As a family lawyer, you can help clients wade through the rough waters of divorce, alimony, child custody, and support issues. You can also assist them in growing their families through adoption. Your responsibilities and duties are to advocate for your client’s best interests and ensure that all parties understand the legal process involved in each case.

Divorce cases account for a significant part of the work that family lawyers do. They may represent one spouse or both, depending on the situation. A contested divorce can get complicated, particularly when there are financial problems or allegations of infidelity. In some states, family law attorneys must be certified as family mediators to represent clients in divorce mediation proceedings.

In other family matters, a court might order a restraining order or child custody and visitation agreements between parents. In some instances, the state might initiate a dependency and neglect proceeding to take custody of a child away from an abusive parent. In such situations, a family lawyer might provide a buffer between the state and the abused party by helping them present evidence in a court of law.

Many family lawyers offer free or low-cost consultations for prospective clients. During these meetings, you can determine if you and the attorney are a good fit for each other. You can also ask the attorney questions about his or her background and experience in family law. You should also find out about the fees associated with a case.