Family Law Outline- Huntington Fall 2006

Family Law Outline- Huntington Fall 2006 - I WHAT IS A...

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I. W HAT IS A FAMILY ? Descriptive (legal rel) v. normative (moral- should it be/what we feel it is) definitions. Subjective- moral tie, bonds including sexual, unconditional relationships, permanence, religious aspects, mutual care giving and mutual economic support. Objective- blood lines, legal definitions. Formalist (clear- laws, statutes, etc) v. Functionalist. Laissez-faire def- privacy. Only who looks formally as a family (traditional model) v. functions of a family (what do we think that families do). State defines b/c it picks up the pieces. LIMITS of the states on family distinctions? - Legislature cannot draw lines w/in fam rel, but can’t interfere with family relationships. - Drawing lines outside blood lines rational standard, but once in the blood rel a stricter scrutiny. A. O LDER WOMEN working together- Different approaches to the family Older Women-NY Times article - baby boomers women who are used to being in control of their lives, own real estate and have run businesses want something better than aging in retirement homes- aging w/ friends, pulling resources together. This model fits the functionalist definition: if you have a kid together, function like a family, you are one. B. A DULT - CHILD RELATIONSHIPS Kavanagh Rewriting the Legal Family: Beyond Exclusivity to a Care-Based Standard - parents shared custody, mom had a lesbian partner and kids had a foster sibling; many neighbors and other adults non-blood relatives shared in the care of the kids, people came and went, but the kids were always care for. private if married, but w/ state intervention if kids & divorce. Current construction of family- still 2 parents of opposite sex- family is private , but state intrudes in family construction and child custody. Exclusivity doctrine dominates: only 2 parents w/ full legal rights, otherwise strangers w/ none. Insider families v. Outsider families. The idea that exclusive insider families are successful and independent units is a myth! Changes : most kids don’t grow up in the traditional family. The reality that there are multiple caregivers (which offers them diverse relationships, etc) should not be ignored—state has an interest in regulating the 21 st century messiness. Beyond Exclusivity- care should be brought to the center of the legal analysis to find broad alternatives to exclusivity. Bringing care into custody -adults should be req to show rel based on acts they perform & given privileges based on that. Care-based standard , recognition and standing, expanded families and webs of care are all very important issues. Expanded families- webs of care-give legal rights to people that are significant and exclude others- grandparents for ex. Comments on Article: care-based standard would exclude those who are getting financial compensation, but children develop attachments to paid caregivers- if focus is on the significance of relationship to child- hard to address the problem.
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  • Fall '06
  • Huntington
  • Law, rational basis

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