Understanding the connection between divorce and family law begins with understanding what family law truly means. This legal practice area encompasses all issues regarding familial relationships, including child custody, visitation, and support, adoption, marital separation annulment, and divorce, among others. Attorneys who specialize in this field represent their clients in negotiations and family court proceedings, and may draft legal documents like property agreements and court petitions.
Family law attorneys may focus on specific areas unrelated to divorce, such as emancipation, paternity, guardianship, adoption, and orders of protection. State laws vary due to the right of individual states to establish reasonable, formal requirements for marriage. These may include legal capacity and age, as well as the procedural methods for family law matters such as divorce.
Some people use the two terms interchangeably, but divorce is best described as a subset of family law. Certain family law attorneys specialize in divorce cases , and are therefore known as divorce attorneys. In most cases, you will find that a family law attorney handles divorce as their primary focus area, even if they handle various other matters as well.
One factor of note is that lawyers who practice family law are not necessarily the same as “family lawyers”. Family lawyer tends to be more of a description an attorney uses if their practice focuses on family matters. Such an attorney may practice family law, but handle many other important legal matters such as personal injury, criminal law, business formation, estate planning, and real estate, among others. In brief, This type of attorney may use the term family lawyer because they handle issues that affect families, like family business ventures, property purchases, and estate planning.
When you set out to choose an attorney to represent you during your divorce proceedings, there are many factors to consider. Keep in mind that the way an attorney presents their practice often indicates their specialty and expertise. For instance, many individuals consider the term “divorce attorney” to hold a negative connotation, so a lawyer who identifies as such makes it clear through their advertising that they are aware of the unflattering undertones but embrace the tough image focusing on this practice area represents.
A lawyer who presents themselves as a “family law attorney,” on the other hand, often does so in order to indicate they are more focused on the big picture. In many cases, family law attorneys develop a focus on conflict resolution. Depending on the type of representation you desire, either a divorce attorney or a family law attorney may suit your needs.
Divorce attorneys are often known as fearless litigators, because they often need to be just that in order to attain the best outcome for their clients. Family law attorneys may be considered a bit more moderate, handling cases in a more holistic manner and seeking mutually beneficial resolutions. Although these two lawyers have the same function within the legal system, the way they define themselves often reflects these vastly different images.
Another subtle nuance can sometimes be found in the terms “lawyer” and “attorney.” Something most people don’t consider is that although these two terms mean the same thing, the connotation can be quite different. The word “lawyer,” for example, was traditionally used to present a less refined image than the word “attorney.” This suggested that legal professionals who identify as lawyers tend to concentrate on the fundamental concepts of the legal profession. Those who call themselves attorneys, however, were traditionally more likely to identify with the more comprehensive practice of providing a variety of legal services to their clients.
When you are searching for a legal representative for your divorce proceedings, you shouldn’t focus too heavily on the way these professionals identify themselves. Still, keep in mind that it may offer a clue regarding their method and approach to practicing law. Consider what you expect from your legal counsel, and remember that the way they refer to themselves may or may not indicate their ability to meet your unique expectations.
Remember that family law attorneys handle many aspects of legal proceedings that relate to family matters, so it is important to be sure the attorney you choose has extensive experience walking their clients through the often complicated divorce or separation process. You must feel confident that your lawyer will be able to negotiate the terms you want for your divorce in the most efficient manner, so the process can be completed as quickly and easily as possible.
You should never base your entire divorce or family law attorney decision solely on their choice to identify as a “lawyer,” “attorney,” “family law attorney,” “divorce lawyer,” or any other combination of these words. However, these nuances are worth considering if you have narrowed down your options and are looking to choose the legal representative that is right for you.
First, however, you must conduct the proper research on attorneys in your area before making a final decision. The internet offers a wealth of information that should help you in your search—be sure to navigate to the attorney’s official firm page and consult client testimonials, along with legal review sites or Google reviews. You may also wish to ask coworkers, friends, and family for a personal recommendation, especially those who have recently encountered similar legal issues.
Facing divorce can be an overwhelming and emotionally difficult time for all parties involved, so it is vital to have a compassionate legal team on your side to look out for your interests. The Law Firm of William A. Walsh has the experience and knowledge necessary to handle your case with care and provide you with the best legal representation as you face divorce proceedings. We have over twenty five years of experience in divorce and family law, and are proud to serve Granbury, Texas and the surrounding areas as a Christian law firm. Contact our firm today to schedule a consultation with an attorney you can trust.