The purpose and aim of establishing the Family Courts is to protect and preserve the institution of marriage and to promote the welfare of children and provide for settlement of disputes by conciliation. The Family Courts Act extends to the whole of India except Jammu and Kashmir.
Every State Government after consultation with the High Court establishes in every area in the state, a Family Court. One or more judges head it and preference is given to women judges.
Suits or proceedings filed in family court
The Family Courts are empowered to deal with the following matters:
- A suit or proceeding between the parties to a marriage for nullity of marriage or restitution of conjugal rights or dissolution of marriage.
- A suit or declaration as to the validity of a marriage or as to the matrimonial status of any person
- A suit or proceeding between the parties to a marriage with respect to the property of the parties or of either of them.
- A suit or proceeding for an order or injunction in circumstances arising out of a marital relationship.
- A suit or proceeding for a declaration as to the legitimacy of any person
- A suit or proceeding for maintenance.
- A suit or proceeding in relation to the guardianship of the person or the custody of, or access to, any minor.
Family Courts also have jurisdiction exercisable by a Magistrate of the 1st class relating to an order for maintenance of wife, children and parents under the Code of Criminal Procedure.