Family Law in Palm Beach County
Family law is an area of law that deals with family-related issues and domestic relations including marriage, divorce, adoption, property settlements, alimony, and parental responsibility orders like child custody, child support and alimony. This category of law has grown dramatically in recent years, as courts and legislators have redefined the definition of marriage, divorce, child custody and child support. It has been in the national spotlight many times lately.
Despite changes made by federal and state lawmakers, family law remains an emotional issue that always evokes passionate feelings from everyone involved. Palm Beach County has several qualified attorneys who either specialize in family law or incorporate it as part of their practice.
History of Family Law
The concept of a “family” has changed over the years and the law has struggled to keep up with the times. The original definition of marriage, family and gender go back to medieval times. During this period, the identity of a wife was merged into the identity of her husband. He was a legal entity and she was not. The husband received all of the wives property and – in exchange – the husband had to support his wife and children. This concept continued until the middle of the 19th century when women were given legal status and permitted to own and transfer property.
Divorce law changed slowly over time, too. In early America, divorce was rare. It required legal action that was both time-consuming and expensive. Also – churches forbade it. The Catholic Church called it a sin. The Presbyterian Church referred to it as moral degradation. Until the 1970’s, the wife or husband had to prove the other had committed a wrong that was so heinous, the marriage had to end. This need to “find fault” has been a foundation of family law up until very recently.
In cases of child custody, fathers traditionally retained custody of children. This changed in the 19th century as well, when judges wrote “best-interest-of-the-child” doctrines that gave certain rights to the mother for a child’s well being.
Family Law in West Palm Beach
It is difficult to give simple answers to the many complicated questions surrounding family law. Every family is different and every case is unique. Additionally, many of the cases that go before a family court require individual discretion by judges and different rulings are written for different cases.
If you are involved in a family law case, it is important to find a lawyer who has experience in this field. A Palm Beach County attorney who understands family law will fight for your rights and will also be sensitive to your needs during this very emotional and difficult time in your life.