Family law deals with family-related issues and domestic relations. Most family law practices focus on representing clients in a divorce and the issues related to divorce such as the division of marital property, child custody and support, and alimony. Family lawyers also draft prenuptial and postnuptial agreements and litigate related matters. Some family lawyers represent victims or perpetrators of domestic violence in civil protection order proceedings and defend clients accused of domestic violence in criminal proceedings. Adoption and guardianship, juvenile delinquency, and child abuse and neglect are also areas of family law.
While there are some family lawyers who have developed a particular specialty, such as adoption law, most family lawyers have expertise in a number of practice areas. Moreover, family lawyers must have a wide range of legal skills as they draft and negotiate contracts, pleadings, and other legal documents; litigate contested matters; counsel clients on their legal rights and options; and attempt to resolve disputes. They also must have exceptional interpersonal skills and be adept in managing emotionally volatile situations.