We will begin our blog post with a question. What is family court and what does it do? As its name spells out, this type of court deals with family matters. Typically, a lone judge presides over these cases and no jury is present. Family courts do not handle any other types of court cases, meaning they serve families and families alone. Some of the matters that family law courts handle include:
- Child custody and support
- Property division
- Domestic violence
- Spousal support
We recognize that you already know about these family law issues. However, these courts can serve California residents in other, lesser-known ways as well. For example, if you want to adopt a child, a family court will oversee the matter and make sure the child's interests remain protected. In another example, if a minor wants to break away from his or her parents, a family court will examine the matter thoroughly and decide whether the minor can become emancipated.
Other services include:
- Changing one's name legally
- Determining guardianship for children and adults that cannot care for themselves
- Help establishing paternity
- Approving or disallowing an underage marriage
- Juvenile issues such as abuse or neglect allegations or accusations that a juvenile has engaged in criminal behavior
A wonderful thing about state family courts is that anyone with a troubling issue can access court services with or without help from a lawyer. However, some of the more delicate matters such as paternity, emancipation and domestic violence gain strength from attorney guidance. As an added benefit, you will have a source of support and advocacy to help you see your case to its end.
Regardless of what matters are making your family suffer, we hope that you will take comfort in knowing that the family court system and the lawyers that strengthen the system are there for the good of everyone in your family. Please take a moment to learn more about family law on our website and in the pages of our blog.