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Family Law | Marriage | Divorce | Divsion of Property | Child Custody 

FAMILY LAW

Family law is the body of law that governs family-related issues such as child support, divorce, spousal support, civil unions, marriage, alimony and much more. Issues can arise during a marriage, a civil union, or a domestic partnership that need to be handled by the local courts. Those issues include child custody, alimony payments, child support payments, and much more. Family law attorneys represent members of families in all aspects of the family law spectrum, no matter what the problem is. The most common issue that family law attorneys deal with on a daily basis is divorce. Divorce is the leading cause of the end of a marriage in the United States. Going through a divorce can be a difficult and overwhelming event in a person's life, especially if there are children involved, and a family law attorney will be able to answer all questions one might have regarding the proceedings.

 

MARRIAGE

Marriage is defined as the spiritual and/or legal union of two people. Intimate and sexual relationships are acknowledged by the state and/or religious authorities as marriage, however, the legal status of these relationships is highly dependent on the state or jurisdiction where they occur. There are different forms of marriage recognized by the states. Those forms of marriage are monogamous heterosexual, in which one male and one female are married; polygamy, in which a man or a woman takes more than one spouse; and a same sex marriage in which people of the same sex are married. According to powers not specified to the federal government in the Constitution, marriage is a state by state issue, which requires consulting a marriage or divorce attorney specifically from your state for accurate answers to questions.


DIVORCE

Divorce is defined as the dissolution of marriage or the termination of a marriage in which the legal duties and responsibilities of the marriage are canceled by a court of law. A divorce cancels the married status of two people, allowing them to marry other people if they so choose. When a divorce occurs, a family law attorney will have to deal with spousal support, child support, child custody, visitation rights, the distribution of property and the payment of alimony to one party or another. An uncontested divorce is when the defendant in the divorce is not going to try and stop the divorce process. Also, the court has nothing to decide on regarding child custody, child support, spousal support, division of the debt, or the distribution of property.

 

DIVISION OF PROPERTY

Division of property is defined as equitable distribution, is the judicial division of property rights and obligations between the two spouses that are filing for divorce from a marriage. The division of property can take place via an agreement between the two parties, through a property settlement, or by judicial decree.

 

CHILD CUSTODY

Child custody is defined as the legal guardianship of the children from a marriage. Child custody can be granted to the children's mother, their father, their aunt, their uncle, their grandparents or anyone else in the family that is deemed capable of caring for children by the courts. When awarded child custody, the person awarded the custody is the legal parent of the child. This means that the person awarded custody is allowed to make the decisions regarding the child and care for the child per the law. There are two main forms of child custody; sole custody and joint custody. They are defined as follows:

Sole Custody: Sole custody of children is when one guardian or parent has complete custody over a child, whether that is physical or legal custody. Sole custody means that only one person has the legal power to make decisions regarding the well being of the child and that child will also only live with that one person.

Joint Custody: Joint custody of children is when two guardians or parents share the custody of a child legally and physically. This means that the two legal guardians or parents share the legal decision making for the children and the legal living arrangements.