Family attorneys work with legal cases where relationships are involved. These relationships can be marriages, parent-child relationships, other familial relationships, or other romantic relationships. Family law is the field of law that involves the law as it applies to people who share a domestic relationship. You will need a family law practitioner if you need legal counsel regarding any of the following situations.
The domestic relationship between people can be by blood, or in this case by marriage. Divorce or legal separation and any related issues account for most family law cases. Family law attorneys help their clients navigate divorce or legal separation.
Although divorce is the formal dissolution of a marriage legal separation even of couples can also result in similar legal cases. In some instances when a couple terminates a relationship that falls within some legal and time-based criteria a legal separation might be needed.
Custody and Visitation
Related to divorce and separation, child custody and visitation rights are covered by family law. A family law firm will help with settling any child custody issues during a divorce or the application to change the custody of dependent children. Another time when legal counsel is needed is when visitation rights need to be amended.
Alimony and Child Support
Again related to the cases stated above. Setting out the conditions for child support and alimony payments during a separation or divorce is another area of family law. There are legal responsibilities after divorce to support any dependents.
Any amendments to child support or will also need the legal process to be followed. The non-payment of alimony and child support also often results in legal action against the non-paying party.
This is applicable even before entering into a marriage as Family lawyers will help with setting up pre-nuptials in the case where the parties involved would like a prenuptial agreement in place before getting married. Without a prenuptial agreement, the applicable state and other laws will take precedence in how the separation is handled.
Annulments of Marriage
In some cases where a couple has only been married for a short time, an annulment can be sought. There are very specific criteria for an annulment to take place and a family lawyer can help with this. An annulment is different from a divorce. With a divorce, it terminates a marriage, but with an annulment, it is as if the marriage legally did not take place.
Rights of Extended Family
In some cases, the rights of extended family also fall within family law. As an example, the visitation right of grandparents can also lead to a family lawyer getting involved. In many states, the visitation rights of grandparents, siblings, and other family members can legally be applied for or challenged.
The parent-child relationship also falls under family law. Emancipation is when a minor child seeks to be legally able to manage their affairs including doing business and entering into contracts. For this process, a legal process needs to be followed and it is time to get a specialist lawyer.
In some adoption cases, especially where an adoption agency is not involved an adoption attorney will be needed. There is a legal process for adoption and this process also falls under family law.
Any cases where the government or state needs to intervene to protect a child falls under family law. Family attorneys will be involved when the state has to intervene to physically or emotionally protect a child. This is usually done in conjunction with child protection services in the social work sphere.
These cases are any in which juveniles or minor children are involved. Most cases where a minor has transgressed and is involved in a legal case will result in special juvenile court cases. Family advocates might also specialize in these cases.
Protection of Family Members
Legal proceedings might also be needed where a protection order is issued. In cases where a relationship exists, for instance in a family, and one or more members need the protection a protection order can be issued. This is a legal procedure that aims to protect the people involved.
If you have any of the above legal issues you should hire a family law attorney. Make sure to get an attorney who specializes in the applicable type of legal matter. Most attorneys tend to specialize in a couple of related fields and won’t cover all of the above fields.