Volume 99, Issue 6

  • Sexual Agreements
    Few would find it surprising that an agreement for sex falls outside the bounds of contract law. Prostitution—defined as an exchange of sex for money—has long been a crime, a point that courts often make in declining to enforce agreements between unmarried partners. In fact, courts routinely invalidate contracts when sex forms the basis of a couple’s bargain, whether marriedContinue reading “Sexual Agreements”
  • Nonmarital Fathers in Family Court: Judges’ And Lawyers’ Perspectives
    This Article presents findings revealing judges and government attorneys’ perspectives regarding nonmarital fathers as parents. The findings are drawn from original empirical data generated in a rigorous and extensive five-year qualitative study investigating the experiences of low-income litigants in family court. Specifically, this Article examines the perspectives of the judges and family court commissions who preside over IV-D child support cases as well the governmentContinue reading “Nonmarital Fathers in Family Court: Judges’ And Lawyers’ Perspectives”
  • The Price of Exit
    The price of exit influences the terms of intimate relationships—and constitutes an important factor in distinguishing committed from contingent relationships. With or without legal recognition of the relationship itself, the dissolution of an intimate relationship requires disentangling any joint assets, determining who stays and who leaves a joint residence, and arranging the terms of continuing involvement with any children. MarriageContinue reading “The Price of Exit”
  • Taxation of Unmarried Partners
    Introduction Marriage plays an essential role in federal taxation. Marital status determines how you file your taxes and what rate is applied to your income. If you are married, you are entitled to file a joint return that will include the aggregated income of both spouses. Sometimes filing as a married couple can create a benefit. More often joint filingContinue reading “Taxation of Unmarried Partners”
  • Preferencing Nonmarriage In Later Years
    Introduction Consider the following scenario: Bill and Betty were married to other people for most of their adult lives but met two years ago at a social event organized in their community for persons of a certain vintage who share an interest in particular activities, such as international travel or local cultural performances. They have enjoyed spending time together and,Continue reading “Preferencing Nonmarriage In Later Years”
  • Nonmarriage and Choice in South Africa and the United States
    Introduction Should the law recognize unmarried couples as family for purposes such as joint adoption, workplace leave, property distribution upon dissolution, and intestate succession? Questions concerning nonmarital couples have captured the attention of U.S. legal scholars.[3] Research has drawn on other countries’ experiences extending legal recognition to nonmarital families.[4] Yet this scholarship has largely overlooked South Africa. This Article helpsContinue reading “Nonmarriage and Choice in South Africa and the United States”
  • Antiabortion Civil Remedies and Unwed Fatherhood as Genetic Entitlement
    Antiabortion civil remedy laws in effect in five states grant putative fathers the right to sue abortion providers for wrongful death regardless of their relationship to the gestating parent. While these laws represent an important new development in the movement to restrict the abortion right, they also expand parental recognition of unwed fathers. Constitutional law requires that unwed fathers whoContinue reading “Antiabortion Civil Remedies and Unwed Fatherhood as Genetic Entitlement”
  • The Marital Habitus
    The law on the books has recognized the right of cohabitants to create enforceable legal obligations with each other for half a century. Yet few seek to enforce such obligations, and their attempts almost never prevail. This article explores one possible explanation for the invisibility of their claims. Marriage is so deeply rooted in our societal consciousness that it embodiesContinue reading “The Marital Habitus”
  • Legitimizing Illegitimacy in Constitutional Law
    The traditional constitutional law course is a staple of the first-year law school curriculum and a gateway to more advanced public law courses. In constitutional law, students are introduced to a range of topics—separation of powers, judicial review, suspect classifications, and protections for individual rights, among others. But curiously, few constitutional law courses discuss illegitimacy and the constitutional issues thatContinue reading “Legitimizing Illegitimacy in Constitutional Law”