Family Law

Family Law:

It is a practice area that includes legal issues which arise in families or other personal relationships like civil unions, marriage,  domestic abuse, domestic partnerships ,property settlement issues, parental responsibility and plans for shared parenting.

It includes following:

•    Legal Separation
•    Divorce/Dissolution of Marriage
•    Paternity
•    Child Custody & Modification of Child Custody
•    Establishment of Parental Relationship
•    Visitation
•    Child Support and Modification of Child Support
•    Parental Kidnapping
•    Move-Away
•    Domestic Violence Restraining Orders


While a couple decides to divorced and cannot come to an agreement about the dispersal of marital liabilities , marital assets and custody of the minor children, a case is formed in the court system through filing a petition for dissolution of marriage. Then the court will hear both parties' side of the story who must get what assets and liabilities and who must have primary residential custody of the minor children.

Time Frame:

Once a petition is filed, the other spouse has a sure amount of time (based on state and local rules) to file an answer and a counter petition. If the answer is not filed up within timely manner, the petitioner can ask for a default ruling that means he gets what he asked for in the petition, unless the respondent gives the court along with a good purpose for not filing a timely answer. Once counter petition and an answer is filed up, the petitioner got the chance to respond to the counter petition.


Family law rules of process, family law and case law statutes provide regulation to divorce and other family law matters so that each of the party knows what to expect. Rulings differ depend on different circumstances, but each kind of ruling (for example. child support ruling, custody ruling, alimony ruling) has rules the court have to follow to provide for a fair and reasonable distribution of liabilities, marital assets and custody arrangements.


People going through the family law courts can ignore several hearings if they can agree on matters such like liabilities, division of marital assets, and child custody. A settlement agreement can be drawn up via the parties or their attorneys. It is then filed to the court, and the court is asked to ratify the agreement. If court agrees that the agreement is fair and that the parties signed it with no being put under duress by each of other or outside effects, the court will incorporate the settlement agreement to an ultimate judgment and proclaim the parties divorced.


Several people with stay stuck in a marriage since they think they will lose everything they have worked for. Child support is depending on income in most of the states. Each parent has to be responsible for a percentage of child support. Division of liabilities and assets is done on an equitable basis in no-fault states. If both of the parties make the similar amount of money, chances are, they will get 50 % of everything. If the wife makes more money in compare to the husband, equitable distribution will give the husband more of the assets, and perhaps alimony. If the husband makes more, the wife will get the higher amount throughout equitable distribution.

History of Family Law:

The law associating to family disputes and obligations has dramatically grown since the 1970s, as judges and legislators have redefined and reexamined legal relationships surrounding Child Custody, Divorce and Child Support. Family law has become entwined along with national debates on the structure of the gender bias, family and morality.

Mostly changes made in family law in the late twentieth century have been depend on overturning concepts of family, marriage & gender that go back to European Feudalism, canon (church) law, and custom. Marriage and divorce were private matters throughout Anglo-Saxon times in England. Following the Norman Conquest in the year of 1066, however, the legal status of a married woman was fixed through Common Law, & Canon Law prescribed several duties and rights. The result was that recognizes of the wife was merged to that of the husband; he was a legal person however she was not. Upon marriage, the husband attained the entire wife's Personal Property and managed all of the property owned by her. In the return, the husband was appreciative to support the wife and their children.

In the United States this legal definition of marriage continued till the middle of the nineteenth century, while states enacted married women's property acts. These acts conferred legal status on wives and allowed them to own and transfer property in their own right, to be sued and to sue, and to enter into contracts. Though these acts were significant advances, they dealt just along property a woman inherited. By placing title in his name, the husband could control most of the assets achieved during marriage, therefore forcing the wife to rely on his bounty.

Divorce law has also altered over time. Divorce was tremendously rare in colonial America. It was partly since obtaining a divorce decree required legislative action, a process that was time-consuming and expensive. In the year1780, Massachusetts was the first state to let judicial divorce. By the year of 1900, every state except South Carolina provided for judicial divorce.

Even with accessibility, divorce remained a highly conflicted area of law. The Catholic Church labeled divorce as a sin, and Protestant denominations demonstrated it as a mark of moral degeneration. The adversarial procedure presented another roadblock to divorce. Consensual divorce was not known in the nineteenth century. For a couple to get a divorce, one party to the marriage ought to prove that the other had committed a wrong of such weight that the marriage should be ended. The requirement to find fault was a legacy of family law that was not changed until the year of 1970s.

Lastly, the issue of divorce raised the topic of child custody. Traditionally specking, fathers retained custody of their children. In the nineteenth century this tradition weakened, as judges fashioned two doctrines governing child custody. The "best-interests-of-the-child" doctrine balanced a new right of the mother to custody of the child against the assessment of the requirements of the child. The "tender years" doctrine arose after the Civil War, giving mothers a presumptive right to their young children.

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