Family law deals with legal proceedings that affect family relations. Before you bring your case to a family court, you should know the different types of issues that this court handles. Here's a list of some familiar cases you might want to bring before a family court.
Dissolution of Marriage or Legal Separation
Divorce is the most common type of case that a family court handles. Oftentimes, a divorce is the last resort for couples who can't seem to overcome their differences. But before you can file for divorce, you often have to be legally separated for a minimum of 12 months.
Legal separation is more common than divorce for couples who do not want to dissolve their marital bond. Some of the reasons why couples may opt for legal separation include:
- Religious beliefs
- Dependent children particularly those below 18 years
If you choose to live under one roof during your separation, you may need to notify the court before you file for divorce. You may need a family lawyer to iron out any complex details of your marriage dissolution.
Temporary Protection Orders
Temporary Protection Orders (TPO) are legal precautions that protect parties from physical harm or intimidation during the pendency of a case. Family courts may issue this order based on affidavits of domestic abuse victims. Respondents (the spouse who has perpetrated the abuse) can file a counter-affidavit after being served with a TPO.
TPOs may be deemed necessary if the court finds a threat of violence, sexual assault, or injury. The protection order will specify the type of abuse suffered, the duration of the order, and other terms in compliance.
Since these orders have a specific expiration date, you may have to appear in court for your scheduled hearing within a short period. In extreme cases, the judge may extend the TPO or even grant permanent status to a TPO.
Emancipation of Minors
Emancipation is the legal act of freeing someone from parental authority. This legal proceeding can be done by agreement or court order.
The court may consider emancipation based on the following grounds:
- The child is at least 16 years old and has demonstrated that they are mature enough to be on their own
- The child has made a request, and the parent has not opposed it with good reason
- After securing employment, the minor can support themselves
If you're granted emancipation, parental authority is terminated immediately. However, if emancipation occurs without the parent's knowledge or consent, the court could restore parental authority. Afterward, the court may schedule a hearing to determine whether or not to terminate parental authority.
Your family lawyer can tell you if a case is eligible for emancipation. If it's not, they may help petition for emancipation or ensure limited parental authority.
For more information on family law, contact a professional near you.