Category Archives: Family Law

John Eekelaar, ‘Family Law and Identity’

Abstract This article considers the role that ‘identity’ plays in family law, particularly in recent years. It develops two versions of that concept, one related to an individual’s personal characteristics (called here ‘individual identity’), the other to the individual’s identification with other individuals (‘communal identity’). The former is exemplified in the decision of the European […]

Hilary Biehler, ‘The scope of common intention constructive trusts: where to draw the line?’

Introduction The common intention constructive trust is now well established as the mechanism used by the courts in England to resolve disputes about the beneficial ownership of family property, whether held in the parties’ joint names or in the sole name of one of them. However, it is clear that there are both doctrinal and […]

Laura Oren, ‘No-Fault Divorce Reform in the 1950s: The Lost History of the “Greatest Project” of the National Association of Women Lawyers’

“This Article is about the lost history of a campaign by the National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL) to achieve uniform no-fault divorce law reform in the United States. In one form or another, NAWL has existed continuously since before 1911, when it began to publish the Women Lawyers Journal. From its Progressive era origins […]

Gregg Strauss, ‘What’s Wrong with Obergefell

Abstract Although Obergefell v Hodges was a historic victory for progressive constitutional law, the Supreme Court’s glorification of marriage created widespread anxiety among progressive family law scholars. Yet, the critics have still not explained why this marriage rhetoric arouses such moral indignation. Some critics predict Obergefell’s rhetoric will shape family and constitutional law in ways […]

Keith Stanton, ‘Joint bank accounts and survivorship’

Abstract Who is beneficially entitled to the money deposited in a joint bank account? In the great majority of cases, it is clear that the money is jointly owned and will pass on the death of one of the account holders to the survivor. However, things are not always simple and the law then has […]

Margaret Ryznar, ‘Robot Love’

Abstract Researchers have been developing a sophisticated humanoid robot that people in the future may want to marry. A human-robot marriage would pose all kinds of challenges for lawmakers – from the question of whether robots could be granted custody of children or access family bank accounts, to the basic question of free will. Any […]

Yehezkel Margalit, ‘Temporary Marriage – A Comparison of the Jewish and Islamic Conception’

Abstract The Jewish marriage differs from the Catholic Christian marriage, which is an institution surrounded by the halo of a holy sacrament that cannot be nullied. It also differs from the Islamic marriage, which is closer to a legal agreement than to a sacrament, wherein the husband alone may annul the marriage, either unilaterally or […]

Brian Bix, ‘Agreements in American Family Law’

Abstract Family law historically, and still today, remains a paradigm of status rather than contract. Many family law obligations and rights are connected to a status that is either not chosen (for example, child) or a status whose holder has no or limited power to alter the package of rights and duties once the role […]

Kate Galloway, ‘The Influence of the Sexual Contract on the Law’s Distribution of Property in Intimate Relationships’

Abstract This is a video of a paper given at the Sexual Contract: 30 Years On conference held in the Law School, Cardiff University on 10-11 May 2018. This paper was part of Panel 1: The Marriage Contract, chaired by Kathryn McNeilly. The PowerPoint slides accompanying the paper are available as a separate file. Despite […]

Emily Stolzenberg, ‘The New Family Freedom’

Abstract In family law, ‘autonomy’ has traditionally meant freedom from state interference in one’s intimate life. This Article describes an emergent, libertarian vision of autonomy as property rights that also demands freedom from other family members. This conception, ‘choice about obligations’, holds redistribution of resources between intimates to be illegitimate unless the richer party ‘chose’ […]