Marriage and Divorce Readings
- Deborah Rhode. "Competing Perspectives on Family Policy."
Justice and Gender: Sex Discrimination and the Law. Harvard University
Press, 1989. 132-54
- Cases: Jones v. Hallahan (1973) and M.T. v. J.T. (1976)
- June Carbone and Margaret Brinig. "Rethinking Marriage: Feminist
Ideology, Economic Change, and Divorce Reform." Cases and Materials in
Family Law. Ed. Judith Areen. 3rd ed. Foundation Press, 1992. 102-116
- A Divorce Lawyer's Opinion: Raoul Felder. "Divorce 2-7"
(1971). Cases and Materials in Family Law. 360-363
Written Assignment (due February 12):
Half the class will answer question 1; and the other half, question 2. When
referring to the readings, cite properly, including page numbers.
- In the case Jones v. Callahan, the Appellate Court stated that the Kentucky
statutes did not define marriage, so the court adopted a definition it said was
based on "common usage." How do you think marriage should be defined?
Explain what conceptions of marriage are presented in the two articles we read
for this unit. Does society--the law--have a stake in defining and regulating
marriage? Why or why not? Explain how assumptions about the nature and purpose
of marriage affected the decisions in the two cases we read (Jones v. Callahan
and M.T. v. J.T.). What are some contemporary issues that raise major questions
about how the courts define marriage (see especially Rhode's article)?
- Divorce--the dissolution of a marriage--is obviously closely tied to
assumptions about the nature and function of marriage. Using the article by
Carbone and Brinig, explain the difference between fault-based divorce and
no-fault divorce. Which is based on a contract model of marriage? Which relies
on a restitution-based system of awards? After reading all the proposals about
divorce presented in the Carbone and Brinig article, describe what you see as
the major issues faced by the legal system in trying to establish a fair and
equitable way to dissolve a marriage, to divide property, and to protect the
interests of children as well as spouses. You may wish to consult the rather
between columnist Katha Pollitt and David Blankenhorn of the Institute for
American Values on this subject, published in the online journal
Women and Law Syllabus