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The new edition of this popular family law casebook captures the rapid changes to the American family and the corresponding evolution of doctrine. The book emphasizes that contemporary families take a variety of forms, including marital and nonmarital relationships, and that constitutional considerations play an increasingly important role in family law....
The new edition of this popular family law casebook captures the rapid changes to the American family and the corresponding evolution of doctrine. The book emphasizes that contemporary families take a variety of forms, including marital and nonmarital relationships, and that constitutional considerations play an increasingly important role in family law. The new edition preserves and updates the approach of the earlier editions by presenting core family law doctrine while also exploring emerging policy debates, discussing the importance of collaborating with professionals from other disciplines, and exploring the myriad issues central to family law practice. New cases have been introduced where needed, and the notes following each lead case and article have been thoroughly updated. Contemporary Family Law includes several important chapters that do not appear in most other family law casebooks. For example, the authors devote separate chapters to lawyering, private ordering, and alternative dispute resolution. And, in contrast to the usual approach, the book treats property distribution and alimony in separate chapters to emphasize each topic's distinctive theoretical and practical aspects. Moreover, because child custody arrangements lead to some of the most acrimonious family disputes, this casebook devotes two chapters to custody: the first treats the initial custody decision, and the second explores continuing litigation concerning visitation, custody, and key childrearing decisions after the initial disposition, including disputes involving third parties such as cohabitants and grandparents. Both custody chapters include disputes involving non-marital children. The book emphasizes legal practice issues by placing the lawyering chapter at the beginning of the book, by addressing jurisdictional issues in one integrated chapter and by providing problems for discussion throughout the book that enable students to apply doctrine in real-life settings that lawyers face. New and expanded material in the third edition includes: updated coverage of same-sex marriage and relationships; a new section on the Hague Convention; extensive coverage of debt and the 2005 Bankruptcy Act, reflecting the current economic climate; detailed discussion of new reproductive technologies; and major revisions to the chapters on professional ethics and child support (including recent data on the central role of child support in low-income families).
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