The year in review is always meant to highlight for family law practitioners the emerging legal issues arising from the legislative and judicial branches of federal and state governments, and this year is no different. The U.S. Congress did not tackle many major family law legislative initiatives in 2018, other than some changes to the Indian Child Welfare Act. There were two notable changes in state courts, however, including an apparent uptick in the number of family law cases the courts are hearing and an increased focus on jurisdictional issues. In her Review of the Year in Family Law 2017–2018, FLQ Editor Emeritus Linda Elrod’s analysis of family law in the federal and state realms is, as always, an interesting and informative read, and it analyzes the recent increase in family law jurisdictional issues in state courts. Robert Spector’s article, Proceedings Under the Hague Child Abduction Convention: 2017–2018, provides a helpful look at this past year’s large volume of international cases arising under what may be the most litigated treaty in history.
If you’re looking for a quick synopsis of the important cases in each state, check out the Case Digest, which breaks down by topic and jurisdiction, the top cases emerging each year. In Charts 2018: Family Law in the Fifty States, D.C., and Puerto Rico, statutory changes are tracked in easy-to-read charts, broken down by jurisdiction, and in our Annual Survey of Periodical Literature, we also review new family law literature, in case you cannot choose which articles to read first!
Please enjoy the “Law in Fifty” issue. Our goal is to inform you, efficiently and thoroughly, about all of the family law issues arising each year. If there is any glaring omission you would like us to consider, please let me know at [email protected]. Your suggestions are welcome, and they have led to important changes, such as the inclusion of Puerto Rico on the list of jurisdictions we track in the statutory charts. So here’s to another productive year for followers of family law. Please enjoy the issue!
Kendra Huard Fershee
Editor in Chief
Family Law Quarterly