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    Family Law  
    Family law is a very broad area of law that deals with the rights and obligations of families and domestic partners in a wide variety of issues including the formation of family and domestic relationships, court-imposed restrictions and their termination. Encompassing this branch of the law are the following areas:
  • Child support and custody
  • Spousal maintenance
  • Domestic abuse
  • Adoption
  • Prenuptial agreements
  • Child abuse
  • Same-sex marriage
  • Civil unions
  • Property division
  • Elder law
Statutory as well as common law governs family law and the numerous issues involved. Separate family courts with its own judges, mediators and other procedures have been established in most states to hear and resolve family disputes

Family law attorneys are often skilled or even experts in tax law to properly advise their clients in financial planning, drafting prenuptial agreements and in valuing family businesses and other assets. Attorneys also need to be skilled negotiators since issues regarding child custody, visitation and division of debts and assets typically need to be worked out between often hostile parties.

Property divisions are often determined to a large degree on whether the state in which the parties reside is a community property state, in which property acquired during the marriage is generally divided equally, or has equitable distribution laws in which other factors determine how real and personal property are divided.

Family attorneys need to be strong advocates for their clients especially in custody disputes and when child abuse and domestic violence allegations are alleged, They  need to be knowledgeable regarding the law, court procedures and community programs designed to assist troubled families and individuals. For these and other complex cases, many family law attorneys have a strong legal team of mental health professionals, accountants and investigators to assist them .

Many family law attorneys are also adept at mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution that parties involved in property or custody disputes may be willing to participate in to avoid costly court litigation.