Family law is a very general and sweeping legal practice. There are multiple facets of this branch of the law, each with its own "subtexts." Most people know that you can hire a family lawyer for divorce, but these lawyers do so much more than divorces. Take a look.
Divorce is one thing, but child custody is another. Under the overarching branch of family law, a lawyer providing child custody services may be acting as a guardian ad litem in a divorce case, acting as legal counsel in an adoption or fostering case, acting as guardian reassignment counsel when one or both parents is not able to care for children and other family members want to take over, etc.. If you need a lawyer for any reason regarding children, a family lawyer can help.
Older adults as family members may need support and care. Arguing over who will help and be responsible for the well-being of elderly parents is a common legal issue. Additionally, questions of elder abuse may also be family court issues. Assigning a medical and physical welfare guardian, as well as financial guardian over a living person, all fall under this sub-practice of family law.
Commonly known as "divorcing your parents," minority emancipation laws are practiced in nearly every state and jurisdiction now. A minor, who must be at least sixteen and old enough to hold down a job while finishing high school, can file for emancipation from his/her parents, but only if very specific criteria are met. A family lawyer who offers services to minors for the purpose of emancipation works with a social worker to help further a minor's request in these legal matters.
Parents can legally disown children. In so doing, they are denying these children any rights to any inheritance and/or any part of their estate. Once the disownment is in effect, the children cannot challenge the will after the parents' passing to acquire any portion of what their siblings are receiving. Disownment may be reversed, but the process is quite lengthy, and most parents who choose to disown a child have particular reasons for doing so. Estrangement is often a reason for disowning a family member, as is a missing person. The disownment of the latter (i.e., missing person) often comes with the potential for total strangers to show up after one's death to attempt to claim an inheritance, and the legal disownment prevents this from happening.