The branch of law that deals with domestic relations and family matters is family law. IN this branch of law marriage, divorce, child abuse, property settlement, child support and other family issues are dealt with. Family courts are usually the ones that have the most crowded court dockets. A family law attorney or lawyer is the attorney that handles these types of cases. Legal separation and divorce are the most common cases that family law attorneys handle. Legal separation and divorce cases usually deal with division of marital property, making decisions on the amount to be paid for alimony and child support, settle child custody issues and set visitation rights. Parties in divorce and separation cases will have their own family law attorney. The issues could be taken to court if the two parties cannot reach a settlement. In these cases, it is the judge who will issue the final orders.
Adoption cases can also be handled by a family law attorney. There are many steps involved in adoption and it is the family lawyer’s job to help the couple through the steps they have to take so that the adoption is legal. There are different laws for every jurisdiction and it may vary according to a child’s age. Sometimes, birth parents can retain some rights but in others, all legal parental rights have been given up completely.
Family law attorneys can also create documents to help prevent issues that they can foresee in the future. Some couples prepare for a possibility of future divorce by agreeing on how to divide their assets and a family law attorney can help them put it into document form as a prenuptial agreement. Another type of document that can be created by a family law attorney is a post-nuptial agreement wherein the couple does not only determine how to divide their assets if they will go through a divorce, but it also includes that arrangement for child visitations, custody, and support. It is possible for a family law attorney with expertise to set up a trust fund in the name of the children or the spouse. Sometimes family law attorneys also handle criminal issues. A family law attorney can also specialize in areas like domestic violence or juvenile law.
Law firms usually have a family law attorney in their departments while other family law attorneys choose to have their own law office. Attending law school is a requirement for people who want to become a family law attorney. And, in order to practice law, you need to pass an exam. You can gain some experience in you work as a clerk or intern in a law firm that specializes in family law.