Family cases involve domestic matters and are handled in family courts by family lawyers. Most family cases are a result of infidelity, finances, violence, and involvement by in-laws. Most families and marriages that have worked include a lot of therapy. Blended families tend to be more vulnerable as family members are still learning ways of living with each other. Family therapy is important, as family members can air out their grievances. Different countries have state laws regarding family cases. Family cases are handled as civil litigation. An example of a family law firm is Conscious Family Firm.
Some of the issues that family courts handle include:
Dissolution of marriage
Through prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, marriage dissolutions have become easier. If there is no contractual agreement, one partner may dissolve the marriage by filing a case. Family law permits the dissolution of marriage through divorce and annulment. Additionally, the court may declare the couple separated while figuring out alimony, property, and child custody issues. If the couple is declared separated, they are still legally married, and the court may arrange visitation rights and children’s upkeep.
Changing of names
You may decide to change your name either after marriage or after reaching the adult age set in your country. Some countries have short procedures that take weeks’ others are long, requiring you to wait for months before using your new name. The common family law procedure in changing names is filling out a name change form, filling out an order explaining the cause of changing the name, and writing a decree. Afterward, these forms are taken to the family court by the court clerk, who files with the required filing fees. The family judge may deny your name change if he finds out your reason for the change is illegal, like committing fraud.
Application for guardianship
There is a thin line between guardianship and custody. The former entails having legal responsibility towards the child. The child’s biological parents are still identified by family law as the legal parents. Guardianship in some states is referred to as adoption. It is wrong to assume that the child’s biological parents become the legal guardians. Guardianship may be over the adult or the child. The general rule for the application of guardianship is that the guardian applies to the state that the child or adult has been residing in for the past six months. There are three types of guardianship;
- Over the estate and person
- Over the person
- Over the estate
In all three scenarios, the guardian is granted legal authority to ensure the best interest of the child or adult.
Child custody and paternity
Mothers and fathers have different custody rights in family law. Most countries’ laws permit mothers to take care of their children if they are minors. However, there are exceptions to this rule. For example, if the mother is termed insane or imprisoned. The rule of thumb in family law is that the mother is given custody if the couple is not married. Paternity law may favor the father or the mother in different circumstances and jurisdictions. If the father is unsure, the court may order a paternity test to be conducted. Most family courts fine the father if the paternity test is positive.
Additionally, family law entails laws and regulations on children’s work permits, marriages, and emancipation. Some states allow children under the age of 14 to work. Other states permit children under the age of 18 to marry. Emancipation occurs when a minor petitions the court to be free from the control of guardians or parents. Family law entails several other things. The main focus of family law is to ensure the development of children in the best way possible.