Family Law Attorneys practice law in the area that deals with all the legal issues arising from the family relationship between the husband and wife and children and even extended family members. Family Law Attorneys deal with all aspects of divorce.
Family Law Attorneys or Family Law Lawyers are often referred to as Divorce Lawyers. But Family Law encompasses such areas as; child custody, child support, annulments, property division, alimony, paternity, Father’s rights, adoption, protective orders, civilian and military divorce, spousal abuse, pre-nuptial agreements and often times are involved with estate planning, wills, probate and other legal issues that can face a family.
A Divorce Lawyer handles the legal termination of a marriage by a court. Divorce proceedings require a petition or complaint for divorce by a spouse. The two types of divorce are fault and no-fault. A no-fault divorce occurs when neither spouse is required to prove fault of the other party, but only testify that their marriage has reach the point of irreconcilable differences between the parties. The fault divorce is a judicial termination of a marriage based on one spouse or both having marital misconduct. The marital misconduct or statutory cause will require proof in a court of law.
Texas Board Certified Family Law Attorney
Only around 10% of attorneys in the State of Texas have been certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and even fewer have been certified in Family Law. The State of Texas recognizes and certifies Family Law Attorneys. A Family Law Attorney that has been Board Certified by the State of Texas can display the Board Certification Badge on their website or any other form of advertising. The process of becoming a Board Certified Family Law Attorney requires a great deal of expertise in the area of Family Law. The Board Certified distinction allows the public to know that a lawyer has met the difficult requirements of being certified by the State of Texas as a Board Certified Family Law Attorney.
Family Law –A Brief Glimpse into History
Lawyers across the world practice and specialize in areas of family law. This branch of law covers many legal issues including marriage, divorce, child custody, adoption, and establishing parentage. As the dynamic of a family changes, family law evolves to govern those who seek fairness. San Antonio Divorce Attorney Steve C. Benke practices the law as we know it today, but is cognizant of how and from where our laws evolved.
Sources of Family Law
Different cultures have unique ways of governing a family in times of dispute. In the United States, there are five sources that paved the way for how family law is practiced today. Our laws stem from the following sources:
A state’s constitutional and statutory law
The United States Constitution
Regulation and zoning laws
Family law represents our values as a society. In instances of divorce or separation, protecting the rights of each individual is important. When children are added to the equation, their rights are placed first because they are the unintended victims. Therefore, family law as it relates to child custody aims to identify the parent or legal guardian that represents the best interest of the children.
For most of our history, the nuclear family was one with two-heterosexual parents. As our ideas of marriage and family evolve, family law has been amended to recognize the rise of civil unions, domestic partnerships, and same-sex marriages.
Common Law of England
For centuries, the legitimacy of a child was important for inheritance and succession. The best way to ensure a child was legitimate was through marriage, where pregnancies would occur after a couple was legally united. Similarly, legal adoptions were created by consent as a result of the Roman law of inheritance.
Common law used to leave decision making regarding family matters to the father, often done in silence. Legal influence from the outside would only intervene in instances of serious child abuse. Modern law intervenes more readily into family matters to protect the welfare of children; intervening even in instances of no abuse. Due to these factors, family law concerning child custody is more complex and judgments about choosing a custodial parent is becoming increasingly difficult.
Marriage and Divorce
Marriage has evolved significantly, as many women are now economically dependent. Most marriages in America are voluntary and not a mechanism for the transfer of property or economic exchange. Modern laws involving property reflect the wishes and desires of married or divorcing couples rather than particular cultural or religious customs. The idea of protecting individual property and assets gave rise to the practice of prenuptial agreements beginning in the late 20th century.
Laws evolve and change over time. Family law has transitioned through the centuries from a focus on inheritance and succession, to laws that protect children from abuse and recognizing women as economically dependent from their spouses. If you have questions regarding issues of child custody, determining paternity, or property rights in divorce, contact a Board Certified Family Law Attorney today.