Family law includes a broad spectrum of situations: Adoptions (making a child legally your own), Guardianships (obtaining the temporary or permanent permission to provide for a child that is not legally your own),
Juvenile Dependency (where a County agency has assumed custody of the child) and Delinquency (where the child has violated the law), Custody (of one's own children) and Child Support (whether the parents have married or not),
Separation, Divorce or Termination of a Domestic Partnership, Property Division, and Spousal Support for couples who did marry or form domestic partnerships, and Domestic Violence (allegations and defense against those
allegations). All of these matters are considered Family Law even though they are handled differently.
Adoptions and Guardianships are handled in Probate Court. Juvenile Dependency and Delinquency are handled in Juvenile Court and most other matters are handled in Family Court.
These 3 court systems for families have different priorities, time lines, procedures and rules. It is vital to the success of your case that you know how to interact with the professionals who will make recommendations about
your family to the judge and that you know what information will be helpful to present when in court. Once your case is called in court, sweeping changes can be made for your family very quickly.
The court has a limited amount of time to consider your case, so the presentation of your point of view needs to be short and to the point.
The challenge in every family law case is to obtain an order that meets the specific needs of your family in the short amount of time the court has to hear you. All families are unique. Some children are lucky to have two
good parents who always cooperate with one another. Some children have one good parent and must learn to cope with a not-so-good parent. Some children need to Some children have four good parents. Some children are raised by
grandparents, great-grandparents, step-parents, aunts, uncles, foster parents, adoptive parents, or older siblings. Many households are blended families. The better versed you and your attorney are in the requirements of the court systems, the more you can concentrate on presenting your particular point of view in a way that is meaningful to the judge.