Family Law

Professor Picart | Summer 2017

Course Description and Objectives


This is a 3 credit survey course in Family Law. Students will learn most aspects of family law (both nationally and in Florida). Students will be able to examine particular facts and apply relevant laws pertaining to the following: the family as defined by law; the right to privacy and its relevance to family law; entering marriage; paternity; social and economic rights and obligations; "non-marital" families; dissolution of marriage; distribution of assets and liabilities at dissolution; alimony; prenuptial agreements; child custody; post-dissolution custody claims and modifications; visitation; child support; domestic violence; and family law practice.

Upon completing the course, students will be able to critically analyze complex theoretical issues and significant questions such as:

  • What is a “family”? This theme will recur throughout this course as we examine how the definition of “family” varies according to the context, reflecting society’s values and policy goals.
  • How does and how should family law address nontraditional families?
  • What is the appropriate balance between family autonomy and state regulation?
  • How do race, gender, and class affect family law?
  • How does family law address questions of religious freedom?



The course is both theoretically and practically oriented. Consequently, additionally, students will acquire the following practical skills for family law practice:

  • Ability to analyze a family law matter;
  • Ability to interview and advise a client on a family law matter;
  • Ability to prioritize issues in a family law matter;
  • Ability to determine whether to seek temporary relief;
  • Ability to prepare a complete dissolution file;
  • Ability to collaborate with peers on case strategy;
  • Ability to prepare and present a professional demonstration on a family law matter.