What is Family Law?
Family law is a body of legal principles that govern relationships within families. It includes the law governing marriage, divorce, child custody, support, and related matters.
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Lawyers specializing in family law often help clients deal with sensitive issues involving children, such as adoption and child abuse and neglect. They also assist in a variety of other cases that involve families and domestic relations.
A court may order a child to live with one parent (the custodial parent) and have visitation with the other (the noncustodial parent). This custody arrangement is often called “joint physical custody” or “joint legal custody.”
Children may also be ordered to stay with a relative or grandparent. This is usually done if the court believes the relative will provide better care than one of the parents.
Joint legal custody means that the two parents make major decisions about their children together. This can include education, religion and medical care.
The other parent (noncustodial parent) can have visitation with the children, but this can be limited if the noncustodial parent is going to put the child in danger or if the custodial parent is a drug or alcohol abuser. If this happens, a judge can order supervised visitation.
Child support is money that is given by one parent to another to help with expenses related to raising a child. This can include things like shelter, food, transportation, clothing, and educational costs.
In most jurisdictions, the amount of child support depends on the income of both parents. This is determined using a formula that takes into account each parent’s disposable income.
However, each state may have additional rules that affect how the amount of child support is calculated. In addition, it can also be affected by parenting time and physical custody.
For example, if a non-custodial parent spends more time with their children, that can significantly affect how much they are required to pay. Some states have rules that take into account the number of overnights stays a child has with the custodial parent during a given month.
If you and your spouse decide to get a divorce, you will need a legal representative. Your attorney can help you file the paperwork, answer questions and provide sound legal advice throughout the process.
Divorce is a very complicated process, and it usually involves a lot of different issues. These include property division, allocation of debts, alimony (spousal support), child custody and visitation, and more.
The first step in a divorce is to file a petition for dissolution of marriage with the court. During this stage, you may also need to notify all joint creditors of the divorce.
Mediation is a voluntary, private, and confidential process that allows parties to resolve disputes without resorting to legal action. It is usually facilitated by a neutral third party called a mediator.
A skilled mediator has the knowledge and skills to help clients negotiate their differences in a calm and effective manner, using negotiation techniques and conflict resolution theories. They also have the empathy to understand the emotional aspects of a family dispute.
Compared to court proceedings, mediation can be a more affordable option and can be less stressful for all involved, including the child and spouses, as well as the family members of those involved. It also reduces the level of hostility and conflict that often arises during a trial.
In Canada, three separate professional organizations maintain codes of conduct for family mediators. These codes are designed to protect the participants in mediation and ensure that mediators act impartially, and balance and respect their rights and interests.