Divorce and family law often intersect for obvious reasons. How the legal system handles these issues can surprise some folks. It's important to understand how family law concerns work when you're going through a divorce, and here are three things you'll need to know.
Strictly speaking, the law sees divorce as a separate problem from any attached family law disputes. Even if you're dealing with a fairly friendly divorce, you'll have to do the paperwork for the two sets of issues separately. Oftentimes, there will be further separated issues within the domain of family legal concerns, too.
For example, the divorce itself is a distinct lawsuit. One party has to file to end the marriage, even if both sides agree the union is over. If the couple has a child, the questions of custody and support will end up in separate legal filings from the divorce.
What Divorce Covers
The foremost problem in divorce is the termination of a marriage. Beyond that, there are typically questions about the division of assets and debts. One partner might also have to pay spousal support to the other, usually for a limited period.
Ending a marriage is a bit like closing a business. You have to end the union and retire associated financial issues. Other than those items, most of divorce law is about the process. The petitioner has to formally notify the other side, there are some negotiations or even hears to resolve disputes, and then the two parties largely wait for their state's cooling-off period to expire, if the state requires it.
After the divorce is done, the issue is over. Except for something like fraud, the odds are low that a court will allow either party to revisit the matter ever again.
What Family Law Covers
Notably, family law issues tend to be longer-lasting. If a couple is dealing with the custody of a child, for example, that's an issue until the kid reaches adulthood. Depending on the family's financial circumstances, child support issues can carry into a kid's college years.
The overriding doctrine of family law is "the best interests of the child." A judge is supposed to make sure a kid has access to their parents and other family members. The child should also have a safe and nurturing environment.
Barring a drastic problem like pervasive physical abuse, both parents will have rights regarding how the child is raised. This covers many decisions that will come up, such as where a kid will go to school. Each parent also gets a say in the spiritual and cultural upbringing of the child.
Hello, I'm Phillip Kerr and I just love the legal profession and courtroom drama. Have you ever watched judge shows on TV? I know that these shows are not an accurate representation of the courtroom, but there is something you may have noticed. Some individuals come into the courtroom well-dressed, articulate, respectful and with the knowledge and documents necessary to support a case, while others come unprepared, slovenly dressed and appear as if they do not have a care in the world. How you present yourself and the knowledge that you have of the law will have an impact on how you are treated, even if you have legal representation. This blog is designed to assist those who are going to trial in doing just that.