Family law is an important area of the law that developed somewhat separately and specially in order to handle the complex, complicated relationships within families. After all, the law is often a strict, black and white creature that wasn’t quite built to deal with the gray areas that many families who come to the law encounter.
So, let’s take a closer look at some common areas of family law in what will be a brief introduction to it, helping out both budding lawyers and families in need of legal services.
Common Areas of Family Law
Marriage — Marriage is a common area of family law. Getting married isn’t really all about the dress or the reception. There is also a lot of paperwork that is required, especially for women who often have to change their last name to their husband’s.
In addition, getting married also means having to consider legal measures, such as a prenuptial agreement, which is a contract entered into prior to getting married and ensures who will get what in case the marriage doesn’t work out, and the married couple decides to get a divorce.
Divorce — So, divorce is also common area of family law. Divorces can get messy, and so can the issues and problems that their lawyers have to deal with, which often goes beyond paperwork. For this reason, many couple going through a divorce are encouraged to attend therapy.
Child Custody — And, what about the kids who often get wrapped up in a divorce? They are also encouraged to attend therapy, but it might not help with the fact that they will suddenly only be able to see one parent. After all, most divorce cases end with one parent being granted child custody, while the other parent is forced to see their child on the weekends if at all.
Child Support — However, when divorce occurs and sometimes when it doesn’t because the parties aren’t married and have had a child outside of wedlock, a party can still be forced by the law to take care of their child. This may not include weekend visits, but it can include child support, or payments to help support the child.
Wills and Estates — Finally, wills and estates are often a part of property law, but they can become entwined with family law, especially if family disputes are occurring over an inheritance.
Jennifer Machie writes for Colley & Colley, LLP.