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Family Law - Family

society families children common

The family is one of the most common and oldest human social institutions. It is believed to originate from the child's need for care and the mother's ability to nurse. Family in Western society derived from ancient traditions, such as the Hebrews of the Middle East, where the father was considered the most powerful member. In the United States, family normally refers to a group of kin-related individuals sharing a home. On average, traditional families in America consist of a husband, wife, and one or two children. There is a general conception of families as entities separate from society, in which issues are solved internally. But families and society are integrally intertwined. Consequently, family law evolved as a means to maintain order in society. Family law is a general term traditionally addressing marriage, divorce, domestic disputes, and paternity. It developed from common law and is handled primarily at the state level. The courts and state legislatures have acted throughout time to preserve the institution of marriage due to its moral influence on the population. Though the First Amendment has been interpreted as significantly limiting the extent to which the state can interfere with parents over how they raise their children, certain exceptions are recognized when the health and safety of children are jeopardized.

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