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Students who are accustomed to courses emphasizing appellate opinions get immediate immersion in judicial decision-making through Family Law: Problems and Documents. Students also experience the conflict between client expectations and the lawyer's personal beliefs.
The 11 chapters of FAMILY LAW: Problems and Documents move from traditional and nontraditional marriage to private ordering by parties, dissolution of marriage and its incidents, and family law practice. Problems address both continuing and contemporary issues, including:
• prenuptial contracting, cohabitation, and surrogacy agreements
• procreation decisions
• changing nature of the parent-child relationship
• family torts, including domestic violence
• rights of children born out of wedlock
• state intervention in family life to protect at-risk children
• jurisdiction and grounds for dissolution of marriage
• spousal support and division of property
• the impact of bankruptcy on marital obligations
• child custody disputes; child support
In all, 104 problems engage student attention and facilitate understanding of the law. Many of the problems refer students to the appendix of federal statutes and uniform acts that appears at the back of the book. Family Law: Problems and Documents can be used with any casebook. Smithburn makes class use as easy as possible; his Introduction contains recommended rules for conducting class simulations and writing assignments.