In our experience here at Jones, Childers, Donaldson & Webb, PLLC, many people associate the term family law primarily with divorce and child custody. While those things certainly fall under the umbrella of family law, this area of the law covers a wider variety of circumstances than that. In this article, we will provide a brief overview of the many different things that family law covers to give you a more complete understanding of the field.
- Marriage- When two people get married, they become a family in the eyes of the law. Marriage laws are a subset of family laws, and they govern things like how old someone has to be in order to enter a legal marriage, as well as who can officiate a wedding.
- Divorce- As we mentioned above, family law also includes divorce law. These laws dictate how to file for divorce, on what grounds partners can file for divorce, and things like how much—if any—financial support one partner owes to the other.
- Child Custody- Another family law concern is who children will live with when their parents divorce or when they can’t be cared for by their biological parents for any reason.
- Adoption- Family law also covers adoptions. There are many situations in which families may want or need to adopt—for example, a couple may choose to adopt instead of or in addition to having biological children, or an aunt, uncle, grandparent, or other guardian may adopt a child after the biological parent dies or if the biological parent can’t provide appropriate care.
- Guardianship- Lastly, family law also covers matters of guardianship. If an adult is not able to care for themselves or make their own decisions, another family member may need to act as their legal guardian.