"Family law" refers to rules, regulations, and court procedures involving the family unit. Some family law matters can be handled without counsel, but processes such as child custody often require the expertise of a skilled attorney.
Civil procedures and legal matters involving family members' financial responsibilities, custodial rights, eligibility, and other obligations generally fall under the family law as well.
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What Does Family Law Cover?
Certain procedures affecting the responsibilities of family life must be pursued in court. While matters of the heart are very personal, the rights of same-sex couples to get married, laws regarding divorce, and the process of adopting a child are governed by state and federal laws.
Criminal Matters Within Family Law
Domestic violence and child abuse are considered criminal matters that will involve criminal courts as well as family court.
Family Laws in Your State
States have their own rules about valid marriages, child support, family court processes, applications, licenses, and more. Your situation will depend on several factors specific to your case and your state's unique laws.
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- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- Washington DC
- West Virginia
When Do I Need a Family Law Attorney?
As with most other areas of the law, whether you need a family law attorney depends on several factors specific to your case. For example, a couple generally won't need a lawyer to get married. However, an attorney may be required if one party asks the other to sign a prenuptial agreement.
Individuals often benefit from hiring an attorney when dealing with divorce, child support, and especially child custody matters. Emotions can run high during some family law issues. Hiring an attorney for their legal knowledge and negotiating with the other party to resolve complex issues can be invaluable. Most lawyers offer free initial consultations, so speaking with a family law attorney may be worth your time.
You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.