Understanding Divorce and Family Law

People can be faced with family changes and issues throughout their lifetime. In some cases, they should consult a divorce and family lawyer. Sometimes there are periods of welcome change, like a marriage or adoption. Other times, people find themselves in the midst of a complicated divorce or custody battle. An experienced attorney can provide family legal services. They will ensure these changes occur smoothly, legally, and in the best interests of all involved. Divorce and family law is comprised of the following categories:

Child Custody

If a divorcing couple has children who are minors, a custody agreement must be reached. Custody and visitation can be a difficult discussion, especially if there is tension between the partners. There are different types of custody, including joint, sole, legal, physical, and grandparent. These are all based on the best interests of the children.

  1. Joint: When the children split their time living in each parent's homes.
  2. Sole: When one parent has full custody of the children.
  3. Legal: Allows a parent to make long-term decisions about a child's upbringing and future.
  4. Physical: The determination of where a child will live on a daily basis.
  5. Grandparent: When a grandparent wants custody or visitation rights.
dissoltuion of marriage and adoption family with baby


In a dissolution of marriage, each partner will hire an attorney to represent them. The goal is to avoid court and reach a settlement. Divorce lawyers are experts at dividing property, determining spousal support, and more. If the couple has children, partners will make a plan with their lawyer for custody and visitation. An attorney can help achieve a fast divorce rather than it being a frustrating process.


A lawyer can help you and your family navigate through the adoption process. Although exciting, it can be a long and stressful journey. Attorneys can help whether you are adopting a child or placing a child up for adoption. Lawyers are also experts in the adoption laws for each state.

Child Support

Child support is when one spouse gives an allowance to the other to support children in their custody. This is given to the other parent until all children reach the age of eighteen.

Domestic Violence

An attorney can help define domestic violence and help you find resources for emotional support. They can also make a plan for preventing future violence. Along with the help of a family or criminal law attorney, please call 911 if you feel endangered in any way. You have the right to feel safe.

Same Sex

As of June 2015, same sex couples gained equal rights to marriage in the United States. However, same sex partners who file for dissolution of marriage face many challenges, especially if they have children together. The battle for custody can be painful in these situations since laws differ in each state. A divorce attorney can help to secure a fast divorce. and provide any other family legal services.

Alimony & Spousal Support

Alimony is an allowance that one spouse pays to the other after separation or divorce. It is used to support the other spouse if they relied on the other's income for survival.

Father’s Rights

In divorce cases, a father has the same rights to his children as the mother does. Mothers used to have an increased chance of gaining full custody of their children. Now, it is being encouraged that fathers receive equal representation as long as they are not abusive or absent.

Name Change

Adults or children who wish to change their legal name, must go through the court. They have to start by listing to name they’d like to have, and the reason why. If the petition is approved, the person must change their name on each legal record they hold. This will include their Social Security card, driver’s license (if applicable), and more.


Paternity cases occur when mothers file for child support payments from their child's father. Usually this happens after the father has left or refuses to lend financial support. Fathers also file for paternity. They do this to gain custody or because they want to foster a relationship with their child. DNA testing is used in Paternity cases.

Prenuptial Agreements

This is an arrangement between two partners made before marriage. It gives up future rights to property and assets in the event of a divorce or death.

Military Divorce

When one spouse is in the military, a divorce is handled differently. The service member is responsible for supporting any children. Their spouse will retain all military benefits until the divorce is finalized. The former spouse can receive up to 36 months of health care through the Continued Heath Care Benefit Program (CHCBP). Their children are still able to keep all benefits after their parents are divorced. The dissolution of marriage with a military spouse has more rules and regulations than one without. A fast divorce should not be expected.

If you are experiencing any of these situations, contact a family and divorce attorney. This type of lawyer can answer any questions and concerns, while advising you the best way to proceed with your case. Find an attorney in your area today to help you with your family legal services.

If an agreement is reached and the divorce is uncontested, then no. In rare cases, a judge could request an informal hearing to ask questions about any submitted paperwork. Your attorney will guide you through this process.
The payment is based off each spouse’s income and how much time they spend with the children. Any additions, such as child care and health care, must also be taken into account.
Alimony payments are not mandatory, but a judge may call for them in certain situations. It should be considered if one spouse will face adversity without the others’s support. The need for both spouses to retain the same level of financial comfort will be deliberated.