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College of Law

Family Law

Course Number: 6640
Professor: Dona Playton
Credit Hours & Type of Credit: 3
Semester Offered: Spring
Required: No
Prerequisites: None
Recommended Courses: None

Course Overview: Once, family law occupied a quiet backwater in legal practice and academia. No longer. Today, family law finds itself on the front lines of what Justice Scalia has called the culture war of modern America. The perceived social consensus that long undergirded the legal regulation of family life has largely collapsed. Family law is currently embroiled in a series of hot-button debates: same-sex marriage, divorce, out-of-wedlock childbearing, abortion, and the deregulation of sexuality. The very definition of family and the boundaries of family law have become blurred. Family law now draws from constitutional law, and extends to criminal law, conflicts of laws, welfare law, and the law of contracts, torts, property, and inheritance, to name a few. From marriage to divorce, property distribution, child custody and the termination of parental rights, this class will explore the many areas and facets of family law with an eye toward providing students with a firm doctrinal grounding, while preparing them for what they will face as they enter into practice. In the context of this exploration we will look closely at many of the cultural issues noted above, and the effects those issues are having not just on the family and the law related to the family, but on society as a whole.

Course Materials: See the current Book List located under Courses and Curriculum.
Course Format:
Written Assignments: Short, discrete assignments required in conjunction with the problems and exercises.
Type of Exam: 2-hour exam
Basis for Grading Student Performance: Class participation, short problems and exercises given in various ways throughout the duration of the class, and a 2 hour final exam.
Other Comments:

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