Sometimes referred to as matrimonial law, family law is a practice area that deals with family and domestic relations. Most family lawyers represent clients in divorce proceedings and other matters related to divorce, but family law actually covers a variety of issues ranging from foster care and reproductive rights.
As the lawyers at the Law Office of Andrew A. Bestafka, Esq. explain, family law covers topics such as the following:
- Adoptions: to legally adopt a child, a number of formal legal procedures must be performed. These procedures vary by circumstance and may be different depending on the individual’s marital status and relation to the adopted child.
- Divorce: divorce cases come in a variety of forms including contested divorce, uncontested divorce, mediated divorce, simplified divorce, same-sex divorce, and military divorce
- Separation: covers cases in which couples are considering a divorce but may not be ready to legally end their union immediately
- Child Custody: entails determining the best possible post-divorce living arrangements for a child
- Child Support: helps determine how a child’s upbringing will be financed, particularly in cases where the parent with primary custody requires financial assistance
- Property Division: entails the allocation of both assets and debts between a couple
- Alimony: alimony is generally arranged to ensure that both spouses can maintain a comfortable lifestyle after separation when one spouse has been supporting the other for a considerable amount of time
- Mediation & Arbitration: lawyers can help couples resolve important issues such as child custody and property division through mediation and arbitration
- Domestic violence and restraining order: victims of domestic violence can obtain a restraining order to prevent their abuser from getting close to them or their children. Restraining orders can be either permanent or temporary, and can be even be obtained when one is still married.
Even amicable divorces can be legally complicated, so it’s often a good idea for couples to hire an experienced lawyer who can help them navigate the process.