Private rights

The fact that in the context of family law, everyone is acquainted with the concept of the “divorce lawyer” is a consequence of the fundamentally competitive environment of the connotations of the lawyer’s image. However, personal and family law incorporates much more than dealing with a divorce in a traditional husband and wife relationship. The fact that we are regarded as conflict experts in the public sphere should not block the view that in this special legal area the lawyer can also be useful in other respects:

On the one hand this is always a matter of the distribution of material rights between generations but does not only include the succession of property as in inheritance law. In child support law it is important that the children receive their stake in their parents’ earnings. It is not just the victims (be they children or the spouse) who have the right to alimonies but also the partner in functioning relationships, whether it is an upstanding marriage, the husband or the offspring – or even (often only evident in social insurance and social aid law) the parents.

On the other hand, however, money is not the only topic in personal and family law – even if the dispute over a child after a separation is often an indirect dispute about who is to pay maintenance support: the rules of the ‘custody’, care and education of children codify a fundamental principle of all civil legal orders. This is that public or state-run influence on private law should altogether be reduced to a bare minimum.

In the last few decades the law of title has changed just as radically (especially in the blatant expansion of freedom in the laws of name and title due to marriage ceremonies) as the law of custody for the disadvantaged parties (in the form of guardian law, but also in a new institute like the durable power of the attorney for health care or living will). This clearly indicates how much social changes also alter the form of the legal system. The lawyer does not only have an indispensable and constitutional function to distribute the correct information. He also has a duty – not to be underestimated – to make a lively contribution to the changes of society in a formative and creative way. We administer this task just as eagerly as the duty to protect your existing rights in the most private and intimate areas, where public rules are allowed.



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