So You Think You Want to Practice Family Law?

By: Anne Gushurst

Family law is one of the most interesting and challenging career choices a lawyer can make. Virtually no other legal practice demands proficiency in as many legal fields as does family law. You cannot competently practice in this arena without a good understanding of business law, trusts and estate law, bankruptcy law, the rudiments of criminal law, and you will definitely risk malpractice if you don’t understand tax implications and complex compensation and retirement statutes. And that’s just the financial issues of dissolutions.

Think about what goes into figuring out what is in the best interests of a child and you have to add familiarity with custody research, child development issues, not to mention a more than passing familiarity with mental health, substance abuse and special needs.

This practice requires much more than just knowing the law; you might be committing malpractice if you don’t know the difference in cost between a recreational soccer league and a competitive travel team.

But leaving aside the technicalities of running cases, the hardest part is always the emotional detritus. People frequently behave terribly in divorces.

To read this story and other complete articles featured in the July 17, 2017 print edition of Law Week Colorado, copies are available for purchase online.