Family Court Lawyers and What They Can Help With


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The term “family court” typically conjures up images of mothers and fathers storming the courthouse doors after a long battle over child custody. But the family court is more than just child custody. It also handles divorce cases, guardianship proceedings, enforcement of visitation rights and much more. In addition, it provides a forum for disputes involving prenuptial agreements, paternity settlements and disputes between grandparents seeking visitation rights with grandchildren after one or both parents have died.

Attorneys who work in family court handle a variety of family law matters. A family court attorney represents parties to divorce, child custody and visitation matters. In addition, attorneys handle whistleblower lawsuits and other disputes that involve government agencies, city and county departments and other public entities. Family court lawyers also maintain a body of knowledge that is specific to the laws governing divorce, child custody and visitation, as well as other aspects of family law.

What Types of Claims are Heard in Family Court?

Among the most common kinds of cases handled by family court attorneys are divorce and separation matters. The proceedings focus on issues involving marital estates that must be divided, such as property, debts, retirement accounts and businesses. Many states require courts to approve the division of estates in divorce cases. However, a divorce lawyer is not required to represent one party in those proceedings. Child custody and visitation disputes also arise in the context of divorce and separation. In those cases, a court must determine who will have primary physical custody of a child, who will make health and education decisions for the child and who will have visitation rights with the child.

One of the most common types of cases lawyers handle in family court is in the area of child custody. The vast majority of states require that parents share joint custody or sole custody. Further, many states impose limits on the number of overnight visits a parent can have with a child and forbid any overnight visits that are not supervised.

Can a Family Law Claim Involve Other Areas of Law?

Family court cases are not limited to issues related to property divisions, child custody and visitation and other matters addressed in family law. A family court attorney can handle a wide array of issues regarding wills, trusts, prenuptial agreements, real property issues and other areas of law. A lawyer with an excellent knowledge of the laws that govern divorces and separation, as well as cases involving other areas of law, can achieve desired results.

After earning a law degree from a law school, many attorneys practice in the family courtroom until they acquire more experience. However, the bar exam is not required for a license to practice in many states. To become licensed to practice law, a family court lawyer must take the bar exam and fulfill any other requirements of the state’s admission process.

What is a Family Court Lawyer?

A family court lawyer handles disputes that fall within the scope of family law. The term “family law” has two distinct meanings. It refers to the body of statutes, legal precedents and other legal rules that govern domestic relations issues such as divorce and child custody. Family court is a division of the court system designed to handle those cases. The term “family law” also refers to lawyers who practice in that area of law.

A family court lawyer has specialized knowledge of those laws and procedures to present the best possible case to a judge. That begins with knowing which laws and precedents are most relevant in a particular case and using them at the right time during a hearing. A family court attorney must also know how to present evidence, such as photographs, that can help win a client’s case. A family court lawyer must also be able to evaluate the details of a case in order to determine what needs further investigation or review. A family court attorney also understands that it is essential to preserve confidential information, such as the names of witnesses, during and after a case’s proceedings. Family court attorneys often work in partnership with other lawyers who have knowledge of other areas of law and assist their clients when needed.

Do I Need a Lawyer to Help with Family Court Issues?

Many family court cases can be handled by non-lawyers. However, a lawyer is needed to represent hearing parties, such as a child or grandparent who is being denied a right to see the child or to obtain visitation. The lawyer will also be involved in matters in which the lawyers on either side of the case are unable to agree on an outcome. And most parents need a lawyer for divorce matters because of the complexity of the issues involved.

Having a lawyer represent a client in family court can help the client obtain results that are more favourable to his or her goals. Attorneys who gather information and evidence to support the suitability of visitation schedules or parenting plans and deal with the judge on behalf of their clients can achieve better outcomes than clients without representation. After earning a law degree and passing the bar exam, an attorney will begin to represent clients with family court cases.


A law degree from a school of law does not guarantee that an attorney will have knowledge of the laws that govern divorce and other family issues. A firm grasp of those laws is essential in order to represent clients effectively. Training and experience can greatly improve a lawyer’s understanding of the often intricate nature of cases. Family court lawyers must be able to present complex evidence and arguments to judges who are in positions to issue decisions that can affect lifetime outcomes.