What Is Family Law? The Basics Explained

What you know about marriage is wrong. The statistic that half of all marriages end in divorce isn’t true anymore. Over the last ten years, the divorce rate has declined by 18%.

So what will family lawyers do if fewer people are getting divorced? Well, these legal professionals do so much more than process divorces.

So, what is family law, and why would you need to hire a family lawyer? This guide will explain everything you need to know.

What Is Family Law?

A family lawyer will handle legal matters that have to do with family relationships. This includes processing documents or representing their clients in court. There are several matters that your family law attorney can handle.

  • Divorce
  • Adoption
  • Paternity
  • Emancipation
  • Child custody
  • Child support
  • Alimony
  • Wills and estates
  • Prenuptial agreements
  • Protection order for domestic violence

If you have a legal matter between family members, you’ll want a family attorney to advise you. They can help you settle current disputes and prevent possible issues in the future.

How Family Law Works

Similar to other types of law, there are two courses of action that your lawyer can take. The first is for simple and standard legal matters. Your lawyer will prepare and submit legal documents to create an official record.

They will file documents and make arrangements for mediation. This is an informal method of resolution where everyone comes together outside of the court system.

The other option is to represent you in court during litigation. This typically happens when communication breaks down, and the involved parties fail to reach a mutually amicable agreement. The matter is then brought in front of a judge to make a determination.

Multiple Processes

In many situations, you’ll find that you need your attorney to perform several functions. Couples that decide to divorce when they have a large estate and children could go through several phases.

There is the actual divorce and then the separation of assets and possible alimony. Then the parents will agree on custody and then child support payments. Each of these can take several months or years to complete.

A family attorney can also assist with enforcing an agreement should one party fail to comply with the agreement. This is called enforcement. The person violating the agreement could be found in contempt and face possible consequences.

Related Legal Practice Areas

Sometimes you need more than just a family law attorney. You may need someone who specializes in estate planning. Or you could need someone who has experience with immigration and naturalization law.

Hire a Family Attorney Today

If you find yourself needing legal advice on a family matter, then you’ll want to speak with a family law attorney. They can help guide you through the legal process and any laws related to your particular situation.

Now that you’re no longer asking, what is family law, you should be able to know when you should seek out the assistance of a lawyer.

Read our other law articles for more explanations and guidance on the law and hiring legal representation.