Category Archives: Family

New Symposium: “The Law of Parents and Parenting Symposium”

New Symposium: The Law of Parents and Parenting Symposium, 90 Fordham L. Rev. (2022). Contained Articles listed below:


New Article: Uncoupling

New Article: Naomi Cahn & June Carbone, Uncoupling, 53 Ariz. St. L.J. 1 (2021). Abstract below:

A series of Supreme Court decisions recognize the end of the federal–state–corporate partnership that once provided a foundation for employment security and family stability. That partnership, which reached its pinnacle during the industrial era, established a family wage made available to the majority of the male population through unionization, a social safety net that filled the gaps left by wage labor, and the extension of these public and private benefits to women and children through marriage.

Uncoupling shows how family security and stability can no longer be linked to employment or marriage, requiring a redesign of the state response. The Supreme Court has framed the necessary elements in that response. First, although other scholars note that the Court’s marriage equality decision in Obergefell celebrates marriage, this Article emphasizes that the decision rejects the historical conception of marriage that made it mandatory, gendered, and foundational to family security. Second, the Court’s opinion in Little Sisters of the Poor in 2020 reaffirms the Court’s earlier decisions that employers owe no civic obligations to their employees or the public good and are thus inappropriate partners for the administration of state benefits. Third, the Court’s ongoing decisions interpreting the Affordable Care Act, including those pending during the upcoming Supreme Court term, lend more support to direct state–citizen compacts than to employment-based benefits.

What other legal scholars have yet to acknowledge is that these decisions point the way toward the emergence of a new legal order. This Article’s groundbreaking analysis of the rise and fall of the male family wage leads to the conclusion that coupling—between men and women in marriage and between employers and state-sponsored benefits—no longer works, clearing the way for the creation of a new legal order.

New Article: The Economic Dimensions of Family Separation

New Article: Stephen Lee, The Economic Dimensions of Family Separation, 71 Duke L.J. 845 (2022). Abstract below:

Migrants in the United States experience varying degrees of harm related to family separation. This article focuses on the economic dimensions of these harms by focusing on transnational remittances, a topic that has generated significant scholarly attention. Within this story, remitters are pitched as heroes and remittances are held up as a critical, market-based solution for solving global poverty. Of course, this picture is incomplete. This account ignores remittance-sending countries and provides only a narrow account of law. This Article focuses on anti-money laundering policies, an important set of U.S. laws that regulate the remittance economy. Examining remittances from this perspective shows that anti-money laundering and antimigration policies form a joint project that regulates the relationship between migrants and their family members. While antimigration laws inhibit migrant mobility, anti-money laundering laws create uneven opportunities for transferring wage earnings to family members left behind on their journey. Recognizing the connection between these areas of the law leads to the Article’s broader contribution: identifying different ways that the law exacerbates or mitigates the economic harms related to family separation. Specifically, anti-money laundering policies help structure the conditions in which migrants engage in expression of affinity across borders, thereby showing the intertwined nature of economic and physical harms within transnational families.

New Article: Revolutionizing Redistribution: Tax Credits and the American Rescue Plan

New Article: Ariel Jurow Kleiman, Revolutionizing Redistribution: Tax Credits and the American Rescue Plan, 131 Yale L.J. Forum 535 (2021). Abstract below:

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dramatically alters the federal government’s approach to redistribution in 2021. Among its boldest reforms are its temporary expansions of the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit. For the first time, ARPA authorizes meaningful cash support for nonworking families and childless workers, two groups that have been historically disadvantaged by social safety-net programs. This Essay considers ARPA’s effects on low-income American taxpayers, spotlighting in particular how the reforms will protect millions of households from being pushed into poverty or further into poverty as a result of paying taxes—a phenomenon called “fiscal impoverishment.” Policy makers must make ARPA’s reforms permanent in order to ensure that low-income taxpayers remain protected past 2021. As they work to do so, policy makers should be mindful of gaps in the tax credits that will undermine the reforms’ positive effects. This Essay identifies several such gaps and argues that Congress should legislate more dramatic inclusion for households with and without children.

New Article: America’s Hidden Foster Care System

New Article: Josh Gupta-Kagan, America’s Hidden Foster Care System, 72 Stanford Law Review 841 (2020). Abstract below:

In most states, child protection agencies induce parents to transfer physical custody of their children to kinship caregivers by threatening to place the children in foster care and bring them to family court. Both the frequency of these actions – this Article establishes that they occur tens and likely hundreds of thousands of times annually – and their impact – they separate parents and children, sometimes permanently – resemble the formal foster care system. But they are hidden from courts because agencies file no petition alleging abuse or neglect and from policymakers because agencies do not generally report these cases.

While informal custody changes can sometimes serve children’s and families’ interests by preventing state legal custody, this hidden foster care system raises multiple concerns, presciently raised in Supreme Court dicta in 1979. State agencies infringe on parents’ and children’s fundamental right to family integrity with few meaningful due process checks. Agencies avoid legal requirements to make reasonable efforts to reunify parents and children, licensing requirements intended to ensure that kinship placements are safe, and requirements to pay foster care maintenance payments to kinship caregivers.

This Article explains how the present child protection funding system and recent federal financing reforms further incentivize hidden foster care without regulating it. Moreover, relatively recent state statutes and policies codify the practice without providing much of any regulation. In contrast to this trend, this Article argues for regulation – the opportunity for a parent to challenge the need for the custody change in court, limits on the length of time such custody changes can remain in effect without more formal action, the provision of counsel to parents (using money from a separate recent change in federal child protection funding), and requiring states to report cases in which its actions lead to parent-child separations.

New Jotwell Review: Court Personalities and Impoverished Parents

New Jotwell Review: Ezra Rosser, Court Personalities and Impoverished Parents, Jotwell, Nov. 19, 2021 (reviewing Tonya L. Brito, Producing Justice in Poor People’s Courts: Four Models of State Legal Actors, 24 Lewis & Clark L. Rev. 145 (2020))

I hope this review convinces people (a) that Brito’s article is great, and (b) it is worth reading!

New Article: The American Workplace Isn’t Prepared for This Much Grief

New Article: Chad Broughton, The American Workplace Isn’t Prepared for This Much Grief, The Atlantic (Nov. 2, 2021).

The pandemic has highlighted the fact that without a federal bereavement policy, many people are subject to the whims of state legislatures and individual companies.

New Article: When Child Care Costs Twice as Much as the Mortgage

New Article: Jason DeParle, When Child Care Costs Twice as Much as the Mortgage, N.Y. Times (Oct. 9, 2021).

President Biden’s social policy legislation aims to address a problem that weighs on many families — and the teachers and child care centers serving them.

New Issue: Wealth Inequality and Child Development: Implications for Policy and Practice

New Issue: Wealth Inequality and Child Development: Implications for Policy and Practice, 7 RSF J. Soc. Sci. (2021). List of Articles Within Below:

New Article: The Consumption, Income, and Well-Being of Single Mother Headed Families 25 Years After Welfare Reform

New Article: Jeehoon Han et al., The Consumption, Income, and Well-Being of Single Mother Headed Families 25 Years After Welfare Reform, Nat’l Bureau Econ. Rsch. (2021). Abstract and Description Below:

We investigate how material well-being has changed over time for single mother headed families—the primary group affected by welfare reform and other policy changes of the 1990s. We focus on consumption as well as other indicators including components of consumption, measures of housing quality, and health insurance coverage. The results provide strong evidence that the material circumstances of single mothers improved in the decades following welfare reform. The consumption of the most disadvantaged single mother headed families—those with low consumption or low education—rose noticeably over time and at a faster rate than for those in comparison groups.