PA 2201: Family Law

Course Title: Family Law
Course Number: PA 2201
Credits: 3 semester credits
Prerequisites: PA 1102 – Introduction to Law and Contracts ((Minimum grade: 2.0 GPA Equivalent) or permission of the Paralegal Professor.
Recommendations: This course requires the knowledge of legal analysis, and the ability to do light legal research based on directions provided by the instructor, and the aptitude to learn how to draft family law documents.
Catalog Description: Examines family legal issues involved in marriage, separation, dissolution of marriage, cohabitation, child custody, child and spousal support and non-support, property issues, paternity, adoption, and domestic abuse.
Course Objectives/ Learning Outcomes: Students will be able to:

  • Show how the family law process works including the use of legal concepts, vocabulary, and legal analysis as it relates to the law of family law.
  • Identify and analyze general concepts which relate to prenuptial agreements, premarital issues and marriage requirements; separation, divorce and marriage dissolution, adoption, paternity, name change, domestic abuse, and other related issues.
  • Demonstrate and analyze how the family law system works, what rules and procedures must be followed, and how to draft basic necessary litigation documents relating to the family law practice.
  • Show how to gather intake information, organize discovery, and prepare for trial in the family law area.
  • Explain the general concepts of the alternative dispute resolution process.
  • Recall, interpret and analyze the basic rules of legal professional responsibility, ethics and confidentiality as it relates to the family law area.
Topics Covered:
  1. Threshold Concepts, Issues and Legal Analysis (2.5 hours)
  2. Professional Responsibility, and Ethics (1 1/2 hours)
  3. Premarital Problems (2 hours)
  4. Cohabitation and Legal Rights of Unmarried (31 1/2 hours)
  5. Marriage (1 1/2 hours)
  6. Rights and Privileges of Married Persons (1 1/2 hours)
  7. Annulment (1 hour)
  8. Legal Separation (1/2 hour)
  9. Dissolution (2 hours)
  10. Dissolution Court Documents (2 1/2 hours)
  11. Child Custody in Divorce (2 1/2 hours)
  12. Child Custody in Unmarried Parents (2 1/2 hours)
  13. Child Support (3 hours)
  14. Property Division (2 1/2 hours)
  15. Spousal Maintenance (2 1/2 hours)
  16. Special Matters relating to children – Child Protection (1 1/2 hours)
  17. Special Matters relating to children – Juvenile Delinguency (2 hours)
  18. Paternity (2 hours)
  19. Adoption (2 hours)
  20. Domestic abuse (1 1/2 hours)
  21. Name Change (1/2 hours)
  22. Electronic Document Assembly Training (1 hour)
  23. Other Classroom Activities include group and individual work practicing drafting family law documents (8 hours)

Total Semester Hours: 48

Course Focus: To acquire an understanding of laws and procedures relating to family law issues under Minnesota law, and to learn to analyze family law problems.
Outcomes Measures: The student may take exam(s) and/or draft various family law documents. Analytical problem solving and short quizzes may be conducted. These measurement methods may use electronic document software for their preparation and assembly where appropriate.

Grading of assignments and exams may be on a numerical basis. The final grade will be a letter grade (A-F).