The Yale Law Journal

Family Law

Forum

Top-Down or from the Ground?: A Practical Perspective on Reforming the Field of Children and the Law

Cheryl Bratt

Cheryl Bratt responds to Dailey & Rosenbury's New Law of the Child, arguing for a youth-led movement to reform how children are understood and valued in American culture. 

Forum

The (Not So) New Law of the Child

Martin Guggenheim

Martin Guggenheim responds to Dailey & Rosenbury's New Law of the Child, defending the existing "authorities framework" and arguing that any new framework for children's rights must focus on questions of structural inequality.

Article

The New Law of the Child

Anne C. Dailey & Laura A. Rosenbury

This Article sets forth a new paradigm for describing, understanding, and shaping children’s relationship to law. The authors show how the existing legal regime focuses narrowly on state and parental control over children, and they propose a new framework that promotes a broader range of children’s …

Forum

Nurturing Parenthood Through the UPA (2017)

Courtney G. Joslin

This Response to Douglas Nejaime’s The Nature of Parenthood shows how the recently approved revisions to the Uniform Parentage Act (UPA)—which expand the ways in which a nonbiological parent may establish her or his parentage—address many of the critical gaps in parentage law identified by NeJaime. …

Article

The Nature of Parenthood

Douglas NeJaime

This Article explores what it means to fully vindicate gender and sexual-orientation equality in the law of parental recognition. It does so by situating the treatment of families formed through ART within a longer history of parentage. Inequalities that persist in contemporary…

Article

Foundling Fathers: (Non-)Marriage and Parental Rights in the Age of Equality

Serena Mayeri

The twentieth-century equality revolution established the principle of sex neutrality in the law of marriage and divorce and eased the most severe legal disabilities traditionally imposed upon nonmarital children. Formal equality under the law eluded nonmarital parents, however…

Forum

Griswold's Progeny: Assisted Reproduction, Procreative Liberty, and Sexual Orientation Equality

Douglas NeJaime

In Griswold v. Connecticut,1 the Supreme Court ruled that a Connecticut statute criminalizing the use of contraception violated married couples’ privacy rights. On the decision’s fiftieth anniversary, this brief Essay takes cues from a principle at stake in Griswold—that procreative li…

Forum

Roundup: Should We Treat Pregnant Workers Like Disabled Workers?

Claire Michelle Simonich

On December 3, the Supreme Court heard arguments in Young v. United Parcel Service, a case that asks if the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) entitles pregnant workers to receive the same accommodations as disabled workers.1 Already, the EEOC has issued Enforcement Guidance explaining that d…

Essay

Why Civil Gideon Won’t Fix Family Law

Rebecca Aviel

This Essay explains why we should hesitate before throwing full support behind a civil Gideon initiative for family law, regardless of how wholeheartedly we embrace the proposition that parental rights are as important as physical liberty. The comparable importance of these interests does not necess…

Feature

Rethinking Criminal Law and Family Status

Dan Markel, Ethan J. Leib & Jennifer M. Collins

119 Yale L.J. 1864 (2010). 

In our recent book, Privilege or Punish: Criminal Justice and the Challenge of Family Ties, we examined and critiqued a number of ways in which the criminal justice system uses family status to distribute benefits or burdens to defendants. In their essays, Professors Ala…

Feature

When Family Matters

Alafair S. Burke

In Privilege or Punish: Criminal Justice and the Challenge of Family Ties, Dan Markel, Jennifer Collins, and Ethan Leib make an important contribution to the growing literature on criminal law and families by documenting the ways that criminal law advantages and burdens actors based on familial stat…

Feature

Disestablishing the Family

Alice Ristroph & Melissa Murray

119 Yale L.J. 1236 (2010). 

This Feature explores what it would mean to disestablish the family. It examines a particular theory of religious disestablishment, one that emphasizes institutional pluralism and the importance of competing sources of authority, and argues that this model of church-stat…

Note

Racial Classification in Assisted Reproduction

Dov Fox

118 Yale L.J. 1844 (2009). 

This Note considers the moral status of practices that facilitate parental selection of sperm donors according to race. Arguments about intentions and consequences cannot convincingly explain the race-conscious design of donor catalogs. This prompts us to examine the exp…

Comment

Constructive Notice Under the Family and Medical Leave Act

Jillian J. Rennie

118 Yale L.J. 795 (2009).

Comment

The Marriage of Family Law and Private Judging in California

Sheila Nagaraj

116 Yale L.J. 1615 (2007)

Forum

Unpacking the Household: Informal Property Rights Around the Hearth

Robert C. Ellickson

Lawyers and legal scholars understandably tend to focus on domains of life where law is central. There is much to be learned, however, from domains where people deliberately structure their affairs to minimize formalities such as written contracts and legal entanglements. Just as studying conditions…

Forum

Bargaining Around the Hearth

Robert A. Pollak

In Unpacking the Household: Informal Property Rights Around the Hearth, Robert Ellickson argues that as long as members of a household expect their relationship to continue, norms, rather than law, will determine allocations among them. More specifically, Ellickson argues that in “midgame” house…

Forum

Repack the Household: A Response to Robert Ellickson’s Unpacking the Household

Shoshana Grossbard

In the United States and many other industrialized countries, there is much concern that younger generations fail to invest the amount of household production time that is needed for society to reproduce itself and for children to receive the education that will make them into productive citizens. I…

Article

Unpacking the Household: Informal Property Rights Around the Hearth

Robert C. Ellickson

As Aristotle recognized in The Politics, the household is an indispensable building block of social, economic, and political life. A liberal society grants its citizens far wider berth to arrange their households than to choose their familial and marital relationships. Legal commentators, however, h…

Forum

Because Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

Cheryl Hanna

Just about everyone has been in a romantic relationship that, in hindsight, should have ended sooner than it did. Why do people stay? Hope, or commitment, or because they share a lease or she owns the car. Life and love are complicated, and, as Neil Sedaka sang, “Breaking up is hard to do.” That…

Article

Criminal Law Comes Home

Jeannie Suk

116 Yale L.J. 2 (2006)

Though traditionally criminal law did not reach into the home to punish domestic violence, today such intervention in the home is well accepted and steadily growing. Because we all welcome that remedial development, we have taken little notice of the legal innovations in misd…

Article

Immoral Purposes: Marriage and the Genus of Illicit Sex

Ariela R. Dubler

115 Yale L.J. 756 (2006)

In Lawrence v. Texas, the Supreme Court situates its opinion within the history of laws banning sodomy. Lawrence, however, is also part of another historical narrative: the history of attempts by federal lawmakers and judges to define the relationships among the genus of illi…

Comment

Divorcing Marriage from Procreation

Jamal Greene

114 Yale L.J. 1989 (2005)

Public debate about same-sex marriage has spectacularly intensified in the wake of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court's decision in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health. But amid the twisted faces, shouts, and murmurs surrounding that decision, a bit of old-fashio…

Article

In the Shadow of Marriage: Single Women and the Legal Construction of the Family and the State

Ariela R. Dubler

112 Yale L.J. 1641 (2003)

This Article argues that the law has constructed marriage as an institution capable of regulating the rights and responsibilities of even unmarried women. In various ways, the law has constructed the rights of certain groups of unmarried women "in the shadow of marriage": Th…

Note

A Labor Theory of Legal Parenthood

Shoshana L. Gillers

110 Yale L.J. 691 (2001)