Family law is the sector that governs legal responsibilities between individuals who share a domestic connection. Typically these cases involve persons who are related by blood or marriage. However, there are cases that affect those in more distant or casual relationships as well.
Due to the emotionally-charged nature of most family law cases, persons involved are strongly advised to retain legal counsel. Family law attorneys can be found by typing “divorce and family law attorney near me” in a search engine.
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According to aaml.org, divorce is the dissolution of marriage. The goal of the legal process of divorce is to end a marriage and decide how issues such as child custody, visitation, child and/or spousal support, and debt division will be resolved. A divorce judgement can be based on an agreement between the parties or from a trial.
The divorce process varies in each state. Although most of your specific law questions and answers can be filtered through your attorney, the following are general steps in most states:
- Petition: A divorce begins with a petition, also referred to as a complaint in some states. This document notifies the court and the other party (once served) that you want the court to end the marriage.
- Response: After a petition is served, the other party is entitled to file opposing papers. This document is typically time sensitive.
- Temporary Orders: This action is also called, pendent lite orders. The purpose is to set rules while the case is pending. Either party can request temporary orders from the court. These orders typically include who stays in the house, who pays which bills and guidelines for conduct when children are involved. For specific family law questions, consult an attorney before making a request from the court.
- Discovery: Each party is entitled to information from the other regarding the case. Generally, this is copies of all documents being presented to the court. There are several different discovery procedures; it may be simple and speedy or grueling and consuming of a lot of time and money. It is more efficient and less expensive to let lawyers conduct informal discoveries (they exchange documents and information).
- Negotiated Settlement: Most judges and lawyers agree that it is better to resolve a case by agreement than judgement. Almost all family law courts require the parties to attend a settlement conference before appearing in front of a judge. If a case is settle by agreement, you may never need to see a judge; your lawyer will complete the process.
Family courts handle a variety of cases involving domestic matters. The most common types of family law issues handled in family court are divorce, paternity and child custody, name changes guardianship, adoptions and emancipations.
Family cases are a type of civil case, generally involving concerns between spouses, parents, and children
With the complex nature of divorce procedures, and emotions running high, it often helps to have a knowledgeable resource for information, guidance, and advocacy. Seeking a divorce lawyer can be beneficial.