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What is Family Law?

family lawyer talking with couple

What is Family Law?

Family law is a broad legal field that encompasses a variety of topics related to family and marriage. Domestic Relations law, also known as Family Law, includes Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, Visitation, and other aspects of law related to domestic partnerships.

What Does Family Law Cover?

Family law is the area of the law that covers domestic matters and family-related issues. This includes divorce, child custody, child support, visitation, and spousal support. It can also include domestic violence issues, modification of custody orders, and in some situations estate planning.   

What Does a Family Lawyer Do?

Family lawyers may also help their clients with family related matters such as issues such as divorce, adoption, child custody, and paternity. They help parents draft up custody agreements which include visitation, child support, and decision-making.  Another major area is dissolution of marriage and they can help you file for divorce, or represent you in your divorce matter. Negotiating a settlement whether in custody matters or divorce is a key skill of the family law attorney. When necessary they will represent you in family court.   

Reasons to Hire a Family Law Attorney

Family law attorneys should have extensive experience in the areas of family law. An experienced attorney can help protect your interests and work toward getting you a fair outcome that works for everyone involved. Working out the details of divorce, custody, adoption, and paternity require a thorough understanding of California law. 

If you are considering a divorce, you will need an experienced lawyer to help you navigate the divorce proceedings. There are many things to consider when getting a divorce, including property division, child custody, and spousal support. Divorcing couples are often argumentative and stressed and a good divorce lawyer knows how to work out the terms of the divorce as quickly as possible.

If you have children, you will need to consider child custody and visitation arrangements. You may also need to consider child support and paternity issues. When parents decide to divorce or part ways if unmarried, they must also decide how they will co-parent their children. This will include address child support, division of time and decision-making on major areas like education and healthcare. Though both parents are legally entitled to spend time with their children and participate in decisions about their children’s lives,  it is often difficult for parents to agree on the various aspects of custody including visitation schedule, timesharing, decision-making and financial support. A good family law attorney has experience in drawing up a proposed settlement agreement that covers all aspects. 

Courts often give preference to joint custody arrangements where both parents share equally in making decisions about their children’s lives and spending time with them; however, if one parent has been abusive or neglectful toward his or her children, this parent may not be given much weight by the court when making decisions regarding child custody. Your family law attorney will need to be an strong advocate when joint custody is not in the child’s best interest and fight for sole custody.

If you are considering adoption, you will need an experienced lawyer to help you with the process. The adoption process can be complicated, and it is important to have a lawyer who understands the law. 

How to Find the Right Lawyer

It is important to find the right lawyer for your case. First it is important to find one who specializes in the area of law that you need help with, in this case family law.  You can ask friends and family for recommendations, or you can search online for lawyers who specialize in the area of law you need help with and read their Google reviews  Once you have found a few potential lawyers, you should schedule a consultation with each one to see if they are a good fit for your case.

Be sure to ask them questions and discuss your areas of concern.  Try and get a sense if you can work together. Having a good relationship with your lawyer can help you feel confident that they will competently get the result you need. 

Schedule a Consultation With a Redwood City Family Law Attorney

Family law is a broad legal area that deals with many different topics. If you are interested in learning more about family law and seeking help with your family law issues, consider San Mateo family law attorney Bradley Bayan. Mr. Bayan has over 20 years experience in family law with a strong emphasis in divorce law which includes dissolution of marriage, child custody, spousal support, and distribution of marital assets. Contact the Law Offices of Bradley Bayan at (650) 364-3600 to schedule a free consultation.

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Bradley D. Bayan