April 2012 Bar Bulletin
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April 2012 Bar Bulletin

Mainstays of Divorce Law Research

By Rick Stroup


Mention the phrase "love and war" to the library staff and we are all likely to think "here comes another question about divorce."

We field divorce law questions - and questions about related matters such as parenting plans, child custody modifications, temporary orders, support enforcement, contempt, etc. - every day. Fortunately, we have on hand a wealth of written and electronic materials to which we can refer people.

Highlighted below are the mainstays of our divorce and family law collection. All are suited for use by attorneys. Together, they cover nearly all aspects of divorce law and, since most are authored by Washington attorneys or professors of law, they speak to our state's practices specifically.

Washington Family Law Deskbook, 2nd edition, published by the Washington State Bar Association: This invaluable set is often the first resource we turn to when helping someone with a divorce law question. Across its 58 chapters, the Deskbook covers all major aspects of divorce and some important issues not typically covered in family law materials, such as managing the psychological aspects of the process and preparing to work with experts, guardians ad litem and Child Protective Services.

It has extensive discussions of custody, support, maintenance and post-decree issues. The set also has an accompanying CD-ROM with editable model forms not found on our state court's website. The Deskbook and its CD-ROM are available for checkout to our subscribers.

Family and Community Property Law with Forms by Scott Horenstein (vols. 19–21 of West's Washington Practice series): This portion of the ever-popular Washington Practice set has a similar scope to the Family Law Deskbook. Volume 20 contains the principal material about divorce, but you will need to read additional chapters in the others for related issues such as legal separation, mediation in divorce, and contempt proceedings practice.

This series also has an accompanying CD-ROM with editable model forms not found on our state court's website. Since it is published by West, it also cites to related West publications, many of which the Law Library also owns. This series and its CD-ROM are available for checkout to our subscribers.

Washington Community Property Deskbook, 3rd edition, from the Washington State Bar Association: This single-volume text complements the WSBA Family Law Deskbook. The WSBA expects to release a new edition by 2013, so you will need to update references to statutes and case law.

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