We Know: All About Family Law

What is family law?

Family law is the area of law that involves disagreements or problems common in families. This includes all laws involved with marriage, all laws involved with children, adoption, and surrogacy, all laws involved with terminating marriage.

What are the laws involving marriage?

The laws involving marriage are determined by the definition of marriage. These laws are generally set by the state. These laws decide:

  • Who can marry: commit to a relationship between or among individuals, recognized by civil authority and/or bound by the religious beliefs of the participants.
  • Defines civil unions: legal partnership agreements between two persons.
  • Determines domestic partnerships: legal or personal relationships between individuals who live together and share a common domestic life but are not joined in a traditional marriage, a common-law marriage, or a civil union.

What are the laws involving children?

Laws involving children are created for the protection of minors. These laws govern:

  • Adoption: the legal act of permanently placing a child with a parent or parents other than the birth parents
  • Surrogacy: an arrangement whereby a woman agrees to become pregnant for the purpose of gestating and giving birth to a child for others to raise
  • Child abuse: the physical or psychological maltreatment of a child by an adult , this includes neglect.
  • Child abduction: abduction or kidnapping of a child (or baby) by an older

What are the laws involving marriage termination?

The laws involving termination of a marriage ensures each spouse and any children involved are treated fairly. When children are involved, the interest of the children is paramount over all other issues. These laws govern over:

  • Pre-nuptial agreement: written contract created by before marriage. It typically lists all of the property each person and specifies what property rights after marriage.
  • Separation: an agreement to separate prior to divorce
  • Child custody: Who gets custody the child(ren), and how joint custody or time with the child(ren) is to be split
  • Alimony and child support payments: Determines how ex-spouse and /or children will be supported after the divorce
  • Annulments: Given in lieu of divorce in cases the marriage was entered into under fraudulent circumstances, duress, or other. Annulments are often used in situation when religion does not permit divorce.

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