What is Family Law?

What is Family Law?

“Family law” is an umbrella term that covers areas of the law that relate to family relationships. The first thing that comes to mind when most people hear the term “family law” is divorce. Divorce in families with children or without children is certainly a large part of what family law attorneys do, and much of family law is connected with divorce or the dissolution of romantic relationships.

For instance, almost all family law attorneys handle divorce litigation, and many help people divorce using alternative dispute resolution processes such as divorce mediation or Collaborative divorce. Of course, family law attorneys also address legal issues that are a part of divorce, such as division of marital property and spousal support (alimony).

Much of family law also relates to children whose parents are divorcing or ending their relationship. Family law attorneys help their clients to resolve child custody, parenting time, and child support disputes. In Michigan, that means that family law attorneys guide their clients in navigating the Friend of the Court system that makes recommendations to the court on those issues. Many family law attorneys also serve as Guardians ad Litem or Lawyer Guardians ad Litem who help to make sure that the interests of children are represented in family law cases.

Family law covers a wide range of other topics as well, including:

  • Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements
  • Separate maintenance (the closest thing Michigan has to “legal separation”)
  • Adoption, including step-parent adoption
  • Paternity and filiation

Family law attorneys are often referred to as “divorce attorneys,” but most of us are focused on much more than just ending marriages; we want to help families as they evolve and change.

Families going through transitions deserve not only sound legal advice, but compassionate personal service during what is usually the most stressful time that a family can experience. Blume Law Group offers both to clients in Macomb, Oakland, Wayne and St. Clair counties as they navigate family changes.

Divorce

Just like every marriage and every family is different—so is every divorce. At Blume Law Group, we know you may need a different approach to divorce depending on whether or not your divorce is amicable; whether you have minor children with your spo… Read More

Divorce with Children

If you and your spouse have minor children together, your divorce will naturally be more complex than a divorce without children. On top of dividing assets, you will need to decide how each of you will spend time with your children, make decisions ab… Read More

Divorce without Children

Divorce is never easy, but if you and your spouse do not have any minor children then the process can at least be somewhat streamlined. Without having to focus on the needs of young children, you and your spouse can divide your property and unwind yo… Read More

Collaborative Divorce

In a successful marriage, the partners work together. Believe it or not, that can also be true in a successful divorce. “Successful divorce” may sound like an oxymoron. But when you and your spouse have decided your marriage can no longer work, s… Read More

Divorce Mediation

Any divorce attorney will tell you that it is usually better to settle your divorce rather than to try the case before a judge. When you reach settlement, you are in control of the terms of your divorce. Plus, settlement is almost always faster and l… Read More

Divorce Litigation

The vast majority of Michigan divorces—probably upwards of 95%—do not end in a trial. Most are settled, often through Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) such as divorce mediation or Collaborative divorce. Settlement is usually preferable, as lo… Read More

Child Custody

Child custody can be one of the most difficult issues for parents with minor children who are divorcing, or never-married parents of young children. Understanding how child custody is viewed in Michigan, and knowing what to expect from a custody proc… Read More

Support

Parents have an obligation to provide for their minor children. When parents live in the same household, that support usually happens more or less automatically. When parents live in different households, such as when they separate, divorce, or were… Read More

Parenting Time

Michigan recognizes that in most cases it is important for a child to have a strong relationship with both parents. That is often easier when both parents live with the child. But when the parents don’t share a household because they are separated,… Read More

FOC (Referee Involvement and Investigations)

If you are involved in a Michigan custody case or a divorce with minor children, you can expect to deal with the Friend of the Court. The Friend of the Court (FOC) is an agency created by Michigan statute more than a century ago. It is part of the Fa… Read More

Paternity / Filiation

Paternity is the legal determination that a man is the father of a child, also known as establishing filiation. In Michigan, when a married woman is pregnant and gives birth, her husband is presumed to be the legal father of her child. If she is divo… Read More

Adoption

One of the most rewarding things family law attorneys get the opportunity to do is to help families come together through adoption. There are many different types of adoption, but all of them create an official, legal parent-child relationship. Somet… Read More

Guardian ad Litem and Lawyer Guardian ad Litem

When court proceedings involve children, Guardians ad litem (GAL) and Lawyer Guardians ad litem (L-GAL) may be involved. Though these names are similar, the roles they describe are different in many important respects. Attorney Sean Blume is qualifie… Read More