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About the Book

Modern Family Law

Front Cover - Modern Family Law

Sixth Edition

D. Kelly Weisberg, University of California, Hastings College of Law
Susan Frelich Appleton, Washington University, St. Louis

2016. 980 pages. ISBN: 978-1-4548-7005-0. With Teacher’s Manual.

About the Book

Modern Family Law reflects the social diversity of the modern family as it examines the legal impacts of the women’s movement, the children’s rights movement, the fathers’ rights movement, domestic violence, changing sexual mores, nontraditional family forms, and developments in reproductive technology. Integrating valuable interdisciplinary perspectives, the text includes excerpts, notes, and questions emanating from history, psychology, sociology, social work, medicine, and philosophy. A variety of problem exercises, most derived from actual cases and current events, covers cross-cutting themes as well as the basics of family law. Human-interest stories that complement the cases heighten student awareness of the real impact of the law on people’s lives. Modern Family Law easily adapts to shorter or longer courses.

The Sixth Edition offers contemporary perspectives on family law theory and covers new developments on such topics as alienation of affections, adoption, assisted reproduction, attorneys’ sexual ethics, bigamy, child abuse, child custody and support, divorce, domestic violence, grandparents’ visitation rights, names in the family, parentage, premarital agreements, and reproductive rights. The text features major coverage of developments on same-sex marriage, DOMA, and other issues of equality for gay and lesbian families. The decline of marriage and the rise of new conceptualizations of family are explored along with the return of the “culture wars,” including political disputes about contraception.


Hallmark features of Modern Family Law:

  • reflects the social diversity of the modern family
  • examines the legal impact of important topics:
  • the women’s movement
  • the children’s rights movement
  • the fathers’ rights movement
  • domestic violence
  • changing sexual mores 
  • nontraditional family forms
  • developments in reproductive technology
  • integrates valuable interdisciplinary perspectives
  • excerpts, notes, and questions 
  • history, psychology, sociology, social work, medicine, and philosophy
  • covers cross-cutting themes as well as the basics of family law 
  • presents a variety of problem exercises, most from actual cases and current events
  • easily adapts to shorter or longer courses
  • heightens student awareness of the law’s impact through human-interest stories 

Thoroughly updated, the revised Sixth Edition presents:

  • new developments on:
  • alienation of affections 
  • adoption 
  • assisted reproduction 
  • attorneys’ sexual ethics 
  • bigamy 
  • child abuse 
  • child custody and support  
  • divorce 
  • domestic violence
  • grandparents’ visitation rights 
  • names in the family 
  • parentage 
  • premarital agreements 
  • reproductive rights
  • major coverage of developments on same-sex marriage, DOMA, and other issues of equality for gay and lesbian families
  • the decline of marriage and the rise of new conceptualizations of family
  • contemporary perspectives on family law theory
  • the return of the “culture wars,” including political disputes about contraception

Preface / Sample Chapters