From Partners to Parents: The Second Revolution in Family Law

Synopsis

Examining the substantial changes that have occurred in families, family research, and family law over the last twenty years, this volume describes a paradigm shift in the legal and social regulation of the family from an emphasis on partners' relationships with each other to an emphasis on parents' relationships to their children. In this model, custody has replaced fault as the most important determination made at divorce, and marital status is supplanted by financial and emotional maturity as the indicia of responsible parenthood. The most significant remaining challenge, according to June Carbone, is the need to remake the relationship between adults in such a way that it makes fulfillment of their obligations to children possible. Carbone's broadly interdisciplinary approach, drawing on economics, law, philosophy, and feminism -- as well as references to popular culture, from Doonesbury to Grace Under Fire -- serves as an intellectual survey of family research and of the major theoretical approaches to the family. She evaluates historical, sociological, and psychological research to show how family change is part of a long-term response to changing industrial organization, and to assess the impact of changing family form on children.

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