Family Law in America

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This volume examines the present state of family law in America. Among its themes is the tension between individual autonomy and governmental regulation in all aspects of family law. It examines both conventional and new definitions of formal and informal domestic relationships. It analyses the extent to which relationships established before marriage are being regulated, and how marriage is being redefined to take into account equality of the sexes. It demonstrates how the definition of marriage as a partnership in which the individual spouse's rights are recognized has resulted in protection of the vulnerable spouse. It examines fault and no-fault divorce procedures and the extent to which these procedures reflect social realities. The book describes state intervention into the patent and child relationship and how this is reflected in the re-examination of the privacy of the family unit. It concludes with a discussion of the conventional model of adoption of children and how additional models are being developed to take into account new family forms.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Sanford Katz is one of a small group of still-active law professors who have written and taught in the field of family law for forty years or more. His long and varied experience has added special and valuable dimensions to his new book. Not designed simply as a history, it reflects the view that to understand contemporary family law fully, one must be familiar with the major shifts that occurred during the second half of the twentieth century."—Walter Wadlington, Family Court Review

"Excellent, stimulating, and highly readable.... Family Law in America is not only indispensable for anyone seeking a conspectus of the law in the 50 States but for anyone who has a serious interest in the development of law and policy."—Stephen Cretney, International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family

"Serves as a thoughtful statement of modern American family law This book is very useful for foreign lawyers and scholars interested in a readable study of this branch of American law. However, I also recommend in American law students and to non-family law practitioners looking for analysis of and insight into a dynamic area of legal practice and issues of importance in contemporary society. I highly recommend Professor Kats's book for domestic relation practitioners looking for a broader perspective than they can otherwise develop from their own narrow daily practice and experience."—Massachusetts Law Review

"Family Law in America is a clear, concise, and detailed summary of modern developments in family law that combines legal analysis with social science research. Practitioners and social scientists will find this work a valuable supplement to the technical approach taken by most legal textbooks."——Patricia Crotty, Law and Politics Book Review

"With 50 states and a federal jurisdiction, a quest for 'American' family law seems futile, but Sanford Katz has provided the answer in his masterly overview, Family Law in America. Here the reader will find the development and current state of central features of family law in the United States concisely set out and accompanied by wise, reflective comments from one of the country's most respected family law scholars. This second edition includes additional material on same-sex marriage, child abuse by clergy, and 'Obamacare'." —John Eekelaar
Emeritus Fellow, Pembroke College, Oxford, Co-Editor, International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family

"Thorough, timely, and thoughtful, this new edition of Family Law in America offers something for everyone. Both experts and lay readers alike will profit from Professor Katz's lucid account of current family law doctrine, trends, and policy challenges. Filled with pithy examples and written in an easily digestible, nontechnical style, this broad overview of U.S. family law is sure to become a classic." -Marsha Garrison, Suzanne J. and Norman Miles Professor of Family Law, Brooklyn Law School, President, International Society of Family Law

"Family Law in America provides a highly readable as well as accurate grand tour through the rapidly changing landscape of family law. Drawing on a lifetime of expertise, Professor Katz has produced a concise overview that gives a straightforward yet sophisticated account. In addition to describing American family law's past and present, he contributes insightful predictions about its future." -Barbara Bennett Woodhouse, L. Q. C. Lamar Professor of Law, Emory University Law School

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199795369
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 7/1/2011
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Professor Sanford N. Katz is the Darald and Juliet Libby Chaired Professor Emeritus and Professor of Law at Boston College Law School. Professor Katz served as Chairman of the Family Law Section of the American Bar Association, President of the International Society of Family Law, and Editor-in-Chief of the Family Law Quarterly. He was a Visiting Fellow at All Souls College, and Pembroke College, Oxford.

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Table of Contents

Table of Cases
Introduction 1
1 Friendship, Marriage-Like Relationships, and Informal Marriage 10
2 Marriage 35
3 Divorce 76
4 Child Protection 131
5 Adoption 153
Index 261
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