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About the Book
This updated edition is a wide-ranging guide to some of the most challenging legal issues in family law. It examines the expanding legal context in which the courts are defining the rights and obligations of social relationships. Written by noted Atlanta attorney John C. Mayoue, this practical resource provides an overview of testimonial privileges available in domestic relations actions and what the consequences there are when such privileges are invoked. Also examined are spousal and third-party privacy rights and contemporary remedies for spousal misconduct. A significant part of the book involves a discussion and examination of domestic relations law applicable to third parties and persons in alternative or non-traditional relationships.
This highly readable text offers practical advice on all these issues, with generous use of sidebars, charts, glossaries, and other valuable information positioned adjacent to the relevant text. This format provides valuable advice on safeguards to preserve the integrity of the case, as well as offering alerts to potential liability and discipline issues that might be encountered as a result of misconduct by third-party professionals. Examples throughout the book explain how federal and state law apply to many common practice situations, while footnotes and appendices include much valuable information for the practicing family lawyer.
Balancing Competing Interests in Family Law is divided into three key sections plus appendices:
Civil and Evidentiary Issues Affecting Marital Relationships
When Divorcing Couples Involve Third Parties
Alternative Relationships and the Law
Dealing with issues between divorcing couples, the first part of the book covers privileges against self-incrimination, applicable testimonial privileges between divorcing spouses and clergy, counselors or accountants, and offers an analysis of federal and state wiretapping laws in the context of domestic relations.
The second section addresses the impact of third parties, such as employed experts, persons against whom spouses can assert tort claims, and persons with interests in marital privacy. It also considers third-party privacy and substantive rights in the discovery process.
The last section focuses on how non-traditional and alternative relationships are treated by the law. These chapters cover shared property rights and responsibilities of couples in these relationships, the legal rights of children when they may conflict with parental rights and wishes, infertility issues such as surrogacy and embryo custody, and the rights of stepparents in custody and visitation.
The practical appendices comprise state-by-state charts that note the statutes on subjects such as:
Testimonial privilege for marriage counselors and social workers
Testimonial privilege for clergy-communicant and accountant-client situations
Admissibility of intercepted matter
Confidential or privileged nature of financial records
Common-law alienation of affections and criminal conversation causes of action
States that recognize common-law marriage and states that restrain the common-law breach of promise to marry