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Family law encompasses a myriad of legal matters relating to family issues. Family law rulings help resolve family conflicts involving marriage, divorce, cohabitation, paternity, alimony, child support, custody and visitation rights, adoption, and much more. Family law is especially important to couples that are not married, but share property or children.

Every state has enacted family laws governing issues and disputes over spousal and child support issues, property rights, distribution of assets, and more for married and unmarried couples. It has become more common today for couples to live together and have children together without getting married. Unfortunately, in some cases, these relationships end and family conflicts must be resolved.

About three quarters of all states recognize common law marriages , in which a couple has lived together for a certain time (typically between seven to 14 years) as husband and wife, without the formal legalities of marriage. In such cases, the courts will treat a common law marriage separation the same as a divorce.

However, if the relationship was not recognized as a common law marriage, the courts, where property rights are concerned, will treat couples as separate individuals with no responsibilities or rights when the relationship ends. If the couple has children in common, then child custody, visitation, and support issues must be handled in a family law court.

Family law cases also deal with a number of other family related issues and conflicts including, but not limited to:

  • Contested and Uncontested Divorce
  • Paternity
  • Adoption
  • Annulment
  • Separation and Prenuptial Agreements
  • Palimony
  • Name Changes
  • Emancipation of a Minor
  • More

Family law cases tend to be emotional because they often deal with sensitive issues involving family, money, and property rights. Family law cases can be handled in several ways depending on the significance of the matter and the amount of conflict involved. Mediation with the help of a neutral third party is a possible option to reaching a resolution. In some cases, a judge will be appointed to settle the matter, or the case may go to trial.

Family law is complex and varies from state to state. When dealing with matters of family law, there are many technicalities an average citizen may not be aware of, which can sacrifice their legal rights. Due to the complexity of family law conflicts, it is wise to seek the help of an experienced family law attorney who can protect and maximize your legal rights. Please contact us today to speak with a qualified attorney free of charge.

More information on family:

Issues Regarding Child Custody

Child Custody Rights

Child custody rights may be shared by both parents or, primary child custody rights may be awarded to one parent or legal guardian. Since the 1970s the family court will award child custody rights contingent with the best interests of the child.

Custody for Fathers

Child custody for fathers following a divorce is one of the most important aspects of a dissolving marriage. Throughout history the legal presumptions about child custody for fathers has changed significantly. Before the twentieth century children were regarded as the property of their father. Under common law, child custody for fathers was commonly awarded, as children were considered a father's rightful property. A major shift occurred after this period in history, as family courts came to favor mothers in child custody cases. It was presumed that under normal circumstances, children did better when placed in the sole custody of their mothers.

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