Standards of Practice, Reports & Recommendations

Standards of Practice

Civility Standards (Adopted May 2006)
These standards address the responsibility of the family lawyer to be civil to clients, opposing counsel, and the Court. Civility is an important obligation of a lawyer. If you are interested in purchasing bulk copies of the Standards in quantities of 100 or more, please contact the Section Staff at 312-988-5603.

Standards of Practice for Lawyers Representing Children in Custody Cases
The American Bar Association House of Delegates has approved the Section of Family Law Recommendation on the Standards of Practice for Lawyers Representing Children in Custody Cases, effective August 2003.

Standards of Practice for Lawyers Representing a Child in Abuse and Neglect Cases
These Abuse and Neglect Standards are meant to apply when a lawyer is appointed for a child in any legal action based on:

  • a petition filed for protection of the child;
  • a request to a court to change legal custody, visitation, or guardianship based on allegations of child abuse or neglect based on sufficient cause; or
  • an action to terminate parental rights.


Standards of Practice for Family and Divorce Mediation
These model standards are the family mediation community's definition of the role of mediation in the dispute resolution system and are the latest milestone in a nearly twenty-year-old effort by the family mediation community to create standards of practice that will increase public confidence in an evolving profession and provide guidance for its practitioners.

Reports and Recommendations

Assisted Reproductive Technology
The Model Act Governing Assisted Reproduction was drafted by the Committee on Assisted Reproduction and Genetics of the Section of Family Law of the American Bar Association. It is intended to provide model provisions that can be considered in whole or in part by legislative bodies to address many new legal issues which have arisen over recent decades. These issues have arisen from the increased use of intrauterine insemination, in vitro fertilization, surrogacy, embryo transfer and other methods of collaborative reproduction. The ABA House of Delegates approved the Act in February 2008.
Model Act Governing Assisted Reproductive Technology
Model Act Governing Assisted Reproductive Technology

Cloning
American Bar Association's Section of Family Law, in a Report to the House of Delegates, has submitted the following Recommendation on cloning. The recommendation was approved the the ABA House of Delegates in August 2004.
Cloning Recommendation
Cloning full report.

Foster Care
The American Bar Association's Section of Family Law has submitted the following recommendation on foster care restrictions on the basis of sexual orientation. The recommendation was co-sponsored by the Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities, Commission on Domestic Violence and Commission on Homelessness and Poverty and Steering Committee on the Unmet Legal Needs of Children and was approved by the ABA House of Delegates in February 2006.
Foster Care Recommendation
Foster Care Full Report

Hague Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support
The American Bar Association's Section of Family Law has submitted to the ABA House of Delegates a recommendation that urges the Senate of the U.S. to give its advice and consent to the ratification of the Hague Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance, the final text of which was adopted by the Hague Conference on Private International Law on November 23, 2007. The recommendation also urges Congress to enact the necessary implementing legislation. The Section's International Law Committee proposed the recommendation before the Family Law Section Council, which approved it in April 2008.
Hague/Child Support Recommendation
Hague/Child Support Executive Summary
Hague/Child Support Full Report

Analysis of the Law Regarding Same-Sex Marriage, Civil Unions and Domestic Partnerships
The American Bar Association's Section of Family Law has developed a white paper on the status and legal ramification of recognition of same-sex marriage and non-marital unions.
Same-Sex Marriage White Paper

Constitutional Amendment on Same-Sex Marriage
The American Bar Association's Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities has submitted the following Recommendation on same-sex marriages, co-sponsored by the Section of Family Law. The recommendation was approved by the ABA House of Delegates in February 2004.
Same-Sex Marriage Recommendation
Same-Sex Marriage Full Report

Resolution Safeguarding Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) in Terms of Child Custody
This Recommendation, approved by the ABA House of Delegates in February 2009, urges the U.S. Congress to oppose legislation that would create a federal law of child custody controlling state custody cases involving servicemember-parents because such legislation would dictate court outcomes in child custody cases, even where the child's best interests do not support that outcome; create federal-question jurisdiction over child custody cases, long the province of state courts; impose federally-mandated evidentiary burdens on state courts; co-opt the growing body of state laws that comprehensively and appropriately address domestic relations matters affecting servicemembers; and cast doubt on existing servicemember protections found in the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), 50 U.S.C. App. §§ 501-596.
Recommendation, Report, and Executive Summary

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