What’s the Difference Between a Family Lawyer and a Divorce Lawyer?

Wooden figures. There is a figure of a building that says "family law" and 3 figures holding hands.

You have likely heard about divorce lawyers as well as family law attorneys. The terms can be confusing, particularly to someone who is facing an important legal matter and needs help navigating unfamiliar waters.

The truth is, a person can be a family lawyer as well as a divorce lawyer. The latter is a more specific designation, whereas family law is the term used for a large umbrella under which divorce is one of many issues that can be addressed.

What Is Family Law?

There are many laws that touch on the inner workings of families, not least of which are the creation of and dissolution of marriages. Family law is a general term that refers to the vast array of these legal issues, including:

  1. Separation & DIvorce
  2. Custody & Child Support
  3. Tax & Estate Issues
  4. Asset Division & Investigation
  5. Fostering & Adoption
  6. Last Wills and Testaments
  7. Emancipation of Minors

Most often, family lawyers are sought out to assist with issues that arise during the breakdown of a relationship. There can be legal issues involving cohabitation couples, married couples, and anyone sharing minor children. And when these relationships break down, couples at some point want advice from a qualified lawyer in their area who can help them prepare and know what to expect moving forward.

What Types of Issues Do Divorce Lawyers Assist With?

When two married people are considering separating or have already separated, they will typically need legal advice so they can properly manage a variety of potential concerns. Some issues are practical, such as what documentation is needed and what steps are required to file for divorce properly.

Financial matters are often central to these proceedings. Financial settlements can get complicated when a couple has accrued joint assets over a period of many years. Spousal maintenance and child support questions are generally sorted out during this period, as well. Parental agreements might be drawn up to determine parenting matters such as where the children will live and how much visitation and communication they will have with the other party.

Is Divorce Law Different in Illinois?

What is your specific issue? Each state has its own laws when it comes to divorce, and those rules are routinely updated and refined. Your attorney will have the most up-to-date knowledge of what these laws are. For example, as FindLaw.com explains, “Family laws also address controversial issues such as abortion rights and same-sex marriage, in addition to criminal matters like domestic violence and child abuse … For instance, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled in 2004 that a man who acknowledges paternity cannot reverse this later on the basis of DNA testing.”

If you’re considering separating from your partner, it is generally a good idea to seek expert advice as soon as possible. A divorce lawyer will be able to provide practical, helpful tips that not only prepare you for what’s to come, but they also help create the most expedient and financially beneficial path forward. If there are children involved, it is their role to ensure that the child’s best interests are met throughout the process.

Family Law Office of David A. King Provides Up-to-Date Expert Legal Advice

Divorce and separation can be highly stressful for any couple. What will reduce that stress is going in knowing what to expect. Any legal entitlements and other outcomes will depend on the individual circumstances of each case. However, consulting with a family law attorney will help you become better positioned to negotiate on a level playing field and help you protect rights and assets that apply to your case.

No matter your reasons for seeking legal advice, it’s highly important to find someone with expertise in the specific area you are facing. If you are a high-net-worth individual, you want a lawyer accustomed to handling cases for affluent clients. If a custody battle is brewing, then you will benefit similarly from a partner with a track record of negotiating parental rights and responsibilities, both before and after divorces.

For help from a family law attorney you can trust, contact the Law Office of David A. King, P.C. today.

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