Your marriage is on the rocks. It’s time to find a lawyer near you to represent you in what’s beginning to look like an ugly divorce. But who should you consult? Which lawyer is better, a divorce lawyer vs. a family lawyer.
Truth be told, it doesn’t matter. Either lawyer can represent you effectively. Moreover, the reality is that a divorce lawyer practices family law but focuses on divorce.
What’s a Family Law Firm?
A family law firm focuses on numerous family matters. Those matters include divorce but extend to other family legal practice areas:
- Alternative Dispute Resolution
- Child Support
- Juvenile Law
- Marital Agreements
- Domestic Abuse
- LGBT Marriage and Divorce
- Spousal Support
By the way, subsets exist even under each of the above subsets. For example, you’ll see specializations such as guardianships, child adoption, or mediation.
So, a divorce lawyer represents someone as a subset of family law. In short, a divorce lawyer is a family lawyer focused on divorce. Other attorneys may focus their attention and expertise on different subsets of family law presented above. Ultimately, however, each attorney is also a family lawyer.
As such, many family lawyers can represent you in all areas relating to family matters. But it’s best to speak with a family law attorney more skewed toward your specific area of need. If you’re faced with a child support issue, a lawyer specializing in child support will be better versed to help you.
The same holds for law firms in general. Although many firms house a variety of lawyers and attorneys for family law concerns, some family law firms specialize in a single area, for example, divorce. Others may focus their legal practice solely on domestic abuse, for instance.
Choosing a Divorce Lawyer Versus a Family Lawyer
So does it matter which lawyer you choose?
If you have a simple divorce without children, shared wealth, or joint interest in a business, a specialized divorce lawyer should do the trick.
However, a family law attorney may be better suited if you have custody and child support concerns, marital agreements that require review, and other problems. That attorney will have the means to represent these other matters if they crop up down the road.
Regardless of which flavor you select, make sure the lawyer you hire fully comprehends Pennsylvania state laws. Laws surrounding the above topics may vary by state. So, it’s essential that your lawyer, divorce or family, understand those state laws and how they may impact your case.