Family law encompasses any law that applies to relationships within a family structure. A family structure consists of spouses, offspring, parents, grandparents, step-children or step-parents, siblings, half siblings, or anyone in your immediate family. Most often, the term family law is used in referring to law surrounding the immediate family of a set of spouses and many times their children.
Most common reasons people seek a family attorney:
Divorce: In a divorce situation, a family attorney may be required. Each party will usually hire an attorney to help provide legal counsel in the dividing of marital property, calculating spousal support, as well as deciding custody issues including child support.
Child Support and Custody: The courtroom is where many of these matters are negotiated and settled. Many times a couple who is divorcing have different ideas of who should get child custody and the amount that should be paid for child support. A family attorney helps in this legal process.
Paternity: This is a process of establishing proof of who the father is if debate about this subject ever occurs. Either side can order DNA tests and confirm the biological father of a child and then pursue proper legal processes to ensure child support. A family attorney can assist in these legal matters.
Adoption/Foster Care: The adoption process can be very complicated and require legal work. A family lawyer can assist with these matters and try to make the process as smooth and painless as possible.
Usually a family attorney will consult you for free. They can listen to your position and then craft a plan of action and give you a quote based on their standard fee. You have the freedom to consult with as many family attorneys as you like and narrow down your selection based on your best judgement.