Family Law Overview

Family law is a generic but broad area of law dealing with the law of personal relationships. It covers a wide array of legal issues, from marriage, divorce, legal separation, adoption, child custody, child support, parenting time, division of marital property, juvenile law and a myriad of other issues. Within these issues, there are literally hundred of sub-issues.

When a marriage is ending, there are numerous issues which must be dealt with besides merely ending the legal relationship of marriage. The property accumulated by the parties must be equitably divided pursuant to state law, debts must be assigned, child custody must be resolved, parenting time for the non-custodial parent must be considered, and financial support of the child or children must be addressed. Issues regarding the continuation of health insurance, whether the family home must be sold, whether a parent decides to move from the area are other issues that commonly appear in the family law realm. Family law attorneys are trained to resolve these situations. At worst, issues of domestic violence may be present, bringing the realm of criminal law into the situation.

The large majority of family law issues are governed by state law. State laws in these areas vary widely, so it is important to find a family law attorney who practices in the jurisdiction where the issues will be determined. Federal law may also come into play, for instance, in the collection of child support and tax issues.

When children are involved, parenting issues do not end at the granting of the divorce or separation agreement. Parenting issues will continue until the last child reaches the age of majority and sometimes beyond. Ending the legal relationship with the former spouse or life partner does not necessarily end all contact with that person, or end all issues with them.

When personal relationships go bad, they are often one of the most emotionally volatile situations one experiences in their life. Thus, family law can be one of the most emotionally charged aspects of law. As the relationship is ending, many people are at their emotional peak. Many have become so stressed that they have reached the point of emotional deadness.

Thus, the family law practitioner, by their experience are prepared to deal with seeing people at their worst, and takes into consideration the stress of the relationship breakup is causing them. An experienced and quality family law attorney will handle the issues in a professional manner, attempting to remove the emotional aspect from the equation as much as possible, but will remain compassionate to the client.
Other family law issues are not so emotionally draining, and are often joyous occasions. Adoptions are a good example of this. Both the client and the family law lawyer will usually take joy in seeing an adoption move forward to a successful conclusion.

Finding the right family law attorney for you will help you go a long ways towards reaching a fair resolution to your family law issue. A knowledgeable, professional, family law lawyer can make all of the difference.