What Does a Family Law Attorney Do?

According to the American Bar Association, there are 1.3 million lawyers currently practicing in the US. About 8,581 of these lawyers are currently serving in Utah. Of the many types of legal professionals, family law attorneys are among the most relied upon. They deal with the difficult issues that may arise involving divorce, child custody, adoption, and more.

If you are currently facing a divorce and child custody battle, you need to work with an experienced family law attorney. Brown Family Law is a team of compassionate family lawyers who have successfully helped guide many clients through the process of family law cases. We will always fight for the best interests of your kids by making their safety our #1 priority.

Take the fear out of getting a divorce by calling Brown Family Law today at (801) 685-9999. Our team is available 24/7 for a comprehensive legal consultation on your case.

What Types of Cases Do Family Law Attorneys Handle?

Family law is a type of legal service that deals specifically with family relationships. Family law attorneys specialize in this specific area of law and can represent whole families or individuals

The areas of family law can include:

  • Adoption
  • Marriage
  • Marital property
  • Divorce proceedings
  • Legal separation
  • Foster children
  • Child abuse
  • Child custody
  • Child support
  • Spousal support
  • Prenuptial agreements
  • Postnuptial agreements
  • Emancipation
  • Paternity

A family law attorney will also have the job of representing his or her clients in negotiations and drafting paperwork. This paperwork can be anything from property agreements to court petitions and requests on behalf of the client. The following is a list of specific areas where family attorneys can be especially helpful.


When two people get married, they are essentially signing a contract between them. The actual marriage can be looked at as a legal ceremony where this contract is agreed upon. 

When a divorce happens, it is literally the dissolution of that marital contract. Each individual partner will need to call a law firm to hire his or her own family lawyer – or agree to mediate with the help of one lawyer. A spouse may insist on certain legal rights and thus require his or her own family law attorney to negotiate the differences.

From there, the legal process can be fairly simple or incredibly complex. The family lawyer may offer his or her client advice on how to handle the divorce process. This can involve property agreements, child custody, postnuptial agreements, parental rights, and more. 

A family law lawyer can help you receive everything you deserve during your divorce case, including:

Pre- and postnuptial agreements

Some engaged couples work out many legal aspects of their marriage before tying the knot. This is called a prenuptial agreement. To work out these details, a family law lawyer may be hired to ensure everything is set up correctly. This can mean that each party protects themselves before the marriage even begins by outlining who gets what in case a divorce happens.

A postnuptial agreement is simply an agreement on important decisions made after a couple is already married. This is more common with matters related to legal issues such as custody and children. That is because custody matters cannot be agreed on in a prenuptial agreement, so these must be resolved afterward.


One of the more divisive family law matters involves alimony. Divorcing spouses often have different ideas on which party should have to pay alimony. Child support is one thing, but spousal support is something else altogether. This family law matter is very important because a divorce can leave someone in poverty without this support.

Court orders from a judge will determine whether alimony should be an option and how much should be paid. This is determined by several factors, which is why hiring a family law attorney is important. This is especially true if the other spouse is resisting paying anything. Your lawyer will do what is in the best interests of his or her client, including requesting alimony and doing the necessary paperwork.

Some factors that can determine alimony can include:

  • Your ability to work
  • How much money you make
  • Whether you contributed to a family-owned business
  • How much debt you jointly accumulated
  • Conduct of the divorcing spouses, including whether domestic violence is involved

Child custody

Child custody battles can be the most intense and traumatic situation for everyone involved. These stressful situations need to be handled delicately and with the best interests of the children in mind. Since parents are not likely to agree on what to do with the kids, then the share of child custody is usually decided by the judge. Family courts have the unenviable task of deciding which parent has full custody.

Family relationships can be strained to the max, which is where a family law attorney can help by representing the client in the best light possible to show how he or she deserves full child custody. The path forward will not be easy, so you should not attempt to handle it on your own.

Areas in which family law attorneys can help in a custody case can include:

  • Home stability
  • Which parent has the greatest bond with the child
  • Adoption
  • Foster parents
  • Paternity cases

Child support

Child support is another important area of family law. Most states have their own ways of deciding how child support will be distributed. Family law lawyers can represent clients to ensure the children are taken care of regardless of who has custody. 

For example, if there is an absent father who refuses to pay, the court can take the necessary steps to force him to do so. There may even be instances of a parent failing to reveal all his or her resources and hiding money in order to avoid paying as much child support.

Family lawyers can look into the following to estimate the proper amount of child support to be provided:

  • Health care expenses
  • Accurate income reports
  • Allowable deductions
  • Intentional unemployment
  • Underreported income 


Family lawyers are not just available for a divorce decree or to fight for custody. They can also help when it comes to happy moments, like when a family decides they want to become parents by adopting a child. Adoption is not an easy process and can be quite complex. Your goal will be to finalize the adoption as soon as possible and with minimal disruption.

Attorneys can make the adoption process as easy as possible for everyone involved. This can include guiding the family through the process and ensuring all the paperwork is completed and turned in.  

Neglect and abuse

If there is ongoing neglect and child abuse going on, contacting a family law practice is recommended. The safety of children should always be everyone’s priority. 

Dealing with domestic violence or neglect can be devastating. Going through the court to find an alternative means of raising kids safely may be the best way to handle this type of situation.

Call Our Compassionate Family Lawyers Serving Salt Lake City and All Utah

Family law attorneys are an important part of our divorce system. They do everything from protecting children to helping divorcing spouses avoid poverty. While family situations can be messy, your attorney is there to defend your rights to the fullest. Whether you are facing a difficult court case or need to resolve your divorce, call Brown Family Law today.

Our family law attorneys have decades of combined legal experience handling delicate situations. Whatever you are going through, we understand the implications of the outcome of your case. Our goal is to offer our clients the ultimate peace of mind while maximizing the time they get to spend with their kids.

Contact Brown Family Law today at (801) 685-9999 for a legal consultation about your case. Our family law attorneys are available 24/7 at your convenience.

Published On: May 2nd, 2023Categories: Divorce, Alimony, Children, Domestic ViolenceComments Off on What Does a Family Law Attorney Do?
Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!
About the Author: Marco Brown
Marco C. Brown was named Utah’s Outstanding Family Law Lawyer of the Year in 2015. He graduated with distinction from the University of Nebraska College of Law in 2007 and is currently the managing partner of Brown Family Law, LLC.
Contact Us – We Are Here to Help You

Schedule a time to talk with us – we are here to help you. When you meet with your attorney, we will go over your entire case, your children, your money and everything else that’s important to you. Our goal is to remove the fear associated with divorce by protecting your money and maximizing your time with your kids, all within 3-6 months. We look forward to meeting with you!

Call us 24/7 at 801-685-9999 to Speak with a Live Representative
Get A Legal Consultation With An Experienced Utah Attorney
Your privacy is 100% guaranteed, your information will never be sold or shared.

While this website provides general information, it does not constitute divorce advice. The best way to get guidance on your specific divorce issue is to contact a lawyer. To schedule a divorce consultation with an attorney, please call or complete the intake form above.

The use of the Internet (or this form) for communication with the firm (or any individual member of the firm) does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.