Family Law

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What is Family Law?

Family Law encompasses a body of law that oversees domestic relationships pertaining to families. These are legal issues that involve marriage, divorce, children, and other family relationships. In general, family law addresses the legal creation or termination of family relationships. Since this practice of law is involved with relationships and children, it usually deals with the most personal and emotional issues and cases in law.

With this nature, it is strongly advised to seek legal counsel from a family lawyer or attorney. The most common types are divorce, child custody, and child support, but most lawyers and attorneys have expertise in a wide variety of areas.

Family Law Expertise

Overall, in family law practice, both parties of any court hearings for any case try to seek an agreement. If both parties agree on something, they can get that written and approved in a legal document. Of course, such agreements would make the best and smoothest solutions, but not all end up like that.

When both parties have different demands that they want to be met, the court orders a third party to work with both parties to come up with a solution. If mediation does not work, the case will go into trial, where both parties will have to testify and submit evidence, and a family law judge will decide on a ruling. Family law matters are under the jurisdiction of state and local courts.

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Common Areas of Expertise


On top of a couple’s planning for the ceremony, there’s other plans and commitments that needs to be addressed before the day of such a life-changing event. Before a couple is married, they can agree to a prenuptial agreement (or “prenup” for short), which is a legal document that lists and divides the assets or property (even debts) between the couple in case the marriage ends up in a divorce.

Despite what many people believe, prenups are not just for the wealthy couples, as more couples from modest backgrounds are getting prenups for various reasons. With a high rate of divorce in our society, more couples agree to prenups to easily avoid arguments over finance and property when they get divorced. Prenups are also used to protect one from the debt of their spouse. Another reason is to allocate property to children of a spouse’s previous marriage. Prenuptial laws that tells you What you can include will vary from state to state.


A marriage can be broken apart by divorce. Noted that a marriage can only be terminated if it is valid. Otherwise, it is considered null and void by an annulment, as if the marriage did not exist. Some of the reasons that warrants an annulment are incest, legal age issues, nonconsensual agreement, and other issues.

The termination of marriage by divorce can be a long process. It requires looking into the which method legal separation, to knowing how and where to file, and deciding how to divide property. Depending on the marriage, another factor that needs to be looked into is child custody and child support. In some states, a period of legal separation is first required before being able to file for divorce.


Legal Separation

A couple not working out may also file for a legal separation. In a legal separation, unlike in a divorce, a couple remains married while living separately and having separate obligations and duties. For some, this situation could work better than in a divorce because of the rights and benefits that a couple retains. However, the couple cannot remarry in this situation.

Child Custody/Support

Child-related issues usually comes from divorce and legal separation situations. Child custody is decided during the courts, and usually the arrangements are determined in the best interests of the child. The arrangement is either a joint custody or one parents receives full custody of the child. Whichever parent doesn't receive custody, visitation rights could also be granted. The parent who has custody will have full responsibility over the child, and child support will also be decided.


Adoption and guardianship of a child can also be made legal through family law practices. A parent can adopt a child through an agency, or independently or privately. Stepparents can also legally adopt a stepchild or child. One can obtain guardianship over a child if the biological parent can no longer take care of that child. A legal guardian is someone who takes responsibility and makes decision for a child or an elderly who can no longer take care of themselves.

Other Areas of Expertise include abuse, domestic violence, inheritance, wills, trusts, and name changes.

Family Law Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Should I seek a lawyer or attorney for divorce/child custody/etc.?
It is highly recommended to seek advice and guidance from a lawyer when dealing with legal matters. Because cases like these involve personal and more emotional matters, a lawyer can best represent you in court and protect your rights. Many lawyers have expertise in various areas of family law, and can also draft prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, and other legal documents.
Should I get a prenuptial agreement?
As every couple is unique, a prenuptial agreement can have advantages and disadvantages. Prenups can easily resolve conflicts between separate property, marital property, and community property. Depending on your significant assets, you should consider what you want to protect in the event of a divorce.
What is the difference between legal separation and divorce?
In a divorce, your marriage is completely dissolved, meaning, you are no longer legally married and can remarry with someone else. In a legal separation situation, you remain legally married to each other but can live separately. You must continue to indicate yourself as married on legal documents.
What is an alimony?
Alimony, also known as spousal support, is a monthly payment paid by one spouse to another after a divorce based on agreement or ruling of the court. An alimony provides economic relief from the effects of divorce, especially to a low-income earner or non-wage-earner. It’s especially given to an ex-spouse who did not have careers because of their focus on supporting the family.
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