Family Law


Family law is a legal practice area that focuses on issues involving family relationships, such as adoption, divorce, and child custody, among others. Attorneys practicing family law can represent clients in family court proceedings or in related negotiations and can also draft important legal documents such as court petitions or property agreements. Some family law attorneys even specialize in adoption, paternity, emancipation, or other matters not usually related to divorce. States have the right to determine "reasonable formal requirements" for marriage, including age and legal capacity, as well as the rules and procedures for divorce and other family law matters.

The Family Law – recognizes marriages an equal partnership and entitles both spouses to share the value of everything acquired during marriage, with a few exceptions.

Family law deals with highly emotional issues objectively and legally. Despite the strength of emotion involved in many family law cases, justice must still be served to each party.

Family Law is the area of private law that governs relations among members of the family that includes:

  • Divorce – a legal procedure ends marriage, the steps are similar to civil procedures.
  • Spousal support – another word for alimony and is a legal obligation to provide financial support to ones spouse from the other spouse after marital separation or from the ex- spouses upon divorce
  • Child support – money paid for the care of their minor child and also to a divorced spouse
  • Custody – with parent the children of the marriage will live with
  • Adoption – the process of gaining the legal rights of a parent to a child and raising the child as one’s own
  • Termination of parental rights – the process by which a parent’s rights to his or her child are legally and permanently terminated, after which the child becomes eligible for adoption.
  • Paternity – the state of being a father
  • Dependency and child neglect – dependency means when a child runs away from home or is beyond control of the parent or guardian and child neglect means when a parent or guardian mistreats, abuses or abandons the child
  • Protection from abuse – is a civil order of the court available to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.

Most family law practices focus on representing clients in a divorce and the issues related to divorce such as the division of marital property, child custody and support, and alimony. Family lawyers also draft prenuptial and postnuptial agreements and litigate related matters. Some family lawyers represent victims or perpetrators of domestic violence in civil protection order proceedings and defend clients accused of domestic violence in criminal proceedings. Adoption and guardianship, juvenile delinquency, and child abuse and neglect are also areas of family law.

The justification for having laws that affect the most private aspects of our life is to ensure protection  of individual rights and to uphold certain norms that are essential to human dignity. Another reason is that laws act as agents of social change and may succeed in improving the status of individuals in society.

Law relating to marriage and/or divorce has been mentioned in different acts applicable to people of different religions in India. These are:

  • The Converts' Marriage Dissolution Act, 1866
  • The Indian Divorce Act, 1869
  • The Indian Christian Marriage Act, 1872
  • The Kazis Act, 1880
  • The Anand Marriage Act, 1909
  • The Indian Succession Act, 1925
  • The Child Marriage Restraint Act, 1929
  • The Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1936
  • The Dissolution of Muslim Marriage Act, 1939
  • The Special Marriage Act, 1954
  • The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955
  • The Foreign Marriage Act, 1969 and
  • The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986

Note:- Law relating to marriage and/or divorce has been mentioned in different acts applicable to people of different religions in India, some of which are mentioned herein, as may be amended, replaced or substituted from time to time.

Disclaimer:- This is only generic information on Indian Laws, which may be subject to change regard being had to legal amendments from time to time and should not be relied on for any legal action or inaction. Legal Nexus will not be liable for any damages or losses, direct or indirect, suffered or incurred by any user who chooses to proceed on the basis of reliance on the information provided herein.

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