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Family law

Family law or domestic relations is an area of the law that deals with family related issues such as marriage, spousal abuse, divorce, child custody, visitation, adoption and domestic partnership agreements. Sometimes these issues and a determination of the division of property of the spouses is determined by the courts or by agreement of the parties in connection with the dissolution of marriage. Often family law is administered by a family court which may also hear matters involving children such as domestic violence, juvenile delinquency, child custody, visitation, guardianships, child abuse, paternity and adoption in couples that are not married, in a common-law marriage and in civil unions. The acceptance of adoption by same-sex couples, civil unions or the recognition of same-sex marriage in some jurisdictions has broaden the scope of family law to deal with issues affecting same-sex couples.

The use of the term 'divorce' has been replaced with 'dissolution of marriage', the modern action used in all the states of the United States except New York. Most other countries still use the term divorce.