Stepfamilies and the Law

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Overview

One out of every three children can expect to spend some childhood years living in a stepfamily. Yet, in the eyes of the law, the stepparent and child are complete strangers to each other. Stepfamilies and the Law examines the reasons for the great failure of the legal system to catch up with the reality of present-day family life; it also describes the areas in which stepfamilies have been validated. This book is the first ever to document the treatment of stepfamilies in the various fields where laws regulate family life. Important issues such as inheritance, custody, taxation, torts, and crime are regulated at the state level; nonetheless, there is no uniformity among the states as to any given issue, and furthermore there is little consistency even within each state. With the rates of divorce and remarriage growing each year, the number of stepfamilies is also growing. Society in general and the legal system in particular are being called upon to respond to the intricate and diverse questions raised by this phenomenon. Lawmakers need to start now to consider the formulation of sound and fair rules to regulate the stepparent-child relationship for the coming decades. The discussions presented in Stepfamilies and the Law should help prepare legal and social scholars for how best to deal with these complex and emotional issues.
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Editorial Reviews

Denise Perry Donavin
In this resource for parents, children, grandparents, and other caregivers involved in nontraditional family relationships, the author goes far beyond the anticipated issues of custody and visitation and covers inheritance, property rights, workmen's compensation benefits, and even liability for damage caused by a stepchild. Using case references, Mahoney analyzes areas of concern to blended families that our legal system addresses, as well as those areas the law fails to address effectively, particularly as they relate to stepchildren.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780472105199
  • Publisher: University of Michigan Press
  • Publication date: 12/1/1994
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.32 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.19 (d)

Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Introduction 1
Ch. 2 Child Support 13
Ch. 3 Property Rights at Death 53
Ch. 4 The Law of Torts 75
Ch. 5 Wrongful Death 101
Ch. 6 Workers' Compensation 113
Ch. 7 Custody and Visitation 123
Ch. 8 The Stepchild's Surname 149
Ch. 9 Stepparent Adoption 161
Ch. 10 Neglect and Abuse of Stepchildren 191
Ch. 11 Regulation of Sexual Activity 209
Ch. 12 Conclusion 231
Index 237
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