AMERICAN ACADEMY OF MATRIMONIAL LAWYERS - NORTHERN CALIFORNIA CHAPTER
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The Academy is particularly proud of its Journal of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers which is published semiannually in cooperation with the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law. Each issue of the Journal concentrates on a single subject such as child custody or retirement benefits. Each topic is explored in depth by the authors.
This unusual format results in a publication recognized throughout the United States as a source for the most complete coverage of specific topics in family law. The Journal contains both original articles drafted by Academy Fellows and digests of articles on the same subjects from other publications.
The Academy published The Bounds of Advocacy in 1991 and revised it in 2000. This publication presents goals for fair play for laymen and lawyers involved in family law cases. While these goals are aspirational, they epitomize the conduct of Academy Fellows in their individual practices. The Bounds of Advocacy is widely recognized as the first effort by a specialized bar association to establish goals for an entire area of practice. It has been cited nationally in law school ethic courses and legal literature. At least two states have adopted The Bounds as part of their state ethics codes.
A later publication, The Divorce Manual, A Client Handbook, was written for clients contemplating divorce. The handbook provides clients with a realistic overview of what to expect in the divorce process.
The recent release from the Academy, its Model Parenting Plan is designed to protect children whose parents separate or do not share the same home. The Parenting Plan helps lawyers and parents structure a personalized plan of parenting responsibilities to protect children caught in the separating and divorcing process. The Plan consists of printed copy and a Word document on CD.
The Academy developed a Model Relocation Act. With our society more mobile, many more cases involve the relocation of custodial parents and proceedings brought by or against the custodial parent to permit or deny such relocation. The Model Act includes stringent notification requirements, outlines the factors, which the court should consider in making its decision, and sets forth alternative “burden of proof” and presumption language for states to consider.
The Academy has launched a national public awareness campaign to counter the profound effects of divorce on our nation’s children. This awareness effort features Public Service Announcements, a free “how-to” booklet – Stepping Back from Anger: Protecting Your Children During Divorce – and an instructional video The Voices of Children of Divorce. All are aimed at parents in the throes of divorce and intended to assist children.
The Academy has also published Making Marriages Last – A Guide to Preventing Divorce. Patterned in the style of “Stepping Back from Anger”; this 16-page booklet is provocative and easy to understand. Learn from those whose experience with failed marriages has taught them something of what it takes to keep a marriage intact and healthy. Resources and suggested reading list included.
Its most recent publication, The Model Family Law Arbitration Act is based upon the Revised Uniform Arbitration Act with the recommended Rules and Forms based largely upon American Arbitration Association commercial arbitration rules. Unlike the RUAA, the Model Act permits judicial appeals of substantive issues of law and modification of child custody, child support and spousal support to the extent those issues are modifiable under state law. The Model Act also provides for de novo judicial review of child custody and child support arbitration awards.
As a professional service, the Academy maintains and publishes a list of its certified Fellows to assure the availability of qualified expert matrimonial counsel throughout the United States. This roster of Fellows, updated each year, details the experience and qualifications of each Academy member. It also identifies those Fellows who have been recertified by the Academy based on their participation in continuing legal education over the preceding five years.