Toward a Unified Field Theory of the Family: The American Law Institute's Principles of the Law of Family Dissolution

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Brigham Young University Law Review, Vol: 2001, Page: 923

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DiFonzo, James Herbie
American Law Institute; Support (Domestic relations); Marital property; Custody of children; Judicial discretion
article description
The American Law Institute (“ALI”) recently approved the Principles of the Law of Family Dissolution: Analysis and Recommendations (the “Family Dissolution Principles” or “Principles”), proposing a wide range of regulations for the legal termination of domestic unions.These standards and rules apply to traditional divorce actions between wives and husbands, as well as in proceedings stemming from the dissolution of nonmarital domestic partnerships. The task of bringing coherence and consistency to family law is truly daunting. Traditional domestic relations jurisprudence, confronted with the brisk pace of cultural and technological change, has resulted in such startling and uneven change to the legal landscape that the ALI's most well-known product, a Restatement, is unthinkable. It will prove difficult enough to agree whether the Principles have properly described the present shape and tendencies of the emerging *924 legal constructs in the field.This article provides an early assessment of the Principles' efforts both to reflect and reframe family dissolution law.