In a well-known business family, disagreements are resolved by a family attorney. This family lawyer is appointed to get family legal advice and is obligated to handle all disputes that may arise within the family. The nature of the dispute may differ with respect to family law. The field of family law differs from civil and criminal law. Family law disputes can result from divorce hearings, spouse support, child custody, and family business.
In reputable and prominent families, the lawyer assists the family members in mediating and settling these kinds of disagreements. The family lawyer strives to grasp the legal aspect of the dispute and aims to resolve any dispute through peaceful settlement without the need for court. This saves time and money for the family. The administration of wills, estate agreements for child custody, and settling divorce disputes or prenuptial contracts are among family lawyers’ most critical areas of work. The scope of work in family law isn’t just connected to marital issues but also the work that arises outside the marriage within a family. Family lawyers can serve as legal advisors and mediators and represent their clients in court, acting as an attorney.
1. Divorce proceedings
It is one of the most important areas of family law. In a family, sometimes, the couple will reach a point at which they are in a significant conflict with one another and are unable to remain with one another and would like to break up their marriage. In this case, the family’s divorce lawyer tries to resolve the conflict and prevent divorce or separation. If the reconciliation does not succeed and the lawyer cannot fix it, he files for divorce proceedings. The divorce process in India is generally of two kinds: one is based on the consent of two people, and the other is contestable divorce. In the first case, the two parties agree to dissolve their marriage by filing a divorce petition with the family court.
The contested divorce occurs when the marriage is obtained from concealment or fraud of facts such as insanity or suffering from a condition such as leprosy, or one party is found to be involved in sexual affairs. The family lawyer assists in understanding the legal aspects of the situation and seeking a divorce from the family’s court. At any stage of the proceedings, when the lawyer determines that the parties can settle the matter in a peaceful manner without a court hearing, the lawyer will assist the client and helps in solving the issue.
The legal provisions of divorce in India are governed by different laws based on the couple’s religious beliefs. If the couple is of Hindu religion, the divorce was governed by the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955. The individual laws apply for a divorce if the spouses are Muslim, Christian, Parsi, or Jain. People who have either given up their religion or were to a different religion prior to the wedding can apply for divorce in accordance with the Special Marriage Act 1956. If one spouse is from a foreign country, the Foreign Marriage Act 1969 will be applicable to the divorce procedure.
2. Spouse support and Alimony
If the divorce proceedings are in process and the wife is dependent on her husband financially, or in some other manner, the family lawyer could request the assistance of one of the spouses. The financial support provided by the individual with the consent of their spouses is referred to as alimony. Alimony intends to provide financial assistance to the spouse if they are dependent. A spouse may make an application to the relevant judge for receiving alimony during the divorce proceeding. If the judge is content with the situation, they will issue an order granting maintenance.
3. Child custody
Parties currently having their divorce proceedings pending before the court may also bring a lawsuit to claim an order for the legal guardianship of the child. “Child custody” refers to the legally binding relationship between the child and the individuals. The custody of a child imposes an obligation on either of the parents to look after the child. The judge who decides child custody will consider certain factors like the mental health of the parent as well as the financial condition of the parent. Section 26 in the Hindu Marriage Act is bestowed with child custody. If the couple is of a different religion, the provisions of the respective personal laws will apply. The family lawyer is the representative of one of the parents to claim custody of their child in court. The family lawyer also assists the parents in changing the custody arrangements if necessary.
4. Family business
The family lawyer can also assist in settlement of any disputes that arise within the family business. The conflicts within the family business involve the acquisition of the business, litigation over proprietary rights, and drafting commercial agreements related to the business. The family lawyer also handles tax-related matters and provides advice. The family lawyer also prepares legal documents that determine the rights and obligations of the person. If mediation is needed to resolve a business-related dispute, the family lawyer represents the client and assists in settling the disagreements.
5. Protection orders against domestic violence
The current situation of female domestic abuse has seen an increase in cases. Victims subjected to the perpetrator’s threat may seek protection against such a threat. This protection can be temporary or permanent in nature. Sometimes, women are believed to have suffered domestic violence by their husbands or family members. The woman can raise her voice against this violence and request protection. Family lawyers aid victims in presenting their cases to the court and protect them against the perpetrator and any person(s) who victimized the women with domestic violence. The protection of women from domestic violence is outlined in the Domestic Violence Act 2005.
6. Adoption of Children
A couple looking to adopt a baby may get help from their lawyer. The family lawyer helps in preparing legal documents for the child’s adoption. The Hindu Marriage and Adoption Act 1956 laws apply for adoption in these situations. This law applies to Hindu couples. There are no adoption laws that apply to Christians, Parsi, and Muslims. So, the couple looking to adopt a child should apply to the Court in accordance with the Guardian and Ward Act 1890. The applicant must contact the Child Welfare Committee to adopt the child. The CWC receives the NOC approval and nod of acceptance from the parties and then presents the child before the judge. After examining the entire situation, the judge passes an order of adoption. The family lawyer assists the couple through each step until the child is adopted.
Family lawyers play an essential part in matrimonial matters and disputes that arise out of it. However, aside from this, they offer legal counsel in estate-related issues, family business matters, and settling disputes within the family. The family lawyer acts as a member of the family and supports the client in the best possible way if a dispute arises within the family.