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What is a Family Law Attorney?

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A Family Law Attorney is an attorney is an attorney who specializes in the practice of Family Law. Family law is an area the covers issues pertaining to families and domestic relations. Among these are:

  • adoption
  • child support
  • custody
  • dependency and child neglect
  • division of assets and liabilities due to divorce divorce
  • paternity
  • protection from abuse
  • spousal support
  • termination of parental rights

This list is by no means complete as there are many other areas and sub-areas that fall into this area of legal specialization and come through the court system. People in need of assistance in family law issues are representative of all of the country's socio-economic groupings, and in many jurisdictions family law courts are the most active. Unfortunately, perhaps, family law is a growing field as more and more people are seeking divorce, adoption patterns are changing, the definitions of abuse and neglect are changing, as are the definitions of marriage and family.

An attorney who specializes in family law is prepared to be more than a lawyer evaluating clients' needs and advising them on their options and rights. An attorney in this field must be prepared to deal with the emotional distress and anxiety that accompanies these most difficult of life's experiences. But the attorney who is prepared for this will have a most rewarding career.


The responsibilities of a family law attorney include everything from making phone calls and negotiating minor issues among opposing clients, to extended periods in court that may range from a few minutes to a few hours to several weeks. Briefs and pleadings must be prepared and hearings attended and motions made. Because family law covers custody issues, financial issues related to joint bank accounts and retirement accounts, and a full range of domestic issues, a family law attorney must be skilled not only as a litigator, with a excellent knowledge of the laws in this area, but the attorney must also be a skilled negotiator. A strong background in accounting and financial planning affords the attorney a greater opportunity for success.

A Family Law Attorney is responsible for successfully navigating the wide variety of categories in this field and properly advising clients as to their best options.

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