Family law is an area that deals with the rules, regulations, and court procedures involving family-related issues and domestic relations. Civil procedures and legal matters involving family members’ financial responsibilities, custodial rights, eligibility, and other obligations generally fall under the family law category. Domestic violence and child abuse are included in this section of family law legal services although they are criminal matters. While some family law matters may be handled without counsel, processes such as divorce and child custody often require the skill of an experienced attorney. The majority of family law legal issues are related to the following:
- The nature of marriage, civil unions, and domestic partnerships
- Issues arising during marriage, including spousal abuse, legitimacy, paternity, adoption, surrogacy, domestic violence, child abuse, and child abduction
- The termination of the relationship and ancillary matters including divorce, annulment, property settlements, alimony, child custody and visitation, child support and alimony awards
Because these personal relationships are governed by state law, what constitutes “family law” may vary from state to state, so it is important to consult with a family law attorney who has experience in your state.
Family Law Encompasses the following:
Just as with most other areas of law, the decision to hire a family law attorney depends on factors that are specific to your unique case. For example, a lawyer is usually not necessary in order to get married, but if one party requests a prenuptial agreement that may not be the case. Most family law issues involve substantial emotion and permeate across all aspects of the personal lives of those involved. This makes it critical for you to choose the right family law attorney; one who has experience in the specific area of your family law issue and whom you trust to negotiate with the other party.
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