We're breaking down exactly what a family law attorney does and what kind of cases…
If you and your partner are ending your marriage, you've probably already given thought to hiring legal representation. Your research turns up both divorce lawyers and family law attorneys in NC, but you're not sure which option is right for you. To help you decide, we're looking at the difference between family law and divorce lawyers and how to choose the right representation to meet your legal needs.
Is There a Difference Between Divorce Law and Family Law?
We are asked this question frequently, and the short answer is not really. However, the more accurate answer is a bit more complicated. Divorce is just one aspect of family law and it includes all the potential legal matters related to it, including:
In addition to these matters during the divorce, your family law attorney would represent you later on if you needed changes to an arrangement or your ex-spouse wasn't following the divorce settlement. It also includes issues related to:
- Prenuptial agreements
- Grandparents' rights
- Terminating parental rights and paternity testing
- Restraining orders
The Choice of Words Matters
When you're looking for legal representation, consider how an attorney markets themselves. Divorce is a subset of family law, so generally, an attorney who practices family law will offer divorce representation, and conversely, a law firm who markets themselves as a divorce law firm will typically offer family law services. However, this may not always be the case.
If an attorney specifically practices divorce law, they may choose to not work on cases involving child custody or support, preferring instead to only take absolute divorce cases or those that only involve property distribution and high net worth separation. On the other hand, a family law attorney will generally offer more comprehensive services like the ones listed above.
Also, there is often nuance attached to the two terms: "divorce lawyer" and "family law attorney." Think of a divorce lawyer in NC - this may bring to mind more aggressive legal representation where the focus is on terminating a marriage and winning a settlement on your behalf. Now, think of a family law attorney - this may conjure up a more holistic approach to your case where the focus is on long-term success and conflict resolution so that all members of the family can move forward. Here at the Doyle Law Group, we specialize in both aggressive divorce cases & the nuances of family law.
It's important to note that this in no way means an attorney who markets themselves as a divorce lawyer won't offer mediation and conflict resolution, just like a family law attorney is capable of aggressively litigating a case. However, if you're going to a search engine to find representation, the words you use can affect who you find.
Choosing a Divorce or Family Law Attorney
Regardless of which option you choose, it's important to take a future-focused look at your needs. A simple divorce where there are no children or need for spousal support would be ideal for someone who only practices divorce law. On the other hand, choosing a family law attorney not only means you'll have representation during your divorce, but you'll also have someone who is familiar with your case and your goals if you need legal representation moving forward. For example, if you need to update the custody agreement or your ex-spouse isn't paying child support.
Here are some considerations to think of when it comes to finding the right attorney; make sure you consider the services you need today and in the future as well as determine what your goals are - mediation, collaboration, how property will be distributed, etc. Finding an attorney who can align with those goals and help you meet them is key to a more successful outcome.
Schedule a Consultation with Our Family Law Attorneys in Raleigh
If you need an experienced, award-winning family lawyer in Raleigh to help you with your divorce and legal issues, reach out to the team at The Doyle Law Group, P.A. We offer comprehensive representation in matters of family law and divorce and are dedicated to helping you meet your goals and achieving favorable outcomes. To set up a consultation, give us a call at (919) 301-8843 or fill out the form below.