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Family law or domestic relations as it is listed in some law schools is where you learn that you either need to stay single or stay married. The practice of divorce law can get very bitter and resolving conflicts between family members or spouses can be dangerous as well. There are the recent cases of a judge being shot and also the video of the attorney ducking behind a tree as the ex-husband fires numerous shots. I personally knew a family law attorney that was shot and killed by the ex husband.
Regardless, family law is a required law school course at most schools whether you like it or not. Here you get to calculate child support and figure out who gets what. It is on the bar exam in many states.
In your Family Law class you will cover the legal problems concerning the validity of antenuptial agreements; marriage, dissolution of marriage (divorce), declarations of invalidity or a marriale (annulment), legal separation (separate maintenance); rights and duties of husband, wife, parent, and child; legitimacy and illegitimacy; adoption; adjustment of rights in divorce, including “fault” and “no fault” doctrines; property rights, including marital and non-marital property doctrines; maintenance (alimony); child support; child custody and visitation; legal status of infants; conflict of laws and constitutional law problems in family law context; and remedies to prevent domestic violence.
In family law, everything is state specific. The laws vary substantially from state to state. Some states are community property states, some are not. How alimony is calculated and the length of time it is paid varies from state to state. Some states allow at fault divorces while others do not. Further, it seems that family law is subject to more change from social pressures than other areas of the law. One example is the ruling allowing same sex marriages. All states have a requirement for continuing education for attorneys. Check out the classes offered as they are your best resource for the current law in your state, especially if it is one that is being given by your professor.
Family Law Essay Exam from Minnesota
Domestic Relations Essay Exam from Georgia
New York Bar Exam Domestic Relations
Utah Marriage and Divorce Laws and Forms
South Carolina Divorce Website
Georgia Divorce and Child Custody Website
Basics of Divorce, Legal Separation and Annulment in California
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