Vol. 14, No. 3, November 2011

Family Law

[Updated 7/06/2012]

The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts

The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) is an interdisciplinary association seeking to resolve family conflicts through its task forces aimed at generating reform. The AFCC’s resource center for professionals contains links to several AFCC publications including the AFCC’s e-newsletter which delivers the latest practice tips, initiatives in Family Law, and case law updates. Also available at the resource center is the AFCC’s Family Court Review, a quarterly academic and research journal which can be sampled here. The AFCC’s website is also a great resource for finding the standards of practice in such Family Law topics as guidelines for court involved therapy or model standards of practice for family and divorce mediation.

Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act

The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) was drafted by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) in 1997 and has since been adopted by 49 states and the District of Columbia. The only exception, Massachusetts, has introduced a bill to enact it into law. The UCCJEA replaced its predecessor, the “Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act,” for two important reasons. First, it eliminates contradictory language that was incompatible with the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act. Second, it adds interstate civil enforcement for child custody orders. The NCCUSL link for the act contains a summary of the act, a legislative fact sheet, and other helpful information regarding the UCCJEA and its enactment.

Massachusetts Probate and Family Court

The Massachusetts Probate and Family Court has jurisdiction over divorce, child custody, and other family law matters. The website for the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court Department can help students and attorneys locate a local family court or if the website does not have the information you seek a live law librarian can answer a question for you. Massachusetts family lawyers will find the links to forms, state agencies (such as the Department of Children and Families), and Probate Court Rules especially helpful.

Cornell Legal Information Institute-Family Law

The Cornell Legal Information Institute (LII) is a non profit organization that publishes free online laws and legal material in a manner that even a layperson could understand. Their page on family law is no exception. The link above provides access to all family law statutes and is arranged alphabetically by state.

Family Law Prof Blog

The Family Law Prof Blog is a great source for someone seeking current information on family law-related news on issues such as adoption, alternative reproduction, domestic violence, divorce, and current affairs in the field of Family Law. The blog has two authors, Andrea Carroll a law professor at Louisiana State University, and Margaret Ryznar an attorney at Cadwalder, Wickersham and Taft in Washington, D.C.