Family Law is basically relationship law. Your state will have a set of default rules and expectations governing your rights and obligations towards your family members, which a family law attorney will know. You also need to understand these rules because they will define your relationships unless you take steps to legally protect yourself and your loved ones.
The most common way of establishing a legal family relationship between adults is through marriage. Marriage creates legal rights to mutual financial support, support for all children born into the marriage, and the assumption that all assets acquired during the marriage are joint property.
If people are partnered but not married, they need to protect themselves (for example, by registering as domestic partners) because otherwise they are considered “legal strangers” and cannot take advantage of the default protections that marriage affords without drawing up legal documents. A family lawyer will help you establish those protections.
If you are growing your family, through marriage, guardianship or adoption, congratulations! Most likely, you need to consult with a family law attorney. If you are separating or divorcing, most likely, you also need to consult with a family law attorney. A family law attorney will understand the rules and customs in your state and can help you navigate marriage and marital agreements, divorce, child custody, adoption and guardianship, domestic violence restraining orders, support obligations, and more
Divorce is the process by which a marriage is legally dissolved, marital assets split, support obligations are set, and child custody is established if there are children of the marriage. Usually, divorce papers are filed in the county where the parties resided during the marriage, though there can be exceptions. If one of the spouses serves in the military, military divorce proceedings can be complicated -- and sometimes put on hold while the active-duty spouse is finishing an overseas tour of duty. Your Court Buddy family law attorney or divorce lawyer will handle this process for you and fight for your rights.