Subjects that commonly fall under a nation’s body of family law include:
Entry into legally recognized spousal and domestic relationships
The termination of legally recognized family relationships and ancillary matters, including divorce, annulment, property settlements, alimony, child custody and visitation, child support and alimony awards
Adoption: proceedings to adopt a child and, in some cases, an adult.
Surrogacy: the law and process of giving birth as a surrogate mother
Child protective proceedings: court proceedings that may result from state intervention in cases of child abuse and child neglect
Juvenile law: Matters relating to minors including status offences, delinquency, emancipation and juvenile adjudication
Paternity: proceedings to establish and disestablish paternity, and the administration of paternity testing
This list is not exhaustive and varies depending on jurisdiction.
Issues may arise in family law where there is a question as to the laws of the jurisdiction that apply to the marriage relationship or to custody and divorce, and whether a divorce or child custody order is recognized under the laws of another jurisdiction. For child custody, many nations have joined the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction in order to grant recognition to other member states’ custody orders and avoid issues of parental kidnapping.