American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers

The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) was founded in 1962 to provide leadership that promotes the highest degree of professionalism and excellence in the practice of family law, including divorce and child custody decisions.

AAML seeks to advance the education, growth, and standards of matrimonial law. Currently, there are more than 1,600 Fellows of AAML in the United States.

American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) is a National Academy of "Fellows." These highly skilled family law attorneys, representing individuals in all facets of family law including divorce, annulment, prenuptial agreements, post-nuptial agreements, marital settlement agreements, child custody and visitation, business valuations, property valuations and division, alimony, child support and other family law issues.

The AAML focuses on generating assistance, support, and growth for education, mediation, and arbitration in matrimonial law. The organization provides tools and resources to its members who are committed to preserving and fostering the advancement of divorce and family law.

The organization makes many resources available to its members including important research, news, and other publications as well as an information center and important sociological and psychological research on marriage breakdown, with particular regard to the consequences for the children of separated and divorced.

By hosting events and educational opportunities, colleagues can gather to discuss current events and changes happening regarding matrimonial law.

Since the formation of the organization in 1962, the AAML has impacted legislation with continued efforts by the organization and its members to make progress in the field. By actively promoted arbitration, the adoption of the new AAML Model Family Law Arbitration Act has generated renewed interest in an alternative dispute resolution methodology that previously has been primarily within the domain of commercial law.

The Model Act includes not only a framework for state family law arbitration statutes but also suggested rules for arbitration. Under the guidance of AAML Fellows, a number of states have amended their statutes to permit a wider range of family law arbitrations and other states are considering such amendments.


Membership in the AAML

AAML memberships are intended for family law attorneys, mediators, and arbitrators who are at an expert level in their careers. To become a Fellow of the AAML association, expert practitioners in matrimonial law must show they have extensive experience in the field.

The attorneys must also show a stellar reputation within the legal industry, meet certain certification and field requirements as well as participate and progress through an extensive interviewing process consisting of both state board of examiners and other matrimonial law practitioners in the state.

The AAML has many state chapters including the Florida Chapter of the AAML for family law attorneys in the State of Florida.

Membership in the AAML has other benefits. For example, the Family Law Certification Board in the State of Indiana recognizes that the practice, experiential and testing requirements of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (“Academy”) are greater than the same requirements of the Board. Therefore, the Board has granted certification and re-certification to each member of the Academy in good standing as of June 8, 2002, who applied for certification, and the Board did not require the Academy member to take and pass the written test of the Board.

This benefit of membership is important because many of the top family law attorneys in Indiana who are members of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers have also taken the extra step to become board certified in Family Law in Indiana.


Qualification for Memberships in the AAML

Attorneys focused on family law should consider the benefits of joining the AAML. In order to be considered for membership of the AAML, applicants must possess the following requirements:

  • Be recognized by the bench and bar in his or her jurisdiction as an expert practitioner in matrimonial law;
  • Admitted to bar 10 years, 75 percent specialization in matrimonial law, but subject to exception in certain geographic areas and other exceptional circumstances;
  • Have state family law certification if it exists;
  • Complete 15 hours of continuing legal education in each of previous five years;
  • Pass oral and/or written examination on wide-ranging issues pertaining to matrimonial and family law;
  • Be interviewed by a state board of examiners as well as be passed upon by other matrimonial law practitioners in the state;
  • Aspire to the ethical standards set forth in the "Bounds of Advocacy" as well as state bar rules of professional conduct; and
  • Demonstrate involvement in study or improvement of matrimonial law, such as publishing articles or continuing education presentations.

Upcoming Events of the AAML

The AAML 2017 Annual Meeting is scheduled for November 7-11, 2017 at the Renaissance Chicago Downtown in Chicago, IL.
 

Other Sections and Resources:

  • Resources for Lawyers: AAML encourages its members to expand their knowledge and skills in matrimonial law. Members of the organization may take advantage of research and documents covering extensive issues and topics on divorce, child matters and more in the AAML Information Center as well as on the AAML Virtual Library. Resources for lawyers provided by the AAML also include digital spaces and events to help members connect with one another and discuss current events in the industry.
  • CLE Courses: AAML offers CLE Courses to its members, covering a wide variety of areas within matrimonial law. The AAML Continuing Legal Education seminars include topis such as valuation and financial topics, hiding and finding assets, issues regarding asset protection trusts, how technology and social media can benefit a family law attorney's practice, finding and tracing offshore assets, and uncovering fraud.
  • Advocacy: In addition to impacting matrimonial legislation and the growth of family law attorneys throughout the nation, AAML also dedicates its efforts to one of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers’ most important goals: to protect children and families, with the AAML Foundation. The primary goal of the AAML Foundation is to provide financial assistance to organizations, by way of grants, to help families and children affected by the breakup of the family unit.
  • News: Stay up to date on the important top stories in legal news, what's happening around the bar, from within the AAML organization and other relevant topics going on around the legal community.
  • Journal of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers - Visit the library of the Journal of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers to access previously published journals on issues such as advanced property issues in family law, alimony calculators and guidelines, children’s interests and protecting children, high income and asset property division, cutting edge issues in electronic evidence, familial and matrimonial agreements in cohabitation, marriage and domestic partnerships.
  • NYSBA Family Law Review - The New York State Bar Association publishes The Family Law Review in association with the New York State Bar Association Family Law Section. The NYSBA Family Law Review is available to Section members only who are focused on divorce and matrimonial law in the state of New York.

Contact Information

Chicago Headquarters of the AAML
150 N. Michigan Ave,
Ste. 1420
Chicago, IL 60601
Phone: 312-263-6477
Fax (312) 263-7682

This article was last updated on Thursday, September 1, 2016.