Family Lawyer Media PA

Types Of Cases Heard In Family Court

There are generally two kinds of cases heard in courts: criminal cases and civil cases. Criminal cases involve enforcing public codes of behavior, as codified in the law, and the prosecution of violators of those laws. On the other hand, civil cases involve lawsuits among individuals or organizations typically relating to money and breach of contract claims.

Family cases are types of civil cases, but they deal with lawsuits different from the general civil issues. Also, the proceedings in a family court are very different from those of civil or criminal courts. Thus, family law is considered a separate branch of law.

The family justice system helps to resolve cases regarding family matters and domestic disputes. These issues are resolved in family courts and family lawyers in Media PA typically represent clients facing such problems. Here are the different types of cases heard in family court.

Marriage Dissolution

When a couple decides to end their marriage, they can file written permission in court, seeking for marriage dissolution. Family courts can dissolve a marriage either through a divorce, which ends a valid union, or an annulment which decrees the marriage invalid. Couples will need to hire family lawyers in Media, PA, to represent their interests.

Legal Separation

Couples can petition the court for a separation order which doesn’t dissolve the marriage but recognizes that the couple is no longer together. The court can also grant orders regarding assets, alimony, and child custody.

Protection Orders

Victims of domestic abuse who feel their attackers may harm them again can file a petition requesting a restraining order. This protection order may be temporary or permanent, and it limits the perpetrator’s contact with the victim. Any violation of the restraining order can lead to an arrest of the aggressor.


A couple or individual who wants to adopt a child must go through the family court. There are strict regulations surrounding adoption, which helps to ensure the child’s best interest. If you intend to adopt a child, it’s advisable to hire a family attorney to guide you through the process.

Paternity, Child Custody, and Child Support

Child custody and support issues don’t only arise during divorces. Unmarried parents can petition a court to issue legal custody, physical custody and visitation, and child support orders. A family court can also hear cases relating to establishing a child’s paternity.

Termination of Parental Rights

If there are reasons why a parent should no longer have parental rights over a child, the family court can terminate the parent’s rights. Some grounds for terminating parental rights include neglect, abuse, and abandonment.

Name Change

Individuals can change their names through a name change case at a family court.

Emancipation and Approval of Underage Marriage

Individuals below 18 who wish to be legally free from their parent’s control or get married can petition a family court for approval.

Juvenile Criminal Cases

The family court handles issues relating to allegations of child abuse or when minors are accused of participating in illegal activities.


If you’re undergoing a family dispute and intend to file a petition, it’s advisable to speak with an attorney first. There are experienced family lawyers in Media, PA, who can go through your case and advise you on the next step to take.