Family Law, in broad terms, is the area of law which affects families. Family law involves all legal issues that may be dealt with in court, including divorce and separation, child custody and access and support payments. Family Law also involves the different processes, outside of a courtroom, that can lead to a resolution of issues between parties, including collaborative law, mediation and arbitration.
To protecting property before you begin to live together or are married; to dealing with how to divide property on a divorce or separation, Family Law is also about how to deal with the financial consequences at both the beginning and at the end of a relationship. Family Law is also about determining the financial consequences for children, if the relationship ends. Child support is governed by the Federal Child support guidelines, though there are some exceptions. Spousal support is more case specific and is affected by a number of factors which include, but is not limited to, the length of the marriage or relationship, the age of the parties when the relationship ends; the roles the parties assumed during the relationship; parental responsibilities and earnings. There are spousal support advisory guidelines, which provide a good starting point.
Family law is also about protecting you and your children from violence or the potential of violence in a relationship. Family law is uniquely challenging, no two cases are alike and each case needs its own resolution process. It is a deeply personal area of law and its practice requires the ability to solve complex problems with sensitivity and understanding.