How is Family Law Different from Civil Law?

by | May 24, 2013 | Firm News |

Family Law is a broad term that describes a variety of laws that affect the legal status and interactions of families.  Family Law covers marital divorce and legal separation, child custody and visitation rights, child support, temporary spousal support, long-term spousal support, and community property valuation and division.  Family law also includes parentage cases involving unmarried parents, and parties who cohabitated and have a contract regarding the same (see Marvin v. Marvin).  Another area of family law involves private and agency adoptions, and child dependency actions (usually involving Child Protective Services).  Family law cases can also include domestic violence claims spouses and partners have against each other.

Civil law is a broad term including personal injuries, breach of contract, civil fraud litigation, business litigation, civil tort claims, property disputes, etc.  These cases are handled by a different department than family law cases.  In Sacramento, civil cases are heard in a completely different courthouse than family law cases.  The civil judges are actually forbidden from hearing family law cases and all jurisdiction to hear family law cases resides with the family court.

If you believe that you are involved in any one of the Sacramento family law areas previously listed, you should strongly consider hiring a Sacramental family law attorney immediately.  Please consider giving us a call.  We are experienced family law attorneys and we can discuss your legal rights in a free half-hour attorney consultation.