family court

The evolution of family law

Posted on by Behdad Hosseini


Most societies change over time. This is certainly true of the society we currently live in, which has changed dramatically and constantly since the beginning of the modern era over 200 years ago.

As a result, laws tend to change with the times, too. Although that’s not always true, of course. We always hear about some old law created 100 years ago that doesn’t apply to modern times, right?

Nevertheless, most of the laws that apply to everyday life evolve to accommodate societal changes. This tends to be especially true regarding family law, in part because the family structure within our society has undergone such rapid change, particularly in recent decades.

Modern society

The changes we have seen in society’s family structure, as well as the family laws that apply, have generally resulted from a drift away from traditionalism. For example, traditionally, divorces were rather difficult to obtain because it was considered a deviation from accepted family structure.

The same could be said about other aspects of family law, too. Traditionally, the family structure had an almost sacred aura about it. As a result, what happened in the family tended to stay within the family. Laws and courts kept their distance. Of course, this generally no longer holds true as both family law and family court have intervened to protect the rights of children, spouses and individuals.

However, there is a demographic trend, especially within Canada, that might run counter to this “modernization” of the family unit. Specifically, immigrant families from more traditional cultures are bringing their values with them. As a result, such values sometimes run counter to established cultural trends.

Forced marriages

A very current example of this relates to the issue of forced marriage, or pre-arranged marriages. In some cultures, this is accepted practice. In fact, in Western culture, this was once an accepted practice, too. Now, however, the Canadian government has introduced measures that would ban such practices, and not everyone is happy about it.

What everyone wants to see is an end to abuse towards any members of the family, including spouses or vulnerable women. Yet critics of the newly propose law believe ending arranged marriages won’t address abuse but would needlessly target certain communities. With some of those communities becoming larger, it’s likely the debate won’t end any time soon.

If you need a professional advice on family law, or if you’re thinking of divorce, please phone us here at Hosseini Law Firm (HLF) for a 15 minute free consultation: 416-628-4635, or please use the contact form provided on this page. Thank you.

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