This quick topic guide was created for students conducting introductory research in the area of family law. This guide, while not comprehensive, provides a listing of some of the more important, current and relevant materials available in this subject area.
When researching an issue or area of law for the first time, we suggest you begin with a secondary source such as a legal encyclopedia, legal treatise, or ALR. Several are listed on the Texts, Treatises, & Study Aids page of this guide. As family law is typically governed by state law, researchers should also consult a state-specific research guide; in particular, look for what state-specific encyclopedias, treatises, and/or practice guides may be available. Though they are not state-specific nor family-law specific, more general secondary sources -- such as the national legal encyclopedias Corpus Juris Secundum (C.J.S.) and American Jurisprudence, 2d (Am. Jur. 2d) -- are often helpful when getting started. A multi-jurisdictional tool such as a 50-state survey may also come in handy if one is available on your topic.
Updated 9/26/2011 (JZ)
Updated 4/16 (MK)
Updated 5/21 (AG)