Family Law – Child Custody, Support and Visitation

This course concentrates on practice and procedure in the area of child custody, support, and visitation.

Course Category: Self-Study Courses

Course Level: Advanced

CLE Credit: Substantive

CLE Hours: 20.0

Fees: $250 for Members and $300 for Non-members

Course Materials: Self-study courses typically come with a PDF of the complete textbook, a PDF of the textbook by chapter and a glossary of terms. Once you’ve finished studying, you’ll take the corresponding exams to earn CLE. 
Description: This course concentrates on practice and procedure in the area of child custody, support, and visitation. Federal courts traditionally abstain from family law matters, considering state legislatures and local courts better suited for resolving family issues. As a result, state law is the primary law affecting the support and care of children in the United States. State law regarding children’s issues in any given state is a collection of statutes and common law, labeled with topics such as marriage and family, husband and wife, family relations, divorce, guardian and ward, and support of minors. Because of the localized nature of family law, there is uniformity among the states on some principles, but also significant diversity in others. Applicable law, rules, procedures, and terminology may vary widely from state to state and within states from city to city.
Traditional models of child custody in divorce cases place the child with a custodial parent, while allowing visitation and imposing support obligations on the other parent. A modern trend in many jurisdictions dispenses with terms “custody” and “visitation” altogether, in favor of more flexible approaches to “parenting time” and “access” to children. Various aspects of custody are typically referred to as “parental responsibilities,” and may be further divided into physical and legal responsibilities, or similar alternative terms. Where possible, these jurisdictions promote development of custom parenting plans tailored to the unique circumstances of the parties and the best interests of the children involved. However, from traditional models to modern innovation, through variations in practice and terminology, the basic underlying purpose of this area of practice is to maximize the child’s best interests and continuing relationships with parents and other adults.
The course begins with the framework of applicable state, federal, and Constitutional law, followed by discussions of paternity, child custody jurisdiction and determinations; visitation rights and factors;  child support obligations, guidelines,  and jurisdiction; enforcement and modification of custody, support, and visitation orders within and outside the state of origin; state regulation of the parent-child relationship; and common litigation issues.

* The distinguished ACP© credential is only available to current NALA Certified Paralegals. Anyone, regardless of credentials, may take this course solely for gaining knowledge and will receive a certificate of completion upon successful completion of the course and exam.

Course Year: 2018


Self-Study Instructions

Access Period

After you purchase a self-study course you will receive an enrollment email. If you do not receive an enrollment email please check your spam and make sure you add to your safe senders list.

To access course materials after enrollment please click on “My Courses” then “Self-Study” at

Self-Study courses expire after 1 year.

Courses are priced for individual use and consumption and are not intended for rebroadcast and sharing.

Refunds or Cancellations

No cancellations or refunds are provided.

Self-Study FAQs

All self-study courses qualify for CLE through NALA.  For more information on other institutions please click here.

If available, you may use the print function from your browser to print the material. This is copyrighted material and any distribution is strictly prohibited. Not all self-study courses have printable material.

No, a textbook is either included or not necessary for the self-study courses.

No, the courses are designed as continuing education courses and may qualify as meeting continuing education requirements for professional certifications and attorney licenses.  In addition, the courses may be used in the classroom to supplement formal training.  However, the courses are not designed to take the place of formal paralegal training as may be available through a community college or university.