Sometimes there is confusion over the difference between children’s court and family court. After all aren’t children part of a family? That is a common misunderstanding but there is a tremendous difference in the two court systems. Why is this important to recognize? Because the courts deal with different types of cases, different areas of law and if you do not understand the difference you might wrongly assume you are involved in one process when you are actually involved in something you didn’t expect.
So here is a brief run down of the differences.
Family Court: This is where the court system deals with family related issues. The most common issues are those involving custody, child support and divorce. Family court also handles kinship guardianship cases. Any sort of legal case that pertains to family issues are handled here. Contrast that with children’s court.
Childrens’ Court: This is the court system where abuse and neglect cases involving children occur. In addition you will find criminal cases involving children being handled here as well. Any matters invoking the children’s code are handled in children’s court (adoption, crimes committed by children, abuse/neglect).