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Cases Tried and Role of Court

What You Need to Know About Child Support Cases

What You Need to Know About Child Support Cases

Family law courts are often used in
cases in which one party aims to obtain
child support payments from another. Such cases might work the other way, as
well, however, as a party currently held responsible for child support might be
suing to have their responsibility for paying child support relieved. It is
entirely likely that the party suing for family law child support is the mother
of the child, and the party that might be suing to have the responsibility for
paying child support removed, would be the supposed father of the child. It is
important to differentiate, here, between the actual father of the child and
the supposed father of the child, as some of the cases in family law courts
concerning child support due in fact, concern a father who is not actually the
biological father of the children in question, and who has simply been led to
believe that he is the father by what the mother has told him.


The biological father of a child is
almost always required to pay family law child support, meaning child support
as determined by family law. The primary difficulty with this statement is that
it is sometimes difficult to determine who exactly the father is, if the mother
is single, and complications can arise even if the mother is married, as she
may have cheated on her husband, and the husband may not actually be the
biological father of the child. In an instance in which the mother is single,
the father will be required to pay family law child support under law if he is
established as the acknowledged father, which means that he would be
acknowledged as the father of the child either by his own admission or by
agreement between the parents of the child (including this father). Many
proceedings for family law courts actually involve cases in which the single mother
is attempting to establish
paternity, however, the supposed father does not accept or agree to assume
the responsibilities of the acknowledged father. Any given father can be
considered the presumed father of the child in question if he fits certain
criteria. A presumed father must pay family law child support. The criteria for
determining if a given father is a presumed father are as follows:

     If the man in question was married to the mother at the time of the child’s conception or birth,
then he is the presumed father.

     If the man in question was supposedly married to the mother, but
for some reason the marriage is declared as invalid, and the child was
conceived or born during the supposed marriage, then the man is the presumed

     If the man in question marries the mother of the child after the
child is born and agrees to support the child, then the man is the presumed

     If the man in question agrees to take the child into his home and
support the child, then the man is the presumed father.


Family law
courts may be involved in confirming that the man in question was the presumed
father of the child. Furthermore, family law courts may be involved in issuing
orders to have an actual
paternity test taken. Though men can submit to paternity tests voluntarily, the
court can order them taken involuntarily, in order to determine paternity.


Once the tests
are taken, and paternity has officially been determined in some capacity, then
the court can issue child support payment orders, to ensure that the parent who
must make child support payments does so. In order to ensure family law child
support payment, the court may order a garnishment of wages, for example, and
the court may issue penalties such as license revocation in order to force the
parent to pay family law child support.


In any instance
in which the child is cared for by the father, and not the mother, the same
rules apply. The mother must still make family law child support payments, and
if she does not, the father can sue her in family law courts to ensure that she
either makes such payments or faces some penalty.

What You Should Know About Divorce

What You Should Know About DivorceDivorce
cases are some of the most common cases involving family law to make it to
court. Divorce
and family law are very
connected, as divorce involves the dissolution of a family. Family divorce law
is primarily focused on determining the disposition of the family’s property
and assets, and even the disposition of the family’s children. Divorce and
family law primarily interact in this fashion, as the main legal issues in a
divorce involves the question of “who gets what.”

There are some other interactions between divorce and family law,
however.  Under family divorce law, a divorce does not entail the same
things as an annulment
. An annulment functions retroactively, as it
effectively cancels a marriage from from the moment it was entered. A divorce,
however, only ends the terms of the marriage at the moment the divorce becomes
official, according to family divorce law.

As such, whereas an annulment would
“reset” the two involved parties to the status they may have had
prior to the marriage, and would dispose of assets gained since that point
according to the idea of the two parties having been separated, a divorce would
instead divide previously united assets. This is an important element of the
relationship between divorce and family law, as it demonstrates one of the reasons
why divorce is complex.

Under family divorce law, a divorce case could be opened up by either party in
the marriage, often without any evidence of fault
, depending on
the jurisdiction. If the divorce is agreed upon by both parties, and the terms
of the split are similarly agreed upon, then the divorce involve a court only
peripherally, in order to certify the divorce and make it effective under law.

A court proceeding may also be necessary to ratify the terms agreed upon out of
court, though in this case the court proceeding is something of a formality, as
the terms will have already been settled. Many times, however, the exact terms
of the divorce will be determined by a court proceeding. If the terms are
contested by either or both parties.

More options have arisen over the years
that would eliminate the need for court proceedings, so as to decrease the
stress on all involved parties. For example, mediation and collaborative
divorce are both new options under family divorce law. Ninety-five percent of
divorces in the United States are not contested
, and
likely only involve the court for ratification.

For the disposition of children, family divorce law offers a number of
different options, as one of the primary focuses in such situations is
preventing the cases from going to court, so as to prevent stress on the

Some states use parenting plans, which are plans that specifically
allocate the child’s time with each parent, and determines exactly what
responsibilities are held by which party, so as to avoid any confusion or
dispute. It is still possible for a case involving children to go to court,
however, and for such circumstances, family divorce law afford the court the
power to determine the disposition of the children.

Domestic Violence Overview

Domestic Violence Overview

Domestic violence cases, though rarer than other forms of cases involving family law, are very significant for how serious and damaging they may be. Such cases may take any of a number of different forms, as family law domestic violence cases may involve attempts to end the domestic violence, or attempts to remove children form an environment in which domestic violence takes place. Family law legal advice is generally available for victims of spousal abuse, one of the many types of domestic violence, who seek to leave their spouses so as to find safety somewhere else.


If a victim of domestic violence takes the case to court, which he or she should, then he or she may be able to obtain a temporary restraining order. In terms of family law domestic violence cases, a temporary restraining order, or TRO, is perhaps the best possible option as a start to preventing domestic violence. Most family law legal advice concerning domestic violence cases will likely suggest to a victim that he or she should first obtain a TRO, so as to prevent the violence from continuing while other legal action is taken. Family law domestic violence cases will still require a victim to go before a judge in order to obtain a TRO, and the victim will have to provide evidence of the domestic abuse. Most TROs can actually be issued without a full legal proceeding, however, as it may be important to issue them promptly so as to prevent any further domestic violence. Family law legal advice would likely lead a victim to pursue a TRO immediately upon suffering from an incident of domestic violence, so as to prevent any further incidences.


A victim of domestic violence who goes to court at a later point in time in order to obtain a restraining order will likely require a number of important pieces of evidence, in order to obtain the restraining order. There is much family law legal advice out there concerning exactly what evidence a victim should bring, including suggestions of police reports about the domestic violence, and photographs of the damage done. For example, when a victim is hurt in a domestic violence incident, then the victim should immediately contact the police, both to obtain their help, and to ensure that there is a police report filed for the incident, which can be used in a later court proceeding.


The orders that can be issued through family law domestic violence proceedings include orders of protection as well as temporary restraining orders. Temporary restraining orders ensure that the abuser must leave the residence immediately, but they do not provide the same level of deterrence as orders of protection. Orders of protection are the full restraining orders most often thought of commonly, as they can prohibit abusers from even coming close to the protected party, and can often involve the abuser being required to obtain some form of counseling.


Family law domestic violence cases primarily concern obtaining orders, such as temporary restraining orders or protection orders, as mentioned above, but a victim may choose to pursue other avenues of family law in order to help prevent future instances of domestic violence. For example, a victim may attempt to pursue a divorce from an abusive husband, in addition to the TRO which she obtained earlier, so as to ensure that she is legally and financially free of him.

All You Need to Know About Marriage

All You Need to Know About Marriage


Marriage is actually an important type of proceeding for family law, as a court’s approval is necessary for marriage to have legal force. Family law marriage, meaning marriage from the perspective of family law, can actually be understood as a contract between two parties who agree to assume the rights and responsibilities of being husband and wife with regard to one another.

Understanding marriage from this perspective ensures that those seeking family law help in getting married will not have to go to a religious source to obtain married status. Instead, parties looking for family law help in getting married can go to a legal official who can marry them. Legal officials capable of performing a marriage include religious clergymen, but also include judges, magistrates, justices of the peace, county clerks, and mayors. All of these parties could, in theory, provide family law help for those seeking to become married.

A couple could be ruled as qualifying for family law marriage if they fit the requirements for common law marriage, as well. Common law marriage generally involves those instances when a couple is considered legally married, but hasn’t gone through the process of actually becoming legally married. A court may deem such a couple as falling under the terms of family law marriage, though the couple may attempt to contest such a ruling through their own court proceeding.

Family law marriage may also be affected by a number of other important roles that a court may play. Those seeking legal advice or family law help may receive advice that they should establish a prenuptial agreement before entering into a family law marriage. By doing so, a married couple may be able to give each other some level of assurance that, in the event of divorce or death of a spouse, the assets and income of each spouse is protected from claims by the other.

A prenuptial agreement would involve the family law help of a court, in actually enforcing the agreement, but it could be created simply between the lawyers of the marrying parties. A prenuptial agreement would involve the disclosure of all assets on the part of both potential spouses, and would likely require each party to have different family lawyers, so as to ensure that each is getting unbiased family law help.

In general, the other requirements for getting a legitimate family law marriage do not involve the courts, beyond potentially taking the marriage to court to have it annulled in the face of unfulfilled requirements. In order to get married, the spouses might have to take a blood test, or they might have to obtain a marriage license of some sort.

These marriage requirements usually are done separately from any kind of court proceeding, however, and should be done prior to the marriage ceremony. The ceremony may have some legal requirements concerning who must be there, and what the ceremony must consist of, but again, the only way in which this matters to a court proceeding is if the marriage is to be annulled for failing to meet these requirements.

Types of Cases Tried and Role of Court

Types of Cases Tried and Role of Court

There are many types of cases heard in family court. Family courts hear all cases that relate to familial and domestic relationships. While each state has a different system utilized to address family law cases, each state strives to provide families with the best possible outcome in family law cases. In fact, judges strive to provide the best outcome for any involved children, while upholding the law. In some states, divorce is handled in a separate court than juvenile delinquency. In others, there is one court for all family law cases. Issues like divorce, domestic violence, child support, and child custody are determined by family courts.
In fact, most court cases that pertain to familial relationships, are handled by family courts. Included in family court cases are issues of adoption and foster care placement. The role of family courts is to provide fair and just decisions that improve the stability of the family unit. In some cases, individuals involved in disputes wish to come to an agreement in the absence of court proceedings. In fact, adults are able to legally reach agreements in the absence of a judge. However, the judge is often required to approve the agreement. It is quite difficult for individuals involved in any legal dispute to completely avoid court proceedings. The role of family courts continues to grow, as new issues confront the modern family.

Family courts can issue decisions regarding divorce cases. For example, courts will decide issues related to child custody, visitation and support. In addition, the courts may demand that a divorcing couple attempt a resolution to their case, through court ordered mediation. In fact, mediation can help couples to make mutually beneficial decisions on equal distribution of property and assets. In fact, couples that are able to handle their case through mediation are often happier with the results.
For one thing, couples and children involved in court cases tend to suffer form increased stress levels regarding the process. However, there are couples that cannot reach an agreement through mediation, or do not wish to be confront the other spouse in person. In those cases, the courts will make all determinations that relate to the divorce. In addition, couples that have prenuptial or post nuptial agreements in place cannot take any further action before a judge upholds all or part of the agreement. In fact, even couples with those agreements in place will find it necessary to have some issues handled by the family court system.
Domestic Violence:

Domestic violence cases are handled in family court. In fact, the incidence of domestic violence cases reported annually has increased significantly around the world. That is due, in part, to some jurisdictions’ legal ability to press charges in the absence of permission from the victim. In the past, victims had to press charges for the abuser to be charged. In domestic violence cases, abusers can face legal and financial penalties for the abuse.
In addition, abuse victims can seek orders or protection or restraining orders which prevent the abuser from having access to the victim. In fact, states also have the power to issue those orders without permission from the victim. In some cases, abusers have been charged with an offense, even when the victim gave them permission to see them. Domestic violence cases involve many complicated factors, including the psychological damage to the victim. Due to the recognition of those factors, many states have acquired legal authority to handle domestic violence cases in the absence of consent from the victim. In fact, courts have made decisions in the absence of a victim’s testimony.
There are many scenarios that result from marriage and sometimes require intervention in family court. Marriage is at the root of many family court hearings. Family law views marriages as a contract between two individuals who exchange promises to be bound by obligations to each other. Family law courts may also become involved in marriages if the state recognizes common law marriage.
One or both of the spouses may dispute the relationship’s status as a marriage, especially if they believed they were merely engaging in cohabitation, not marriage. A family law court may also examine issues related to whether or not the couple is legally able to receive a marriage license. A marriage may also come under investigation in a divorce proceeding if one of the spouses claims that there was never an legally permissible marriage. In this case, the courts may rule that an annulment must be obtained instead.
There are  many types of families that seek to adopt children. In fact, single individuals and same sex couples may desire to adopt children, but may be unable to do so depending on their state’s family laws. In some cases, certain state’s adoption laws are unclear or ambiguous.
In that case, adoption cases are often heard and decided according to a judge’s discretion and based on other similar cases. In states that have clear and strict rules regarding adoption, judges have little discretion in making legal decisions, even if they disagree with the outcome. There are many circumstance which prompt individuals to adopt a child, but every case is determined in the best interests of the child.
While there may be two couples that seek to adopt for the same reason, it is possible that only one, or neither couple may be granted the adoption because of the intricacies involved in family law. However, judges are likely to grant adoptions that are beneficial to the child and the adopting family, as long as they fall within the confines of the law.
Child Support:

Child support is always handled as an independent issue by the courts. In fact, non custodial parents are not the only ones that can be required to pay child support. For example, custodial parents sometimes have to contribute money to activities that the child takes part in when in the care of the non custodial parent.
Child support payments are awarded completely exclusive of all other issues. Once a child support order has been issued by the court, it is very difficult to have it modified or terminated. In fact, family courts often require child support orders to be filed with the state’s child support enforcement agency to ensure that the order is followed by both parents.
In addition, parents  found to be in non compliance with a child support order, face harsh penalties, including loss of driving privileges, passport privileges, incarceration and termination of parental rights. Even parents that receive payments can be found to be in non compliance. For example, some states dictate the manner in which child support can be spent, and the courts may require proof. Both custodial and non custodial parents can be found in non compliance of child support, and both can face penalties.

Child Custody: 
Issues of child custody are handled by the family courts as an issue independent of any other decisions. Child custody is decided based on many factors. The courts will not allow a parent to have unsupervised visits if they believe the child’s safety is jeopardized in the company of that parent.
However, they may allow court supervised visits with that parent. In the absence of such issues, the courts usually grants primary custody to one parent, making them the custodial parent. While the other parent may be the non custodial parent, they are still likely to have the ability to make some decisions regarding the upbringing of the child. In fact, the courts will try to encourage a collaborative effort between both parents, so that they can make many of the important decisions together.
However, some parents are unable to accomplish that goal, and the judge will grant one parent all of the decision-making power. However, they are still likely to grant visitation rights to the other parent. In fact, those rights will be dictated down to the very second. Court orders generally require that the child be returned to the custodial parent at a very specific time. If either parent violates child custody orders, they can face harsh penalties, including termination of parental rights.

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