Vol. 36, No. 3, Fall 2002
Relocation, Non-Custodial Parents, Visitation

John J. Sampson & Barry J. Brooks, Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (2001) With Prefatory Note and Comments (With Still More Unofficial Annotations), 36 FAM. L. Q. 329 (2002).

At the request and with the active participation of the child-support enforcement community, in Summer 2001 the Uniform Law Conference made significant clarifying amendments to the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) without modifying its basic principles. Several states, including California, have enacted, or prospectively adopted, the new version, to which the federal Office of Child Support has given its blessing. Professor Jack Sampson, Reporter, and Barry Brooks, nationally-known lecturer, supply their annotations to the text and official comments of the Act.

Margaret F. Brinig & Steven L. Nock, How Much Does Legal Status Matter? Adoptions by Kin Caregivers, 36 FAM. L.Q. 449 (2002).

Elder abuse is a serious and growing, problem in the United States and around the world. Since family connections do not seem sufficient to solve the problem, Congress has mandated that states do so. Every US jurisdiction, therefore, has some sort of elder abuse legislation and must report data yearly to the Center for Disease Control. This empirical and theoretical paper details a study currently funded by the CDC and carried out by an interdisciplinary team at the University of Iowa, initiated by the Department of Family Medicine, to chart the various legal responses to the federal mandate and the data (reports, investigations and substantiations) resulting from the implementation. The article discusses reasons for implementing various types of statutes and regulations and how these affect the investigators’ behavior.

Sarah Gottfried, Virtual Visitation: The Wave of the Future in Communication Between Children and Non-Custodial Parents in Relocation Cases, 36 FAM. L. Q. 475 (2002).

After a marital dissolution, the needs of both parents to secure or retain employment, pursue educational or career opportunities, relocate with a new spouse, or seek support of other family or friends renders it unlikely that divorced parents will permanently remain in the same location. Faced with the choice of relocation or unemployment, many of the women now achieving professional and managerial roles find that restrictive relocation laws ask them to choose between primary custody of their children and economic survival. Virtual visitation offers the promise of an additional alternative way for parents to maintain contact with their children when distance makes personal visits impossible or impracticable. Virtual visitation can be a successful tool in maintaining essential relationships between children and non-custodial parents in relocation cases.

Sandra Martinez, The Misinterpretation of Troxel v. Granville: Construing the New Standard for Third-Party Visitation, 36 FAM. L. Q. 487 (2002).

This essay analyzes the Troxel opinion and interprets the new standard—“special weight”—employed by the Court. Further, the article defines the new standard and lists factors to be determined when applying “special weight” to balance competing parents’ and States’ interests. The author finds flaws in the interpretation of Troxel by courts deciding recent cases and concludes by announcing Troxel’s importance and predicting the future of parental autonomy protection.

Shannon Frank Edelstone, Filial Responsibility: Can the Legal Duty to Support Our Parents Be Effectively Enforced, 36 FAM. L. Q. 501 (2002).

This article analyzes the history of American filial responsibility statutes, the reasons for keeping and enforcing the statutes, and examines the legitimate criticisms of the statutes, their policy objectives, and their effectiveness. The author looks to the examples of child support enforcement to propose a viable solution to the complex problems inherent in uniform enforcement of filial responsibility statutes.

Publication Date: January 2002