California Family Law - California Western
California Family Law

Library Research Guide
Series #14
Compiled by:
Amy L. Moberly
Reference Librarian
California Western School of Law
May, 1999, updated September, 2006

SCOPE: This research guide is not all-inclusive. It does, however, present resources available at the CWSL library and online regarding legal issues associated with California Family Law. It is designed to provide the researcher with guidance as to the location of materials dealing with this subject.

Additional research can be conducted by using the KIM system, legal periodical indexes, and other finding aids.  Access to Lexis, Westlaw, and the Internet is limited to students and faculty at CWSL.

We welcome suggestions for improving this and other research guides. Please consult the Reference Librarian about suggestions and further research questions.

Table of Contents
  1. Print Resources
    1. Codes (Laws)
    2. Uniform Laws
    3. Court Rules
    4. Encyclopedias
    5. Practice Sets - California
    6. Practice Sets - National
    7. Hornbooks & Nutshells
    8. Periodical Indexes
    9. Periodicals
  2. Internet Resources
    1. California
    2. National
  3. Online Catalog

I. Print Resources

   A. Codes (Laws)

   B. Uniform Laws

   These volumes set forth proposed statutes, some of which have been adopted by California and other states.

   C. Court Rules

   1.  State-wide Rules

   In each county, Family Court is Division V of the local Superior Court, and thus the state-wide rules governing Family Court proceedings can be found in Title Five of the California Rules of Court.  The California Rules of Court can be found in the following sources:

   2.  Local Rules

   Most local Superior Courts have also enacted their own rules governing practice in the Family Court; anyone appearing in that court must follow both the state and local rules.  In San Diego County, look under “Division V:  Family Law”; in other counties, the rules may be organized differently.  Local rules can be found in the following places:

   D.  Encyclopedias

   E.  Practice Sets -- California

   F.  Practice Sets and Treatises -- National

   G.  Hornbooks and Nutshells

   H. Periodical Indexes

   1. Online

   2. In Print




Current Law Index



Index to Legal Periodicals and Books



Index to Periodical Articles Related to Law



Law Books in Review



Index to California Legal Periodicals and Documents


Third Floor; KFC 1 .C12

All CAL Index to Law Reviews and Legal Periodicals


Third Floor; KF 8 .G66

   I.  Periodicals

II. Internet Resources

NOTE: Internet site addresses change frequently.  Accordingly, some of these sites may no longer exist under the addresses provided.  To locate changed addresses, search for the page title using an Internet search engine such as Google ( or HotBot ( ).

   A.  California

   B.  National

Online Catalog

CWSL’s online catalog may be searched via There are dedicated computer terminals for catalog access located in the Reference area and on the 3rd and 4th Floors.  The Library has many resources available on family law that are not listed in this guide.  You may find these resources by searching under title, author, keyword or by subject, but the best place to start is often “keyword.”  The following are some selected terms used to search by subject which may reveal useful materials about family law.  To search for discussions of these subjects in California, simply add “California” to the search query, as in “California and adoption.”

Abused Children

Abused Wives



Antenuptial Contracts

Birth Control

Child Abuse

Child Support

Child Welfare


Community Property

Custody of children

Divorce - Law and legislation

Divorce Mediation

Divorce Settlements

Divorce Suits

Domestic Relations - California


Family Policy

Family Social Work

Family Violence

Father and Child

Gay Couples

Gay Fathers

Guardian and Ward

Husband and Wife


Juvenile Corrections

Juvenile Courts

Juvenile Delinquency

Juvenile Justice, Adm.

Kidnapping, Parental

Lesbian Couples


Marriage - Annulment

Marriage Counseling

Marriage Law

Married Women

Parent and child



Support (Domestic Relations)

Surrogate Mothers

Unmarried Couples

Wife Abuse