Contemporary Family Law
UVA Law Faculty Affiliations
This casebook captures the rapid evolution of doctrine, introduces students to emerging policy debates, and explores issues that arise in family law practice including the importance of collaborating with professionals from other disciplines. The book emphasizes that families take a variety of forms, including marital and nonmarital relationships, and that constitutional considerations play an increasingly important role in family law. Contemporary Family Law includes several chapters that do not appear in most other family law casebooks. For example, it devotes 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 legal disputes, this casebook devotes two separate chapters to custody: the first treats the initial custody decision, and the second explores disputes that arise over visitation, custody, and key childrearing decisions after the initial disposition. In addition, the book emphasizes the importance of legal practice issues by placing the lawyering chapter at the beginning of the book, and by using problems that enable students to apply doctrine.