Prior to marriage, many couples wish to enter into prenuptial agreements which will govern the division of their property in the event of a future divorce.
In divorce cases, the court will look to address issues such as child custody, child visitation, and child support as well as property distribution and spousal support/alimony claims. Property distribution in divorce will include addressing the division of pensions and retirements as well as issues such as use and possession or sale of marital home as well as disposition of personal property acquired during the marriage. Often these cases include arguments about the nature of property – marital or non-marital – or value of property. An attorney can provide representation in the litigation of these claims, but an attorney can also provide important legal advice on rights regarding these issues as well as services in drafting and negotiating marital settlement agreements to resolve these claims as part of the divorce.
With unmarried parties, the issues of child custody, paternity, visitation, and child support can be pursued. Unmarried parties without children may have issues related to joint ownership of property, for example – a home, and other joint financial obligations which may give rise to claims.
People who are not the biological parents of a child may be caregivers for a child and may have rights to custody of and/or visitation with a minor child. These third parties may be step-parents, grandparents and others who fill a parental role for a child.
Additionally, adoption and guardianships can be pursued to formalize the rights of non-biological parents toward minors in their care. Often a guardianship or custody order is necessary to allow a child to enroll in school.
Domestic violence protective orders fall under the family law arena. These orders can grant expansive relief in a very short time period and can, in addition to requiring no contact between parties, address custody and visitation, require a party to vacate a residence, and can establish support and maintenance obligations.