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The Basics Of Family Law

Family law entails the rights and responsibilities of spouses, children, and other home relations. The federal, city and state laws can all affect the family unit in a significant way. Sadly, many marriages end in separation or divorce. The moment a couple decides to dissolve their marriage, one of the partners will petition for a divorce in the courts. In this case, the court has the mandate to legally end the marriage, share the marital assets between the spouses, grant custody of any children to either or both the partners and impose spousal or child custody whenever applicable.

Before, during and after marriage, the state law may affect the family.Some areas, where family law is applicable, include the following.

Premarital Agreements
Courts will in general, either use community property laws or equitable distribution laws when dividing marital property, depending on whether the court is located in a community property or equitable distribution state. States that apply community property laws, the court will divide the property into equal shares between the couple. States applying the equitable property distribution law, the court equitably divides the property between the couple which may or may not be 50/50.

Partners that wish to establish their own property division rules; they may set up their formulas before marriage by using the prenuptial agreement.

Child Custody and Support
Courts will prefer to give the legal and physical custody of children from a marriage to both parents. The legal custody gives the parents the right to decide on issues to do with the child’s education, religion and health. By physical custody, the child has the right to live in their parent’s home.When a court awards a parent with sole physical care; however, it may award the non-custodial parent visitation rights to see the child or children regularly.

Divorce Mediation
The termination of a marriage brings about stress to each spouse, their children and many people close to them. However, the partners do not have to let the stress or any bitterness towards each other poison the divorce process.If the couple can bring them to negotiating in good faith; mediation may represent a more civil, inexpensive and less adversarial way to terminate the marriage.They can use the help of a neutral mediator to try to balance each spouse’s needs in helping them divide the marital assets, resolve child custody issues, and help them to settle on child and spousal support amounts.The mediator works closely with the lawyers of each spouse to make sure that the arrangement is satisfactory to both partners.

Adoption/Foster Care
Another area that family law is applicable is in the case of adoption.The the process of child adoption is a complex one that differs depending on the type of adoption, the home region of the child, and the variances in the state laws.

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