What You Need to Know About Family Law


Determining alimony

When most people think of the term family law, the first things that come to mind are anything divorce related, including child support attorneys, child support attorneys, or personal family lawyers. While all of these associations are accurate, family law has come to encompass a wide range of matters.

The dynamics of the American family have changed. Naturally, family law has changed as well, now dealing with matters pertaining to the rights of same sex couples, adoptions, surrogacy, domestic partnerships, and pre and post-nuptial agreements. However, the most common areas of this niche of law are still divorce, child custody and visitation rights, child support, and alimony payments.

Why bother to hire a family attorney? Family attorneys deal with a variety of matters pertaining to the law, or may specialize in certain areas such as surrogacy, or parental kidnapping. Undoubtedly, matters pertaining to family law can be very complex, requiring the guidance and experience of an attorney. Not only will they help you through the legal proceedings, they will also help to protect your rights.

Similarly, divorce proceedings can often be lengthy and confusing. Though many couples attempt to settle outside of court, this strongly advised against. Divorce is a legal proceeding in which a married couple permanently dissolve their marriage, allowing each party to move forward with their lives. A contested divorce is one in which the couple has not resolved their issues, and are required to attend mediation in order to resolve their differences with the assistance of a mediator. A judge or jury will decide the final outcome of the divorce if mediation is unsuccessful.

On the other hand, in an uncontested divorce both parties have resolved their issues, and are also required to file settlement agreement, in which marital debt is divided and matters child custody, support, and visitation are detailed and divided.

Issues of child custody, support, and visitation are frequently apart of divorce proceedings. As such, it is important to know your rights in terms of these issues, should you find yourself in this situation. In the majority of jurisdictions, courts use the “best interests of the child” rule of thumb in order to resolve child custody and visitation. This requires the judge(s) to consider the circumstances of both parties including living conditions, income, employment status, and physical and mental well being, as well as their respective relationship with the child in order to determine a ruling that is in the best interest of the child.

Law practices have drastically changed over the years as societal values and beliefs have become more progressive. Therefore, its important to stay current in order to protect your rights.

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