Family Law is the body of statutes and previous case verdicts that govern individuals who share a domestic connection. It envelops laws concerning parental rights and obligations, divorce, and child support. It even reaches out to same-sex marriage, surrogate motherhood, and in vitro fertilization and ovum transplantation. There have been laws put into place over time that protect the rights of all parties in these various situations. Family law is what protects you when you go through a divorce, it’s what gives you your rights as a parent in the case of a divorce, and it’s what gives you the opportunity to have a child using a surrogate mother and maintain the rights of protection for that child.
Why are they important, you might ask? Here is an outline of specific situations where family law will protect your rights.
- Divorce: In the case of divorce, family law prevents you from being left with absolutely nothing. A prenuptial agreement, obviously made before the marriage, allows for specific terms to be predetermined in the case of a divorce. Now that sounds sad to think that your marriage could end in divorce, but if you have assets, you need to protect yourself, might as well be safe rather than sorry.
- Child Support: No one wants to think about needing child support, but sometimes things happen and you end up with a child and no father. Or, of course, you could be the father of a child whose mother you are not married to. In those cases, child support is needed to provide your child with everything it needs. This prevents the mother from struggling and gives the child its best chance.
- Surrogate Motherhood: This is a wonderful option for couples who cannot conceive a child on their own. There are laws in place that protect the couple and the surrogate mother as well. This ensures that all parties are cared for and get what they needed out of the experience. For the couple it would be a precious baby, for the surrogate mother is to make sure she is compensated for carrying their baby and everything that comes with that.
- Parental Rights: These rights are important. As mentioned above, sometimes babies are born into a family that doesn’t have a married mother and father. Having parental rights ensures that each parent has proper time to spend with their child and is not cheated out of the experience of parenthood. This can also protect a child from being exposed to a toxic parent that the opposing parent believes is a negative influence.
There is a high probability that anyone reading this will have had some type of experience with one of these examples. Especially since the divorce rate in the US is approximately 50%, and with divorce comes child support, parental rights, and other issues that you will need protection for. No one should underestimate the importance of Family Law as a whole, as it provides basic rights and helps to families every day.