Chapter PowerPoint - Capital High School

UNIT 5: Family Law
Chapter 30
Law and the American Family
The law affects individuals & families
throughout their lives—through events such as
births, deaths, marriages, divorces, & more
 For example:
○ when a child is born, a birth certificate is issued by
the state
○ all babies are required by law to receive
immunizations against certain diseases
○ in addition, children between certain ages are
required to attend school
Families in the U.S. take a variety of forms as
individuals make decisions about love, marriage, &
with whom they will live
Some families don’t follow the traditional structure of a
legally married woman & man & their children
• For example, families can consist
of a single parent with children, or
a same-sex couple with children
Laws are changing rapidly to help solve
conflicts & challenges faced by both
traditional & nontraditional families in
society today
What is Family Law?
Benefits that families provide to their members &
 A socially accepted & orderly setting for sexual conduct
 Stable & economically secure circumstances in which
to raise children
Socialization & moral & physical development for
Companionship & psychological support
Economic security & the potential to divide income,
homemaking, & child-rearing responsibilities &
Long-range assurance that other members of the family
will help each other in times of sickness, accident, old
age, poverty, or other hardship
Defense of Marriage Act &
Same-Sex Couples
One area of family law
that is undergoing
enormous debate &
change in the area of
domestic partnership, civil
unions, & marriages for
same-sex couples
In recent years, several
courts have issued
decisions & legislatures
have enacted laws
related to these issues
Law from Birth to Death
From birth until death, the law creates rules &
boundaries that affect the way children,
teenagers, adults, & families are able to live their
 Many daily activities and events are so common
that it is easy to forget that there are actually laws
regulating almost every action
 For example:
○ parents must provide the basic necessities for their
○ children of a certain age are required to go to school;
○ & teenagers can take a driver's test & vote in public
elections when they reach a certain age.
A will states how a person
wants his or her property
distributed after death
 If a person dies without making a
will, then state law determines who
receives that person’s property
 Having a will ensures that a
person’s estate, or property, goes
to whomever he or she wishes in
the amounts he or she chooses
The laws that govern many important aspects of a person's life
can vary from state to state
What Is a Family?
Defining what constitutes a family can
be difficult
The size & appearance of the American family is
constantly changing due to various economic, social,
& political factors
 For example, many children are raised in families that do not
have two parents
Since there is no longer a traditional family model,
the law & the courts have adapted to meet the
changing needs of today's society & family