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In human society, family (from Latin: familia) is a group of people related either by consanguinity (by recognized birth) or affinity (by marriage or other relationship). The purpose of families is to maintain the well-being of its members and of society. Ideally, families would offer predictability, structure, and safety as members mature and participate in the community. In most societies, it is within families that children acquire socialization for life outside the family. Additionally, as the basic unit for meeting the basic needs of its members, it provides a sense of boundaries for performing tasks in a safe environment, ideally builds a person into a functional adult, transmits culture, and ensures continuity of humankind with precedents of knowledge.
Anthropologists generally classify most family organizations as matrifocal (a mother and her children); patrifocal (a father and his children); conjugal (a wife, her husband, and children, also called the nuclear family); avuncular (for example, a grandparent, a brother, his sister, and her children); or extended (parents and children co-reside with other members of one parent's family).
Members of the immediate family may include spouses, parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, sons, and daughters. Members of the extended family may include aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews, nieces, and siblings-in-law. Sometimes these are also considered members of the immediate family, depending on an individual's specific relationship with them, and the legal definition of "immediate family" varies. Sexual relations with family members are regulated by rules concerning incest such as the incest taboo.
The field of genealogy aims to trace family lineages through history. The family is also an important economic unit studied in family economics. The word "families" can be used metaphorically to create more inclusive categories such as community, nationhood, and global village.

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  1. Misty Rose

    VIC Partner threatening to take baby from me

    My partner threatens a fair bit to leave me/throw me out our home and also take our 11 week old baby from me. I’m worried as I’m not Australian (British), he is and I’m currently waiting to see if I’m granteed my visa. 1. Can he get full rights over me for our baby? 2. If I’m deported is...
  2. E

    ACT Wanting to be in Baby Boy's Life - Family Law Opinions?

    Hi all! I am having a difficult time with my baby boy, all I want is to be there for him and to be a father. Hope this helps a bit. I have a 4 month old boy and have only been able to see him once, which was when he was 2 weeks old. I was not there for the birth and have not been put down on...
  3. T

    VIC Divorced without acknowledge

    My family is immigranted to Australia for 6 years already and suddenly my dad want to get a divorce. Without my mum’s knowledge, somehow he took her to the police and asked her to sign a divorce paper. My mum can’t read nor she can understand English. He told her that it was just a paperwork...
  4. Nakoma

    VIC What can I do to help my mother?

  5. S

    QLD Other Party Refuses to Follow Magistrate's Directions - What to Do?

    Hi all, I'll try to keep this as brief as possible but happy to provide more details if needed. - The mother of my 2-year-old daughter (separated before she was born) has refused to have our daughter spend any time in my care since June, in response to being invited to attend a mediation...
  6. T

    QLD Family Court Dispute with Ex - Conflict of Interest?

    Hi there, I will try to keep this as succinct and short as possible although it has been a long, stressful process! My ex-partner & father to our now 5-year-old son separated and although we both agreed to try and agree out of family court, I began the mediation process through Family...
  7. T

    NSW Issues with Ex and Family Relationship Centre

    I have a beautiful baby girl who is 13 weeks old. Her father was never supportive during and after pregnancy. He is a compulsive liar, a drug addict, doesn't have a job, a car, a licence, and he is like a bum in the local town with his druggo mates who all hang out scabbing cigarettes off...
  8. C

    NSW Child Protection Post Family Law Mediation?

    Hi, my husband and I had met with a family law mediator at a Family Relationship Centre. We were advised that mediation will not be suitable hence 60I certificate will be issued. He has mental health issues and had attempted to take his own life on a number of occasions. I had been verbally and...
  9. J

    QLD How to Change Existing Family Court Orders?

    I have question regarding a Magellan Family Court matter. In a children's dispute back in 2010 I was able to get joint custody of my 3 children. Basically the trouble continued despite the order from the Magistrates Court and it was transferred to the Family Court. To make a very long and hard...