Family Law Quarterly
Volume 47, No. 2 (Summer 2013)

Symposium on Global Families

Table of Contents

Please note that pursuant to the ABA's copyright and reprint policies, these articles may not be disseminated without written permission.

Editor's Note
Linda D. Elrod

Introduction: Global Families in Local Courts
David B. Thronson & Veronica T. Thronson

While family law has its own standards and values in making decisions about fundamental issues, it does not exist in a vacuum. Increasingly family law outcomes are influenced by the globalization of family law, in part shaped by a variety of formal conventions such as the Hague Conventions on international adoptions and child abduction. This Symposium on Global Families issue explores the range and complexity of issues that ensue when families transcend borders and highlights the ways in which immigration enforcement efforts result in the separation of parents and children.

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Lack of Detained Parents' Access to the Family Justice System and the Unjust Severance of the Parent-Child Relationship
Sarah Rogerson

Immigration law enforcement has numerous intended and unintended consequences for immigrant families. When a parent is detained as a result of immigration enforcement activities, his or her ability to access the family justice system is limited and there are few, if any, due process protections afforded to the parent. As a result, it is now well-documented that children of detained parents have been separated from their families and placed into the child-welfare system at an alarming rate, despite the desire of parents to be reunited with their children. This article addresses the United States government's legal obligation to offer immigrant detainee parents (and their children) access to, and meaningful participation in, family court proceedings affecting the parent-child relationship.

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Welcoming a Post-DOMA World: Same-Sex Spousal Petitions and Other Post-Windsor Immigration Implications
Benjamin P. Edwards

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision holding section three of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional in United States v. Windsor enabled the Obama Administration to reshape the immigration rights that same-sex couples possess.  This article traces immigration law’s history of discrimination against gays and lesbians before addressing special hurdles that same-sex couples may continue to face.  In particular, the article addresses unique challenges that may make it more difficult for same-sex couples to survive immigration law’s intrusive and unusual assessment of marital bona fides. 

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Custody of Children in Mixed-Status Families: Preventing the Misunderstanding and Misuse of Immigration Status in State Court Custody Proceedings
Soraya Fata, Leslye E. Orloff, Andrea Carcamo-Cavazos, Alison Silber, & Benish Anver

This article seeks to provide accurate information about current immigration laws and policies to family court judges and attorneys representing immigrant parents to counter efforts by litigants in family courts to raise the immigration status of an opposing parent to gain an advantage in the custody proceeding. The goal of the article is to give courts and parties the information needed to keep the focus of the court’s decision making in custody cases on statutorily required factors—best interests of the child and primary caretaker determinations.

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Appendix I: State-by-State Best Interests Chart

Appendix II: Visa Chart--Immigration Status & Children's Benefits

Forgotten Families: International Family Connections for Children in the American Public Child-Welfare System

Felicity Sackville Northcott & Wendy Jeffries

This article focuses on children in the American foster-care and child-welfare systems who may have international family connections that could be called upon to help with the permanency planning for these children. The authors suggest that the FEET Model offers a guide to how best to work with both the family of a child in need and the myriad professional stakeholders supporting the permanency process. Family finding and engagement can be time consuming and complex, but there are resources available to everyone involved in these cases to successfully locate, engage and evaluate all potential permanency options for these children.

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The Hague Convention and Domestic Violence: Proposals for Balancing the Policies of Discouraging Child Abduction and Protecting Children from Domestic Violence
Shani M. King

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (the Convention) was enacted in response to a pattern of parental abduction across international borders to thwart or preempt custody arrangements in one country and seek a more advantageous setting for litigating custody issues in another. Consequently, the Convention was designed to discourage the abduction of children across international borders and to encourage respect for custody and access arrangements in countries from which children were abducted. To implement the Convention, the United States enacted the International Child Abduction Remedies Act (ICARA) on April 29, 1988. Much has been written in recent years about the conflict between the Convention and laws designed to protect children from parental abuse or domestic violence, in part due to growing evidence that a majority of return cases are brought by men against women, many involving women alleging that they are fleeing with their children from domestic abuse. This article explores ways of correcting an imbalance that favors the policy of preventing child abduction at the expense of exposing children to domestic violence and makes recommendations for standardizing the outcomes of cases in U.S. courts involving allegations of parental abuse or other domestic violence, given a concerning trend of ad hoc and inconsistent results in cases decided under the Convention.

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Book Review: Marriage at the Crossroads: Law, Policy and the Brave New World of Twenty-First-Century Families (Marsha Garrison & Elizabeth Scott eds.)

Review by J. Thomas Oldham

This is a book review of Marriage at the Crossroads: Law, Policy and the Brave New World of Twenty-First-Century Families (Marsha Garrison & Elizabeth Scott eds.).

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Publication Date: October 2013



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Board of Editors

Editor in Chief
Linda D. Elrod

Associate Editor
Robert G. Spector

Board of Editors
Jeff Atkinson
Jean N. Crowe
John DeWitt Gregory
Robert J. Levy
J. Thomas Oldham
John J. Sampson
Samuel V. Schoonmaker IV
Nancy Ver Steegh

Reviewing Editors
Susan Appleton
Patricia M. Hoff
Harry D. Krause
Paul M. Kurtz
Dr. Milfred D. Dale

Managing Editor
Deborah Eisel

Washburn University School of Law
2012-2013 Student Editorial Staff

Student Editor-In-Chief
Travis L. Cook

Student Executive Research Editors
Hazel L. Gauthier
Justin J. Pierson

Student Senior Editor
Leah N. Bockover

Student Junior Editors
Lindsee Acton
Elizabeth Billinger
Sara Ehret
Jason McIlrath
Jennifer Ouellette
Ashley Rohleder
Bradley Steen
Lisa Williams

Staff Assistants
Penny R. Fell
Shirley Jacobson