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Practical Global Family Law


Practical Global Family Law book jacket View Table of Contents and Introductory Material

Practical Global Family Law

United States, China, and Italy

by Janet Leach Richards, Chen Wei, Lorella dal Pezzo

2009 $34.00 316 pp paper ISBN: 978-1-59460-434-8 LCCN 2009001609

Tags: Comparative Law, Contextual Approach Series, Family Law

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Practical Global Family Law puts the subject of divorce litigation in context based on the substantive law of the United States, China, and Italy. The book gives an overview of the common law and civil law systems and then compares the divorce laws and procedures of the three countries by taking a hypothetical divorce case between Mario, an Italian-American, and Lily, a Chinese-American as they seek to obtain a divorce in the U.S., China, and Italy, respectively.

This book is designed as a student reader, to provide a comparative family law experience for students in a basic family law class or a comparative law class. The initial chapters give a basic overview of common law and civil law, a bit of background about each country, and the facts on which our divorce is based.

The remaining chapters focus directly on the divorce itself, covering such topics as divorce procedure, grounds for divorce, child custody and visitation, child support, property division, spousal support, spousal agreements, appeals, and attorney fees. Charts are inserted at the end of the substantive chapters to highlight and summarize the similarities and differences between the countries.

This book is part of the Contextual Approach Series, edited by Andrew J. McClurg, Professor and Herff Chair of Excellence in Law, The University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law.

Practical Global Family Law is the book my students and I have been waiting and hoping for. It integrates the best aspects of the problem method — the immediacy of a real-world, gripping problem — with richly detailed comparative materials that clearly explain how law "really works" in China, Italy, and the United States. This book provides a useful, accessible, and rigorous guide to some of the most difficult (and frequently encountered) issues in family law, including divorce, custody, and child support. Its lucid writing and thoughtful organization make it both a first-rate research tool and an engaging classroom supplement. Practical Global Family Law is a remarkable achievement for its authors, who have produced a truly international work that flows seamlessly among three very different countries and legal systems. It is an invaluable resource for lawyers, teachers, and students dealing with the increasingly global practice of family law.” — Barbara Stark, Professor of Law, Hofstra University Law School

“The authors of Practical Global Family Law offer their readers a delightful way to explore three countries' approaches to a common family law problem. The book is a testament to the benefits of a case-based, functional approach and its ability to draw out similarities and differences between jurisdictions. With great clarity, the authors explore the probable resolution of a divorce case — including its collateral issues of child custody, child support, property division, and spousal support — in the United States, China, and Italy. Taking great care to provide information that will facilitate comparisons, the authors strike that perfect balance between thoroughness and accessibility. The book goes beyond the relevant substantive law and provides other information that is essential for a true understanding of the process, including information about hte legal systems of the three countries, procedural issues, and even attorneys' fees. Helpful charts at the end of each chapter punctuate hte major points of comparison. This excellent book provides much food for thought for the law stduent, the family law scholar, the practitioner, and the policy maker. It undoubtedly will also inspire a new generation of family law comparatists.” — Merle H. Weiner, Philip H. Knight Professor of Law, University of Oregon School of Law

“Starting with a carefully constructed hypothetical case, Practical Global Family Law provides an interesting comparison of the divorce laws of China, Italy, and the United States. The authors bring their expertise in three different cultural and legal systems to this exploration, providing a broad and detailed look at both the law on the books and the dynamics of these systems in the framework of a specific fact pattern. This is a rich and useful study, which makes important new material available to students and scholars. It also offers a valuable comparative perspective. This approach is particularly welcome in family law, where lawyers increasingly are called upon to help clients in precisely these types of global circumstances.” — Ann Laquer Estin, Aliber Family Chair in Law, University of Iowa


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