At the Law Offices of Valerie D. Judah, our firm handles a full range of family law matters in Dothan and throughout the Wiregrass, including adoption, premarital agreements, contested and uncontested divorce, legal separation, establishment and modification of child custody and visitation, equitable distribution of property, cohabitation and domestic partnership documents, common law marriage, mediation and paternity.
If you have any questions, or would like to speak with a family law attorney regarding your divorce or other family law issue in Dothan, or southern Alabama, please do not hesitate to call us at (334) 702-1332, or fill out the form on the Contact Us page and someone from our office will be in touch with you shortly. We look forward to hearing from you!
Family Law - An Overview
Family law is the term that is applied to the laws and rules developed regarding family relationships. Family law rules define not only the relationships between members of a family but also between a family and society as a whole. More than any other area of the law, family law reflects the values society shares regarding how people who are related should treat each other.
Typically, family law attorneys assist people with the making and breaking of family relationships. Specific areas of representation usually include marriage and relationship planning, divorce, paternity, child custody and child support. Some family law attorneys also provide assistance in the area of adoption. When you are faced with an important life decision regarding a key family relationship, the advice and assistance of an experienced family law attorney often proves crucial to your understanding of the issues involved and your satisfaction with the ultimate outcome of the family-related concern you face.
There are more than 13 million divorced parents with sole custody of their minor children in America. Federal legislation and uniform state laws exist to make enforcement and collection of child support easier for America's single parents. Every state uses its own guidelines for establishing child support and each has various methods to set support amounts and recover support when it is overdue.
It is important to consult with an experienced family law attorney if you need help with a child support related issue. An attorney with experience in the area of child support will help you understand the laws in your state and the rules for child support collection and enforcement that apply to your particular situation, whether you are ending a marriage or are already divorced, have questions about paternity or are the parent paying support.
Deciding to pursue divorce is one of the most difficult and emotional decisions you will ever make, particularly if you have children. Divorce also involves business and legal questions that must be resolved. An experienced family law attorney will help you to understand the basic issues and use a rational perspective to approach the process.
Grounds for Divorce
Traditionally, every state required a person filing for divorce to prove "grounds" or some type of spousal fault in order to obtain a divorce. Today, the majority of states allow at least one form of "no-fault" divorce, which does not require proof of fault. If no-fault divorce is available in your state, either member of the couple may obtain a divorce, even if the other party does not consent to the divorce.
Custody & Visitation
When parents divorce, they need to learn the child custody and visitation options that are available to them and the legal standards applied to the different options. In most cases, divorcing couples are ultimately able to agree on custody and visitation issues without the need for a court order. When an agreement cannot be reached, knowledgeable advice and representation from an experienced family law attorney often makes the difference.
The set of parental responsibilities regarding day-to-day care of the child as well as the rights to direct the child's daily activities is known legally as physical custody. Legal custody means the rights and responsibilities associated with decisions regarding the child's upbringing.
Marriage is a voluntary, private contract between a man and a woman. While it is a personal and emotional commitment, it is also a legal relationship that changes the legal status of both parties. The legal rights and obligations associated with marriage have evolved with our society and today are equitable between both parties. Each state has its own rules about marriage, but there are some uniform principles, including:
Family Law Resource Links
Findlaw -Divorce and Child Custody Public Channel
Articles, FAQs and links and related information about child custody, visitation, support and divorce.
Plain English explanations on important family law topics like divorce, child custody, visitation and support, marriage and living together and adoption.
American Bar Association-Family Law Section
National organization of family law attorneys web site designed for general use by the public. Contains tables and summaries addressing differences in state laws and requirements for divorce, child support and other important family law issues.