A family lawyer assists clients with issues that affect the entire household. Clients may include couples going through a divorce or separation, relatives seeking custody of children, and single parents seeking financial support (alimony). Lawyers in this practice area must be comfortable discussing sensitive information and making emotional arguments in court. They should also be willing to help clients work out their issues outside of court through mediation or other negotiations.
Divorce is one of the most common reasons people contact a family lawyer. Each state has different laws regarding property division, custody, and alimony. A lawyer can help a client file for divorce, negotiate child support and custody arrangements, and make sure the final divorce court order meets all legal requirements.
Other areas of family law include adoptions, estate planning (including drafting wills and trusts), and domestic violence. The latter requires a special license to handle and can involve complicated restraining orders.
If you’re considering a career in family law, your school’s career services office can offer suggestions about classes to take and networking with practicing lawyers in the field. Additionally, professional organizations like the American Bar Association have sections devoted to family law and may offer resources to those interested in the practice area. You can also look into online research on the topic. There are many blogs and websites that cover topics related to family law, including divorce, custody, and support. It’s important to read and research as much as possible before diving into this practice area. family lawyer