Albright Rainey Law Firm Blog

Monday, December 22, 2014

Family Law-A Brief Overview

Alabama Family Law

The Utility of Family Law

Starting a family seems fairly simple, and apparently it seems like no regulations should be imposed by the state on subjects regarding their family lives. But we live in an extremely interconnected world, where the actions of one affect the other, and thus; even matters relating to marriage, child custody and divorce need to be regulated.

The state’s authority is justified here because there needs to be an order which dictates how people carry out their family affairs. Laws make it easier to condition people’s behavior in the right way, to promote efficiency and order within society.

What is Family Law?

This is an area of the law which regulates family matters, domestic relationships including; marriage, divorce, domestic partnerships, and even child abuse. Essentially, family law is a term used to refer to the rules and regulations which involve family.

What does it cover?

Family law covers civil procedures concerning custody, financial responsibilities, eligibility for marriage and other similar obligations. However, it must be noted that family law doesn’t only involve civil procedures; some areas of family law involve criminal offences like child abuse, domestic violence in general, and child abduction. Let us now, specifically talk about the areas that family law governs.

Domestic Violence and Child Abuse: Despite the severity of these charges, and the fact that they are considered to be serious criminal charges, they raise issues concerning the entire family unit and thus are included within family law.

Marriage: This covers the requirements for getting married, including age and sex. In the US, different states have different laws regarding marriages and in Alabama, same sex marriages are not allowed and it dictates that both parties must possess a sound mind (sufficient mental capacity). The state requires a marriage license which is issued by the state and has an expiry of 30 days.

Laws and Rights Related to Reproduction: This area governs rights of individuals to get an abortion, artificial insemination or conception, and other rights related to abortion. Some of these issues have quite complex legal considerations and different states have varying laws for them.

Adoption: This area covers the various legal considerations involved in adoption. As an example, these may include considerations about whether the family can actually take care of the adopted child, their domestic and financial situation, and other similar matters.

Divorce: A dissolution of marriage can be quite complex, and potentially create a lot of problems for the family regarding the distribution or arrangement of financial assets. Often times, a spouse is required to provide for his/her ex-spouse after a divorce. A divorce comes into effect after a court order. In Alabama, at least one spouse must be resident of Alabama for six months, to file for divorce within the state. Furthermore, the state entertains fault or no-fault grounds for divorce which is relatively less parental than some other legal regimes. The state also allows people to base grounds for their divorce on the fact that they have been separated for two years.

Child Custody and Support: Following a divorce, the court decides the best interests of the children. The decision is typically based on considerations like living arrangements and financial support. Alabama law presumes that the child should have contact with both the parents after a divorce, and generally judges are in favor of joint custody. However, certain factors may be brought up in case which can rebut this presumption, and the one of the parents will be required to argue their case.


While some court proceedings involving family law are quite simple, others can be fairly complex; and regardless of the complexity of the issue. An individual is always at a better position to protect his/her interests and rights with proper legal representation. If you’re looking for a family lawyer in Alabama, Albright Rainey Law Firm has experienced lawyers, with remarkable skills. Call them today at (888) 769-2006.


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