Family Law in the Age of Distrust

Posted: 28 Oct 2000


This essay examines the relationship between American culture and American family law at the end of the century. The author proposes a hypothesis: that Americans live in an age of distrust, an age in which they feel less able than before to anticipate how people will behave and to be confident that others will not injure them. They trust social institutions, and particularly government, less than they ever have. They seem less certain that they can count on their neighbors, friends, and families. This essay discusses the potent forces of distrust in American culture and the numerous changes in family law over the last few decades that can be understood as accommodating it.

Suggested Citation

Schneider, Carl E., Family Law in the Age of Distrust. Available at SSRN:

Carl E. Schneider (Contact Author)

University of Michigan Law School ( email )

625 South State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1215
United States
734-647-4170 (Phone)

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