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Family Law Introduce the numerous ways in which laws and government affect them as individuals and as members of families In many ways, family life is.

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Presentation on theme: "Family Law Introduce the numerous ways in which laws and government affect them as individuals and as members of families In many ways, family life is."— Presentation transcript:

1 Family Law Introduce the numerous ways in which laws and government affect them as individuals and as members of families In many ways, family life is private and law is kept at a distance. For example, the law will not interfere when siblings disagree or when people decide whether or not to have children. At the same time, the law does impact some aspects of family, life such when states set

2 requirements for who may marry as well as how people divorce, divide property, and support children and former spouses. Local, state, and federal governments have rules about adoption and assisted fertility, and they provide resources for children who are abused, neglected, or in foster care. Governments also provide economic, health, and educational benefits to support individuals and families

3 Law and the American Family Law From Birth to Death From birth until death, the law creates rules and boundaries that affect the way children, teenagers, adults, and families are able to live their lives. Many daily activities and events are so common that it is easy to forget that there are actually laws regulating almost every action.

4 For example, parents must provide the basic necessities for their children; children of a certain age are required to go to school; and teenagers can take a driver’s test and vote in public elections when they reach a certain age. The laws that govern many important aspects of a person’s life can vary from state to state.

5 What is a Family? Defining what constitutes a family can be difficult. The size and appearance of the American family is constantly changing due to various economic, social, and political factors. For example, many children are raised in families that do not have two parents. Since there is no longer a traditional family model, the law and the courts have adapted to meet the changing needs of today’s society and family.

6 Marriage Getting Married State law controls the marriage process. Couples must fulfill certain requirements before obtaining a legal marriage certificate. Marriage laws and requirements exist to ensure that couples are serious about their relationship, in an attempt to strengthen families and reduce the number of divorces.

7 Legal Aspects of Marriage Although marriage requirements may vary from state to state, a marriage that is legal in one state is usually recognized in every other state. When a couple seeks to legally end their marriage, a divorce takes place. An annulment, on the other hand is a court order that declares that a marriage never legally existed.

8 Common-Law Marriage A common-law marriage is a union between two people who decide to forego the standard state marriage requirements. A couple that engages in a common-law marriage considers themselves husband and wife and lives together as a married couple.

9 Financial Responsibilities In the past, the husband was regarded as the head of the household and the overseer of finances. Today, both spouses are regarded as equal. This means that both partners are financially responsible for the necessities of life and other purchases either spouse makes.

10 Property Ownership When two people get married their property is divided into categories known as separate property and marital property. Separate property is all property individually owned by each spouse before the marriage. Marital property is anything that the couple acquires during their marriage that they both own. Couples have the choice to combine all of their property. State laws and separation agreements determine who gets marital property if a marriage ends.

11 Decisions in a Marriage Getting married involves many important decisions. Some couples decide to write a prenuptial agreement before that marry that outlines each spouse’s responsibilities in the marriage. The law very rarely interferes in everyday family life.

12 Spouse Abuse Unfortunately, domestic abuse can happen to anyone in any relationship. Generally, spouse abuse is a recurring incident that can result in a cycle of serious psychological and physical damage, or even death. Counseling, support groups, legal action, and other services are available for victims of spouse abuse.

13 Legal Issues for Single people in Nontraditional Relationships Even couples that are not married but living together are bound by certain legal responsibilities and constraints. Same-sex couples face great difficulties in obtaining the right to marry. State laws regarding civil unions vary from state to state.

14 Separation, Divorce, and Custody Marriage Problems Married couples may encounter difficulties as a result of numerous social, economic, and personal factors. When couples are unable to resolve problems on their own, they may seek help from outside sources, such as a marriage counselor.

15 Separation and Divorce Some couples are unable to resolve their differences and choose to either separate or divorce. When a couple separates, they remain married but live apart. separation/

16 Due to the many financial, legal and emotional hardships that come with a divorce, most states require that couples seeking this option enter a period of separation. In fact, state laws play a great role as to how and under what grounds a couple can obtain a divorce. service.com/divorce_laws/state_divorce_laws.html

17 Although divorce legally ends a marriage, the two parties might still be responsible to each other financially, especially if children are involved.

18 Child Custody Once a divorce is final, parents must decide who will have legal responsibility for the children. This is called custody. The parent who gains custody becomes the primary provider and guardian, while the other parent, the noncustodial parent, is granted visitation rights and may be responsible for some financial support. In some cases divorced parents can both remain primary guardians of their children by obtaining joint custody. If a couple is unable to agree on a custody decision, the court awards custody based on the best interest of the children.

19 Alimony, Property Division, and Child Support The distribution of money and possessions is a highly debated topic during a divorce. Who gets the car and the house? This type of decision is called property division. The final divorce decree will also involve an agreement about support to one of the spouses – alimony – as well as child support.

20 Stepparents When a divorced person remarries a person with children, he or she becomes a stepparent. Step parents are not considered parents unless they have permission from the biological parents and legally adopt the child or children.


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