Written by Canterbury Law Group

Different Types Of Family Law Cases


Family law cases are unique from civil cases and only involve issues concerning or between parents, children, and spouses and their assets and liabilities.

Family courts handle many different varieties of cases regarding domestic issues. The most common cases handled in a family court include:

Marriage Dissolution

When either spouse wants to terminate a marriage, either party can commence a divorce case through a family court requesting a court order to end the marriage. Marriages can be terminated either through annulment or divorce. Legal separation is another resolution a court may grant, where the court issues orders allocating the property, debts, child custody issues, and spousal maintenance, but the parties remain married legally thereafter.  Legal Separation has the benefit of allowing both parties to likely remain on the family health care coverage post-Separation.

Paternity and Child Custody

Not all parents are married when having children.  When a man needs to be legally declared the father of a child, either parent can determine paternity by commencing a paternity action with the family court that will establish the permanent rights of both the father and mother of the child. Unmarried parents can also ask the court to order physical custody, legal custody, child support, and visitation schedules.

Protective Orders Against Domestic Violence

In situations of domestic violence, the family court can issue protective orders to keep the abuser away from the victims and the children, including homes, work places and other areas frequented by the victim(s).

Lawful Name Changes

In any divorce action, a name change to restore one’s maiden name is easily obtained.


Guardianship involves a determination of who is responsible for the personal, financial and medical decisions over an adult or a child who cannot take care of themselves because of mental or physical impairments, or both.

Termination of Parental Rights And Adoptions

If there are serious reasons why a parent should not continue to have a parent relationship with a minor child, (such as neglect, abuse, abandonment, and so on) that parent’s custodial rights may be terminated by the family court. The family court can grant (and legally create) an adoption when someone else wants to become a legal parent of a child and “step into the shoes” of the original birthing parent.

Juvenile Matters

Allegations of child neglect, child abuse or where minors are accused of participating in illegal behavior are all matters overseen by the juveline court and largely handled by the District Attorney Juvenile Division. Work permits for minors under the age of 14 may also be granted by the juvenile court.

Emancipation and Approval of Underage Marriages

Those under 18 who wish to be emancipated (legally free from their parent’s control) or wishing to marry can petition for approval from the family court.  These are not necessarily easy to obtain.

Need a Family Lawyer in Scottsdale?

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

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