A Family Law Attorney is an Attorney who primarily practices in the areas of Divorce and Family Law. This is a large field of law that can include various topics such as Child Custody, Child Support, Spousal Support or Alimony, and Property and Retirement division.
Family and Divorce Law can involve very complex legal concepts. For example, a complicated child custody matter may require the reports and evaluations of child counselors or physicians. It may be necessary to have the children and parents evaluated by a mental health professional in order to have a thorough recommendation presented to the Court.
Another very complicated area of Family Law can be the division of complex property issues. The parties may have a business or professional practice that was built up during the marriage. Under California Law, this asset would be Community Property. The Court will typically need to determine the value of this business and which of the parties the asset will be awarded to. It will frequently be necessary to obtain the services of a type of Accountant known as a Forensic Accountant. This is a CPA with special training and experience in dealing with matters that are going through a legal action like a divorce.
A Family Law Attorney does not an accountant himself, but it is necessary to be familiar with the general concepts of accounting.
All Attorneys must keep up their skills and knowledge of developments in the Case Law and legal authorities. Unfortunately, Family Law and Divorce matters will often have to be litigated in a Trial or other Hearing. A good Divorce Attorney will be very familiar with trial tactics and the Rules of Evidence. It doesn’t matter how good the evidence is in a case if an Attorney cannot argue it effectively in front of a Judge.
Finally, the most important task of a Family Attorney is to always remember that his client comes first. A Family Law Attorney represents people not just clients. Their clients are going through what may be the most stressful and painful times of their lives. Doing a good job in representing the client means that they can get on with the next chapter of their lives.