The legal system is large and vast, with many different areas. Due to this fact, an attorney may serve in many different roles to handle the issues that arise within these various areas of law. They range from a criminal and corporate lawyer to one who only concentrates in family matters. Family law itself is fairly encompassing, so it is a good idea to first understand the job of the family attorney.
What Is Family Law?
Family law is the segment of law that pertains to matters related to the family, often more personal matters that are not usually handled under other areas of law. A family lawyer frequently deals with both the good and bad sides of legal relationships and the rules that pertain to them. It is an area of law that is fairly complex, different in many states, and is constantly changing and evolving in this country.
Main Areas of Family Law
Following are some of the areas that are considered to be family law matters:
Marriage, Separation and Divorce – From prenuptial agreements, domestic partnerships and same-sex marriages or civil unions to separation agreements, marriage dissolution (divorce), spousal support and division of familial estates, these concerns all fall under the category of family law. Because many of these laws differ from state to state, it is important to work with a lawyer who is familiar with these topics for the most favorable outcome.
Child Custody and Child Support – This area of family law is complex and covers custody, determination of support, visitation, parental responsibilities, and other topics that parents face with divorce. A family attorney acts as a mediator in some cases as well as proving their client’s fitness as a custodial parent in more serious ones.
Guardianship – This area of family law deals with legal issues in assigning the guardianship of children or other individuals to another person. A lawyer can help with the various stipulations involved in these arrangements, such as financial, medical and educational responsibility and other important life decisions.
Foster Care and Adoption – In situations where children are in foster care or when couples or individuals wish to adopt, there are many legal considerations. Fostering is generally short-term, while adoption is permanent, and the courts award certain rights within each circumstance. Potential foster parents and hopeful adoptees should work with a qualified family lawyer through such a process.
Paternity Cases – Depending on the situation and the state, a parent may be within their legal right to ask for paternity testing. As a result, they may be awarded certain benefits for the involved child. Determining paternity can be a challenging process and the help of family attorney may be required.
Child Abuse and Domestic Violence – Since laws pertaining to the harm caused to a person differ where family members or children are concerned, child or domestic abuse cases are heard in family court. As with many other familial matters, laws in these cases differ according to state laws and individual circumstances, making the assistance of a qualified family lawyer essential.
Do You Need a Family Attorney?
There are times when a person may feel qualified to handle a family situation on their own without legal assistance. When it comes to serious family matters, the laws are complex. Family law is designed to see a situation from both sides and provides rules that allow for the most advantageous outcome for those involved. To help ensure that every person is fairly considered, working with a family lawyer is recommended.
Anyone dealing with a divorce, child custody and support, adoption, or any other family legal issue should contact an experienced family lawyer in their area. Avoiding problems and disputes is the main concern in these situations and is more easily accomplished with the experience of a good family law attorney!
Reynaldo G. Garza, III
680 E. St Charles, Suite 600
Brownsville TX 78520
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