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Family Policy After the Fragile Families and Relationship Dynamic Studies
Journal of Law & Inequality (2017)
  • Leslie J. Harris
In response to the changing patterns of American families and to concern about the wellbeing of children when parents’ relationships are unstable, various federal and state laws and programs have been adopted and proposed. Most of the existing and proposed policies encourage children’s biological parents to remain together to raise their children or at least to work closely together to raise the children after they break up. Two major longitudinal studies of families from before or at the time children were born provide support for such policies in some, but not all circumstances; instead of being one-size-fits-all, policies should allow for variation in relationships and be sensitive to the views of parents caring for children about what is best for their families. This Article describes the major findings of these longitudinal studies.and then examines some recent proposals that respond to the studies, arguing that the proposals may promote relationships that are unhealthy for the adults or children. It concludes with suggested policies that are more sensitive to the variability in families.
  • parentage,
  • paternity,
  • fragile families,
  • family law
Publication Date
Summer 2017
Citation Information
Leslie J. Harris. "Family Policy After the Fragile Families and Relationship Dynamic Studies" Journal of Law & Inequality Vol. 35 (2017) p. 223
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