The role of a family law judge is to referee disputes heard in family courts. Family courts hear all cases related to familial and domestic relationships. If there are children, the family court judge must also consider the best interests of the children in all the decisions he is called on to make.
Family courts issue decrees of divorce, as well as mediating any negotiations involved. Whether married or unmarried, a couple whose relationship is at an end may need help in agreeing on how to divide their property between them. If there is a history of domestic violence, a family law judge may also issue a protective order. A protective order is meant to keep the abused partner safe from the abusing partner. If the couple has children, the family law judge also presides over agreements to child support, custody and visitation matters. The family law judge also determines whether or not child visitations must be supervised.
Adoptions are another matter that may be handled by family law judges. Sometimes a state's laws regarding adoption may be unclear. In such situations, a family law judge must decide whether the adopting family is of potential benefit to the adopted child.