Family Law

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Family Law


the branch of Soviet law that regulates personal and property relations among husbands, wives, children, and other family members. Family relations are by law separate and independent of nonfamily property and personal relations, which are regulated by civil or other law. In family law, as opposed to civil law, many nonproperty relations are determining and property relations are derivative.

The objectives of family law are, among others, to strengthen the family based on the principles of communist morality; to build family relations on a voluntary marital union between a man and a woman, on feelings of mutual love, friendship, and respect among all family members without pecuniary considerations; to bring up children in a manner fully consistent with social upbringing, in a spirit of devotion to the homeland and with a communist attitude toward work; to protect the interests and rights of mothers and children by all possible means; and to ensure a happy childhood for every child.

The system of family law has a general part and a special part. The general part defines the subject matter and method of family-law regulation, the legal subjects and objects of family law, the rights and duties of family members, and family legal relations. The special part deals with several fundamental institutions—marriage, family, the rights and duties of spouses, the rights and duties of parents and children, the termination of marriage, adoption, and guardianship and curatorship over minors.

The fundamental principles of Soviet family law were laid down in the early legislative acts of the Soviet Republic. They include complete equality of man and woman in questions of marriage and family, state aid to the family, monogamy, and the exercise of parental rights exclusively in the best interests of children.

Family relations are regulated by the Basic Principles of Legislation on Marriage and the Family of the USSR and Union Republics, which were passed by the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on June 27, 1968, and which came into force on Oct. 1, 1968; they are also regulated by the Union republics’ codes on marriage and the family, which were adopted in 1969 and 1970 on the basis of the Basic Principles.

In other socialist countries, family law is also evolving as an independent branch of law.

In bourgeois states, family relations are regulated by civil legislation and, accordingly, are considered a part of civil law.


Riasentsev, V. A. Semeinoepravo. Moscow, 1971.
Vorozheikin, E. M. Semeinye pravootnosheniia v SSSR. Moscow, 1972.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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