What Does a Family Lawyer Do?

If you have a legal matter, you may wonder if a family lawyer would be the right lawyer for your case. Many types of legal issues that involve family life and relationships are handled by a family lawyer.

Because family law involves situations that relate to marriage, divorce, and children, it can be a very emotional field of law. Family lawyers are uniquely prepared to support and advocate for their clients in these sensitive areas.


Divorces are one of the most frequent types of case handled by family lawyers. It becomes a matter of law because marriage is a legal contract.

The couple must request a legal end to that contact.

Divorce laws vary by state, and family lawyers are familiar with the laws of their state. States may have varying rules for how to divide assets and debts, but the decisions come down to evaluating the financial contributions of each person, as well as the length of the marriage.

Alimony and child support

When these issues become part of a divorce, the emotional temperature of the case can skyrocket. A family lawyer can help their client see the legal issues clearly and continue to provide support for their clients

Child custody

This is another area that can become part of a divorce case. Not only does custody heighten the emotional stakes of divorce proceedings, it can also become a factor in determining the financial settlement in the divorce.

If an agreement can be reached regarding child custody, the court will usually confirm the agreement. . If the couple disagree, the lawyers will present each person’s case to the court. The court will want information about the relationship each parent has with the child (or children); as well as the time demands of each parent’s job, and whether either parent has a problem with drug abuse or other illegal activities.

Family lawyers need to gather evidence for each of these matters. They will talk to relatives, neighbors, the couples’ employers, and the child’s teachers. They may also talk to doctors, psychologists or counselors.

Abuse and Neglect

This is one of the unfortunate aspects that can impact on divorce and child custody proceedings. If abuse or neglect can be proven, it can not only tip the scales of which parent will be awarded with custody, but it could result in legal charges against the abusive party.

Family lawyers must present their client’s legal options – regardless of which party they represent. The law dictates that every person in a legal matter has a right to fair and impartial representation. Family lawyers may find themselves representing a client whose point of view they disagree with, but the law requires them to stay impartial.

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