This is an area of law that deals with family issues such as: marriage, divorce, abuse, property settlements, parental responsibility, child custody, child support, and paternity fraud amongst many others. The most common practices areas are divorce, child support, child custody, visitation, paternity and adoption. Family law attorneys can handle other issues such as pre-nuptial agreements, post-nuptial agreements, mediation, annulments, spousal support, abandonment, and orders of protection.
In the 1970’s family laws definition changed rapidly. The areas that came across the most change was divorce, child support and child custody. In 1987, no-fault divorces have been adopted and this made dealing with divorce much easier to handle. Child custody had originally been given to the mothers, but as the roles of fathers developed, laws changed to allow father custody and then eventually joint custody. Family law today is increasingly become about the needs, rights and welfare of children. The family law act 1975 outlines the objects and underlying principles to ensure that the children’s best interests are met. These objects are to protect children from physical or psychological harm, and from being subjected or exposed to neglect, abuse or family violence.
Skills and knowledge needed to be a family law lawyer:
*Litigator and negotiator skills
*Time management skills
*Accounting and financial knowledge
*Law relating to human rights
*Be familiar with social and biological sciences- human psychology and reproductive technology
*Being reactive as well as proactive
*Attention to detail
The primary objective is to make sure that the client’s best interests are protected and to achieve a fair outcome as quickly as possible, but also making sure to be sensitive the people’s feelings involved. There’s more than just being a lawyer, you help the client through one of the most difficult and stressful times of their life.
Choosing your divorce lawyer:
They should have experience in handling divorce cases in your area. You want them to have relationships with other local attorneys. They should practise mainly family or divorce law. The best way to find out how experienced an attorney is to ask how many divorce cases they have taken on and won.