When people hear the expression “family law”, they think about divorce right away. However, this is not the case. Family Law involves all matters regarding a family and it includes a wide range of matters, including adoption, legitimation and paternity, domestic partnerships, gestational surrogacy agreements, as well as pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements. Some of the most common areas of family law involve divorce, child custody, child visitation, child support, and alimony. In this article, you will be able to read about the common areas of family law and what does it include. Let’s take a look:
Divorce is a legal process that allows a married couple to disband their marriage and move forward with their lives. There are two types of divorce – contested divorce and uncontested divorce.
A contested divorce is when the parties did not solve all the issues between them. In this type of divorce, the couple might be required to attend negotiation meetings in an effort to solve the problems with the help of a trained mediator. If the negotiations are not successful, a jury or a judge will decide what the final outcome of the divorce will look like.
An uncontested divorce is when the parties have solved all the issues between them. When they file for divorce, the couple also needs to file a settlement agreement, which sets their resolution on the problems, as well as child custody, child support, and visitation.
Child Custody and Visitation
When it comes to this area of family law, issues might occur. But, these problems can also arise when it comes to paternity and legitimation cases. According to the experts from rightlawyers.com, most jurisdictions, courts apply the standard “best interests of the child”, which solves child custody and visitation problems. The standard previously mentioned requires a judge to consider all the circumstances of the parents, including living conditions, income and employment, mental and physical health, and the parent’s relationship with the child. These things can help judges determine what is in the child’s best interest.
Child support problems can arise in connection with divorce, paternity and legitimation. Each state will have laws that mandate the payment of child support by the non-custodial parent, hence the parent who does not have physical custody of the child pays it. Also, each state will have guidelines that state how much child support needs to be paid.
In some situations, one spouse might ask the other for spousal support, which is in other words alimony. Although the regulations governing the alimony can be different for each state, generally, courts will consider the length of the marriage, the education and income of each spouse, the financial and non-financial contribution to the marriage of each spouse, as well as the health of the spouses. In some cases, a court might order one spouse to pay alimony for a specific amount of time, this is known as temporary alimony. In other cases, a spouse needs to pay permanent alimony, which is usually granted in cases where the parties have been married for a long period of time. The payment of the alimony usually ends if the spouse that gets the payments gets remarried or the death of the spouse that pays the alimony.
Family Law lawyers can handle a wide range of family law cases or they might specialize in a specific area of family law, such as gestational surrogacy, adoption, domestic partnerships, or parental kidnapping. Family law cases can be very complex, hence, it is important to hire a qualified and experienced family law attorney.