An Editorial Feature of the AJFL
Bjurling, Jennifer. Bringing a lamb to slaughter: how family law attorneys unknowingly lead clients to financial disaster in the negotiation of a divorce stipulation. 40 Vt. L. Rev. 939-968 (2016).
A creditor-spouse whose debt is discharged in bankruptcy can be left destitute. According to the author, the equitable division of property contemplated by the settlement agreement can implode, and any concept of a post-divorce fresh start dashed. He or she may have relinquished an interest in the marital residence and now be unable to secure a residence of his or her own. He or she may be unable to satisfy her monthly debts and be forced into bankruptcy. For the discharged creditor-spouse, it is not simply his or her spouse who has failed, but the judicial system as well. A family law attorney can do much to avoid this outcome. Many safeguards may be drafted in the divorce stipulation to mitigate or avert the damage associated with bankruptcy discharge. Therefore, a family law attorney must craft a divorce stipulation with an eye towards a potential bankruptcy.
Feinberg, Jessica. Gradual marriage. 20 Lewis & Clark L. Rev. 1-53 (2016).
The institution of marriage is at a crossroads. Marriage rates have decreased significantly, non-marital cohabitation is at an all-time high, and the divorce rate remains at a substantial 40-50 percent. The existing rules governing both intact and dissolving marriages are "deeply problematic." The one-size-fits-all approach to intact marriages, in which spousal rights and obligations arise all at once at the moment a couple is granted a marriage license and generally do not change as the years of marriage pass or as children are born to the marriage, insufficiently protects the diverse spectrum of marriages in existence today. With regard to dissolving marriages, the substantial discretion granted to judges and the use of the same broad default rules for determining post-dissolution spousal rights and obligations, without regard to the length of the marriage or the presence of children within the marriage, often leads to unfair, unpredictable, and inconsistent results.
OTHER ARTICLES OF INTEREST
Crampton, Alexandra. Escape from the laboratory: ethnographic methods in the study of elder and family court mediation. 32 Negotiation J. 191-211 (2016).
Pyrce, Caitlin. Surrogacy and citizenship: a conjunctive solution to a global problem. 23 Ind. J. Global Legal Stud. 925-952 (2016).
Forman, Deborah L. Exploring the boundaries of...