Thursday, August 12, 2010
Book Review – “International Family Law Practice” by Jeremy Morley
Jeremy Morley’s book is aimed mainly at US family lawyers whose work, either frequently or occasionally, involves international elements. It is not only an important resource for such US lawyers, but it is also a very helpful introduction to international issues for family lawyers from other countries, especially where US elements are involved.
The author says that his intention is “to provide an extremely practical approach to handling international family law matters in collaboration with family lawyers in local and distant jurisdictions”. It does just that. It is written in a very digestible and user -friendly way. The readable style makes it is easy both to read through a whole chapter on a particular subject, and to drill down to a particular sentence or paragraph to extract a specific piece of information.
I particularly like the way the book is interspersed with practical information, advice and tips, which I expect will be especially helpful to those who practice this area of the law infrequently. The author is concise and makes frequent use of bullet points to illustrate practical points and tips, for instance in the form of checklists, information required, competing considerations and basic principles to be applied.
The author’s considerable experience in the international family law field is abundantly apparent throughout the book. He manages to simplify and put into bite size chunks complex areas of law and competing considerations so that they are easily understandable and readily digestible.
The book focuses on two main areas. The first is international marriage and divorce and the second is that of children. The first area includes chapters dealing with foreign pre and post-nuptial agreements including drafting considerations where there is a foreign element or prospect of future international relocation; and chapters on international divorce planning and the recognition of foreign country divorces.
The children chapters cover international child support issues, international custody and international relocation. The final chapters deal with international child abduction including both Hague and non-Hague convention cases and also the prevention of child abduction.
From the non-US lawyer’s viewpoint, the book is not only a guide to some of the more important family laws and principles in other international jurisdictions (although of course it does not deal with any treaties or conventions between Countries other than the US), but it is also very useful for the practical information, guidance and tips it provides – many of which are as applicable to family lawyers around the world as they are to US lawyers.
Farrer & Co LLP