Family law is an area of the law that deals with family-related matters and domestic relations, including:
- marriage, civil unions, and domestic partnerships;
- adoption and surrogacy
- child abuse and child abduction
- the termination of relationships and ancillary matters, including divorce, annulment, property settlements, alimony, child custody and visitation, child supportand alimony awards.
- juvenile adjudication
- paternity testing and paternity fraud
This list is not exhaustive and varies depending on jurisdiction. In many jurisdictions in the United States, the family courts see the most crowded dockets.Litigants representative of all social and economic classes are parties within the system.
For the conflict of laws elements dealing with transnational and interstate issues, see marriage (conflict), divorce (conflict) and nullity (conflict).
Family Law and Legal Research
In its broadest sense, family law is the area of law that covers matters pertaining to families. These include divorce, child support, division of assets and liabilities of couples, adoption and many other such issues. Lawyers who practice on family law always need to deal with difficult situations as they are often compelled to work with spouses who need to break up. Often, children are the worst affected when legal issues are going to be settled with families.
Often, legal research needs to be undertaken when the lawyers who practice on family law encounter complex issues. There is some consolation since there are lots of resources for them to obtain the necessary facts, but this involves a lot of work. It might be necessary to visit libraries in order to refer to data bases and legal books as well as details on previous judgments. As such, practicing family law is a difficult task.
Though the main source of information was the libraries sometime back and those who practiced family law had to visit them when they encountered difficulties on deciding legal matters, things have changed for the better during the recent past. Internet provides a good source of information for the lawyers to obtain legal information. There are lots of internet resources that make life easier for them.
Despite having better facilities on legal research there are more and more opportunities for lawyers to practice family law. There are two reasons for this situation to arise. One is that more and more families break up and seek the help of law. The other is that due to the difficulty of staying in this field family lawyers change their field of practice.
A lawyer who practices family law has to be thorough with his subject and he has to be a good negotiator as well. Also, he has to be ready to toil on doing legal research as family lawyers often encounter difficult situations where taking decisions become difficult. All things considered practicing family law is a tough task but it is interesting to help families to resolve their conflicts.