Family law is broad area of the law which covers many related issues. The term “divorce” typically refers solely to the dissolution of a marriage and is a subset of family law. While people often use the term divorce lawyer, a divorce attorney is simply one that practices in the area of family law and facilitates divorces. The broader area of family law incorporates a range of legal topics. The most common are:
- Child custody and visitation
- Child and spousal support
- Legal Separations
- Non-Marital Cohabitation
- Domestic Violence
Many individuals do not realize the depth of specialization that can exist for different family law attorneys. These areas include guardianship, conservatorship, minors’ counsel, adoptions and appeals, to name a few. Typically, lawyers specializing in these areas will skew the majority of their practice to their specialty.
They’re used Interchangeably
The terms divorce and family law are often used interchangeably, but, as the above definitions demonstrate, they can actually mean something else in practicality.
Attorneys specializing in divorce are family law attorneys who handle marital dissolution cases and may have the expertise to represent you in other matters involving family law, but not in all instances. Most attorneys with a practice skewed toward divorce typically do not handle prenuptial agreements, guardianship, adoption or conservatorship to name a few specialties. Likewise most family law lawyers handling these specialties do not handle a high volume of divorces.
Not all family law attorneys are created equally. If you are facing a contentious divorce you want a lawyer with experience and a comfort in the courtroom. A certified family law specialist is a designation given by the State Bar of California, which requires a certain level of experience, continuing education, courtroom trial expertise and recertification every 5 years. Only some family law attorneys with a practice that is divorce centric have this specialty.
If you need an attorney for family law matters, be certain that you find an attorney with experience and expertise in the practice area of the problem you are dealing with. In certain instances, there will be firms that have lawyers within the firm that have different specialties. Other times, you may find a firm that solely specializes in one area. Be sure to consult with several family law attorneys as sometimes one area of law may impact another. For example, paternity and child support go hand in hand.
The Type of Attorney You Need
At Buncher Family Law, our team of family law attorneys is committed to helping our clients with the legal advice they need, the support they deserve, and the expertise and level of service for which we are known.
If you need a divorce attorney our firm will help you navigate the process every step of the way. This starts with educating you about all of the options that are available so you can develop a plan of action that’s in your best interest from gathering the information needed to proceed, to handling initial court filings.
Additionally, our family law services include divorce, high asset divorce, property division, child custody, child and spousal support, domestic violence, mediation, non-marital cohabitation, palimony, family law appeals and other family law issues that can arise. For specialty areas of family law that we do not handle, we have a strong network of highly skilled colleagues we can refer you to.
Contact our office to schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys.