Vol. 35, No. 3, Fall 2001

Ann Bartow, Intellectual Property and Domestic Relations: Issues to Consider When There Is an Artist, Author, Inventor, or Celebrity in the Family, 35 Fam. L.Q. 383 (2001).

Intellectual property has become a very dynamic area of the law. This article is an overview of the special issues and concerns intellectual property might present in the context of divorce, estate planning, or probate. It explains some of the special issues raised by intellectual property in the context of family-law-oriented concerns. It also explores the characteristics and properties of personal intellectual property in a broader sense.

Cynthia Samuel & Katherine Spaht, Fixing What’s Broke: Amending ERISA to Allow Community Property to Apply upon the Death of a Participant’s Spouse, 35 Fam. L.Q. 425 (2001).

This article proposes amending ERISA to restore the balance to community property upset by the Boggs holding of preemption and to start the process of legislatively solving other preemption problems caused by Boggs. The proposal asserts that the heirs or legatees of a deceased non-participant spouse should be able to assert a remedy under state law only against the estate of the participant spouse after his death.

Charlotte K. Goldberg, Value and Volatility: The New Economy and Valuing Businesses at Divorce, 35 Fam. L.Q. 451 (2001).

This article focuses on how businesses should be valued during divorce proceedings in California but has implications beyond California’s borders. It deals with the issues concerning the date of valuation and the date of certain separation. Negotiation in an uncertain market with emotions running high can result in a successful agreement or in costly litigation. Existing rules can readily be adapted to handle valuation problems resulting from the uncertainties presented by new-economy businesses.

Elizabeth Brandt, Valuation, Allocation, and Distribution of Retirement Plans at Divorce: Where Are We? 35 Fam. L.Q. 469 (2001).

This article discusses the valuation, allocation, and distribution of private retirement plans. It surveys the prevailing approaches to dividing private pensions, cuts through the confusing vocabulary used by courts to describe the process, highlights the major unresolved issues, and provides guidance on the resolution of those issues.

Tracy Thomas, The New Marital Property of Employee Stock Options, 35 Fam. L.Q. 497 (2001).

An employee stock option (ESO) is a contractual right granted to an employee to purchase the stock of her corporate employer during a designated period of time at a predetermined price. Although an ESO is one of the most valuable assets in a dissolution case, the law has failed to keep up with this modern form of employee compensation. This article delineates the emerging lines of reasoning to direct the legal analysis as consideration of the ESO in dissolution percolates through courts.

Carol Bruch, Parental Alienation Syndrome and Parental Alienation: Getting It Wrong in Child Custody Cases, 35 Fam. L.Q. 527 (2001).

In their attempts to reform family law, American courts and legislatures frequently use theories and research from the social sciences. This article focuses particularly on one social science development in child custody law: Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS). PAS is a theory that has become widely used in spite of its lack of scientific foundation. The article highlights theoretical and practical problems with PAS, provides information on more recent forms of parental alienation, and concludes with recommendations for lawyers and judges who evaluate these developments.

R. Scott Smith, Disclosure of Post-Adoption Family Medical Information: A Continuing Birth Parent Duty, 35 Fam. L.Q. 553 (2001).

Upon completion of a legal adoption process, the responsibilities and duties of all involved parties change: With respect to the birth parent, the parent-child relationship terminates; for the adoptive parents, a new parent-child relationship is established. While termination of the parent-child relationship relieves the birth parent of all social and financial responsibilities for the child, the adoptive child faces serious disadvantages in the quality of future health care. This article argues that birth parents are in the best position to provide updates on newly discovered family medical history after adoption and that a duty should be imposed on birth parents to disclose the information to adoptees or adoptive parents.

Kathie Sumrow, Tax Boomerang: Are Your Clients’ Divorce Settlements at Risk? 35 Fam. L.Q. 567 (2001).

When a former spouse is awarded a one-half interest in her ex-husband’s pending Age Discrimination in Employment Act claim settlement that is incident to a divorce, which spouse pays the tax? This article attempts to answer this question by explaining that either spouse could be hit with a substantial and unexpected tax burden. The discussion emphasizes the importance of divorce attorneys vigilantly protecting their clients’ interests by insisting that courts specify all applicable tax consequences with regard to transfers of property incident to divorce.

Publication Date: January 2002