Law of Family Relations
I. Course Prefix/Number: PAR 115
Course Name: Law of Family Relations
Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)
III. Course (Catalog) Description
Course covers the role of the paralegal in family law. Content includes an examination of domestic relations law with emphasis on marriage, divorce, annulment, separation agreements, adoption, and other legal matters involving the family.
IV. Learning Objectives
- show the ability to prepare initial documents related to a family law matter, including, but not limited to complaints, answer and summons, findings of fact, conclusions of law, and orders for judgments.
- show the ability to conduct an initial client interview in a family law matter.
- understand the concepts of a valid marriage.
- demonstrate knowledge of the concepts of jurisdiction and venue in a family law matter.
- demonstrate a basic understanding of the interplay between income tax and the dissolution of a marriage.
- show an understanding of the adoption process.
- explain the juvenile court process.
- display an understanding of URISA as it relates to mental health.
- display an understanding of ethical concepts relating to family law.
V. Academic Integrity and Student Conduct
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.
There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.
Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at
VI. Sequence of Topics
- Marriage Act/Prenuptial Agreements
- Dissolution of Marriage
- Grounds ‑ Defenses
- Interview, Jurisdiction, Venue
- Drafting Complaint, Procedures for Filing
- Pre‑trial Motions, Injunctions
- Conciliation, Negotiations
- Separate Maintenance, Annulment
- Settlement Agreements and Their Tax Aspects
- Custody of Children
- Prove‑up, Drafting Decrees ‑ Conciliation Service
- Post‑Decree Motions, Enforcement, and Modification of Judgments
- Mental Health ‑ URISA
- Juvenile Court
- The Ethics of Family Law
VII. Methods of Instruction
- Lecture and discussion
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.
VIII. Course Practices Required
- Reading Assignments
- Writing Assignments
IX. Instructional Materials
Statsky, Family Law: The Essentials, West Legal Studies, 1997.
West, Illinois Family Laws & Court Rules, West, 2000.
X. Methods of Evaluating Student Progress
- Class participation
- Special projects
XI. Other Course Information
If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.
Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.
Resources and support for
- pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
- victims of sexual misconduct
Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at www.oakton.edu/lgbtq.