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Johannesburg & Pretoria/Gauteng, Cape Town/Western Cape, Durban/Kwa Zulu Natal

Types of Family Lawyers

Divorce is the legal process to end a marriage. It can be complicated to sort out laws pertaining to divorce, and divorce lawyers help clients decide child custody, visitation rights, division of property and division of assets. They help solve problems such as tax issues and joint debts. They help establish child support and alimony, assisting with payment enforcement when necessary.

Custody lawyers represent parents, and sometimes children to decide who should have physical and legal custody of a child. Physical custody awards a parent or guardian the right to have their children live with them. Legal custody gives the custodian the right to decide on the child's schooling, health care and religious upbringing. In many states, joint legal custody of children is allowed. When only one parent has physical and legal custody of a child, the parent has sole custody and the other parent is granted visitation rights. Bird's Nest Custody allows children to remain in the home while parents move in and out according to a schedule set up by the court.

Marriage is a legal process that unites a couple in a contractual relationship. Marriage lawyers assist clients in understanding state marriage laws and entering a contract that benefits them. The marriage ceremony takes place between two consenting people and must be performed by an official recognized by the state such as a clergy member, judge, justice of the peace, court clerk or tribal chief. Premarital or prenuptial agreements protecting property in the event of divorce should be written up by a family lawyer with knowledge of laws in the state the marriage takes place.

Domestic violence lawyers help victims protect themselves and their property from their abusers according to state laws. Domestic violence can affect women, men and children. Domestic violence attorneys can help victims of domestic violence with protective orders, restraining orders and legal action to protect the victims' children, homes, belongings and individual rights.

Adoption lawyers help people gain parental rights to children. Adoption is a legal process that removes the rights of biological parents and gives these rights to a person or couple considered fit by the state to take care of a child's health, education and welfare. Agency adoption allows agencies to connect prospective parents with mothers who want to give up their children. Private adoption allows parents who want to adopt to find a child with help from an adoption attorney. Related adoption allows a relative of the child to adopt them. Step-parent adoption allows a biological parent's spouse to adopt their children. Open adoption gives biological parents the right to have contact with children after adoption.

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