Family Law in the United States

International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences (2nd ed. Forthcoming)

Minnesota Legal Studies Research Paper No. 14-25

15 Pages Posted: 17 May 2014

See all articles by Martha Albertson Fineman

Martha Albertson Fineman

Emory University School of Law

June Carbone

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - School of Law

Date Written: May 15, 2014

Abstract

Two long-term developments currently reshaping families and transforming family law: greater autonomy for women and growing economic inequality in Western societies. These changes have eroded the formerly near-universal acceptance of marriage as the only appropriate site for child-rearing. Growing inequality has created a menu of options in family formation that are importantly shaped by class. Today, marriages tend to occur much later in life, if at all. Some commentators suggest marriage has become a "status symbol," attainable only by those who have achieved both maturity and financial stability.

Keywords: family law, marriage, custody, divorce, inequality, economic class

Suggested Citation

Fineman, Martha Albertson and Carbone, June, Family Law in the United States (May 15, 2014). International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences (2nd ed. Forthcoming), Minnesota Legal Studies Research Paper No. 14-25, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2437453 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2437453

Martha Albertson Fineman

Emory University School of Law ( email )

1301 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States
404-712-2421 (Phone)

June Carbone (Contact Author)

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - School of Law ( email )

229-19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

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