What Family Court CAN and CANNOT do

A family court can do many things which generally include dissolving or establishing family relationships (divorce & adoption) or resolving disputes between family members (custody & child support).   

While the court has broad authority in these matters, it does have limits. If you know these limits and expect a realistic out come, you'll have a much less stressful experience and be more likely to get what you as for.

The Court CAN:

  • award custody and set a parenting plan

  • order support payments (including wage withholding)

  • divide property and debts (in a divorce)

  • enter a divorce

  • grant a protection order or include restrictions on contact

  • enforce orders through contempt powers

The Court CANNOT:

  • grant requests that are not supported by the law

  • make your partner change

  • make your partner easier to get along with

With a reasonable understanding of the limits and guidelines of the court, you can start the process of organizing  your case.


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