A family is a fundamental unit of society, and, as such, there are laws in place to protect the rights of family members.
Five key pillars underpin the entire system when it comes to family law. These five pillars are essential to understand, as they will dictate how family law cases are handled and what kind of outcomes are possible.
So, what makes up the five pillars of family law? Below is a quick summary of each one.
Marriage is a union between two individuals who love and care for each other. It is a legally binding contract society recognizes as essential for families’ stability.
Marriage provides several benefits and protections to couples, including inheritance rights, social security benefits, and financial and legal security. It also allows teams to share in each other’s lives and experiences and provides a framework for raising children.
A couple planning to get married must take legal steps to make their union official. This process is known as a wedding or, more formally, getting married under the law.
Family law dictates that a married couple must be treated equally in the eyes of the law. It means that, no matter what, a husband and wife have the same rights and obligations to each other.
Sometimes, a married couple goes through a tough time and decides that they would be better off not getting married. In that case, a couple might seek a divorce procedure.
A divorce means that a previously married couple is revoking their marriage contract. This process can be lengthy and complicated, as the couple must address various issues related to the dissolution.
A divorce will significantly impact both parties involved and should not be taken lightly. So, it is important to seek legal assistance if considering a divorce. Family law attorneys are experienced in handling divorce proceedings and can help ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible.
3. Child Custody
When a married couple divorces, one of the most challenging issues to resolve is usually the custody of any children involved.
Custody determines who will be responsible for the care and upbringing of the children following the divorce. There are two types of custody: the first one is physical and the other is legal.
Physical custody is the actual physical possession and care of the children. On the other hand, legal custody means who makes decisions regarding the children’s welfare, such as schooling, religion, and medical care.
Parents typically want what is best for their children and often disagree about who should have custody. That is why it is crucial to seek the advice of a custody lawyer, who can help mediate any disputes and work towards an agreement that is in the best interest of the children.
4. Child Support
When one parent has physical custody of a child, the other parent is typically required to pay child support.
Child support is financial assistance that helps offset raising a child. It is paid by the parent who does not have custody and provides the child with the same standard of living enjoyed by both parents during the marriage.
Child support payments are usually calculated based on various factors, such as the income of both parents, the number of children involved, and the cost of living in each parent’s area.
It is important to note that child support is a legally binding obligation. It should get paid regularly, regardless of whether the non-custodial parent has custody of the child.
Alimony, also known as spousal support, is financial assistance that one spouse pays to the other after a divorce.
Alimony is present to help the receiving spouse maintain the same standard of living they had while married. It can be paid in a lump sum or periodic payments and is usually determined based on the income of both spouses and the length of the marriage.
Alimony might not consistently get awarded, but it is something to consider if one spouse cannot support themselves after a divorce. A family law attorney can help you determine if alimony is an option in your case and can negotiate on your behalf.
Family law governs a variety of essential issues related to marriage and divorce. By understanding the basics of family law, you can make informed decisions about your situation and protect your rights. Marriage, divorce, child custody, child support, and alimony are the main pillars that family law covers.
Understanding each of these pillars of family law is essential to protect you and your family. This way, you can be sure to get what you deserve during tough times.