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In the past fifty years, divorce law has turned upside down. Marriage is not assumed to be a lifelong commitment. Fault generally is not legally relevant. Gender equality is a fundamental principle. Today, courts regularly handle a much broader range of issues, including disputes about issues such as domestic violence; parental relocation; religious upbringing; payment for children's college education; grandparent and stepparent visitation rights; rights of same-sex and unmarried couples; alienation of parents and children; and the role of e-mail, the Internet, and cybersex in divorce.

Family law practice inevitably evolved in response to these social and legal changes. This article briefly sketches some of the changes in family law practice in the past fifty years. Part II describes some of the factors contributing to these changes, including changes in family law, social norms, dispute resolution processes, and the nature of legal practice. Based on these trends, Part III recommends approaches that family lawyers should use in their practice.

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Family Law Commons



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