Overview of Family Law

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A family is held together by love and affection, but there are certain matters related to family responsibilities that need legal intervention. Although issues like same-sex marriages, adoption, surrogacy, divorce etc. are personal in nature but, they need to be governed by state and federal laws. Family law includes various court procedures and rules and regulations pertaining to a family unit.

What family matters/issues comes under family law?

  • Family law covers a vast range of legal matters and civil procedures related to a family, like custodial rights; financial responsibilities; property settlements; and other family obligations. It also covers child abuse and domestic violence, even though they are criminal matters.


  • Laws related to eligibility requirements for marriage, like gender and age, are governed on state level. Laws for legal partnerships that are different from marriage differ from state to state.


  • In case of a divorce, couples can get separated even without legal representation. It may involve payment of alimony as financial support by one spouse to another. However, decisions of child support and child custody are taken by the court, keeping the best interests of the child (including education and financial support) in mind.


  • If you want to adopt or foster a child there are lots of legal issues involved.


  • Matters related to reproductive rights, like birth control, abortion, artificial conception etc. are established at the state level.


  • Child abuse and domestic violence are governed by criminal law, but these issues affect families and are a part of family law as well.

In family law cases, the need for a family attorney may be case-specific. Individuals cannot have the legal knowledge about their case and an attorney may be helpful in dealing with matters like divorce, child custody and support, etc. They can help in getting a fair settlement for their clients by effective negotiations.