What is a family law practice?”
Under the American legal system, there are two major branches of law. The first is civil law, and includes everything from divorce to breach of contract. In civil cases (with the exception of divorce), the prevailing party is generally awarded money damages and/or is stopped (enjoined) from doing something (Crawley v. Oak Bend Estates Homeowners Association, Inc., 2001). The second type, or other arm of law, is criminal law.
Family law cases are unique in the civil law arena in that the types of relief sought are not necessarily money damages or injunctive relief because, at least with children, only their time is divisible, and both sides often want the children all or most of the time. Money is secondary, and it is thought of in terms of paying child support. Further, divorce and related family law cases comprise nearly half of all civil cases, at least for Indiana legal filings, so this is a major area of civil law practice.
Therefore, some law firms are called family law firms because domestic (or family) law is the main area of law that they practice; and the firm might advertise under the term: “family law Indianapolis.” However, a family law firm generally handles other types of cases under this umbrella of law, from paternity to divorce cases to child-custody issues that arise throughout a child’s life and after the divorce. Issues of child custody, parenting time or support continue to be decided in the court where the divorce or paternity started, unless moved in various ways.
For example, if you are the custodial parent and relocate with the children to Indiana from a different state, a child custody case likely will be moved from your prior state to an Indiana state court within your county of residence at some point in time. This is logical because the children no longer reside in the prior state, and most, if not all, of the new evidence relating to the children (i.e., what and how they are doing) is in the new state.
If this is a situation you face, you might search “family law Indianapolis” to find a family law practice that will work with your prior counsel from your former state of residence to change the court and judge from the one who decided matters before, to a court in the new state in your current county under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction laws (or version applicable in each state) or other Indiana law.
Ultimately, a family law practice has attorneys who understand the law and non-legal dynamics that drive cases (such as emotions, like loss or grief), strive to help families work through problems, knowing if it comes to court proceedings, the court, on evidence it receives, must make a best-interests decision for custody and parenting time, which ultimately impacts weekly child support.
There are generally several good family law firms in any urban area. For this reason, it is important to find an Indiana family law practice, if this is the state where you are located and seek divorce to a state where you have relocated. This counsel should make you feel comfortable and confident in the handling your case. Without this, human nature may cause you to second-guess yourself if a court rules adverse to your legal objectives under the best-interests standard. This is the essence of a family law practice.
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