Information for Authors Interested in the Family Court Review

Family Court Review (FCR) invites articles concerned with all aspects of family law, family courts, and the resolution of family disputes. Articles are welcomed on topics such as divorce and separation; child custody; child abuse and neglect; domestic violence; adoption; termination of parental rights; juvenile delinquency; status offenses; unified family courts; problem-solving family courts; any other aspect of family court organization; professional ethics and standards of practice of lawyers, judges, mental health professionals, lawyers for parents and children, and mediators involved in family dispute resolution; therapeutic justice; domestic violence among family members; gender issues in family law; court-affiliated family education programs; conciliation; mediation; alternative dispute resolution; expert evaluation; arbitration; juvenile dependency; guardianship; probate conservatorships; elder abuse; and collaborative law, as are articles about strengthening and preservation of family life. International perspectives on these topics are strongly encouraged.

FCR is an interdisciplinary journal and invites contributions from the fields of law, court administration, mental health, medicine, the behavioral and social sciences, dispute resolution, education, public policy, and other disciplines concerned with the welfare of children and families.

FCR is the quarterly research and academic journal of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC), edited by faculty and students from the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University Law School under the auspices of its Center for Children, Families, and the Law and published by Wiley-Blackwell. AFCC is an interdisciplinary association of over 6,000 judges, academics, researchers, counselors, evaluators, mediators, attorneys, and others concerned with the constructive resolution of family conflict. AFCC members receive FCR issues four times a year as a benefit of their membership and access to archived issues going back to 1963.

FCRʼs Editor-in-Chief is Professor Barbara Babb, Founder and Founding Director of the Sayra and Neil Meyerhoff Center for Families, Children, and the Courts (CFCC) at the University of Baltimore School of Law Emerita.  FCR's Social Science Editor is Marsha Kline Pruett, Maconda Brown O’Connor Professor, Smith College School for Social Work. FCR's Faculty Administrative Editor is Robert Cannon, Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University.  The 50-member Editorial Board of FCR is composed of professors, researchers, lawyers, judges, psychologists, mediators, and court professionals who are experienced in issues that impact families in the legal process. The Board provides ongoing advice to the editors and performs essential tasks such as completing peer reviews of submitted articles and developing issues on important themes. FCRʼs law student staff is chosen through a competitive application process.  The law student staff perform editorial and administrative functions similar to those performed by law students at other law reviews.  Law student staff members research and write notes on FCRʼs area of interest, and several law student notes of which are published in each issue.

Wiley-Blackwell, FCRʼs publisher, is the worldʼs leading society publisher specializing in journals and books for the higher education, research, and professional markets. Operating from several global offices, Wiley-Blackwell publishes approximately 1,400 scholarly journals in every major academic and professional field. Each issue of FCR, back to volume 1, issue 1, is available at AFCC members can access the archive and the current issues by logging in to the AFCCʼs secure member section at FCR is accessible on the Westlaw and LexisNexis databases, leading social science indices, and is subscribed to by numerous libraries and individuals on both national and international levels. Presently, FCR is available at more than 2,000 learning institutions worldwide. FCR is also commonly cited in judicial opinions, for example, by the Supreme Court in Abbott v. Abbott. In addition, journal articles are downloaded from the Wiley website more than 200,000 annually.

Authors have often asked what types of articles are suitable for publication in FCR. The following categories are to guide potential authors as to the kinds of articles that FCR publishes. The categories are not intended to limit authors but instead provide a general idea about the kinds of articles that FCR considers. Category descriptions include the type of article in the category, requirements specific to each category, and an example of the background of the members of the editorial staff or board who are likely to review that type of article for publication.

1. Perspectives: Informed and thoughtful analyses regarding previous issues or other relevant areas of interest. Perspectives articles cover important themes and ideas in FCR area of interest, even if controversial. They should be thought provoking and well analyzed. Some examples include commentary on the rights of children, divorce reform, the role of the family court judge, ethics in family law practice, family law legal education, and foster care reform. Authors can have any professional background. These articles are maximum 10–15 pages double-spaced and do not require copious footnotes. The editor(s) and associate editor in chief generally reviews these articles.

2. Legal Articles: This category includes the kinds of articles typically found in law reviews, covering topics like child representation, divorce, and custody and, in particular, law reform or practice in these areas. Authors will typically be judges, lawyers, or legal academics. The majority of the citations in this category of articles consist of statutes, case law, court rules, and other law review articles. Any social science references are not fundamental, and the article is judged by law review criteria. Legal topics covered should not be limited to a single jurisdiction but can use a single jurisdiction to illustrate a problem that many other jurisdictions also encounter. Legal articles of a doctrinal nature which solely explain and discuss the substantive law of a particular jurisdiction, or how to reform it, are not suitable for this journal unless the author discusses how the law or reform could apply to jurisdictions broadly.  Lawyers, legal scholars, and the editor review these articles.

3. Mixed Law and Social Science Articles: These include articles where legal analysis and debate are heavily reliant on social science materials to defend, challenge, or propose modifications to existing law and related public policy. These articles are not heavily methodological and generally rely upon multiple research studies. The FCR anticipates they be written by lawyers and/or social scientists alone or working together. Again, a national or international scope on whatever problem is being addressed is preferred. Lawyers, legal scholars and social scientists review these articles according to their expertise.

4. Empirical Research: This category of articles includes original empirical research or reviews of empirical research that further public policy and interdisciplinary dialogue in FCRʼs areas of interest. Examples of articles in this category include reviews of research on domestic violence, child abuse, supervised visitation, mediation, and empirically focused pieces on the impact of divorce on children. These articles are written mainly by researchers in social science, psychology, alternative dispute resolution, and other relevant fields. Articles in this category should describe the public policy implications of the research that is being discussed and should generally contain a review of relevant literature. This category of article is primarily reviewed by social science experts with assistance from lawyers to assess practical and policy implications of the research and the validity of any legal discussion.

5. Practice and Program Innovations: This category of articles includes discussion of clinical and court-based practices and programs that represent important innovations in family law or dispute resolution practice but do not necessarily have evaluation data to confirm their effectiveness. The practice or program innovation described in the article should have important innovative features that other practitioners, family courts, and communities could replicate. Articles on Integrated Domestic Violence Courts, Family Treatment Courts, programs for self-represented litigants, and other innovations in court services would fit into this category. These articles should provide good descriptive information about practice or program design and operation as well as available data on practice or program evaluation. Articles should include a disclaimer describing any limitations of validating research, as well as plans for future research. Lawyers, court administrators, social science experts, or a combination of these experts review this category depending on the subject matter of the proposed innovation.


The FCR review process is designed to ensure that authors who submit articles receive detailed feedback and comments on their pieces from the members of the Editorial Board. Reviewers are selected by the editors, and the reviewers receive the articles anonymously. Upon review completion, authors receive a detailed summary of the reviewers' comments. Articles may be accepted for publication, accepted subject to authors making certain revisions, or rejected for publication. Some articles are rejected for publication, but authors are encouraged to make revisions and then resubmit the article. Once the requested revisions are completed and an article is resubmitted, the revised article will undergo another review by the same peer reviewers before it is ultimately accepted or denied for publication.

The review process begins as soon as possible after the article is received. FCR aims to complete the review process within 4 to 6 weeks after an article is submitted. It may be possible to expedite reviews of articles in some circumstances, though doing so places extra burdens on the Editorial Board and staff. FCR staff will inform authors of the progress of the review process and of publication decisions in a timely manner, but, due to the interdisciplinary nature of FCR, some articles may take longer than others to review.  When the article's publication date nears, authors will receive additional correspondence regarding the publication process, including communication from an FCR student staff member, who will serve as a journal liaison throughout the editing and cite checking process.

Because of the time and effort devoted to the process of reviewing articles, the Editorial Board requests that authors who submit articles to FCR do not submit the same article to other journals at the same time. Editorial staff will gladly discuss any concerns regarding this policy.

Manuscripts submitted for publication should be submitted to: First-time users need to create an account. Click the Create an Account button and fill in the information requested. By default, your username is your e-mail address. Please keep your account up to date when your contact information changes. Do not create duplicate accounts. If you have more than one account, need assistance editing your account, or have any other inquiries please contact

A manuscript should not generally exceed 25 double-spaced typed pages, including notes, references, tables, and figures, although longer pieces may be considered.  Authors are requested to follow the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th edition) or the Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (21st ed.), published and distributed by the Harvard Law Review, when preparing manuscripts. Manuscripts must follow either the Bluebook or APA citation formats, not both, in a consistent manner.  Submissions should include an MS Word file with an abstract (100 words) and a biographical statement.  Authors should indicate why the subject of their article is relevant to an international community and FCR readership generally. Articles that refer to a specific jurisdiction should include a brief description of that jurisdiction so that all readers can understand the context relating to the issue under discussion. Send only camera-ready copy for figures and tables submitted for publication.

FCR conducts an annual family law writing competition for law students from American law schools and law schools abroad in cooperation with AFCC and the Center for Children, Families and the Law. Entries may address any area of family law or family dispute resolution, although international or interdisciplinary topics are especially encouraged. Articles should concentrate on a current legal issue and must have a strong foundation in legal research. The winners of previous yearsʼ competitions have been considered for publication in FCR.