SRJC Course Outlines

7/5/2022 5:38:35 AMPLS 67 Course Outline as of Fall 2019

Changed Course
CATALOG INFORMATION

Discipline and Nbr:  PLS 67Title:  FAMILY LAW  
Full Title:  Family Law
Last Reviewed:5/14/2018

UnitsCourse Hours per Week Nbr of WeeksCourse Hours Total
Maximum3.00Lecture Scheduled3.0017.5 max.Lecture Scheduled52.50
Minimum3.00Lab Scheduled06 min.Lab Scheduled0
 Contact DHR0 Contact DHR0
 Contact Total3.00 Contact Total52.50
 
 Non-contact DHR0 Non-contact DHR Total0

 Total Out of Class Hours:  105.00Total Student Learning Hours: 157.50 

Title 5 Category:  AA Degree Applicable
Grading:  Grade Only
Repeatability:  00 - Two Repeats if Grade was D, F, NC, or NP
Also Listed As: 
Formerly: 

Catalog Description:
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This course presents fundamental common law and statutory concepts of family law with emphasis on the paralegal's role in this area. Topics include formal and informal marriages, separation, divorce, annulment, marital property, the parent-child relationship, child custody and support, adoption, guardianship, domestic relations court procedures, public records research, and the paralegal's role in alternative dispute resolution/mediation processes. Ethical obligations, family law terminology and emerging computer applications in domestic relations practice are also presented.

Prerequisites/Corequisites:
Course Completion or Current Enrollment in PLS 50 and Course Completion or Current Enrollment in PLS 51


Recommended Preparation:

Limits on Enrollment:

Schedule of Classes Information
Description: Untitled document
This course presents fundamental common law and statutory concepts of family law with emphasis on the paralegal's role in this area. Topics include formal and informal marriages, separation, divorce, annulment, marital property, the parent-child relationship, child custody and support, adoption, guardianship, domestic relations court procedures, public records research, and the paralegal's role in alternative dispute resolution/mediation processes. Ethical obligations, family law terminology and emerging computer applications in domestic relations practice are also presented.
(Grade Only)

Prerequisites:Course Completion or Current Enrollment in PLS 50 and Course Completion or Current Enrollment in PLS 51
Recommended:
Limits on Enrollment:
Transfer Credit:CSU;
Repeatability:00 - Two Repeats if Grade was D, F, NC, or NP

ARTICULATION, MAJOR, and CERTIFICATION INFORMATION

Associate Degree:Effective:Inactive:
 Area:
 
CSU GE:Transfer Area Effective:Inactive:
 
IGETC:Transfer Area Effective:Inactive:
 
CSU Transfer:TransferableEffective:Fall 2012Inactive:
 
UC Transfer:Effective:Inactive:
 
C-ID:

Certificate/Major Applicable: Major Applicable Course



COURSE CONTENT

Student Learning Outcomes:
Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:
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1.  Demonstrate and apply knowledge of the procedures and processes of the family court in
    California.
2.  Apply court rules particular to family law.
3.  Define and properly use terminology relating to family law.
4.  Develop checklists to insure accuracy in preparation of family court documents.
5.  Draft documents commonly used in family law.
 

Objectives: Untitled document
Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:
1. Demonstrate knowledge of fundamental common law and statutory family law concepts
    governing marriage (creation and dissolution), parent-child relationships, guardianships,
    and other matters controlled by the family court.
2. Locate, describe, and analyze print and electronic sources of law relating to family law.
3. Explain the ethical obligations of a paralegal relating to family law.
4. Demonstrate the unique personal communication skills needed to meet the emotional and
    legal needs of the client.
5  Define the paralegal's role in assisting in Alternative Dispute Resolution / Mediation
    /Collaborative Law processes.

Topics and Scope
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I. Introduction to Family Law
    A. Family Law Practice
         1. Scope
         2. Adversarial vs. collaborative process
    B. Interest of the government
         1. Constitutional issues
         2. State issues
         3. Domestic relations court system
    C. Legal research methods in family law
         1. Legal sources
              a. Primary authority
              b. Secondary authority
         2. Non-legal sources
    D. Role of paralegal in family law practice
         1. Interview work
         2. Investigative work
         3. Pro bono work
    E. Ethical considerations in family law practice
         1. Unauthorized practice of law
         2. Confidentiality
         3. Conflict of interest
         4. Attorney's fees
         5. Communications with opposite side
         6. Professional relationship with client
         7. Paralegal's responsibility to client, court and supervising attorney
         8. Features of jurisdiction's Code of Professional Responsibility
         9. Grievance procedures
II. Marital Relationships
    A. Marriage
         1. History and definition of marriage
              a. Ceremonial
              b. Common law
              c. Same sex unions/marriages             
          2. Presumptions and public policy considerations
              a. Valid
              b. Void
              c. Voidable
         3. Legal consequences of marriage
               a. Breach of promise to marry
              b. Mutual duty to support
    B. Premarital and cohabitation agreements
         1. Legality and enforceability
         2. Client consideration - implications of death and divorce
         3. Modification
         4. Types
               a. Uniform Premarital Agreement Act
                    i.Definitions
                    ii. Formalities
                    iii. Effect of marriage
                    iv. Amendment or revocation
                    v. Enforcement
               b. Marital property agreement
                    i. Partition or exchange of community property
                    ii. Agreement between spouses concerning income or property from separate
                        property
                    iii.Formalities
                    iv. Enforcement
               c. Agreement to convert separate property to community property and vice versa
                    i. Formalities
                    ii. Management of converted property
                    iii. Enforcement
                    iv. Rights of creditors
               d. Post-nuptial agreements
               e. Cohabitation agreements
III. Breakdown of the Marital Relationship
    A. Termination overview
         1. Equity v. law
         2. Issues
         3. Religious considerations
    B. Annulments
         1. Definition
         2. Purpose
         3. Requirements
         4. Procedure
         5. Consequences
         6. Other forms of relief
             a. Separation
             b. Alternative dispute resolution/mediation/collaborative law
    C. Divorce
         1. Definition--contested versus uncontested
         2. Requirements
              a. Common law grounds
             b. Statutory grounds
         3. Defenses to fault grounds
         4. Property rights
         5. Consequences
              a. Personal issues
             b. Financial issues
             c. Tax issues
    D. Trial practice and dissolution of marriage
         1. Jurisdictional issues
         2. Preparation of pleadings, service of process, discovery documents, temporary orders,
              divorce decrees, and orders
         3. Preliminary hearing for interlocutory relief
         4. Special relief matters, bifurcation, litigation fees and costs, collection of arrearages
         5. Analysis of equitable distribution and alimony
         6. Client considerations - interviewing techniques
         7. Modification and appeals of divorce decrees
    E. Ancillary issues - wills, deeds, qualified domestic retainer orders, settlement agreements,
         decrees
IV. Post Divorce Enforcement
    A. Property issues
         1. Classifications
              a. Marital property
                  i. Community property state
                  ii.  Non-community property state
              b. Homesteads
                  i. Sale
                  ii.Conveyance
                  iii. Encumbrances
              c. Inheritance
              d. Retirement, pension, employment benefits and other plans
              e. Insurance rights
          2. Valuation of property
         3. Division of liabilities
    B. Child issues
         1. Custody
              a. Purpose - child's best interest
              b. Kinds
                  i. Parental: joint/sole
                  ii. Non-parental: relative/non-relative
              c. Agreements
                   i. Uniform Child Custody Act
                   ii. Private agreements
              d. Litigation
                   i. Procedure
                     a. Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship
                     b. Court Orders
                   ii. Additional parties
                     a. Guardian ad litem
                     b. Attorney ad litem
                     c. Court-appointed special advocate
                     d. Volunteer advocates
         2. Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (ICWA)
              a. Statutory authority
              b. Indian child's best interest and cultural consideration
              c. Jurisdiction
              d. Placement preferences
         3. Visitation
             a. Parents
             b. Step-parents
             c. Grandparents
         4. Termination of parental rights
             a. Grounds for involuntary termination
             b. Procedures
             c. Hearing and order
          5.  Adoption
             a. Common Law and statutory basis
                 i. Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 (ASFA)
                 ii. Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA)
               b. Agency v. non-agency
              c. Voluntary and involuntary termination
              d. Artificial reproduction issues
              e. Adoption of adult
          6.  Paternity
              a. Uniform Parentage Act
              b. Temporary orders
              c. Conservatorship, support and payments
              d. Acknowledgment/denial
              e. Scientific/DNA testing
               f. Presumptions and burden of proof
         7. Support - general and medical
              a. Federal guidelines
                  i. Uniform Interstate Family Support Act
                  ii. Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act
                  iii. Other interstate, intrastate, and international support laws and procedures
              b. State guidelines
              c. Enforcement procedures
                  i. Liens
                  ii. Garnishment of wages
                  iii. Suspension of license
              d. Modification
                  i. Managing conservatorship
                  ii. Possession or access to child
                  iii. Financial support
         8. Child abuse
              a. Child Abuse Central Registry
              b. Reports of abuse/neglect
                   i. False reports
                   ii. Confidentiality
              c. Abandoned children
              d. Adversary hearing and notice
    C. Spousal support issues
         1. Alimony and equitable distribution
         2. Maintenance
         3. Modification
         4. Appeals
V. Families in Crisis
    A. Domestic violence - Legal responses
         1. Protective orders
         2. Criminal prosecution
         3. Termination of divorce and custody rights
         4. Impact on children
    B. Battered woman's syndrome
    C. Review of placement
VI. Changing Legal Status of Children
    A. Child delinquency and dependency
         1. Juvenile court proceedings
         2. Liability of parents for conduct of child
   B. Emancipation
VII. Alternate Family Structures
    A. Single parent
    B. Step-families/blended families
    C. Same-sex parents
    D. Foster parents
VIII. Surrogacy
    A. Definition
    B. State laws
IX. Changing Roles of Women in Society
    A. Civil Rights Act, Title VII
    B. Abortion and reproductive rights    
     C. Equal Pay Act
    D. Pregnancy Disability Act
    E. Family Leave Act
    F. Change of name
X. Family Relations Issues
    A. Elder care issues - conservatorship proceedings
    B. Homeless issues
    C. Offenses against the family
         1. Bigamy
         2. Sale/purchase of child

Assignments:
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1. Read textbook and outside sources of approximately 40 pages per week.
2. Weekly homework assignments based on lecture (online or face to face) and readings
3. Analysis of fact patterns
4. Participate in weekly group discussions (online or face to face)
5. Terminology assignments
6. Portfolio of examples of family law documents
7. Quizzes (3 - 5), midterm and final exam

Methods of Evaluation/Basis of Grade.
Writing: Assessment tools that demonstrate writing skill and/or require students to select, organize and explain ideas in writing.Writing
20 - 25%
Analysis of fact patterns
Problem solving: Assessment tools, other than exams, that demonstrate competence in computational or non-computational problem solving skills.Problem Solving
20 - 25%
Homework and terminology assignments; group work
Skill Demonstrations: All skill-based and physical demonstrations used for assessment purposes including skill performance exams.Skill Demonstrations
20 - 25%
Portfolio
Exams: All forms of formal testing, other than skill performance exams.Exams
30 - 35%
Quizzes, midterm and final exam
Other: Includes any assessment tools that do not logically fit into the above categories.Other Category
5 - 10%
Attendance and participation


Representative Textbooks and Materials:
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California Family Law for Paralegals. 7th ed. Waller, Marshall. Aspen Publishers. 2016
Instructor prepared materials

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