Perhaps no other subject can stir human emotions as strongly as that of family. When two people are in love or extended family members are getting a long harmoniously, all sees right with the world. But as soon as there is any sort of significant disagreement or altercation, things can get ugly quickly. It is rare that these situations are successfully resolved without the help of an objective third party. In most cases it is necessary to obtain the legal counsel of an attorney practiced in family law.
Family law is the general classification assigned to the multiple areas of legal practice that cover domestic relations. This includes a wide variety of topics and issues, from marriage and divorce to adoption and surrogacy. Below are the main points of emphasis in family law.
Entering into marriage – A marriage is not only a sacred vow made between man and wife before God; it is also a legally binding contract. It states that two people are agreeing to share every part of their lives together, including finances, debts, properties, and parenting responsibilities. Some couples make the decision to sign a prenuptial agreement, which preemptively determines how assets will be divided in the event the marriage does not last.
Dissolution of marriage – As unpleasant as it is, the fact remains that nearly 50% of all marriages in the United States end in divorce. There is exists an entire set of laws governing the ensuing complications, such as alimony, division of property and assets, child custody and child support. There are two main ways to dissolve a marriage: annulment and divorce. An annulment retroactively declares a marriage null and void, as though it never took place. The prerequisites to qualify for an annulment, such as insanity and fraud, vary from to state to state. A divorce is the final termination of a marriage contract, which cancels the legal obligations and bond of matrimony between two people.
Child Issues – Understandably, either the beginning or the end of a marriage can greatly affect the lives of any children involved. Issues include, but are not limited to, custody, support, paternity, adoption, abuse, abduction and foster care.
There is also another subdivision of family law devoted to the concerns of unmarried couples, such as common law marriages and same sex partnerships. These laws also vary greatly from state to state. From Florida to California, Miami to Stockton, lawyer firms specializing in family law can help you navigate these turbulent and confusing waters.