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What Is a Family Court?

Different types of court exist at various levels to address specific matters. Some courts are limited in the types of matters they can address, while other courts can hear almost any case brought before them. A court that hears matters relating to family is referred to as a family court.

It is typical for a family court to hear cases that involve child custody, child support, visitation rights, emancipation of minors, adoption, and the like. A family court is usually presided by a judge who specializes in family matters. The court itself, which consists or clerks and other administrative and legal officials, is full of family law specialists.

Family court was created in order to address the growing numbers of family cases, and to prevent the clogging of other courts with family matters. Because of the number of family matters that are now brought into litigation, it was considered crucial to create a court that addressed such matters in a timely manner. These family courts may have been created under statutes arising from common law and derived from higher courts.

Jurisdictions have their own type of family court; thus, such family courts do not necessarily address the same type of issues each one does. Some family courts choose to hear matters relating to divorce and alimony, while other family courts limit themselves to child custody, guardianship, and foster care.

Some jurisdictions do not necessarily have a family court. The creation of a family court is dependent upon the volume of family matters within a certain jurisdiction.

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