Family law is a branch of the law that deals with domestic relations and family matters. Marriage, adoption, divorce, child abuse, property settlement, child custody and support are just a few of the many areas included in the area of family law. If you go to court houses today, you will notice that the most crowded courts are the family law courts. A family law attorney is hired by clients who have issues with family law. The most common family law cases that a family law attorney handles are legal separation and divorce cases. In divorce cases, one of the main concerns of a family law attorney is to divide the marital property, advocate the amount that should be paid for alimony and child support, settle child custody issues, and set visitation rights. Both parties in the divorce case will have their own family law attorney. There is usually an attempt to settle the divorce case outside the court by both family law attorneys. But, if no settlement can be reached for any of the important issues, then the case is taken into court where a judge would give the final order on the different issues.
Another issue that is handled by a family law attorney is adoption. A family law attorney can make an adoption legal after the couple has undertaken the necessary steps required by law. Adoption laws vary in different areas and there are also different adoption laws depending on the age of the child your are adopting. Birth parents can sometimes still have some rights over the child they have given up for adoption and this is true only in some areas, but in most areas, the birth parents give up their legal rights to the adoptive parents when the adoption is finalized.
If you want to prevent difficult issues in the future, then a family law attorney can help you create documents that can prevent these situations. Your family law attorney can create a pre-nuptial agreement between a couple in case they will divorce in the future, and this agreement details how their assets are going to be divided between them. It could also be a post nuptial agreement that includes divisions of assets, child visitation, child custody, and support arrangements. Setting up trust funds for children and spouse can also be done by a family law attorney who is an experts in this area of the law.
There are family law attorneys who can handle criminal issues affecting the family like domestic violence and juvenile law.
It is possible for a family law attorney to be a part of a firm or to work on his own law office. Attending law school and passing the bar exams is the way that one can become a practicing family law attorney.