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An emerging theme in family law is that a thorough appreciation of social science research is essential. This book stands apart from others because it has a comprehensive chapter on social science which not only summarises the latest research but also analyses the case law to demonstrate how this research is used in family law decision-making. It also has a chapter touching on international family law, an area of increasing importance.
The author team brings a unique blend of practice experience and academic expertise, to ensure this text will have a broad appeal to all readers. Students, academics, new practitioners, and also more experienced practitioners looking for a refresher, will all find Family Law Principles a useful resource.
From: Ethos September 2011
Reviewed by: Cristina Huesch (Armstong Legal)
This books stated aim is to ‘provide a comprehensive and accessible text covering the major aspects of family law’. The book’s four reputable authors have certainly achieved this aim and the title gives away the intention: It is to cover the principles of family law.
The book covers the legislative framework (courts, jurisdiction, legal obligations on practitioners, the Family Law Act, and Child Support legislation etc), but it goes beyond those standard topics. For example the book addresses the role of social science and related non-legal disciplines in family law, as well as provides some guidance on the skills, ethics and values which are essential to today’s practitioners.
The basic principles are covered (traditional topics of parental responsibility, property entitlements, spouse maintenance and divorce) but the authors have expanded the content to include issues which arise more and more these days (same-sex relationships, DNA testing, adoption, modern surrogacy, artificial insemination, international abduction and the like). The book also covers matters of procedure such as steps to expect in a particular court event, and in what order, links to useful websites, the steps to be taken to enforce court orders;
The target audience includes practitioners new to family law, experienced lawyers who may need a re-fresher, as well as young graduates who might be assigned a family law file without much supervision. The book also appears to be aimed at university students (as each chapter ends with tutorial questions and ‘essay topics’) but it is not limited by this.
Each chapter concisely covers that chapter’s aims in a very user-friendly, easy to read format with common sense headings, diagrams (including flow charts) and bullet points, for easy reading. The chapters about child support and family violence are particularly well-written and make some sense of what can be overwhelming subjects to a novice.
Whilst this book does briefly covers some more advanced issues (for example, international family law matters or tax issues in complex property settlement), this is more to identify issues instead of deal with them at any great length, and this is in keeping with its target market of inexperienced or intermittent family lawyers who are probably unlikely to deal with such cases day to day.
This book has a place in every lawyer’s office, not only specialist family law firms.
Table of Contents
- What is Family and What is Family Law?
- Family Courts and Jurisdiction
- Marriage, Nullity and Divorce
- The Family Law Dispute Resolution System
- Legislative Obligations in Family Dispute Resolution
- Violence in the Family
- Parenthood, Parentage and Parental Responsibility
- Children and the Family Law Act
- Children’s Issues
- Family Violence and Child Abuse in Parenting Cases
- The Role of Social Science and Other Disciplines in Family Law
- Property and the Family Law Act
- Advanced Property Topics
- Financial Aspects of De Facto and Other Formalised Relationships
- Financial Support for Children: Child Maintenance and Child Support
- Family Lawyers, Skills, Ethics and Values
- International Family Law Issues
- Tutorial Answers [PDF 95320]
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