Family Law Quarterly
Volume 51, No. 1 (Spring 2017)
Spousal Support in Practice: An Update
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Kendra Huard Fershee
A Survey of Lawyers’ Observations About the Principles Governing the Award of Spousal Support throughout the United States
J. Thomas Oldham
In some aspects of U.S. divorce law, there appears to be a growing consensus. If there are minor children, child support is determined based on statewide child support guidelines, and deviation from those guidelines seems to be relatively rare. In many states, divorce courts divide only “marital property,” not pre-marriage acquisitions or a gift or inheritance received by one spouse during marriage, and the marital estate is frequently divided approximately equally. There is much less clarity in many states regarding the award of spousal support.
A Nationwide Review of Alimony Legislation, 2007–2016
Laura W. Morgan
Like Pirandello’s six characters, alimony is in search of an author and its reason to exist. The split between the “Actors” and the “Characters” in Six Characters in Search of an Author represents a division between reality and illusion. So, too, in the area of alimony is there a split between the reality of alimony and the illusion of what it represents. In short, alimony is in the midst of an identity crisis.
New York’s Spousal Maintenance Guidelines
Elena Karabatos & Eric A. Tepper
When New York enacted the Equitable Distribution Law on June 19, 1980, it drastically overhauled the economic framework governing the dissolution of marriages in the state. No longer was New York considered a “titled” state whereby the titled owner of an asset would be entitled to retain that asset, post-divorce, regardless of the nontitled spouse’s contributions during the marriage.
Schwab Essay Contest
One Year Isn’t Enough: How the Hague Abduction Convention’s One-Year Limitation Encourages Abductors to Conceal Their Child’s Whereabouts
Lisa R. Havilland
One morning in November 2008, Diana Montoya Alvarez left her London home to take her three-year-old daughter to nursery school, and never returned. Diana abducted her daughter and absconded to France without informing her daughter’s father, Manuel Jose Lozano. She and her daughter ultimately settled in New York City, never informing Manuel of their whereabouts. A worried Manuel diligently searched for Diana and his daughter, exhausting all of his resources in the United Kingdom, but was still unable to locate them.4 He then reached out to government agencies in other countries, finally discovering his daughter’s whereabouts with the assistance of a private investigator, pro bono counsel, and the U.S. Department of State. Manuel filed a petition in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York for the return of his daughter to England, pursuant to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (“Hague Convention” or “Convention”), more than two years after his daughter had been abducted, as Manuel could not begin proceedings until his daughter was located.
Family and Medical Leave: Examining Recovery and Bonding Time to Promote Healthy Families Who Utilize Surrogacy
Rachel N. Shute
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 was enacted to balance the demands of employment with the personal, economic, and medical needs of families. Thus, Congress provided twelve weeks of unpaid leave within any twelve-month period upon the birth or placement of a child to eligible employees “in order to care for” such child without the threat of losing an employment opportunity. A child—a “son or daughter”—is defined as a “biological, adopted, or foster child, a stepchild, a legal ward, or a child of a person standing in loco parentis” under the age of eighteen or dependent on the employee due to a disability. Congress recognized the importance of the parent-child relationship and thus stressed the need for bonding during the early stages of a child’s life.
Where’s My Sister? Siblings Should Have a Statutory Right to Be Placed Together in Foster Care
Anna C. Clark
When siblings are separated during instances of adoption, parental divorce, or death, there are times when they have no right to contact one another. This can be heartbreaking because often, siblings have lived together for years. If siblings are separated early on in their lives, there may be instances where they have no chance or right to get to know one another or know of the other’s existence. Not only is it heartbreaking, but the separation of siblings can also be harmful to them. Unfortunately, the sibling relationship is a family tie that is legally neglected.
Publication Date: December 2017