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Publisher's Description: A book about family law is necessarily a book both about family life and the role law can and should take in regulating family life. Individually and together, these are vast topics. American family law is ever-changing and affects every facet of our lives. The Oxford Introductions to U.S. Law: Family Law provides a critical introduction to the enduring topics in the field, including not only an overview of the basic rules, but also the history and principles underlying them. In this short and accessible volume, Brian Bix gives the necessary legal background for understanding current media coverage and political debates in family law. He explores the general principles and fundamental themes that currently dominate legislation and case law in the area while marking trends for change. Topics covered include same-sex marriage, divorce reform, surrogacy, open adoption, domestic violence, and the standards applied to custody battles. Ultimately, The Oxford Introductions to U.S. Law: Family Law illuminates our collective struggle to shape the proper role for individuals, families, and government in U.S. family life and family law, providing an essential introduction to the richness and complexity of the subject.