Family law is a broad, complex legal area that encompasses many different practice areas. All of these practice areas are related in one way: they deal with our closest relationships, the relationships we have with our children and partners.
Learn more about the different practice areas that comprise family law below:
Divorces are one of the most common case types family lawyers handle. A divorce has many “moving parts,” like:
- Dividing the couple’s marital property according to Arizona law;
- Establishing a spousal maintenance order;
- Establishing child custody and child support orders; and
- Ensuring that the couple’s marital debts are divided appropriately.
A family lawyer can help you with all aspects of your divorce, including “special case” issues like having to identify hidden assets and valuing a small business. He or she can also help with enforcing existing divorce orders, like a spousal maintenance order.
Although child custody cases often accompanies divorce, a couple could have a child custody order without ever having been married. Child custody is the parental right to make legal decisions on a child’s behalf, like where the child will attend school. Another component of child custody is parenting time, the schedule the court develops to ensure that both parents spend quality time with their children.
Child support is the money one parent pays to the other to help cover the costs of raising their children. Like child custody, child support often, but does not have to, be part of a divorce settlement. If you have a child support order and your former partner is delinquent in making payments, your family lawyer can help you pursue the payments you need.
Court Order Modifications
Months and years after their divorce, a couple’s original divorce order might not be appropriate for their needs anymore. When this is the case, the couple can have their court orders modified to reflect their new circumstances.
Many family lawyers also facilitate adoptions. Adoption can be a complicated process, and each type of adoption has its own rules and procedures. If you are considering adopting your stepchild or using adoption as a means to bring a new child into your family, an experienced family lawyer can help you navigate the process.
Sometimes, it’s necessary to determine a child’s biological paternity in order to assign legal parenthood. Without assigning legal parenthood, a parent cannot enjoy certain rights and benefits, like the right to custodial time with a child or the right to seek child support. Family lawyers can help parents establish their children’s paternity to ensure that they can exercise their parental rights.
Work with an Experienced Mesa Family Lawyer
When you are facing any of the issues above, you need to work with an experienced family lawyer who can be your advocate and help you reach a solution that is in all involved parties’ best interest. To learn more about what this might mean in your situation, schedule your initial legal consultation with a member of Edwards & Petersen, PLC today.