Family law and divorce law are sometimes used interchangeably. However, the fact is that they are not the same. A lawyer who focuses on divorce cases has different expertise as compared to the one who handles all family law matters.

Let’s find out how family lawyers are different from divorce lawyers.

Family Law Vs. Divorce Law Attorney: The Difference Explained

A family law attorney is a legal professional who has experience in handling family related cases. Cases that are handled by a family law attorney lie in a broader category as compared to the cases handled by a divorce law attorney.

Family law attorneys often focus their practice in the following type of cases:

  • Adoption related cases
  • Prenuptial agreements
  • Post-nuptial contracts
  • Partner or child abuse cases
  • Family monetary issues
  • Trusts and estate issues
  • Juvenile court matters

A divorce lawyer, on the other hand, focuses on cases that relate to termination (“dissolution”) of the marriage. The professional is experienced in handling cases such as divorce, legal separation, alimony issues, and others. The legal expert can help negotiate agreements for division of properties, child custody, parental rights, and child support.

In addition, a divorce lawyer handles arbitration, mediation, and litigation phases of divorce-related cases. The professional can also file a case in the court on behalf of the client for enforcement of court agreements, restraining orders, appeals, and name changes.


All family lawyers will handle divorce matters, but some have very specific experience in high stakes divorce and matters that involve large sums of money. An important thing to remember is that divorce law is only a sub-field of family law. A family law attorney can handle most average divorce cases, but for matters involving special circumstances you’d want to make sure your attorney has the right experience and team behind him/her.

Understanding the difference will help in selecting the right type of attorney for your case. It will avoid confusions when it comes to hiring a lawyer for family law and divorce related matters.

When it comes to selecting an attorney, make sure that you select an experienced family law and divorce lawyer. Hiring an experienced lawyer will increase the chances of the most favorable outcome of your case.  An experienced lawyer will marshal the facts in a way that results in maximum possible settlement amount for the client.

At Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox LLP , we aim to offer the most qualified and effective legal solutions. With our decades of experience in a range of practice areas, we can offer you the most competent advice relating to family law and divorce related matters.

Our team of experienced legal professional will guide you through the thicket of legal complexities and increase the odds of the most satisfactory outcome of your case. Whether you want the help of a family law or divorce law attorney, we have you covered.