Family law is the area of law that deals with issues that many families, potential families, and children sometimes have to address. Some of the most common issues family law deals with are helping to create families through marriage and adoption, as well breaking family relationships through divorce and termination of parental rights. Other issues that are typically dealt with in family law are abuse and neglect proceedings, the establishment of paternity, and emancipation.

Many people find that dealing with family law matters tend to be emotional situations. They are very often dealing with personal relationships between people, including children. In some cases it is about helping to further a relationship such as when people want to adopt a child or get married as well as when people want to dissolve a relationship such as through a divorce or emancipation.

Reasons People Need Family Law Lawyers

There are many different reasons that people need family law lawyers. A family law lawyer can represent a client in family court proceedings as well as in related negotiations. Family lawyers are often called upon to draft important legal documents such as court petitions or property agreements. Some family law lawyers cover the broad spectrum of different areas of family law while others may focus on a specific area such as adoption, paternity, emancipation, child abuse and neglect or divorce, to name some of the more common practice areas of family law lawyers.

The following are just a few of the many reasons people turn to family law lawyers for help.

  • Prenuptial Agreements

A prenuptial agreement, often referred to as a prenup, is an agreement that a couple negotiates and signs prior to getting married. These agreements typically define what assets belong to each party going into the marriage and what assets each party will get in the event of a divorce. Prenups often outline things such as separate property, distribution of assets and spousal support if the marriage is dissolved. These kinds of agreements can also be made after a couple is already married. When the couple is already married, it is called a postnuptial agreement.

  • Adoption / Foster Care

There are many different ways and means for a person or couple to adopt an infant or child in the United States. It is a complex process that often calls for the need of a family law lawyer who knows how to help people with the many different avenues that need to be taken when starting or adding to a family with an adoption. Foster care does not typically require a foster parent to have legal representation but many people who are looking to adopt will start with fostering a child (or a few) and then try to adopt the child(ren) that they were fostering. If this is the case, it is recommended to enlist the help of a family law lawyer.

  • Divorce

There are many issues involved in a dissolution of a marriage through divorce. The individuals in a couple who have decided to divorce often get their own lawyers but sometimes a couple will decide to use the same lawyer (even though it is often recommended to not use the same one.) Divorce lawyers typically negotiate for the division of marital property, the calculation of alimony, child support and child custody.

People who are involved in family law matters tend to get stressed out by them. A good family law lawyer may help to alleviate some of this stress by giving you the peace of mind that they are watching out for your best interests and will be protecting your rights to the fullest extent they know how.