What Issues Are Covered By Family Law?
A family attorney is a professional who can help you with a wide range of issues. Let's take a look at five of the most common ones that are considered part of family law.
Marriage and Divorce
Forming a marriage and ending one are both cases where an attorney can advise you. While divorce is the more common situation where people engage a lawyer's help, marriage agreements are sometimes put in place before getting wed. These can govern the events that might follow should a marriage end in divorce, separation, or death.
It's also common for someone to specialize as a divorce attorney. They may help with related issues, such as spousal and child support, but a divorce attorney is usually focused on handling issues like the division of assets and debts.
A family can expand in a lot of ways, and adoption is a process that has a lot of potential legal hurdles. Family lawyers often help their clients prepare paperwork, prove their fitness to be parents, and interact with agencies. Some attorneys specialize in adoption, particularly in international adoptions. There are also scenarios where foster parents elect to adopt children who've been put in their care by the government.
Child Custody and Support
Among the more contentious issues a family attorney might handle are ones related to the custody and financial support of children. In most cases, this is about making arrangements that are feasible for both parents to handle. The best interests of the child are always what govern these cases, but that especially becomes important if there's evidence of abuse or neglect.
One of the less common issues in the industry is the emancipation of minors. This is a process where a dependent child becomes legally recognized as self-supported before the usual age of 18. Minors seeking emancipation often face major hurdles to prove to the court that their requests are justified and that they can live on their own.
Establishing paternity is an essential part of asserting a father's rights and responsibilities in a variety of cases. Notably, paternity rulings often have a bearing on other issues listed here, especially child custody and support concerns. The use of scientific methods is common, particularly supplying the court with DNA tests that are intended to either affirm or refute claims of paternity. Other supporting documents may also be entered into the court record, including birth certifications and admissions of paternity.