Families are the building block of society, so a category of law pertaining to that foundation makes sense, but what does family law cover? Some Illinois kids might hope they can get out of daily chores by invoking an ordinance against child labor, but family law is about so much more.
FindLaw explains this category of law as relating to structures of families. That means it covers anything related to expanding a household through adoption or sharing custody of children following divorce. Whether the new adoptees get to share in weekly duties around the home is not up to legislators, but who is eligible for adoption and when the proceedings may move forward is. Whether grandparents have the rights to continue visiting with adoptees is also an issue state law addresses.
Other pertinent areas family law covers are marriage and paternity. State legislation dictates how old someone has to be to get married, for example, and what constitutes legal grounds for divorce. It also guides fathers who are attempting to establish paternity, setting specific parameters for who, when and how they can go about claiming a child as their own.
The Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada lists the kinds of cases that most often land in family law court:
- Those related to juveniles: illegal behavior, abuse or neglect
- Dissolutions of marriages and the custody issues that follow
- Establishment of paternity
- Emancipation and guardianship
- Adoptions and parental rights issues, including termination of those rights
The center suggests most family law cases relate directly to family relationships involving children, parents or spouses.