General Articles

What Are the Different Types of Family Law?

Family Law involves several different topics, such as divorce, child custody, paternity, guardianship, termination of parental rights, and protective orders. Understanding the differences between these types of family law is essential to know your legal options.


Divorce and Family Law are confusing and sometimes overwhelming. However, experts at law firms like Lebovitz Law have some advice on how to handle a divorce.

First, understand what a divorce entails. It involves distinctive assets, liabilities, and peculiar events. A divorce attorney is an excellent resource to help you navigate the complexities of matrimonial law.

In addition, you can choose to work with a marital mediator who can help you negotiate with your spouse. This can save time and money.

Another option is to engage in alternative dispute resolution (ADR). ADR is a common way of resolving disputes without going to court.

An ADR lawyer can help you reach the same results that you would if you took the case to a judge. The ADR process can be more cost-effective and less stressful.


A paternity lawsuit is a legal action that establishes a legal father-child relationship. It can be brought by a mother or a man who believes he is the child’s father.

The purpose of a paternity case is to identify the legal parent of a child born out of wedlock. This can help the child get access to health insurance and inheritance.

There are several steps involved in a paternity lawsuit:

  1. A man or a mother must file a petition with the court.
  2. The parties must submit to a DNA test.
  3. The court will determine the paternity of the child.

If the court determines that the presumed father is not the child’s biological father, the court will order him to pay child support. In addition, the supposed father may be required to provide medical care for the child.

Child Custody

Child custody is a judge’s order after a divorce, separation, or another family legal matter. The judge uses several guidelines to determine what’s best for your child. It may include physical custody, visitation, joint legal custody, or something else.

A court may award sole physical custody of a child to a parent if the other parent has a criminal or abusive lifestyle. On the other hand, joint physical custody involves a parent sharing parenting responsibilities with the other parent.

Although a court may impose a joint custody arrangement, the reality is that not all couples can successfully co-parent. This is especially true if the team lives far apart. Fortunately, some communities offer counseling services or mediation programs.


Guardianship in family law involves a legal process involving the appointment of a person or organization to care for a child. These can be temporary or permanent.

While a court does not always grant guardianship, it is usually a necessary step. For a child to grow up in a safe environment, the child will need a guardian. The legal guardian will have the power to make crucial decisions on the child’s behalf.

Although guardianship is a legal and formal process, it will not occur until the child’s parent petitions the court. However, there are certain situations where the parents may be unable to provide adequate care for their child. For example, a standby guardian might be appointed if a parent has been diagnosed with cancer or suffers from a mental illness.

Termination of Parental Rights

In family law, there are two ways to end parental rights. One is voluntary, and the other is involuntary.

Voluntary termination is more likely to occur when the parents agree. The court will usually approve the parent’s request for voluntary termination if it is in the child’s best interest.

The parent must request voluntary termination in writing. This can be done by submitting a form to the court. Alternatively, the parent can consent by attending a court hearing.

If the parent’s request is accepted, the court will hold a fact-finding hearing. The judge will ask questions about the parent’s intent during the hearing. They may also consider the parent’s criminal history, as well as the parent’s ability to care for the child.

Protective Orders Against Domestic Violence

If you’ve been a victim of domestic violence, you may want to seek protective orders against your abuser. There are many different types of restraining orders. In general, these are ordered by the court to protect your safety and the safety of others.

Protective orders can last for one to five years. They can be issued as part of a divorce proceeding or as a standalone matter.

To receive an order of protection, you must file legal papers with the local court. You should speak to an attorney if you need help with how to do this.

An order of protection is generally issued for two years. However, it can be given for more extended periods. The length of the protection order will depend on the circumstances.