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The modern dilemma for family law is to strike an appropriate balance between those principles which bond and those which loosen the ties between family members. This conflict has implications as profound and uncertain for the future structure of the courts and the continued viability of some of its oldest jurusdictions as for the future of those who have become the subject of family proceedings. Arguments for both camps have rested their case on the welfare of the child.;This book takes an analytical look at the meaning given to the welfare principle, the reasons for the controversy it now attracts and the growing legal significance attached to it. By tracing the principle's evolution over the centuries this book provides a record of the milestones which have shaped its development.