Vol. 37, No. 2, Summer 2003
Standards of Practice

Elrod, Linda D., Raising the Bar for Lawyers Who Represent Children: ABA Standards of Practice for Custody Cases, 37 FAM. L. Q.105 (2003).

This article chronicles how the new ABA Standards of Practice for Lawyers Who Represent Children in Custody Cases evolved. It is a story of commitment, collaboration, compromise, and consensus building over nearly ten years.

American Bar Association Section of Family Law Standards of Practice for Lawyers Representing Children in Custody Cases, 37 FAM. L. Q.129 (2003).

Reprinted here are the standards and commentary.

Beld, Jo Michelle, and Biernat, Len, Federal Intent for State Child Support Guidelines: Income Shares, Cost Shares, and the Realities of Shared Parenting, 37 FAM. L. Q. 163 (2003).

Any state seeking to revise its model for the determination of child support must consider the consistency of its proposed changes with federal intent for child support guidelines. This article compares the extent to which existing income shares guidelines and proposed cost shares guidelines comply with federal intent and concludes that income shares is the more appropriate model to comply with federal intent and to accommodate the realities of shared parenting.

Rosettenstein, David S., Options on Divorce: Taxation, Compensation Accountability, and the Need to Look for Holistic Solutions, 37 FAM. L. Q. 201 (2003).

This article surveys the basic tax principles governing transfer of stock options on divorce and, using two distribution models, highlights the pressures to which divorce-related distribution solutions can be subjected. The author considers various forces originating within the employment relationship or from legislation, regulation, or accounting practices, which impact the transferability of the options on divorce. He examines how valuation concerns might affect any distribution, subject to the constraints just outlined and considers the ability of the original grantee (and perhaps a post-divorce transferee) and the employer to protect the "value" of the original grant. Also examined are efforts by the original grantee to preserve or mutate the character and structure of the original grant in light of changes to the original grantee's employment relationship as well as potential tax consequences.

Greenberg, Lyn R.; Gould, Jonathan W.; Gould-Saltman, Dianna J.; Stahl, Philip M., Is the Child's Therapist Part of the Problem? What Judges, Attorneys, and Mental Health Professionals Need to Know about Court-Related Treatment for Children, 37 Fam. L. Q. 239 (2003).

The emotional distress associated with divorce often results in a decision to involve children in psychotherapy. Therapists providing treatment to court-involved children and families must have adequate expertise to effectively assist these children and avoid escalating conflict or exacerbating the family situation. The authors describe the appropriate role of a child's therapist in a forensic context, and the differences between court-related treatment and traditional psychotherapy. Criteria are suggested for evaluating the performance and expertise of children's therapists, critical evaluation of declarations, and determining when a change of therapists is necessary. Practice tips for attorneys are included.

Warshak, Richard A. Bringing Sense to Parental Alienation: A Look at the Disputes and the Evidence, 37 Fam. L. Q. 271 (2003).

This article examines a continuum of opinions about parental alienation with reference to relevant scientific literature. Professionals agree that children can become irrationally alienated from a parent but disagree about what to call this problem and about how to conceptualize it. A conceptualization that emphasizes the influence of the favored parent, such as Parental Alienation Syndrome, has intellectual and scientific roots in developmental and cognitive psychology, particularly research on children's suggestibility. A conceptualization that emphasizes the role of multiple interrelated factors enjoys support in family systems theory that regards children's problematic behavior as an expression of family-wide dysfunction. The available research supports the prevailing opinion among mental health professionals that the court's authority is a key element in successful remedies of severe alienation.

Atkin, Bill, The Challenge of Unmarried Cohabitation - the New Zealand Response, 37 Fam. L. Q. 301 (2003).

The phenomenon of unmarried cohabitation is now pronounced in many countries in the Western world. The courts in different countries have adopted varying approaches especially to the division of property. In New Zealand, they developed the rules of common law and equity generously but problems remained. The New Zealand Parliament recently passed major legislation that places de facto relationships on the same basis as marriages for the division of property, inheritance and maintenance. Arguably, de facto relationships are now a new "status" not dissimilar to marriage.

Publication Date: October 15, 2003