New Challenges Faced by Family Lawyers

Family law is drastically changing with time. New developments in custody and divorce cases and changes in the legal profession in general present family law with a growing set of challenges. Reid Law’s Radhika Patel outlines some of the biggest issue facing family law practice today…

With an abundance of lawyers in the market, the average divorce lawyer has a harder time finding a job now than he or she would have fifty or sixty years ago. Also, significant developments in technology have forced family lawyers to adapt to new trends in sales and marketing. Family law will always be relevant due to the continually arising issues that families face, but those same lawyers must work twice as hard to keep clients in today’s market. 

Alabama law specifically states that the custody of a child in a divorce case can go to either the father or mother after consideration of character and stability of both parents and age of all children present. With many factors to help determine which parent a child should go to, the decision can be difficult for the court. However, no one factor is more relevant than another. All factors are taken into account and carry the same weight. If one particular parent is at fault for any type of misconduct, the decision can be based upon that factor. If the misconduct affected the child in any negative way, the child will usually go to the other parent. Financial earnings do not serve as a decision making factor. There is no financial requirement that needs to be met in order for either parent to receive custody of the child. A major reason it becomes difficult for the court to take a stance on child custody cases is because often the parents are both good people and are both equally capable of taking care of the child. In cases like this, the decision is made in the best interest of the child. In the state of Alabama, joint custody is preferred over sole custody. The court wants to give children the opportunity to be raised by both their parents if both are capable of raising the child. With joint custody, one parent is usually given primary custody while the other is given visitation rights. It is important to hire a lawyer when dealing with child custody because there are numerous factors that go into the decision of the court. It is advisable to seek the help of someone experienced and qualified to aid in presenting one’s side in the best way possible. 

The government cannot prevent divorce, but there are numerous ways to lower the rate of divorcees happening each year. Mike McManus, a religion columnist, has spent majority of his career in turning broken marriages into successful ones. He feels that in order to lower divorce rates, two people wanting to get married should completely evaluate each other before marriage to see if they are right for each other. McManus tells the story a graphic designer and businessman that were planning to get hitched, but before they were able to marry, with their pastor’s suggestions, they took a test with 165 questions that pertained to their personalities. After both people took the test, they broke off their engagement. This shows that even though the government cannot prevent divorce, there are ways to prevent bad marriages. The laws regarding divorce and child custody are as efficient and relevant as they can be; they side with the best interest of all parties involved. After reading about the rules and regulations involving divorce/child custody law, I do not believe there is a need to make any major changes to them. The government does the best of their ability to make sure justice is served to everyone. American law regarding divorce, interracial, and same-sex marriages has come a long way. People are given the freedom to marry who they want to and the power to separate from people they do not feel are right for them. The American government is powerful and serves in the best way possible for its citizens.  


This article was written by Radhika Patel, one of Reid Law's 2018 summer interns and a student at UAB.