Statistics indicate that there are a large number of single mothers in our society today, with nearly 40 percent of all children being born to couples who are not married. Some people view this as a problem, citing irresponsible mothers or deadbeat fathers as a symptom of our country's economic declines or social tragedies. The true problem with these out-of-wedlock births, however, is that issues of paternity are rarely addressed as thoroughly as they should be. This can lead to the wrong man paying child support for a baby that is not his, or a loving father being denied custody rights due to a legal technicality.
When two people get married, they expect that they will spend the rest of their lives together, and they often begin to build that life by accruing assets. A new bed in which to sleep together, a new house to raise their family, a new car to take the children to soccer practice, these are all things that married couples might buy to accommodate their new life. But not all marriages last, and in the event of a divorce, the question of who gets what suddenly becomes significant.
Child support is almost always a highly debated topic among parents, whether they divorced or never married. The custodial parent often feels that he or she is struggling to raise a child without the financial assistance he or she deserves while non-custodial parents struggle to justify allocating some of their hard-earned money toward a child they never see and a parent they hardly know. This issue is especially pressing for prisoners, who are incapable of making a significant enough income to make most child support payments.
When a couple decides to divorce, there are many legal issues that may arise, and many parties who may be less than satisfied with the results of the divorce. Oftentimes custodial parents feel that they are not paid enough in child support, or noncustodial parents feel that they do not get to see their children enough. While each of these may be valid concerns, there is a significant focus on the outcome of a divorce agreement as it pertains to children and parents, but very little attention is paid to grandparents.
There are many reasons that an individual or a couple may wish to adopt a child: some same-sex couples who cannot conceive together choose to adopt in order to expand their families and some people simply want to provide a better life for children who have no caregiving relationships with their parents. Regardless of the reasons, those who wish to adopt are encouraged to do so, but armed with the necessary knowledge.
Thanks to a landmark decision by the Supreme Court, same-sex couples can now legally be married in every state in the country. This means there is an entirely new demographic of people who will need legal assistance with family law matters, such as prenuptial agreements, adoption or even divorce. The ability to marry comes with many other issues that same-sex couples will need to address. Of course, there are some counties in which that is still not the primary concern of same-sex couples.
One of the primary responsibilities of family law is to protect children who cannot protect themselves. This is why when couples are going through a divorce, a great deal of focus is put on determining the custody arrangement based on what is in the best interests of the child. The courts want to ensure that the children will be treated well and cared for so that they develop into healthy, productive members of society.
Family law covers a wide range of legal matters, including divorce, child custody and prenuptial agreements. While these are perhaps the most common and well-known practices of family law, domestic violence may be the most important because of the potential drastic consequences. This is not to understate the serious impact that a divorce or custody agreement can have on a family, but to raise awareness about a family issue that may not be widely recognized.