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Family Law Forms - Self Help for Domestic Matters

Family law is a comprehensive body of law that deals with family relationships. It stipulates the rights and obligations of parties in domestic relations. Family law covers a wide range of topics, including marriage, divorce, child custody, visitation, alimony, and adoption.

Marriage and Civil Unions

Marriage, civil union, and domestic partnership are different kinds of legal statuses recognized by family law. Marriage is a legal relationship between two persons, in which the parties, the husband and the wife, are bound by the rights and obligations stipulated in the marital contract. A civil union is a legal relationship between a same sex couple. Civil unions are also known as civil partnerships. The rights and obligations in a civil union are similar to those in a marriage. In a domestic partnership, partners live together and have a common domestic life, but without being bonded by marriage or a civil union.

Adoption

Adoption is governed by domestic relations law procedure. Adoption is a legal process in which legal rights, privileges, and parental responsibility of a child are vested in a person who is not a natural parent of the child. By the process of adoption, an adopted child becomes an heir to the adopted family.

Emancipation

Family law also governs the emancipation of minors. A minor's emancipation is the legal process by which a minor achieves independence. A minor who leaves parents' household can petition a court of law to be emancipated. Emancipation of a minor terminates the responsibility of a divorced parent to provide child support.

Paternity and Domestic Violence

Family law further covers offenses like paternity fraud and domestic violence. Paternity fraud is an offense in which a mother intentionally and fraudulently names a person to be the biological father of her child, with the knowledge that he is not the biological father. Domestic violence is assault committed against related persons. It includes assault committed against a spouse, parents, and children.

Divorce, Legal Separation, and Annulment

Family law also deals with matters related to the dissolution of marriage through procedures like divorce, legal separation, and annulment. Divorce is the absolute termination of a marital relationship. Divorce dissolves the legal duties and responsibilities of the marital parties.

Annulment is another type of termination of the marital relationship in which a court declares a marriage null and void. Distinct from divorce, an annulled marriage is regarded as invalid from the beginning. These days, people prefer an uncontested divorce to end a marital relationship. In an uncontested divorce, people agree to the divorce without court assistance. Marital separation brings about other domestic issues like:

  • alimony or spousal support
  • child support
  • child custody
  • shared parenting and parental responsibility
  • visitation rights
  • marital property settlements

If you are wondering how to divorce, what are the procedures involved in the dissolution of marriage, or if you are searching for divorce papers and forms, your quest ends here. The US Legal Forms website contains information on how to file for divorce and state-specific divorce forms. Divorce forms and divorce papers in our website can be downloaded and filled out with ease. Our website further contains state-specific family law forms in specific areas like child custody, visitation, alimony, shared parenting, emancipation of minors, and adoption.

Restraining Order and Protective Order

A restraining order or protective order may be requested in cases, usually involving a threat of harm. A restraining order or protective order may be requested as part of dissolution or domestic violence proceeding.

Family Law FAQs

What is a domestic partnership?

A domestic partnership is a legally recognized relationship in which two people share a common domestic life and live together without the status of a marriage. Rights and responsibilities conferred by a domestic partnership differ extensively from state to state. In some jurisdictions, a domestic partnership is considered equivalent to marriage, while in other jurisdictions, it bestows lesser rights than a marriage. Often domestic partners enter into agreements regarding matters such as:

  • child support
  • parental responsibilities
  • adoption of children
  • annulment of the domestic partnership
  • spousal support
  • property settlements on termination of the domestic partnership

Domestic partnerships are different from civil unions, and may involve either same-sex or different-sex couples. A civil union involves a relationship between same sex couples. Couples united by a civil union enjoy all the benefits and entitlements of marriage and have more rights and privileges than couples in a domestic partnership.

What is shared parenting?

Shared parenting is a mutual arrangement between biological parents of a child to share child care and parental responsibility. In a shared parenting agreement, parents agree upon important issues relating to a child, including the amount of time a child spends with either parent, visitation rights, religious upbringing, and health care provided to the child. Sometimes, courts order equal or substantially shared parenting in divorce cases or in child custody matters. Shared parenting is also known as collaborative parenting.

What is an uncontested divorce?

An uncontested divorce is a lawfully recognized means of dissolution of marriage in which both spouses agree to end a marriage with mutually satisfying terms of separation. In an uncontested divorce, the couple agrees on various issues including alimony to spouse, child custody, and property settlements. In an uncontested divorce, there is minimal need for litigation or court hearings. A legal separation agreement previously created may often be incorporated into an uncontested divorce decree.

These days online divorce papers and forms are readily available. You can find various divorce forms on our website- www.uslegalforms.com. The divorce forms and divorce papers available on our website are affordable priced and are downloadable in Word format. Our divorce guide will provide you with information on how to divorce amicably without expensive court procedures, and also on how to file for divorce in court.

What is paternity fraud?

Paternity fraud is a wrong involving paternal deceit. Paternity is the legal recognition of the parental relationship between a child and a man. In paternity fraud, a mother intentionally wrongly names a man as the biological father of a child, knowing that such person is not the biological father of her child.

What does emancipation of minors mean?

Emancipation of minors is a legal process by which a minor is legally liberated from control of his/her parents or guardians. By emancipation of a minor, parents or guardians are in turn freed from parental responsibilities. Typically, after the age of sixteen, a minor or his/her parent or guardian can petition a court for emancipation. When emancipated, a child can enter into a valid contract and can prosecute and be prosecuted.

In family law, can emotional abuse by one partner against another be categorized as domestic violence?

Domestic violence is an offense of imposing injury by one individual on another in domestic relations. A protective order or restraining order may be sought in court to protect the victim. The offense of domestic violence is not limited to physical violence but extends to emotional abuse as well. Emotional abuse may include the following acts:

  • humiliating a person
  • unlawful control over a person
  • isolating a person from relatives and friends
  • blackmailing a person
  • denying a person access to basic necessities