Because the title of “family law” covers a broad range of topics relating to marriage and children, it can be confusing as to what exactly falls under the definition of “family law.” Here’s a brief overview of what falls under the “family law” umbrella.
What’s Covered by Family Law?
Family law includes divorces, annulments, child custody and visitation rights, spousal support, alimony, and child support payments. But it also covers adoptions, matters of guardianship, state child protection, domestic violence, and restraining orders. A family law attorney will be able to advise you on any questions you might have surrounding these topics, but the following has a brief overview of specific topics
Divorce and Annulment
Both a “divorce” and an “annulment” will dissolve your marriage. An annulment specifically will, through the courts, be treated as if it never happened. Certain grounds must be met for dissolution of marriage to be ruled as an “annulment.” Because of this, most dissolutions are done as divorces.
Child Related Issues
The court deciding on child custody and visitation rights always decide on the bases of what’s in the best interest of the child. A family law attorney will be able to help you build your case and will help defend you. With this you might be asked to pay, or be paid child support. This is an amount of money, that has been decided by the courts, that a parent must pay to the spouse who is granted primary custody. This money is meant to go towards food and clothing, medical care, and education for the child.
Spousal Support and Alimony
Spousal support, often called “alimony,” are regular payments made from one spouse to another during separation or after a divorce is finalized. The goal is to eventually help the spouse achieve financial independence wherever possible.
If you feel you have a legal matter that falls under the definition of family law, you’ll want to contact a family law attorney that can help you figure out the exact next steps to take.
Source: Legal Match, What is Family Law? Typical Family Law Questions, June 11, 2014
33 S. Catalina Ave. Ste. 202
Pasadena, Ca. 91106