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2002

Divorce

Law and Gender

University of Florida Levin College of Law

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The Crisis Of Child Custody: A History Of The Birth Of Family Law In England, Danaya C. Wright Jan 2002

The Crisis Of Child Custody: A History Of The Birth Of Family Law In England, Danaya C. Wright

UF Law Faculty Publications

This article attempts to show that the inter-spousal custody cases of the nineteenth century created such a crisis in equity that they eventually demanded a new court structure and a new set of legal doctrines. The custody cases posed such a profound threat to the stability and authority of the Chancery courts that within fifty years an entirely new court system was required. That court system combined the tripartite jurisdictions of the law, equity, and ecclesiastical courts in matrimonial matters. While many scholars and historians have applauded that moment, I would suggest that the new court was merely a way …