No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed
is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.
Use of this website and the content and information within DOES NOT create any attorney-client
privileges. This website is to be used for informational and contact purposes only.
You must make an appointment with this law firm to discuss the matter in person in
order to engage the attorney-client privilege
Historically, "Family Courts" have heard both domestic relations matters and juvenile
matters. For the most part, this is still true; however, in Jefferson County, there
is a specialized division of the Circuit Court called "Domestic Relations."
In general, this Domestic Relations division (or Domestic Relations Court), conducts
original trials on all domestic relations matters and no original trials on juvenile
matters; the Domestic Relations division does conduct appealed trials (called de
novo trials) in cases where there was not an adequate record created in the Family
Court. As a "rule of thumb," if the parties are or were married, the case would be
heard in Domestic Relations; if the parties were never married, the case would be
heard in Family Court.
Recent cases interpreting the Juvenile Justice Act of 2008 (effective January 1,
2009) have held that cases seeking to modify or enforce juvenile court orders (other
than orders where a child was previously adjudged to be delinquent, in need of supervision,
or dependent) must be brought in the Circuit Court which, in most Counties, means
the Domestic Relations docket or the Domestic Relations Court rather than the juvenile
court that originally entered the order.
Applying these case decisions and the general nature of domestic relations, Domestic
Relations Courts (or dockets), usually have the following cases:
· Proceedings involving Domestic Relations
· Annulments of Marriage
· Legal Separations
· Custody and Support of Children (except those cases where the initial determination
is in juvenile court)
· Granting and Enforcement of Alimony
· Proceedings under the uniform interstate support (UIFSA) or custody (UCCJEA) act
· All other domestic and marital matters over which the Circuit Courts have jurisdiction,
such as Protection from Abuse (PFA) cases
· Nonsupport cases (arising under Title 30)
· Appeals of juvenile matters where there is not an adequate record to appeal directly
to the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals
· Modifications or enforcement of juvenile court custody orders (except where the
child was adjudged delinquent, dependent, or in need of supervision)
If you or your family member or friend has already done something that may be illegal,
DON'T WAIT! CALL IMMEDIATELY! Sometimes there are things you can do to mitigate your
circumstances, possibly lessening the potential punishment you may be facing if criminal
charges are brought against you.
“If knowledge is power, then knowledge of the law is the Power of Law.”
Get information and legal advice BEFORE you do something that might be a criminal
act, so that you will have more control over your future!”