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Conceptualizing Legal Childhood In The Twenty-First Century, Clare Huntington, Elizabeth S. Scott May 2020

Conceptualizing Legal Childhood In The Twenty-First Century, Clare Huntington, Elizabeth S. Scott

Michigan Law Review

The law governing children is complex, sometimes appearing almost incoherent. The relatively simple framework established in the Progressive Era, in which parents had primary authority over children, subject to limited state oversight, has broken down over the past few decades. Lawmakers started granting children some adult rights and privileges, raising questions about their traditional status as vulnerable, dependent, and legally incompetent beings. As children emerged as legal persons, children’s rights advocates challenged the rationale for parental authority, contending that robust parental rights often harm children. And a wave of punitive reforms in response to juvenile crime in the 1990s ...


Transparenthood, Sonia K. Katyal, Ilona M. Turner Jan 2019

Transparenthood, Sonia K. Katyal, Ilona M. Turner

Michigan Law Review

Despite the growing recognition of transgender rights in both law and culture, there is one area of law that has lagged behind: family law’s treatment of transgender parents. We perform an investigation of the way that transgender parents are treated in case law and discover striking results regarding the outcomes for transgender parents within the family court system. Despite significant gains for transgender plaintiffs in employment and other areas of law, the evidence reveals an array of ways in which the family court system has systematically alienated the rights and interests of transgender parents. In many cases involving custody ...


Eliminating Financiers From The Equation: A Call For Court-Mandated Fee Shifting In Divorces, Bibeane Metsch-Garcia May 2015

Eliminating Financiers From The Equation: A Call For Court-Mandated Fee Shifting In Divorces, Bibeane Metsch-Garcia

Michigan Law Review

Divorce can be prohibitively costly. Many struggle or simply cannot afford to pay divorce attorneys’ fees, and the economic effects of divorce on women are particularly acute. In the past few years, financing firms have emerged to fund nonmonied spouses, mostly women, who cannot afford to litigate divorces from their wealthy spouses. The services provided come with a hefty price tag: firms take large fees, and their involvement may lead to unethical and potentially damaging practices. This Note explains what third-party divorce finance firms are and why the use of firms is problematic, and offers an alternative, more equitable method ...


Toward A Child-Centered Approach To Evaluating Claims Of Alienation In High-Conflict Custody Disputes, Allison M. Nichols Feb 2014

Toward A Child-Centered Approach To Evaluating Claims Of Alienation In High-Conflict Custody Disputes, Allison M. Nichols

Michigan Law Review

Theories of parental alienation abound in high-conflict custody cases. The image of one parent brainwashing a child against the other parent fits with what we think we know about family dynamics during divorce. The concept of a diagnosable “Parental Alienation Syndrome” (“PAS”) developed as an attempt to explain this phenomenon, but it has been widely discredited by mental health professionals and thus fails the standard for evidentiary admissibility. Nevertheless, PAS and related theories continue to influence the decisions of family courts, and even in jurisdictions that explicitly reject such theories, judges still face the daunting task of resolving these volatile ...


Black Marriage, White People, Red Herrings, Melissa Murray Apr 2013

Black Marriage, White People, Red Herrings, Melissa Murray

Michigan Law Review

Ralph Richard Banks's Is Marriage for White People? is worlds away from Agatha Christie's novels. Decidedly a work of nonfiction, Banks's book considers the plight of middle-class African Americans who, according to statistics, are the least likely of any demographic group to get and stay married. Despite these obvious differences, Is Marriage for White People? shares some important commonalities with Agatha Christie's mysteries. Banks seeks to solve a mystery, but red herrings draw attention away from the true issue that should be the subject of Banks's concern. The mystery, of course, is the black marriage ...


Family History: Inside And Out, Kerry Abrams Apr 2013

Family History: Inside And Out, Kerry Abrams

Michigan Law Review

The twenty-first century has seen the dawn of a new era of the family, an era that has its roots in the twentieth. Many of the social and scientific phenomena of our time - same-sex couples, in vitro fertilization, single-parent families, international adoption - have inspired changes in the law. Legal change has encompassed both constitutional doctrine and statutory innovations, from landmark Supreme Court decisions articulating a right to procreate (or not), a liberty interest in the care, custody, and control of one's children, and even a right to marry, to state no-fault divorce statutes that have fundamentally changed the way ...


Renegotiating The Social Contract, Jennifer S. Hendricks Apr 2012

Renegotiating The Social Contract, Jennifer S. Hendricks

Michigan Law Review

Despite an economic recession and record levels of personal bankruptcy filings due to healthcare costs, President Obama's healthcare reform initiative sparked a season of protests. A "public option"-not to mention a single-payer system-was off the table even before the discussion began. As the question of the reform package's constitutionality wound its way to the Supreme Court, it became clear that a substantial number of American people do not want their government helping them stay alive. In this climate, it is difficult to imagine an America in which the state is an accepted partner in meeting the challenges ...


The Family Law Doctrine Of Equivalence, Amy L. Wax Jan 2009

The Family Law Doctrine Of Equivalence, Amy L. Wax

Michigan Law Review

Students of patent law learn the doctrine of equivalents. According to the doctrine, a patent protects an invention that does "the same work in substantially the same way, and accomplish[ es] substantially the same result," as the device described in the patent, even if it differs "'in name, form, or shape." In her new book, Nancy Polikoff has fashioned something like a parallel doctrine for families. Let's call it (with a slight play on words) the family law Doctrine of Equivalence. In today's world, according to Polikoff, a broad set of relationships now plays the same role as ...


Friends With Benefits?, Laura A. Rosenbury Nov 2007

Friends With Benefits?, Laura A. Rosenbury

Michigan Law Review

Family law has long been intensely interested in certain adult intimate relationships, namely marriage and marriage-like relationships, and silent about other adult intimate relationships, namely friendship. This Article examines the effects of that focus, illustrating how it frustrates one of the goals embraced by most family law scholars over the past forty years: the achievement of gender equality, within the family and without. Part I examines the current scope of family law doctrine and scholarship, highlighting the ways in which the home is still the organizing structure for family. Despite calls for increased legal recognition of diverse families, few scholars ...


Divorcees Turn About In Their Graves As Ex-Spouses Cash In: Codified Constructive Trusts Ensure An Equitable Result Regarding Erisa-Governed Employee Benefit Plans, Sarabeth A. Rayho Jan 2007

Divorcees Turn About In Their Graves As Ex-Spouses Cash In: Codified Constructive Trusts Ensure An Equitable Result Regarding Erisa-Governed Employee Benefit Plans, Sarabeth A. Rayho

Michigan Law Review

A revocation-by-divorce statute essentially nullifies a devise in a divorced decedent's will when the devise bequeaths property to the decedent's ex-spouse and the will was executed during their marriage. Until recently, state revocation-by-divorce statutes unquestionably applied not only to wills but also to will substitutes, including ERISA-governed employee benefit plans. In 2001, the Supreme Court held in Egelhoff v. Egelhoff ex rel. Breiner that ERISA preempts traditional state revocation-by-divorce statutes as applied to ERISA-governed employee benefit plans. In the wake of the Egelhoff decision, plan administrators may automatically pay proceeds to the listed beneficiary, even an ex-spouse, regardless ...


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 ...


Marriage And Belonging, Ann Laquer Estin Jan 2002

Marriage And Belonging, Ann Laquer Estin

Michigan Law Review

Marriage is a quintessentially private institution. Justice Douglas put the point this way in 1965, writing for the Supreme Court in Griswold v. Connecticut: "We deal with a right of privacy older than the Bill of Rights - older than our political parties, older than our school system. Marriage is a coming together for better or for worse, hopefully enduring, and intimate to the degree of being sacred. It is an association that promotes a way of life, not causes; a harmony in living, not political faiths; a bilateral loyalty, not commercial or social projects. Yet it is an association for ...


How To Plot Love On An Indifference Curve, Brian H. Bix May 2001

How To Plot Love On An Indifference Curve, Brian H. Bix

Michigan Law Review

In From Partners to Parents: The Second Revolution in Family Law, June Carbone offers nothing less than a whirlwind tour of the current doctrinal and policy debates of Family Law - an astounding feat in a book whose main text (excluding endnotes and appendices) does not reach 250 pages. There seem to be few controversies about which Carbone has not read widely and come to a conclusion, and usually a fair-minded one: from the effect of no-fault divorce reforms on the divorce rate, to the long-term consequences of slavery for the African-American family (pp. 67-84), to whether the Aid to Families ...


Are We Protecting The Wrong Rights?, Jennifer L. Saulino May 2001

Are We Protecting The Wrong Rights?, Jennifer L. Saulino

Michigan Law Review

Elizabeth Bartholet, in her book Nobody's Children, takes a strong step toward beginning a new kind of dialogue about abused and neglected children. She positions herself as a liberal who has come to terms with the fact that traditional liberal ideals are in conflict with the needs of abused and neglected children (p. 5). In doing so, she tries to convince her readers that, regardless of ideology, we all should have a different focus in the area of child abuse and neglect law. She uses Sabrina as one of several examples of how programs for abused and neglected children ...


Eliminating Consideration Of Parental Wealth In Post-Divorce Child Custody Disputes, Carolyn J. Frantz Oct 2000

Eliminating Consideration Of Parental Wealth In Post-Divorce Child Custody Disputes, Carolyn J. Frantz

Michigan Law Review

There may be no story as old as that of the child of privilege, spoiled in the things of the world, who finally achieves happiness through coming to appreciate the simple charms of working-class life. But equal in strength are the real life stories of American parents: their drive for the accumulation of personal wealth, so frequently justified as "for the children." The place of wealth in the good life of a child is deeply controversial, and it should surprise no one to see it played out in child custody law. Under the statutes of almost all states, custody disputes ...


Looking At Marriage, Naomi Cahn Jan 2000

Looking At Marriage, Naomi Cahn

Michigan Law Review

In a recent book (not the subject of this Review), highly successful and popular authors John Gottman and Nan Silver set out their seven effective principles for making a marriage last. The final suggestion is that spouses should "create shared meaning, an inner life together that is rich with symbols and family rituals and that honors the hopes of both partners." In a happy marriage, the couples not only provide support for each other, but also "build a sense of purpose into their lives together." Professor Gottman has developed these principles as a result of twenty years of research and ...


Unshackling Black Motherhood, Dorothy E. Roberts Feb 1997

Unshackling Black Motherhood, Dorothy E. Roberts

Michigan Law Review

When stories about the prosecutions of women for using drugs during pregnancy first appeared in newspapers in 1989, I immediately suspected that most of the defendants were Black women. Charging someone with a crime for giving birth to a baby seemed to fit into the legacy of devaluing Black mothers. I was so sure of this intuition that I embarked on my first major law review article based on the premise that the prosecutions perpetuated Black women's subordination. My hunch turned out to be right: a memorandum prepared by the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project documented cases brought against pregnant ...


Legal Narratives, Theraputic Narratives: The Invisibility And Omnipresence Of Race And Gender, Leslie G. Espinoza Feb 1997

Legal Narratives, Theraputic Narratives: The Invisibility And Omnipresence Of Race And Gender, Leslie G. Espinoza

Michigan Law Review

My first introduction to Denise Gray was through a form. The intake sheet was dated October 17, 1994. The legal problem was straightforward. My introduction to Denise Gray would come much later. I am a clinical law professor. The clinic, Boston College Legal Assistance Bureau, is known as "LAB." I teach students law by supervising them as they represent, usually for the first time, a real person with real problems.


A Study In Regulatory Method, Local Political Cultures, And Jurisprudential Voice: The Application Of Federal Confidentiality Law To Project Head Start, Richard C. Boldt Aug 1995

A Study In Regulatory Method, Local Political Cultures, And Jurisprudential Voice: The Application Of Federal Confidentiality Law To Project Head Start, Richard C. Boldt

Michigan Law Review

This article focuses on one particular set of issues raised by the effort to coordinate the activities of Head Start centers with those of substance abuse treatment programs and the introduction of treatment and prevention functions into the daily interactions of Head Start staff and parents. These issues involve the disclosure of potentially damaging information about a Head Start parent's drug or alcohol abuse and the confidentiality considerations that arise when she or he has sought or received treatment for that abuse. Although it is possible to characterize these issues as technical, doctrinal questions of statutory and regulatory interpretation ...


A Study In Regulatory Method, Local Political Cultures, And Jurisprudential Voice: The Application Of Federal Confidentiality Law To Project Head Start, Richard C. Boldt Aug 1995

A Study In Regulatory Method, Local Political Cultures, And Jurisprudential Voice: The Application Of Federal Confidentiality Law To Project Head Start, Richard C. Boldt

Michigan Law Review

This article focuses on one particular set of issues raised by the effort to coordinate the activities of Head Start centers with those of substance abuse treatment programs and the introduction of treatment and prevention functions into the daily interactions of Head Start staff and parents. These issues involve the disclosure of potentially damaging information about a Head Start parent's drug or alcohol abuse and the confidentiality considerations that arise when she or he has sought or received treatment for that abuse. Although it is possible to characterize these issues as technical, doctrinal questions of statutory and regulatory interpretation ...


Divorce, Custody, Gender, And The Limits Of Law: On Dividing The Child, Lee E. Teitelbaum May 1994

Divorce, Custody, Gender, And The Limits Of Law: On Dividing The Child, Lee E. Teitelbaum

Michigan Law Review

A Review of Dividing the Child: Social and Legal Dilemmas of Custody by Elanor E. Maccoby and Robert H. Mnookin


Black Identity And Child Placement: The Best Interests Of Black And Biracial Children, Kim Forde-Mazrui Feb 1994

Black Identity And Child Placement: The Best Interests Of Black And Biracial Children, Kim Forde-Mazrui

Michigan Law Review

The purpose of this Note is to question whether racial matching by courts and child-placement agencies serves the best interests of Black children. The principle that guides this Note's analysis is that racial matching is justified only if such a policy better serves the interests of Black children than a policy in which race is not a factor in a child-placement determination. This Note also questions whether racial matching serves the interests of biracial children and those of Black people as a cultural group.


Incompletely Reasoned Sex: A Review Of Posner's Somewhat Misleading Guide To The Economic Analysis Of Sex And Family Law, Martin Zelder May 1993

Incompletely Reasoned Sex: A Review Of Posner's Somewhat Misleading Guide To The Economic Analysis Of Sex And Family Law, Martin Zelder

Michigan Law Review

A Review of Sex and Reason by Richard A. Posner


Divorce Reform And The Legacy Of Gender, Milton C. Regan Jr. May 1992

Divorce Reform And The Legacy Of Gender, Milton C. Regan Jr.

Michigan Law Review

A Review of The Illusion of Equality: The Rhetoric and Reality of Divorce Reform by Martha Albertson Fineman


Discretion, Rules, And Law: Child Custody And The Umda's Best-Interest Standard, Carl E. Schneider Aug 1991

Discretion, Rules, And Law: Child Custody And The Umda's Best-Interest Standard, Carl E. Schneider

Michigan Law Review

One barrier facing any attempt to devise a uniform law for diverse jurisdictions is the occasional - perhaps even frequent - difficulty of writing rules that will accurately guide judges. The law's ordinary solution to that difficulty is to give judges some measure of discretion. This article inquires into the nature and legitimacy of that technique. It does so by analyzing a particularly controversial provision of the Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act (UMDA). Section 402 of that Act states: "The court shall determine custody in accordance with the best interest of the child." It then instructs the court to "consider all ...


Recognizing Child Abuse: A Guide For The Concerned, Denise Esposito May 1991

Recognizing Child Abuse: A Guide For The Concerned, Denise Esposito

Michigan Law Review

A Review of Recognizing Child Abuse: A Guide for the Concerned by Douglas J. Besharov


Family Traits, Inga Markovits May 1990

Family Traits, Inga Markovits

Michigan Law Review

A Review of The Transformation of Family Law: State, Law and Family in the United States and Western Europe


The Limits Of Social Policy, Cary Coglianese May 1990

The Limits Of Social Policy, Cary Coglianese

Michigan Law Review

A Review of The Limits of Social Policy by Nathan Glazer


Law, Science, And History: Reflections Upon In The Best Interests Of The Child, Peggy C. Davis May 1988

Law, Science, And History: Reflections Upon In The Best Interests Of The Child, Peggy C. Davis

Michigan Law Review

A Review of In the Best Interests of the Child by Joseph Goldstein, Anna Freud, Albert J. Solnit, and Sonja Goldstein


Legislatures And Legal Change: The Reform Of Divorce Law, Carl E. Schneider May 1988

Legislatures And Legal Change: The Reform Of Divorce Law, Carl E. Schneider

Michigan Law Review

A Review of A Silent Revolution: Routine Policy Making and the Transformation of Divorce Law in the United States by Herbert Jacob