Archive for December, 2016

What is a family Lawyer and what matters do they handle?

Posted by Dorothy Robinson On December - 12 - 2016
A family lawyer represents clients in family matters having to do with relationships. Each state law governs its own rules and procedures for family law The practice of family law has a wide scope that covers divorce, adoption and child custody. These cases include issues on child support, foster care, legal guardianship and paternity. Family law practice also involves child abuse, domestic abuse, stalking, and protective orders. In some cases actions do cross the line of family law over to criminal law.

Family Law Updates

Recent changes for child custody have adjusted how each state handles divorce issues. The changes affect marriages that involve traditional child custody or parental visitation rights. Today, a few states have taken the liberty of allocating parental responsibilities corresponding to the revisions.

Another movement has some states changing the formats of marriage. The changes pertain to legal capacities associated with same-sex couples. The struggle isn’t over yet. The individual states have the right to determine the formal requirements. Basically, it means the law issues will continue to evolve over the next few years.

Custody Revisions

The court has the authorization to award joint or sole child custody Traditionally, joint and legal custody allowed both parents equal authority over the minor children. The recent revision modified the custody term as an allocation. The parental responsibilities are now being assigned into categories. The areas include education, health, religion and extracurricular activities.

One or more of the categories may be assigned to one or both parents.

Traditionally the term custody incorporated all responsibilities in taking care of the child. The change is to separate responsibilities related to the custody of the child. Visitation schedules or parenting time is now a separate issue. The purpose is to make the best use of the child’s time spent with each parent. It doesn’t necessarily divide the time into equal proportions. And the terms and conditions will vary from case to case.


A fair amount of couples do live together for a long period of time before getting married. Like legally married couples, they purchase valuable assets during the relationship. They also share income and acquire debt during cohabitation. In some cases these unions produce children. Family law and the courts perceive these traits as a marriage.

A legal agreement or prenuptial should to be drawn up between the two parties. In the event the couple separates the agreement specifies the terms of the arrangement. Included in the agreement are ownerships for properties and parental responsibilities for minor children. The agreement can also clarify any support to an unmarried ex-partner. States like California have ruled an ex-partner can sue for palimony. Particularly, if an implied agreement exists between the parties the court will rule in favor of the ex-partner.


Child custody revisions and amendments will continue to be monitored by the courts. A family lawyer will ensure that the rights of all parties are represented. Keep in mind the courts will always rule in favor of the child’s welfare.


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