Family Law is an area of law which covers all aspects of marriage, civil unions and domestic partnerships.   It addresses those legal matters which arise prior to and once those relationships are entered, through and including termination of the relationship, as well as issues relating to the well being of children in the family.   Marriage, divorce, annulment, abuse, adoption, parental responsibility, child custody, guardianship, and juvenile delinquency are a few of the areas comprising Family Law.   This guide is intended to assist you in finding some of the primary resources available in the Hastings Library.
Subject Headings and Search Terms
Research in library catalogs, databases and indexes use specific subject terms.  It is useful to know the preferred subject term or other terms for the concepts you are searching.   Here are some examples:

Marriage:       Domestic relations - California
                         Marriage law
                         Same sex marriage
Divorce:          Divorce - Law and legislation - California
                         Marital property 
                         Support (Domestic relations)
                         Custody of children 
Children:         Adoption - Law and legislation
                         Children - Legal status, laws, etc.
Abuse:            Victims of Family Violence
                         Spousal abuse
                         Child abuse
                          Abused children
Overview Materials and Study Aids
Family LawJoel Wm. Friedman.
New York:  Wolters Kluwer Law & Business, c2011
Circulation Desk  KF505 .Z9 F335 2011

Questions and Answers: Family Law    Mark Strasser.
New Providence, NJ:  LexisNexis Matthew Benders, c2011
Circulation Desk  KF505 .Z9 S77 2011

Family Law in a Nutshell  Harry D. Krause and David D. Meyer.
St. Paul, Minnesota:  Thomson/West, c2007
Circulation Desk  KF505 .Z9 K6 2007

Family law: Examples and Explanations
.  Robert E. Oliphant and Nancy Ver Steegh. 
New York:  Aspen Publishers, c2010
Circulation Desk  KF505.Z9 O43 2010

Children and the Law in a NutshellSarah H. Ramsey and Douglas E. Abrams.
St. Paul, Minnesota:  West, c2011
Circulation Desk  KF479 .R36 2011
Practice Guides
The Family Law Reporter.
[Washington, D.C.]: Bureau of National Affairs, 1974-
[Electronic resource]

California Practice Guide. Family Law 1.    William P. Hogoboom.
Encino, California:  The Rutter Group, 1989-
Reference Desk  KFC126 .A6 H6

Domestic Torts: Family Violence, Conflict and Sexual Abuse . Leonard Karp.
[St. Paul, Minnesota]: Thomson/West, c2005
Research Alcove  KF1269 .K37 2005

Domestic Violence Practice and Procedure
[Eagan, MN]: Thomson/West , c2011-
Research Alcove  KF1269 .L44

Representing the Child Client   Mark I. Soler.
New York, N.Y.:  Matthew Bender, 1987-
Research Alcove  KF479 .R46 1987
Family Law Financial Discovery.   Roberta A. Bennett.
Oakland, California:  Continuing Education of the Bar, c2008-
Research Alcove KFC126 .F3

Marital Property Law.    John Tingley and Nicholas B. Svalino. Updated by Nancy McKenna.
St. Paul, Minnesota:  West, Thomson Reuters, c2011-
Research Alcove KF524 .T563

Child Custody & Visitation Law and Practice.   John P. McCahey, et. al..
New York, N.Y.:  Matthew Bender, 1983-
Research  Alcove KF547 .C47

Modern Child Custody Practice.   Jeff Atkinson.
New York, N.Y.:  LEXIS Publishing, c2000-
Research Alcove KF505.5 .A98

Representing Children in Child Protective Proceedings: Ethical and Practical Dimensions. Jean Koh Peters.
Newark, N.J.:  LexisNexis, 2007
5th Stacks  KF3735 .P47 2007
Lexis and Westlaw
Legal > Area of Law - By Topic > Family Law > ...

• California Family Law Monthly
• The New York Times - Family Law Stories
• Matthew Bender Materials

All Databases > Topical Materials by Area of Practice > Family Law ...

• WESTLAW Topical Highlights - Family Law
• California Family Law Report - All CFLR Publications
• West Treatises and Practice Materials
• Rutter California Practice Guides
• BNA Family Law Reporter
Databases and Indexes
Law Journal Indexes
The two main law journal indexes are Index to Legal Periodicals and Books   and LegalTrac (also called Current Law Index).   These indexes contain more articles than Lexis or Westlaw where you can also search for law review articles, but they are not full-text. 
A summary of the steps involved in finding law review articles is available on the Library's Preemption Check Webpage

Subscription Databases
The following are a few useful databases in researching Family Law available through Hastings. Click on the database links below or go to the Hastings Seminar Research webpage or Hastings Electronic Resources webpage. for additional database descriptions and links.
[NOTE: From off-campus, you will have to enter your name and Hastings ID# in order to gain access to most of the Library's subscription databases.]

ProQuest Central
A large collection of full-text articles from journals, magazines and newspapers for information on a broad range of general reference subjects such as business, political science, art, literature, law and psychology.

Research database hosted by the American Psychological Association. Includes PsycARTICLES: Full-text articles from over 50 top APA psychology journals Coverage: 1985-current; PsycBOOKS: A searchable full-text database of scholarly books dating back to 1806 from the
APA and other distinguished publishers. Coverage: 1806-current; PsycINFO: covers all psychology disciplines, plus related articles from education, business, medicine, nursing, law, and social work. It provides abstracting and indexing for nearly 2,000 key psychology titles, with coverage dating from the 1800s. Updated weekly, PsycINFO contains citations and summaries of articles from journals, books, book chapters, dissertations, and technical reports.

Searchable online resource for California practice guides, reporters, and Action Guides published by CEB (Continuing Education of the Bar). This database currently covers 90 publications and includes links to case law, statutes and forms.  Available publications under Family Law include California Domestic Partnerships, Practice Under the California Family Code, and Family Law Financial Discovery. 

Legal Scholarship Network (LSN)
A searchable database of abstracts of working papers as well as articles accepted for publication. LSN includes many full text articles not available elsewhere. The goal of LSN is to facilitate the quick distribution of scholarly information related to law.
San Francisco Public Library Articles & Databases - San Francisco Public Library cardholders may remotely access SFPL's online periodical databases, including JSTOR (full-text academic journals going back to 1838). Click on the "Periodical Finder" link at the top of the page to search for a specific journal.

Full-text PDF's of almost all American law review and legal journal articles can be found here. Additionally, the Children's Legal Rights Journal is available on HeinOnline.

Additional Databases

 These two resources, particularly the San Francisco Public Library with its wide range of databases,  will be useful when looking for a multidisciplinary subject scope.  

Google Scholar
A large number of law and social science journals are searchable using Google Scholar.  Full text availability varies.  

San Francisco Public Library Articles & Databases
San Francisco Public Library cardholders may remotely access SFPL's online periodical databases, including JSTOR (full-text academic journals going back to 1838). Click on the "Periodical Finder" link at the top of the page to search for a specific journal.
Statistics and Multistate Surveys

The following websites may be useful in determining the statistical state of the family in the United States.

In addition to access to statistics from over 100 federal agencies, includes the U.S. Census Bureau's publications The Statistical Abstract of the United States and the National Data Book which provides state and local level statistics.

Statistical Abstracts of the United States (1878-current, HeinOnline)
Reference & 5th Stacks  HA202  

Multistate Surveys 

Subject Compilations of State Laws
(1960-current, HeinOnline)
Reference   KF1 .N93

National Survey of State Laws

Reference   KF242.A12 N38

National Conference of State Legislatures Legislative Tracking
The National Conference of State Legislatures is a bipartisan organization which provides the legislators and their staffs of all 50 states, the commonwealths and territories, with research, technical assistance and ideas.  It also advocates for the interests of the state governments before Congress.    


50 State Surveys

50 State Surveys
Subject Specialist
Picture: Hilary Hardcastle

Hilary Hardcastle
Head of Reference Services
Tel: 565-4792

Encore Catalog Search

The Hastings Encore Catalog is our search engine to find books and journals in the Hastings Law Library; articles and journals on HeinOnline, ProQuest Central, Oxford Journals Online and PubMed Central; as well as materials found in libraries around the world via Worldcat.