Georgetown Law Journal Association
The legal focal point of familial obligation in the United States has long been the relationship between paired adults-most centrally marriage. Obligations to children, and rights to their company, were derivative; they were to be met through the framework of the all-important pairing of adults. Over the past several decades, that core source of legal obligation has shifted from the adult relationship between partners to the relationship between parent and child. The shift has occurred at a number of different levels, and it has had a variety of consequences, the majority of which are still shaking out. The legal catalyst for this change comes largely from two major doctrinal changes in the law: the movement to no-fault divorce and the recognition of constitutional rights for unwed fathers. Numerous cultural and economic factors, the subjects of extensive review in empirical studies, contributed to the change as well.
Accounting for Family Change
Georgetown Law Journal
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