Family law is a specialized area of the civil law dealing specifically with domestic relationships and family matters. Family law addresses all matters relating to family matters, including adoption, marriage, divorce, alimony, division of property accumulated during the marriage, child custody and child adoption. The family courts deal with these issues on a daily basis. In the state of Alabama, family courts deal with all matters related to family law matters as well as adoptions, property division and child custody. Civil cases that involve questions about paternity or juvenile matters are also ordinarily dealt by the family courts.
Adoption is one of the areas of family law that is quite popular. There are two types of adoptions, voluntary and involuntary. A voluntary adoption occurs when one or both parents give up their parental rights to the adopting parent to allow the adopting child to be adopted. An involuntary adoption, however, occurs when one of the parents gives up his parental rights for some reason such as desertion or being incapable of raising the child.
Separation and Divorce are another area of family law that frequently involves disputes between spouses. When one spouse marries another who also happens to be married, they become single and are not considered to be married in the eyes of the court. In cases of a marriage in which one spouse leaves to live with another person, the surviving spouse usually takes the position that he or she is not properly discharged from the marriage. This means that the surviving spouse retains the entire property accumulated during the marriage as his or her personal property and the other spouse continues to retain the property of his or her spouse during the lifetime of the couple.
Child custody is an important area of family relationships that affect the lives of many children. Custody decisions in family law cases are often controversial. The majority of family relationships in the court system are settled by mutual agreement between the divorcing parents. Often, a family relations attorney is involved in the settlement process and works diligently to protect the best interests of the children in the case. It is possible, however, for an uncontested divorce to result in a child custody case going to a jury trial.
Another issue that can cause great hardship to the children is child support. When a child is removed from the family and placed in the care of someone other than his or her mother, there are several issues that arise regarding child support enforcement. The custodial parent may be ordered to pay for the cost of providing for the child through whatever legal means are established by the state. There is also the possibility that the court may order support to be paid by either party to the separation, and an amount that is higher or lower than the state payment. If the child support payments are assessed incorrectly, however, the parent may be subjected to fines or even to jail time.
Any type of divorce requires that attorneys are knowledgeable about the laws pertaining to the area in which the case has been filed. Family law attorneys have many resources at their disposal to learn all they can about the divorce laws in their jurisdiction and how to properly represent their client. It is important to ensure that your attorney is familiar with the applicable laws regarding child custody, visitation rights, paternity and other relevant issues, so that your case is given the attention it deserves. If you are seeking legal advice concerning any aspect of family law, you should not hesitate to speak with a family law lawyer.