Family Law Quarterly
Volume 46, No. 1 (Spring 2012)
Potpourri of Family Law Topics
Table of Contents
Please note that pursuant to the ABA's copyright and reprint policies, these articles may not be disseminated without written permission.
Linda D. Elrod
Attachment in Child Custody: An Additive Factor, Not a Determinative One
Pamela S. Ludolph & Milfred D. Dale
The authors explore aspects of attachment theory, the idea that early parent-child relationships are of critical importance to the child’s adjustment. In the context of child custody, the empirical literature has supported attachment concepts or, in many instances, qualified them. The instruments used to measure attachment are reviewed, with emphasis on their limited reliability and usefulness for forensic purposes. The relationship of parent gender to attachment is examined, with attention to research documenting that infants generally form attachments to both parents, though fathers and mothers may have different roles to play in the drama of development. The influence of other factors, like child temperament, parenting in later childhood, and family conflict is discussed. The handful of studies on the overnight care of young children with their noncustodial parent is analyzed, noting relevant methodological concerns and the lack of a definitive answer about the appropriateness of overnight care. The authors conclude that attachment theory, though conceptually valuable, is far from empirically robust enough to determine legal or psychological opinion as to the best interests of young children of divorce.
Global Trends in the Operation of the 1980 Hague Abudction Convention
Nigel V. Lowe & Victoria Stephens
To find out how well the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction has achieved its objectives, Cardiff Law School, in collaboration with the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference, has conducted a statistical survey of all applications made under the 1980 Convention to inform each of the last three Special Commissions held at The Hague. The latest of these surveys was of all applications made under the Convention in 2008. Sixty of the then eighty-one Contracting States participated in the survey. This article discusses the major findings of the 2008 survey, concentrating on overall numbers, outcome, and timing, with respect to return and access applications. Also considered is the impact of Council Regulation (EC) No. 2201/2003 of 27 November 2003 (the Brussels II a Regulation), a regional instrument that is binding on all Member States of the European Union, except Denmark (Brussels II a States).
Child Representation in America: Progress Report from the National Quality Improvement Center
Donald N. Duquette with Julian Darwall
This article documents the process of gathering and distilling information undertaken by the National Quality Improvement Center on the Representation of Children in the Child Welfare System (QIC-ChildRep), located at the University of Michigan Law School. This process provides the foundation of the QIC Best Practice Model, integrating information on research, policy, and practice from many sources, including law libraries, federal and state government reports, and in-person and phone discussions with a wide range of policy makers and practitioners. Part II of the article sets out the legal context of child representation in America. Part III summarizes existing academic literature and significant conferences, standards, and model acts. Part IV reviews current state laws in ten sample states. Part V reviews the few existing empirical studies of legal representation of children. Part V presents conclusions. Appendix A, B, and C summarize the evaluations used in the review; summarize findings by study, and offer a QIC Best Practice Model of Child Representation.
High-Quality Legal Representation for Parents in Child Welfare Cases Results in Improved Outcomes for Families and Potential Cost Savings
Elizabeth Thornton & Betsy Gwin
This article outlines the improved outcomes for children and families associated with high-quality legal representation for parents in child welfare cases. It documents the cost savings demonstrated by three regional high-quality parent-representation programs (in New York City, Detroit, and Washington State) and explores their potential for tremendous savings. Section II describes these three programs and the effects they have had on child welfare outcomes in each region. Section III discusses the human and financial costs associated with placing children in foster care and the improved outcomes achieved by these programs. Section IV provides recommendations for expanding and evaluating parent-representation programs and their impact on child welfare outcomes and budgets.
Made in the U.S.A.—Representing U.K. Parents Conceiving Through Surrogacy and ART in the United States
This article explains the growing demand of couples from the United Kingdom for ART procedures (assisted reproduction, especially surrogacy) in the United States and what American family law attorneys need to understand about ART law in the United Kingdom in order to effectively advise and assist UK ART clients. The author details why UK parents are coming to the United States to have babies through ART; how surrogacy is practiced in the United Kingdom; how parentage is determined; and what should be included in the legal contract. The author also explores how lawyers involved in these cases can protect the child and address important legal concerns at issue both in the United Kingdom and the United States.
Protection for Abused Seniors: Cause or Afterthought?
David R. Spiegel
This article examines elder abuse in the United States and what can be done to protect the elderly. Elder abuse is defined as an ill-defined, super-inclusive term that covers acts ranging from random neglect of an older person to outright criminality. The author details the kinds of abuse that can occur, the current state of the law; and the limited resources available to stop it. He concludes that most abuse occurs because ordinary people become overwhelmed by care needs of an elderly person and cautions lawyers and others involved in support and care of the elderly to be alert to potential abuse.
Publication Date: July 2012