Family Law Quarterly
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Volume 43, No. 4 (Winter 2010) — Table of Contents

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Editor's Note      
Linda D. Elrod (Cricket)

A Review of the Year in Family Law: Looking at Interjurisdictional Recognition
Linda D. Elrod & Robert G. Spector

Family law issues dominated the headlines during the 2008-2009 reporting year. While there were the usual celebrity break ups, hook ups, and blow ups, other issues arose as to the validity of marriages, adoptions, and questions of parenthood as more states (and countries) recognized same-sex marriage, civil unions or domestic partnerships and allowed same-sex couples to adopt children.

International recognition of treaty obligations also garnered headlines. The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is in force in over eighty countries, including Brazil and the United States. The 1993 Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption became effective April 1, 2008. The 2007 Hague Convention on International Enforcement of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance has passed the Senate Judiciary Committee and is on its way for a vote in 2010. In preparation, the Uniform Law Commission adopted amendments to the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act to use in international enforcement. The United States Department of State would like to consider moving to implement the 1996 Hague Convention on Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Recognition, Enforcement and Co-operation in Respect of Parental Responsibility and Measures for the Protection of Children. The problem is that this treaty conflicts with the continuing jurisdiction provisions of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. The Uniform Law Commission will need to review the UCCJEA to see if it could be amended for international cases in a way similar to UIFSA.

The future is likely to see more conflict of law issues as courts must determine the state's public policy and the validity of marriages, adoptions, and divorces from other jurisdictions. Because five states (and several countries) now recognize same-sex marriage, those persons are "presumed" parents of children born or adopted in the relationship. Challenges are likely when one of the presumed parents is deemed a stranger in a state not recognizing same-sex marriage.

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Family Law in the Fifty States 2008-2009: Case Digests

This year's summary of family-law cases covers approximately the period of August 1, 2008, through July 31, 2009. 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.

Charts, 43 Fam. L.Q. 972 (2010)
  • Chart 1—Alimony/Spousal Support Factors
  • Chart 2—Custody Criteria
  • Chart 3—Child Support Guidelines
  • Chart 4—Grounds for Divorce and Residency Requirements
  • Chart 5—Property Division
  • Chart 6—Third-Party Visitation
  • Chart 7—Appointment Laws in Adoption, Guardianship, Unmarried Parent, and Divorce Cases
For details, see Charts: Summarizing the Laws in the 50 States.

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Annual Survey of Periodical Literature
Nancy Ver Steegh

The Annual Review of Periodical Literature provides a sampling of law review articles published between November 1, 2008, and October 31, 2009. 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 of interest in their entirety because the summaries included in the survey are necessarily abbreviated.

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Index to Vol. 43

Author and title indexes to volume 43.

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Publication Date: April 2010

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