The law is divided into many areas one of which is family law which deals with domestic relations and family matters. It includes marriage, adoption, divorce, child abuse, property settlements, child custody and support, and more. 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 popular issues with family law that family law attorneys handle are cases involving legal separation and divorce. 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. In most cases, both parties have their own family law attorney to protect their interests. Usually, before bringing the case to court, the lawyers will try to settle the matter outside. However, if outside settlement fails, then the case is brought to court where a judge hears both sides and makes a final decision of the different issues at hand.
Another issue that is handled by a family law attorney is adoption. There are many steps to be taken by a couple before they can adopt a child and the family law attorney will help them to make the adoption legal. Laws vary in different places and even adoption laws vary depending on the age of the child In some places, birth parents can retain some right over the child they have give for adoption but there are also places where legal parental rights will be fully given to the adoptive parents.
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. An example of this is a prenuptial agreement that will detail how assets are to be divided in the event of a divorce. Division of assets, child visitation, child custody and support arrangements can be included in post nuptial agreements. Trust funds can also be set up for their children or spouse, and this can be done by some family law attorneys who are experts in this area of family law.
Some family law attorneys specialize in criminal issues affecting the family which includes domestic violence and juvenile issues.
It is possible for a family law attorney to be a part of a firm or to work on his own law office. To become a practicing family law attorney, you need to attend law school and pass the bar exams.