ArticlesVolume 20, Number 1 (2011)

Family Law Scholarship goes to Court: Functional Parenthood and the Case of Debra H. Janice R.

Abstract

Family law literature, while diverse in its exploration of contemporary families, also offers important threads of consensus. These strong points of coherence, when brought together with relevant case law, can be a useful means of advancing the academic conversation as well as engaging directly with courts to shape the law’s development. In a field as complex as family law, myriad academic viewpoints on any given issue often make it difficult to imagine scholarly discussion having utility for courts. As we aim to show here, however, amicus briefs can be important vehicles for synthesizing the literature, highlighting basic points of┬áconsensus and connecting family law scholarship to ongoing cases.