Family law is a broad legal area that mainly focuses on issues involving family relationships. They include emancipation, adoption, divorce, child custody, and many others. It deals with domestic matters and domestic relations. Family law is made up of three main areas of work which are Child Law, Matrimonial, and Finance.
Since family law is a broad practice area, it hits so close to home, and you need to have a well-experienced family law attorney who can make sure that your loved ones are well represented and protected during the legal process. Family law focuses on different areas such as Divorce, Child Support, Relocation, Parental Responsibility, and College expenses for the children.
The following are a few terms used in family law that one needs to understand before hiring a family law attorney and going to court.
Emancipation– This is when a minor assumes adult responsibility and is no longer under the care of their parents.
Paternity– This is done in DNA form to identify a child’s biological father if he has been absent since birth and the mother requires child support.
Prenuptial Agreement- This is when a man and a woman have an agreement before getting married where they sign off future rights to each other’s property in case of a divorce or death of a spouse.
Family law ensures that all children are protected from harm and that they can also enjoy a meaningful relationship with both parents. In cases where the parents are separated, they have a legal responsibility towards their children. They have to work together and support their children financially because all children under 18 years have to be supported legally by their parents.
HIRING A FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY
When there is a dispute between a married couple that results in divorce, each spouse hires a family law attorney. They are engaged in gathering evidence such as; financial evidence, residential areas for the children, negotiating settlements, and documentation of all the necessary papers needed.
There are instances where the family lawyer represents parties in legal proceedings, such as acting on behalf of the parents for the sake of their children or even representing the local authorities in cases where both parents are not present.
CUSTODY OF A MINOR CHILD
In cases where a minor is involved, child custody is a serious matter, whether physical custody or legal custody. Physical custody refers to how much time a parent spends with their child, while legal custody involves the authority of each parent to make decisions about their child. They include; the medical care the child receives, the kind of school they attend, extra-curricular activities, where they spend their holidays, and many more.
During such cases, the court prefers to offer joint custody to both parents instead of sole custody that happens when a parent is involved in domestic violence or substance abuse. By granting both parents joint custody, the court enables both parents to have a positive input on their child’s day-to-day life. Family law concentrates on the interest of the child and what is best for them.
With the change in times, the law also changes. The law of divorce and separation has also changed. They include the new parenting language and responsibilities. Therefore, before taking legal action you must be aware of what is needed and the process taken to make decisions concerning your children. Having an experienced family lawyer will help you to be prepared for all the possible outcomes.
Each parent has a legal obligation to support their children, and when a marriage ends, the major issues to be solved are physical and legal custody. The responsibilities of each parent and the amount of child support to be paid by the parent who has not been granted custody by the court.
Before making important and life-changing decisions about you and your family, you need to be able to understand your rights and obligations. Whether you are separated or thinking of separation, you need to consult legal advice from a lawyer who can advise you and tell you how the process might affect you and even your children.