Written by Canterbury Law Group

Types of Family Law Attorneys & Cases

Types of Family Law Cases And Attorneys

Family law deals with a broad range of services all connected with family matters. Some people think divorces are the mainstay of family lawyers’ practice. The reality is family lawyers handle many kinds of cases, often to do with the family formation or dissolution. In this post, we are going to look at the type of cases a family lawyer handles. Some family lawyers opt to specialize in one or two areas and others handle a wide gamut of family law services.

Divorce Lawyers

You may already be knowledgeable regarding divorce lawyers if you have already gone through a divorce. Their task is to provide guidance as you navigate through a separation and/or divorce, working alongside you to get the best possible outcome. They are able to assist you with negotiation regarding matters such as who will get the house, who will pay alimony (if anyone,) how assets will be divided and how the liabilities of marriage will be split.

On many occasions, a divorce lawyer will be able to procure the results you desire without going to trial. In a small number of cases, a trial will be needed. Should this occur, you will be represented by your lawyer throughout the process.  Only about 3 to 5 percent of divorce cases actually go to trial.

Sometimes, the cost of attorneys is beyond the reach of divorcing couples or maybe they decide they do not want to pay high private attorney fees. A legal advocacy group can be of great benefit in these situations. They handle the issues an attorney would usually take care of and helps their client achieve an equitable and fair settlement for their divorce.

Paternity And Child Custody Lawyers

When the paternity of a child is questioned, a family lawyer can help either parent to disprove or prove paternity. When a man has paid child support for a child, he turns out not be the father of or if he was not paying child support for a child who is biologically his, help is needed from a paternity attorney.

Both parents can be helped by an attorney when they need to build a parenting plan when their relationship or marriage breaks up. They can assist their client to get joint legal and physical custody. Similarly, if a parent seeks sole custody, an attorney can also help when it is in the child or children’s best interest to be placed largely with one parent over the other.

When addressing child support disputes, a child custody attorney can also help. A family attorney can help with negotiation in working out which parent should make payment, the amount of the payment as well as the expenses each parent has responsibility for covering.  If an agreement cannot be reached, the lawyer can help you take the other parent to court to maximize your child support recovery.

Marriage And Civil Union Lawyers

A couple who are entering a domestic partnership, civil union or marriage may need the services of an attorney so they can draw up a prenuptial agreement or be counseled on assets or other legal matters such as a family owned business. On occasion, couples who are already married may arrange a postnuptial agreement to change the contractual status of assets and liabilities between them. In both instances, you can rely on a family law attorney.

Family Law Lawyers Dealing With Abuse

Child abuse and all forms of domestic abuse are serious issues a family law attorney may be capable of handling. They can work for the individual who has been abused or for the person who has been wrongfully accused of abuse. They can assist the victim to file a lawsuit or restraining order or they may help a spouse who has been battered seek monetary compensation for emotional trauma and medical expenses. When a lawyer is hired by the party accused of abuse of their child or spouse, they may be able to assist in establishing proof the incident or incidents did not happen or that they were innocent or acting in self-defense. They may also assist a parent who has previously been abusive to gain rights of visitation that are often supervised with their child or children.

Adoption Lawyers

You may need the services of an adoption lawyer when you want to place a child for adoption or when you are seeking to adopt a child. An adoption lawyer can assist in finding a legitimate agency and ensure legal paperwork is filed correctly. They can also assist with adoptions by stepparents and same-sex couple adoptions. Should there be unforeseen legal issues resulting in a court case, the adoption lawyer can also represent the client.

Guardianship Lawyers

When you are looking at obtaining guardianship over a minor child who is not your own, the services of a family attorney can be very helpful. Guardianship can include adults who have developmental issues and dementia as well as a child or children. In the case of a child who because of their health will also need guardianship when they reach adulthood, a family lawyer will be required to facilitate the required paperwork. When you have a child or children in your family who are unable to be taken care of in an appropriate manner by their parents, a family attorney may be able to assist you in obtaining custody, hence avoiding the need for the child or children from entering the foster care system.

In situations where a child (or children) of yours has entered the foster care system, a family attorney can provide guidance with the steps required to re-obtain your child or children. They can also refer you to a counselor, social worker or other trained professionals whose skills can be utilized with the purpose of reuniting you with your child or children.

It is important you find a family attorney whom you feel comfortable working with and who has experience in cases that are similar to the situation you are encountering. Just because you have used a certain family lawyer in the past, it does not mean they are the best option if you are now dealing with different issues. Also, it is worth remembering it is not always necessary for you to pay the high fees usually associated with a private lawyer. Legal groups such as National Family Solutions can represent you and be less expensive, depending on the issues you are facing.

Types Of Family Law Cases

Family cases are considered civil cases, usually covering issues involving spouses, children or parents. Here are the most common issues a family court handles:

  • Termination of Adoptions and Parental Rights.
  • Domestic Violence and Protective Orders.
  • Child Custody and Paternity.
  • Name Changes.
  • Marriage Dissolution.
  • Juvenile Matters.
  • Guardianship.
  • Estate Planning
  • Emancipation and Approval of Underage Marriages.
  • And more…


  1. “What Types of Family Law Are There?” National Family Solutions, 8 Mar. 2018, www.nationalfamilysolutions.com/what-types-of-family-law-are-there/.
  2. Interactive, Proof. “Types of Cases.” Family Law Self-Help Center, www.familylawselfhelpcenter.org/self-help/getting-started/court-basics/types-of-cases.

Need a Family Lawyer in Scottsdale?

Our experienced family law attorneys will work with you to obtain the best possible outcome in your case.  Proven trial lawyers in family court, you can trust the firm to represent you fully so you can get on with your life. Call today for your initial consultation. Our family lawyers can help with divorce litigation, collaborative divorcedivorce mediationchild custodylegal guardianshippaternityprenuptial agreements, and more.

*This information is not intended to be used as legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs. 480-744-7711 or [email protected]

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