Family law is the branch of law which deals with all matters related to family unit and other domestic relations such as surrogacy and adoption, domestic partnerships, civil unions, marriage, divorce, child abduction, child abuse matters, child neglect, child maintenance, child adoption, paternity cases etc. Around the globe, polls have shown steady increase in the rate of family law issues arising due to adoption, surrogacy, marriages etc. According to family law lawyers, this branch of law is different from the other branches because it touches on sensitive private matters. Often times, the cases involve the lawyers acting as intermediaries and counterparts to the parties involved. If the cases make it court, the presiding judge often time tries to get the parties involved to settle outside court so that relationships formed do not end up getting broken. Different parts of the world have their ow cultures and beliefs and they find themselves integrated into family law.
For example, in societies where same sex relationships are not accepted, this kind of law requires that such union cannot be recognized as marriage in courts of law. Like all the other branches of law, family law has undergone many transformations in an attempt to address the immediate issues in families. An example of this situation happens to be in some countries where attempts have be made to legalize same sex relationships.
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A method now often used in family law is the collaborative method which is a legal process enabling couples who have decided to separate or end their marriage to work with their lawyers and, on occasion, other family professionals in order to avoid the uncertain outcome of court and to achieve a settlement that best meets the specific needs of both parties and their children without the underlying threat of litigation. It provides a platform whereby individuals who are married, family members or relations hold the power to decide how issues and proceedings effecting the legal dispute can be resolved without a case being filed in court if represented by good legal counsel. The reason why modern family law discourages the parties from going to court is that courts decision have win-lose outlook. The court litigation is also complex, and as is the case with all matters of law is costly and may take long time to solve the matters.
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Court cases can be harrowing and have effect on emotions thereby causing a strain in valued relationships. If both parties intend not to settle outside court, their legal counsel in family law can both decide not to represent them.
Where collaborative family law has been applied, resolutions are often to the favor of the parties involved. In some instances, it has successfully reconciled parties who would otherwise have divorced had the matter been decided by the courts. Collaborative family law is not only advantageous in holding together families but also less stressful for the family lawyers. The conflicts in a relationship can be settled within a limited period of time.