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  • 07 Family Law
  • Relationships
  • Introduction
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Family Law is a large body of law that covers many areas of family relationships. Family law governs areas of our lives such as marriage, relationships, divorce, child support, custody of children, division of property, and adoption. It is an important area of the law, and a fluid one. Family law is not a static body of law, and as society’s attitudes change toward relationships, so does the law. In the past, same-sex relationships did not receive recognition at law. Now, although not permitted to marry, same-sex relationships are recognised by areas of the law, from adoption to property settlement. Changing standards are reflected nowhere as clearly as in the area of divorce law. In the past, divorce required fault on the part of one or both parties, now divorce requires there only to be irreconcilable differences, and ‘Do-it-yourself’ kits are available online for fast and cost efficient divorce.

Family law is one of the most important areas of law, and one of interest to everybody. Family relationships affect us from birth to death, and family law is there to provide rules and procedures for every step of the way, in one form or another – from registration of birth to settlement of property and assets at death.

This section focuses primarily on the law surrounding the family unit – care of children, changes in relationships and the division of property and assets when family circumstances change.

Family law is changing all the time. There is always pressure from lobby groups to take account of different factors – Father’s Groups, Mother’s Groups, Children’s Rights Groups. All of these seek a voice in family law, and the law will often change as it attempts to reach an ideal arrangement for resolving family issues where separation and divorce affect the welfare of a child or children.

Page last updated 13/12/2017

Next Section De Facto and Same-Sex Relationships