An analysis of the historical development of family law in Europe allows for a reevaluation of the argument that harmonization and unification are unfeasible because of unbridgeable historical and cultural differences between the European countries. Between the Gregorian reforms and the Reformation, the family law of Europe was mainly uniform canon law. There were two very similar systems of canon law, the Catholic and the Orthodox. The development of family law from the end of the Reformation until today can be seen as the gradual abandoning of concepts of canon law. Although this process was essentially the same in all European countries, it did (and still does) not take place simultaneously. The major differences between the current family laws of the European countries can be considered to be differences in the timing and extent of the said process.