Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Divorce and Family Law

What is Family Law?
Family law is basically the laws that are related to and regarding families. This includes the establishment of domestic relationship and the rules for creating a family. Domestic family matters, partnership, marriages as well as civil unions fall under the jurisdiction of family law.  Family law also includes termination of the partnership or marriage and the issues of alimony, child support, custody, and property and asset division.

Family law addresses adoptions, domestic abuse, and child abuse.  Most family laws are ruled by statute, but there are common precedents that play important roles. These laws vary from state to state and community to community. Self-help services and legal forms for individuals are available through family law sites, but complications are generally the norm for family law and retaining an attorney is the best advice.
Divorce is the legal conclusion of a marriage and statutes and requirements are different from state to state.

Even when doing a divorce without legal representation you will need a magistrate to approve and review the settlement. If divorcing couples cannot agree on a settlement, the judge will use precedents and statutes to decide in what way property will be distributed. Parenting and custody issues are handled through specific laws and rules. Couples are not legally divorced until the divorce papers are signed by both parties, a judge and filed with the court. Each state and district has the authority to decide on child support and alimony, how long you need to live in a state before divorcing, and the waiting time before the divorce can be filed. Family laws take into consideration community property and the equitable distribution of that property. This is often at the request of the divorcing parties.

Community property family laws can be confusing and complicated. Community property is defined as properties that are physical or monetary and owned equally by both spouses. Community property is often divided equally between the parties, and property held in only one name is the responsibility of that spouse.  Although equitable distribution claims indicate that assets accumulated during marriage are divided fairly, this division may not be monetary equal. The family court may award assets in terms of percentages.

DISCLAIMER: This is not legal advice, and should not be construed as legal advice or relied upon as legal advice.

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