Category Archives: Family Law

Peter Nicolas, ‘Backdating Marriage’

Abstract: Many same-sex couples have been in committed relationships for years, even decades. Yet until 2004 no same-sex couples in the United States had the right to marry in any state and until the US Supreme Court’s 2015 decision in Obergefell v Hodges the right was unavailable to same-sex couples nationwide. Due to this longstanding […]

‘America’s Next Top Probate Model’

Katherine M Arango, Trial and Heirs: Antemortem Probate for the Changing American Family, 81 Brooklyn Law Review 779 (2016). The idea of the ‘traditional family unit’ is changing at a rapid pace that requires the law to adapt to effectuate a testator’s intent when administering a will. With 16.3 million unmarried Americans cohabiting and one […]

‘Of Persons, Property, and Frozen Eggs’

Browne Lewis, “You Belong to Me”: Unscrambling the Legal Ramifications of Recognizing a Property Right in Frozen Human Eggs, 83 Tennessee Law Review 645 (2016). William Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England bifurcated the physical universe into persons and property. In Blackstone’s description of English law, there were categories of persons (just as there […]

Deborah Zalesne, ‘The Intersection of Contract Law, Reproductive Technology, and the Market: Families in the Age of ART’

Abstract: While rapidly developing Assisted Reproductive Technology (‘ART’) such as in vitro fertilization, surrogacy, artificial insemination, IUI, fertility medication, intracytoplasmic sperm injection, and cryopreservation, offer new pathways to parenthood, they have challenged our collective notions about the traditional view of family as something ‘organic’ and ‘natural’ and as a ‘self-contained unit’. New technologies allow for […]

Albertina Antognini, ‘The Law of Nonmarriage’

Abstract: The meaning of marriage, and how it regulates intimate relationships, has been at the forefront of recent scholarly and public debates. Yet despite the attention paid to marriage – especially in the wake of Obergefell v Hodges – a record number of people are not marrying. Legal scholarship has mostly neglected how the law […]

‘We Are Family, Aren’t We? Modern Families and Outdated Probate Laws’

Danaya C Wright, Inheritance Equity: Reforming the Inheritance Penalties Facing Children in Nontraditional Families, 25 Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy 1 (2015). In her article, Inheritance Equity: Reforming the Inheritance Penalties Facing Children in Nontraditional Families, Professor Danaya C Wright examines the negative effect that outdated intestate succession statutes have on today’s modern […]

Kim and Thurman, ‘Social Rites of Marriage’

Abstract: The legal consequences for same-sex couples who have married — and for couples who will do so after the historic Obergefell v Hodges decision — are numerous and profound. As legal rhetoric and scholarly research on marriage suggest, however, the social dimension of marriage — apart from its concrete legal benefits — is deeply […]

Sharon Thompson, ‘In Defence of the “Gold-Digger”’

Abstract: This article examines the gold-digging trope in family law. It explores the etymology of the term and how it has been employed in cultural and legal contexts, such as media, parliamentary debates and case law. It is argued that the gold-digger construct has shifted, in that it was once applied only to women who […]

Talia Einhorn, ‘Coordinating Matrimonial Property Regimes Across National Borders – Israeli and Comparative Perspectives’

Abstract: Recent decades have witnessed a remarkable increase in the mobility of persons across national borders, as well as an increase in the number of couples formed by nationals of different countries, who may live in a country of which neither is national and acquire property in more than one country. Such couples may face […]

Robert Leckey, ‘Cohabitation, Law Reform, and the Litigants’

Abstract: Who sues when cohabiting relationships unwind, before and after reform that extends matrimonial sharing of family property to cohabitants? This paper reports findings from the Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan and British Columbia, where reform aimed to divert cohabitants from claims in unjust enrichment. The legislative minimum duration in both is two years. The paper […]