This is the modern definition of family according to Sociology, but it has not always been so. For the longest time, the man was considered the head of the family with women and children being the dependents and his property.
They had no rights and could not pleas their cases anywhere. The Family Courts came into being in the 1950’s and the issues started to take a turn for the better, but it still took a lot of years to make the laws fair for everyone and give women and children equal or at least some rights.
While the law, especially family laws, need to be constantly updated and evolved with time, here are some of the major updates that impacted the laws.
Laws in the 1800’s
Before the Feminist Movement started and brought about some of the greatest changes in the early 1800’s, a husband or father owned the wife and the children as properties and in the instance that a divorce takes place, no rights were awarded to mother and women basically lost their children when they left an abusive relationship.
The cost was too much for them and thus the rate of divorce was also minimal. With the movement for women rights, the view of the courts regarding women started to change and the Tender Years Doctrine’ placed the child in the mother’s care when they were actually the minors.
Laws in the 1950’s
While the Tender Years Doctrine’ had given women more rights over the children than what they had before, it is also meant that the children’s best interests were not kept in sight by the court. The children were passed on to the mothers regardless of whether they were fit for the responsibility or not.
This is when the Best Interest of Child’ laws came to be in the 1970’s. These laws ignored the sexual preferences and custody decisions were made on the basis of a number of factors that were examined in both the parents.
These laws also recognized the rights of a Father over the child and the mindset that the best parent would win the custody regardless of what sex they belonged to, came into being.
Late 1900’s to Recent Laws
Child Psychology came to be a field in the late 1900’s and that was when the Joint Custody Laws were formed keeping in mind the mental well-being of the children who were said to need both the parents to live a better and normal life.
1999 brought about the Parental Responsibilities Law’ and certain rights and major decisions were appointed by the father and the mother separately.
These laws combined with the modern Child Psychology issues, brought about a lot of changes and Child and Family Investigators and Family Investigators came out as professionals.
All these play important roles nowadays when a case is taken to court regarding families and a decision is only made when all of the other avenues are exhausted. If you need a good family attorney, we are here to help.