Courses Needed for a Family Law Degree

by Sara Rajan, Demand Media
Family law covers a variety of areas in marriage, child support and divorce.

Family law covers a variety of areas in marriage, child support and divorce.

Family law covers a large variety of legal areas, including traditional marriage, divorce, child support, same-sex marriage, adoption, delinquency, spousal abuse and child abuse. In order to practice family law in the United States, attorneys must be equipped with a number of skills in writing, research, counseling, and negotiation, according to Syracuse University College of Law. Although there is no specific undergraduate major needed for enrolling in law school, students enrolled in a Juris Doctorate program who are interested in practicing family law are expected to take specific courses in order to practice in that field.

Children and Family Law

According to the DePaul College of Law, the adoption law course is intended to teach the historical background of American law of adoption, adoption procedure, the Indian Child Welfare Act and race and sexual orientation issues when adopting. When studying family law, it is important to understand the legal rights of children and how the law impacts a child's life. For example, state intervention is sometimes necessary if a child's basic needs are not being met, such as not receiving the proper education or health care. Other topics of study might involve juvenile delinquency and making sure children are accommodated with proper rehabilitation and representation.


The divorce law course is intended to help students improve their understanding of international and comparative divorce laws, separation, absolute divorce, limited divorce and no-fault divorce. Other topics covered in the divorce law course include property division and alimony.

Comparative Family Law

Comparative family law is the comparison of the standards and procedures for managing domestic and intimate lives within and beyond national borders. This course is meant to portray family law in a more social context. For instance, some relevant topics covered in comparative family law might include domestic violence, same-sex relationships, divorce, divorce finances, cohabitation, parental responsibilities and family property.

Non-Traditional Family Law

A non-traditional family extends outside the traditional norm. For example, a traditional family consists of a mother, father and their children, whereas a non-traditional family may include grandparents raising their grandchildren, children living with caregivers, foster families or same-sex parents. A non-traditional family law course demonstrates how all non-traditional families deserve to have their rights represented in order to allow them to keep their family ties secure.

About the Author

Sara Rajan is a writer from northern Indiana. She graduated with a B.A. in English literature from Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame. Rajan's work has been published in "Chicken Soup for the Soul," "Humpty Dumpty" and "Religious Life Review." She has also worked as an instructor at a community college, and is the founder and editor of "Literary Juice."

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