What is family law?

The application of family law deals with all aspects of the law that govern family relationships. A lawyer specializing in family law prepares and presents petitions before the court, in addition to representing his client. Some jurisdictions have family courts designated for such purposes, where all these aspects are judged. In other areas, issues related to family law are judged in municipal, district or circuit courts. The following describes issues that are included within the general term of family law .

Prenuptial agreements

Many couples planning their wedding have a lawyer who draws a contract that legally binds them. This document details the disposition of current and future assets in case of divorce or in case of death of one of the spouses. The lawyer presents the document to the clerk of the court office.

Prenuptial agreements are particularly convenient for those couples who marry in second nuptials and who have children or grandchildren from the previous marriage. Other cases in which prenuptial agreements are very common is when one of the spouses has a greater amount of assets or greater wealth or has more money than the other.

There are also documents called “postnuptial agreements” that can be concluded between people who are already married. Occasionally, a well-written postnuptial agreement may be filed in lieu of divorce to clearly express the disposition of the marital property if one of the spouses has been financially irresponsible or unfaithful.


Many couples who separate need legal help from a professional to legally disconnect from their ex-spouse. In cases of domestic violence, a lawyer specializing in family law may request a provisional restraining order from the court to prevent the abuser from damaging his or her spouse or disposing of the marital property until the judge signs a partnership agreement.


If you are a mother who wants your child’s father to be legally and financially responsible for the child, or a father who wishes to establish the paternity of your child, you will need a lawyer specializing in family law to help you navigate the road legal. Once the paternity of the child is established, the minor may inherit from both parents and receive social security benefits and for rendering military service. Establishing paternity also allows the child to access their father’s genetic or medical information, as well as develop a relationship with him.

Child support, custody and visitation regime

Once paternity is established, the non-custodial parent is legally obligated to pay a specific amount of money per month to support the child. This amount is based on the father’s income and the formula for the child support guidelines of the parent’s state of residence.

In cases of divorce or when the relationship from which the child is born suffers a breakup, it is necessary to enter into a custody agreement that defines with which parent the child will live most of the time. This is really important when defining which educational system the child will attend and also for other issues. Sometimes, when the separation is on good terms, the parents reach an agreement between them; however, it is common for one or both parties to need a lawyer to represent them in court to defend their custody rights.

The visiting regime is another issue that parents address in a family court. Depending on how confrontational a divorce or separation is, moving a child from one parent’s house to the other parent’s house may require a degree of subtlety that is best resolved among legal professionals. A lawyer specializing in family law may vehemently question a parent’s claim that his client needs supervised visits with the child. On the other hand, in cases where a parent has proven irresponsible or has a hard time staying sober, these attorneys can provide the court with a strong argument, backed by documentation, that visits should be supervised to protect the child’s safety, etc.

Couples in fact

This is a new aspect that concerns family law: the de facto couple. Because this is an evolving legal problem, it can be difficult for a legal person to stay informed about the laws in their state that govern these unions. A lawyer specializing in family law can be vital to protect the interests of both parties.

Talk to a lawyer qualified in Family Law today

This article is intended to be useful and informative, but legal issues can become complicated and stressful. A lawyer qualified in family law can attend to your particular legal needs, explain the law and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a qualified family law attorney near you to discuss your particular legal situation.

by Abdullah Sam
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