Family Law Quarterly Home

A scholarly journal designed to keep practitioners current with an analytical view of existing and emerging family law issues, Family Law Quarterly will keep you informed on the year's hot topics, including "Family Law in the Fifty States: Case Digests" and "A Review of the Year in Family Law." A subscription to FLQ is included with your Family Law Section membership. For more information about FLQ, use the links provided at the right or check out the current volume below.

Family Law Section members can read articles online as PDFs! The table of contents for the latest volume of the Quarterly is below, along with links to pdfs of the articles. Non-member subscribers and non-subscribers may read abstracts of the articles. (Archives of article abstracts are available for volumes dating back to 2001.)


Family Law Quarterly
Volume 48, No. 4 (Winter 2015)

Law in 50

Table of Contents

Please note that pursuant to the ABA's copyright and reprint policies, these articles may not be disseminated without written permission.

Editor's Note
Linda D. Elrod

The I-864 Affidavit of Support: An Intro to the Immigration Form You Must Learn to Love/Hate

Greg McLawsen

All marriage-based immigration visas require a promise by the U.S. citizen petitioner to financially support the foreign spouse. The Form I-864 Affidavit of Support is a binding contract between the petitioner and the U.S. government. Financial support under the I-864 contract lasts indefinitely and survives dissolution of marriage. The foreign national spouse may sue to enforce the right to support in state or federal court and is entitled to costs and attorney’s fees.

This article outlines the scope of financial obligations under the Form I-864 and describes the enforcement strategies available to the beneficiary. In the course of a career, most family law attorneys will encounter a case with a foreign national spouse. It is crucial attorneys screen clients and opposing parties for the presence of this enforceable right to financial support.

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The Importance of Family Defense

Martin Guggenheim

This article describes the growing field of “Family Defense,” which involves lawyers and other advocates working on behalf of parents or other family members whose children are at risk of being placed in court-ordered foster care. Although lawyers have been doing this work for several decades, a national movement to consolidate and enhance the field’s status in the legal profession is less than a decade old. Based in the American Bar Association’s Center on Children and the Law, this movement’s purpose is to achieve procedural and social justice for all families involved with child welfare systems, through legal, legislative, and policy advocacy. Above all else, it seeks to ensure that every parent who is in jeopardy of having a child removed from his or her care by a child welfare agency is able to secure excellent legal representation during the entire length of the court process. This article explains the importance of the field and how it differs from criminal defense. Finally, it offers some insight into why the field is relatively unknown in the legal profession despite the important work that it does.

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A Review of the Year in Family Law 2013­–2014: Same-Sex Couples Attain Rights to Marry and Parent

Linda D. Elrod & Robert G. Spector

By the end of the reporting year, thirty-seven states had recognized same-sex marriage and additional states granted nonbiological same-sex partners parental rights. Also this year, Congress passed three important family-law-related acts. In September, Congress passed (1) legislation to implement the 2007 Hague Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance. The new law requires states to adopt the 2008 amendments to the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act by 2018. (2) The Sean and David Goldman International Child Abduction and Return Act of 2014 requires the State Department to become more aggressively involved in assisting parents of abducted children. The Secretary of State must designate at least one senior official in each diplomatic and consular mission abroad to assist left-behind parents from the United States and monitor developments in access cases. (3) The Accuracy for Adoptees Act requires federal agencies to recognize amended birth dates as issued by state courts. A judge can now correct an erroneous birth certificate. The year had its share of ther exciting cases as well.

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Family Law in the Fifty States 2013-2013: Case Digests

This year's summary of family-law cases covers approximately the period of August 31, 2013, through August 31, 2014. The case digests are presented in a topical outline framework and alphabetized by state within each topic heading. The summary does not include every case from every jurisdiction but highlights some of the more important ones. The digests are a result of reports submitted in each state by reporters and supplemented by Washburn Law School student staff.

Annual Survey of Periodical Literature

Kendra Huard Fershee

The Annual Review of Periodical Literature provides a sampling of law review articles published between fall of 2013 and fall of 2014. The survey highlights the variety and depth of family law scholarship produced during the year and calls attention to currently debated “hot topics.” Readers are encouraged to read articles.

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Index to Volume 48

Author and title indexes to Family Law Quarterly volume 48.

Publication Date: April 2015

Ordering Information

You can purchase a hard copy or downloadable pdf of this issue through the ABA Web Store. To order hard copy by phone, call the ABA Service Center at 1-800-285-2221 and request PC 51301004703.