family law

Caring for your family and your loved ones means more than just providing for them financially or providing them with the care and attention they deserve. It also means making sure you’re taking care of their legal interests. While a California family law attorney can help you navigate the often-complex legal system, it’s still helpful to understand how the California family court system works before you need to file a case or seek legal counsel. Here’s what your trusted family law attorney wants you to know.

What Is Family Court?

Family court refers to the court that oversees cases that impact families rather than individuals and businesses like other court systems. The court itself is a state court and is governed by state law but they may also take local regulations and rules into consideration when reviewing cases and making decisions.

What the Court System Can Help With

The focus of the family court is fairly narrow. It just hears cases that impact families. This means you won’t be able to bring a personal injury lawsuit or file for bankruptcy with this court system. 

Here are a few common issues that California family courts can help with: 

  • Divorces: If you and your spouse decide that your marriage is not salvageable or you’ve grown apart, you can petition for divorce with the California family court system. The court will help process the divorce, divide assets, and determine any other terms needed to give you the fresh start you deserve.
  • Custody agreements: If your child’s other parent is involved but you’re no longer a couple, the family court can help establish custody agreements that are in the best interest of the child. Often, these agreements are part of the terms of a divorce, but they can be modified or updated over time.
  • Restraining orders: If a family member or significant other is abusive or otherwise qualifies as a threat to you and/or your other family members, the family court can help you file for a restraining order. The terms of the order will depend on the circumstances of your case, but a family court judge will oversee the process.
  • Spousal support: Spousal support or alimony agreements are often part of divorce settlements but they can be adjusted as circumstances change. Family court will oversee those changes and ensure that they’re fair for both parties involved.
  • Emancipation of minors: In some instances, minors may need to be legally emancipated from their parents and given the ability to make decisions on their own. Family court can handle these cases.
  • Guardianships: Family court can help you establish guardianship for your children if something happens to you and can also help you establish legal guardianship of someone else if needed.
  • Adoption: Adoption proceedings are handled through family court rather than other California court systems. 

This is by no means an exhaustive list of the types of cases that family court can oversee. If you want to learn more, speak with your California family law attorney.

You’ll Want a Family Law Attorney by Your Side

No matter what type of case you’re pursuing or which issues you’re trying to overcome, working with an experienced family law attorney is always a good idea. They understand the ins and outs of the family court system and can represent your interests before the judge. Your attorney will also be able to give you advice and help you decide if going to family court is necessary.

Let Jackman Law Help

Whether you’re trying to adopt and grow your family or need to separate from your spouse, the team at Jackman Law is here to help. Let our experienced California family law attorneys represent your case. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.