regarding an animal’s living situation based on factors such as which party has been the primary caregiver and who will provide it with the best living environment.

Evolving Strategies to Get the Best Results in Legal Cases

Strategic thinking can be crucial to the outcome of many types of family law cases, and that won’t change any time soon. Common examples where legal expertise will still come in handy:

  • Negotiating parental rights;
  • Conducting financial discovery;
  • Establishing child custody matters;
  • Discovering a spouse’s hidden assets; and
  • How to navigate other sensitive issues in families.

Couples will continue to require legal representation to guide them through every step of the process they are facing.

Empower Yourself by Partnering with a Legal Expert to Bolster Your Case

As common legal issues like divorce become easier to navigate due to technology, folks will still need highly qualified representation to support their cases. The right partner will be able to examine your circumstances as trends and laws change and determine the most efficient path forward. At the Law Office of David A. King, P.C., we have the resources, tools, and experience to see that your interests are protected.

Contact the Law Office of David A. King, P.C. to schedule a consultation with a family law attorney serving areas throughout DuPage County today. A top-rated family law practitioner can walk you through the legal process and help you determine the best path forward.

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