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Family Law- Huntington- Steven

Family Law- Huntington- Steven - FAMILY LAW OUTLINE I What...

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FAMILY LAW OUTLINE I. What is Family? What is a family and how do we go about defining it ? o Related by blood, parent-child relationships o Other bonds – time spent together, shared experiences o Love/caring, living together, Commitment to the future What are the sources of this definition ? o Religion, Political Definition of family, Legal = statutory def of family OR case law, Self-defining, Money??? o Natural Law = looking to nature, something deep and fundamental about a family, a common knowledge Effected by issues of morality o Positive Law = what we enact into law o Culture o Life Experience o DeWitt Gregory says the SC has clearly answered this. It is blood relations or parent/child. (Law professors are just confusing the issue.) What flows from this ? o To question the social/economic utility of a family – societal chaos? o Rights/privileges o Families have a certain autonomy to decide what goes on behind closed doors? If nanny OR good family friends are able to make these decisions than where do we draw the line? o Infrastructure – Bring your family to the BBQ? What does that mean? o Value Judgments o Legal/Moral Obligations o Leads to Inclusion of Exclusion concerning Legal and Social rules. o Leads to a sense of ID o Administrative Rules What is the State Interest ? o Administrative Convenience Marriage/Birth Certificate o Preserving Social Order o Financial Stability o Financial Supports/Independence (welfare, etc.) o Custody: State – Family, at what point does state intervene? o Religious Autonomy o State derives a lot of power from this. How? Derived by defining the family Can exacerbate court costs /administrative costs depending on how the family is defined. Formalists definitions: o Makes clear who constitutes a family. Laws, statutes. o Husband and Wife. (man & woman, except for Mass) But Formalists leave a lot out o We will not let same-sex couple be family under law o A lot of what we assume falls into this definition, i.e., procreation, man, woman, sex… Functionalist definitions: o Some courts expand the definition of a family Picks up where Formalists left off Stats: In US today, married couples w/ children (i.e. nuclear family ) is only 50% of households out there . 1
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1/3 of the households are single people w/o children, roommates, & cohabiting couples 1970 1/3 of children lived w/o one parent Now 25% of all children born in a yr are born to unmarried parents (i.e. illegitimate). 50% of marriages will end in divorce o SO, we have a society that is anything but dominated by the traditional nuclear family. DeWitt says, law will only protect traditional family. Do what you want, but don’t expect to be legally protected. MAIN IDEA: There is a lot of change in the American Family today, so how should the law reflect & support that ?
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