Few attorneys practice a general sort of law that encompasses any and all cases. While there are larger firms that may house departments for nearly every field, most individual attorneys tend to specialize. A family lawyer specializes in a field relevant to personal and domestic life, usually in the civil realm as opposed to the criminal one. The responsibility of such an attorney is to assist their clients in matters that might come up in a domestic situation. Here’s an overview of the field and some of the primary sub-sections.
One of the primary reasons an individual might hire a family lawyer is to challenge for custody of their children. 50% of American marriages end in divorce, with many of these marriages having produced at least one child. While the courts seemingly favor the mothers in these scenarios by a wide margin, the case is hardly open and shut. Many fathers have as much claim to full custody as the mother and need an attorney to help them state their case. Of course, custody disputes are about more than just who the child stays with. They can and often do extend to matters of financial support as well.
While adoptions are typically not combative procedures, they can involve very complicated legal entanglements, for which a family lawyer can be called upon to help with. Any couples or individuals who want to adopt a baby must look at several options, including whether to arrange a private adoption or to go through an agency. There are also matters of importance such as how much — if any — communication the birth mother will have with her child and so on. Beyond simply helping with the documents, a good attorney can advise prospective parents on their options and recommend solutions that work for the benefit of the adults and the children.
Even when there are no children involved, divorce can be a bad situation. While the majority of splits occur relatively amiably, with little to do in the way of dividing assets and alimony, there is a healthy percentage of cases where things aren’t so amicable. Money is usually at the center of these disputes and a family lawyer can help their client fight for what they believe should be theirs. Whether that means getting more money out of the settlement, dividing the property in a fair manner, or splitting assets, a good attorney can make the case for their client.