Family Law is a field of Private Law and more specifically of Civil Law. Family Law is included in the fourth volume of the Civil Code (articles 1346-1709 of Civil Code), but associated provisions are also met in other legislative acts. The articles of Family law regulate the family relations, i.e. the relations that are shaped and developed within the family framework.
The term “family” has a sociological meaning and indicates the need of the human being to belong somewhere. With the use of the term “family” we refer to the fundamental group of society where the bond among the members is directly connected with a biological event: sexual relationship or birth giving. That biological event, when incorporated into the law, the legal meaning of family emerges: the sexual relationship is integrated in the marriage, while the act of birth giving is placed at the legal foundation of maternity and paternity. Family, from a sociological, but also legal point of view, may also be created by adoption, which is a simulated relation. In the cases of adoption, the biological event is replaced by a legal action.
An alternative form of family that appears more and more often in modern societies is the one of free union. Pursuant to the Law no. 3719/2008, the coexistence agreement has been acknowledged in Greece. The agreement of free coexistence is an agreement between two adults who organize their lives together. This agreement grants some of the marriage’s rights to the couple.
There are rules of law which regulate the family relations and refer to the relations between spouses, personal and financial matters and relations between parents and children, who are born or adopted within or outside marriage. Meanwhile, there are some rules of Family Law which pre-assume a wider meaning of the term “family”, such as rules that regulate the protection of minors and people that are incompetent of any action of law, i.e. the guardianship of minors (where and when the parent custody does not exist, or, even if it does, still it remains inactive), and the legal custody of foreign affairs.