In a perfect world, you and your ex would be able to work through your issues and disagreements without going to court, but this is not always the case when a relationship ends. In some instances, you may need to have a judge step in and make decisions regarding divorce, child custody, visitation or related matters.
If you have to attend family court, it is essential that you understand the limitations of the court and what it may and may not be able to help you work through. It is also crucial that you recognize the importance of staying calm and respectful, yet tough when advocating for you and your family’s interests.
What family courts do
You may decide to go to family court if you are seeking custody, or if your ex is doing so. You also may have to do so if the two of you are embarking on a new co-parenting relationship and must create a parenting plan to help you do so.
A family court may also be able to assist you if you are working through traditional divorce-related matters, such as asset division. It may also help you enact spousal or child support payment agreements or secure a protection order against your ex, depending on circumstances.
What family courts are unable to do
A family court has limits when it comes to what it helps you accomplish. It cannot, for example, order your partner to change his or her habits or mannerisms. Family courts are also unable to make determinations that do not have the support of existing laws.