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The Basics Of Family Law

Family law concerns the rights and obligations of spouses, children, and other domestic relations. The federal, city and state laws can all affect the family unit in a significant way. It is quite unfortunate that most marriages today are ending in divorce or separation. When the worst comes to the worse, and a couple decides to end a marriage, one of the partners will petition the court for a divorce. 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.

The state law and sometimes the federal law may affect a family before, during and after marriage.Some areas, where family law is applicable, include the following.

Pre-marriage Agreements
Generally, the courts will either apply the community property laws or the equitable distribution laws when dividing marital property depending on which state this court is found. States that apply community property laws, the court will divide the property into equal shares between the couple. In equitable distribution states, the court divides the marital property equitably which may or may not be on the 50/50 basis.

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
Generally, courts prefer to grant the legal and physical custody of the children from a marriage to both parents. Legal custody entails making decisions about their children’s health, culture and religion. By physical custody, the child has the right to live in their parent’s home.When one parent is given the sole custody; the court may award the other partner with visitation rights to the child at regular intervals.

Divorce Mediation
Often, a divorce brings about stress to both spouses, any children and those close to them. However, it is essential that the spouses don’t allow the stress or any lingering bitterness towards each other to spoil the divorce process.If the spouse can negotiate in good faith, the mediation process becomes more civil and less expensive and less adversarial way to dissolve 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 will work with the attorneys of each of the spouse as well to ensure that both the spouses are satisfied with this arrangement.

Foster Care or Adoption
Family the law also plays a significant role in foster care or adoption.The process of adoption is often complex and differs according to the type of adoption, where the child is from, and the variances in state laws among other factors.

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