Family Law: What Are the Instances That Come Under This Law?

In an ideal scenario, a family unit is peaceful, nurturing, and loving. But sometimes, some situations may rock the boat. So much so that it casts everyone into a stormy sea. The only option in such cases is to seek intervention through family law lawyers.

In the US, family law and divorce attorneys command an $11.3 billion market share. Yet, it is interesting to note that there is a decline in the sector’s growth. The annual decline from 2017 to 2022 stands at 1.2%.

High poverty rates are a common factor in divorce and other family issues. As of 2020, the United States Census Bureau reports, over 37.2 million people live in poverty. So it is baffling that, as a specialization area, family law is not doing as well.

Lack of knowledge of the family law scope of work may also contribute to low adoption of their services. Let’s explore the instances when you can consult a family law attorney.

Instances When You Will Need Family Law Lawyers

The areas of specialization under family law are quite broad. As you can imagine, a lot goes into defining a family. There is the legal union of marriage, children, wealth, and more. 

Legal experts help in issues like divorce, custody, and parental disputes and you will need a lawyer if you are facing any of them. So, experienced family law lawyers are experts in:-

  • Matrimonial law covers divorce, legal separation, alimony, property division, domestic violence within the union, and more. 
  • Child law including child custody, child neglect, child abuse, etc
  • Finances like retirement laws, inheritance laws, pensions, and other benefits
  • Parentage like guardianship, surrogacy, sperm/egg donations, etc.

Let’s explore some of the family law specialization areas in a little more detail. 


Two souls that came into the institution of marriage can decide not to wait for death to do them apart. The sad reality is that divorce can be a solution to untenable situations.

The reasons for divorce are many, including financial problems, infidelity, and constant conflict. Others are domestic violence. In such cases, you would need to talk to a domestic violence lawyer. Substance abuse and incarceration can also lead to divorce.

Due to the legal aspect of marriage dissolution, you will need family law lawyers who specialize in divorce. They will handle all the processes, including the filing of legal petitions. 

Besides the painful separation, a lot goes into a typical divorce proceeding. You must agree on factors like spousal support. The same applies to custody arrangements, property division, and more.

Legal separation is different from divorce in that the marriage remains intact. As per the law living apart does not mean the union’s dissolution. There are many reasons why couples may decide to separate. For some, it is an opportunity to get some space to see if there is any hope of reconciliation.

A family law mediation can be a big help at such times. Indeed, after mediation, some couples may decide to give the marriage another try. Also, note that some states need a couple to separate before the divorce.

Under legal separation, there are specific processes that the couple must go through. One of the most critical is the separation agreement. And its drafting requires the services of an excellent family divorce attorney.

The agreement entails factors like sharing of responsibilities, including financial and child custody. The court will also note the date of the separation. After that, the couple can no longer get property together. All these will be critical factors if the next step is divorce.

Mediation and Collaboration

Reputable lawyers will do anything they can to avoid acrimonious situations. Indeed, most would rather avoid cases ending up in court. A family lawyer mediation expert can help with the amicable settlement of family issues.

The family lawyer can also apply collaborative measures to solve issues. In such instances, they will work with a team of experts to provide the necessary help. These include child psychologists, mental health care providers, and financial consultants.

Child Custody

When a couple separates or divorces, they must agree on how to handle child custody issues. This is the critical role played by child custody lawyers. They help with the following:-

  • Drafting physical and legal custody agreements between the couple.
  • Mediating, negotiating, and agreeing on visitation arrangements.
  • Assisting with co-parenting.
  • Resolving any disputes that may arise with the co-parenting situations. Some include one parent moving across state lines or not sticking to the agreements.
  • Adoption or surrogacy.
  • Legal emancipation of minor children, etc.

Domestic Abuse or Violence

A domestic violence lawyer is an excellent resource when dealing with such incidents. They can help protect the victim from further harm. These could be through the filing of restraining orders or seeking legal help. With their networks, the family law firm can help victims move to areas far from the abuser.

Sometimes an alleged victim can falsely accuse the partner of abuse to gain an upper hand. A 2020 report shows that up to 8% or 20.4 million Americans have how to deal with such allegations. Female accusers were the most, taking up 62% of the cases. In 27% of the cases, it was around child custody disputes.

You will need an experienced family law lawyer to help fight the false allegations. They will do the necessary research, talk to witnesses, and mount a defense on your behalf.

Parentage Cases

The definition of a parent does not only rest on biology. In the case of adoption, for instance, it is critical to consult a family law lawyer. Some people have faced heartache and disappointment by not following the proper channels.

Your family law attorney can also help in cases of sperm/egg donor agreements. They also deal with surrogacy maternity, and more.  

Final Thoughts

From the article above, it is clear that family law lawyers are critical in all family issues. These include legal separation, divorce, and child custody agreements.

But it is not always doom and gloom. A family law lawyer can protect your financial interests. Take the case of drafting prenuptial agreements. That will protect your financial interests if the marriage ends. There is also the fantastic role they play in adoptions, surrogacy, and more.

When looking for a family law lawyer, do check their reputation. Make time to read client reviews and testimonials. Experience and areas of specialization are also vital. As we have said, some specialize in child custody agreements. 

Others focus on divorce and domestic violence. You always want the best team fighting for you if you ever need the services of a family lawyer.