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Most family law cases can be resolved without ever going to court thanks to mediation and settlement agreements. If you decide to seek the assistance of a family law attorney, you’ll want to decide early on whether you would like to resolve your case in or out of court. The following is intended to give you a brief overview of common family law topics so that you can feel confident when speaking with a lawyer.


Family law is a broad area of law that touches on family relationship issues, including:

  • Marriage, domestic partnerships, and civil unions

  • Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements

  • Divorce, annulment, and legal separation

  • Marital property

  • Adoption

  • Child custody and parental rights

Family law is state-specific, so you may find it beneficial to speak with a family lawyer in your area who can answer specific questions about aspects of family law. That said, there are some guiding principles that most states will follow. The following is not an exhaustive list of family law matters, but it can serve as a starting point while you evaluate whether to contact an attorney.

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