Family Law Terms

Divorce law is regulated by states and raises issues such as property division, alimony, and child custody, support and visitation rights among a man and a woman.

Child Custody
The parents of a child born within a marriage are joint guardians of that child and have equal rights to the child. Prior to a divorce case being filed parents cannot make a decision about child custody, courts will render a judgment based on the child’s best interests.

Child Support
Child support is a court-ordered payment of support from one parent to another parent.

Child Visitation
Court ordered time you get to spend with your child.

Maintenance, Spousal Support (Formerly called Alimony)
Montlhy payments to support your ex spouse.

Collaborative Law
Collaborative law involves situations when parties decide to resolve a legal matter outside of a courtroom. What makes collaborative law unique is its use of communication/divorce coaches and financial neutrals to help settle legal conflicts and the disqualification provision of the professionals if the parties want to use the court.

Domestic Violence
Domestic violence is actual or threatened emotional or physical abuse by one member of a family against another.  There needs to be a family, dating (or former dating) or cetain other type of close relationship between the parties for it to be considered domestic violence. 

Marriage, broadly defined, is the legal union of two people. Requirements for a valid marriage differ from state to state.

An adoption creates a parent–child relationship between persons not related by blood. Once a child is put up for adoption, the parental responsibilities of the biological parents are terminated. Emancipation of Minors

State laws govern the ability of a minor to become legally free from parental dependence before he or she reaches the age of majority.

Fathers’ Rights
When it comes to family law issues, fathers have the same rights as mothers initially.