Each year, it appears there is an area of family law that takes prevalence in legislative bodies and the courts; in 2017, that area was immigration. The executive branch made clear that significant policy changes would be coming regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which shifted the focus of Congress and federal and state courts. Many unresolved issues remain with regard to immigration as it affects families, and those issues unfold dramatically throughout the United States today. While immigration has an increased focus this year, this “Law in Fifty” issue of Family Law Quarterly includes analysis of family law issues, as always, in a wide range of issue areas, including divorce, custody, property distribution, and many more.
Our annual review of literature was particularly robust this year; the volume and quality of family law scholarship made it so that our work was cut out for us, but we did our best to summarize the articles that would be most interesting and helpful to our readers. Our overview of state legislative action and case law is intended to provide a helpful guide that gives you a sense of the foundational law in each of the states and the District of Columbia. A member made a helpful suggestion this year that we include Puerto Rico in the charts, so you will see that we actually have fifty-two jurisdictions represented in the statute charts this year (including D.C. and Puerto Rico).
The previous issue marked our last to arrive in paper form. We hope that the transition to electronic copies of Family Law Quarterly will be as welcomed as the print versions have been for so many years, and we hope that we will be able to innovate with the new format to provide up-to-date and interesting information that we might not have been able to provide in a more static paper format. Thank you for your patience as we continue to evolve the process.
Kendra Huard Fershee
Editor in Chief
Family Law Quarterly