When it comes to legal matters, family business is usually the last thing that anyone thinks about. Most relatives will usually settle any family disputes between themselves without the need to involve lawyers, no matter how serious the issues may be. However there are a range of different issues which make up an area known as 'Family Law' which deals with family-related matters and domestic relations.
In the UK the three separate jurisdictions of Scotland, Northern Ireland, and England and Wales have their own different systems of family law and courts which deal with related cases. Family law cases are heard in both County Courts and Magistrates Courts and operate under codes of Family Procedure Rules.
For more complex cases that go further into the system there is a specialist division of the High Court of Justice called the Family Division. In England and Wales Family law covers a wide range of issues including divorce proceedings, adoption and wardship and various issues related to parental responsibility. Both public law and private law cases fall under its umbrella.
Divorce and dissolution
Probably the most common way that a Family Law issue will affect people is when it comes to dealing with marriage breakdowns and subsequent divorce proceedings. Although some cases can lead to protracted and difficult courtroom battles, many divorces are quite straightforward and go through with mutual agreement.
Obviously where children are involved extra care needs to be taken to ensure that their well being is at the forefront of any decisions that are made.
Unfortunately some break ups become difficult to manage when the question of child custody is not straightforward and agreed by each party. This can be particularly difficult if there is a question of international residence involved or if other legal problems or considerations are called into question.
For the most part, custody is usually agreed in the majority of cases and the best interests of the children are put first.
Alimony is the legal obligation to provide financial support to a spouse after marital separation or divorce and in the UK it is more commonly called 'maintenance'. Although in the past this was uniquely a matter that revolved around a husband providing for his ex wife and children, today it is common for a man to be entitled to alimony from his former wife depending on the circumstances of each individual case.
Whatever your own particular needs, you should contact Co-Op Family Law Services for advice if you think that you might need the help of a legal team experienced in this specialised field.