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2003

University of Michigan Law School

Marriage

Family Law

Articles 1 - 6 of 6

Full-Text Articles in Law

For And Against Marriage: A Revision, Anita Bernstein Nov 2003

For And Against Marriage: A Revision, Anita Bernstein

Michigan Law Review

When anthropologist Henry Sumner Maine issued his famous proclamation that modern legal development evolved "from Status to Contract," he used juridical categories to make a statement about progress. Voluntary relations now build the law, Maine declared. The alternative to voluntary relations - identity-based legal labels to decree what people may and may not do - must relocate to the dustbin of history. Only a backwater society would keep them. American legal change in the century-plus since Maine's death in 1888 gives credence to the claim that status inexorably yields to contract. At one level, newer developments refute the Maine thesis. "Stalkers ...


The Marriage Dower: Essential Guarantor Of Women's Rights In The West Bank And Gaza Strip, Heather Jacobson Jan 2003

The Marriage Dower: Essential Guarantor Of Women's Rights In The West Bank And Gaza Strip, Heather Jacobson

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Article evaluates the impact that eliminating or reducing the marriage dower would have on the well-being of Muslim women in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Although Palestinian women's rights organizations seek to eliminate dower on the grounds that it is a "burdensome custom" that is "inconsistent with the intifada's stated goal of improving women's status," in fact, the interaction between dower and other laws relating to marriage and divorce is such that the majority of women would be materially harmed by its discontinuance. Therefore, while the movement to eliminate dower may benefit the financially secure ...


From Presumed Fathers To Lesbian Mothers: Sex Discrimination And The Legal Construction Of Parenthood, Susan E. Dalton Jan 2003

From Presumed Fathers To Lesbian Mothers: Sex Discrimination And The Legal Construction Of Parenthood, Susan E. Dalton

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

In Part I of this article, Dalton briefly reviews the way legal scholars commonly define sex-based discrimination, particularly as it pertains to issues of reproduction. Part II is a brief historical review of legal constructions of parenthood. In Part III, Dalton examines two legal concepts: retroactive legitimation and presumed fatherhood. Both concepts were introduced in 1872 and each independently encouraged judges to think of fatherhood as consisting of two distinct spheres, the biological and the social. She then traces the legal development of these concepts through a series of presumed father, retroactive legitimation, and putative father cases. In Part IV ...


Is Marriage Obsolete?, Lynn D. Wardle Jan 2003

Is Marriage Obsolete?, Lynn D. Wardle

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Is legal marriage obsolete? Wardle thinks not. In order to understand why not, it is necessary first to grasp the significance of the focus of the discussion on the legal status of marriage. As this Introduction suggests, lack of legal marriage status does not prevent families and communities from treating couples as married nor does the law forbid couples from voluntarily providing each other "marital benefits." Nevertheless, whether marriage is obsolete at the beginning of the twenty-first century is an important question. This article analyzes four dimensions of that question.


Covenant Marriage Turns Five Years Old, Steven L. Nock, Laura Sanchez, Julia C. Wilson, James D. Wright Jan 2003

Covenant Marriage Turns Five Years Old, Steven L. Nock, Laura Sanchez, Julia C. Wilson, James D. Wright

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Part I of this article discusses public policy rationales behind covenant marriage legislation, describes relevant aspects of Louisiana's legislation, and summarizes the efforts of other states to enact covenant marriage legislation. Part II discusses methods of data collection and analysis and identifies the demographic characteristics of covenant married couples as opposed to standard married couples in Louisiana. Part III addresses the dynamics behind couples' choice to have a covenant versus standard marriage. Part IV is an analysis of couples' satisfaction with their marriage option and the gendered dynamics of different levels of satisfaction with the marital choice.


Marriage Law: Obsolete Or Cutting Edge?, Michigan Journal Of Gender & Law Jan 2003

Marriage Law: Obsolete Or Cutting Edge?, Michigan Journal Of Gender & Law

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Over the past hundred years, social and cultural expectations surrounding various forms of committed relationships have changed dramatically, and contemporary legal systems have struggled to adapt. The result has been an extraordinary opportunity to test fundamental assumptions about law, about the cultural understandings that are enforced through state power, and about the mechanisms that drive law's evolution. The Michigan Journal of Gender & Law has drawn together an exceptional group of panelists who will discuss these questions throughout the day.