The evolution of family law and divorce in the post-war years

In the years following World War II series of interrelated developments encourage the courts to change the position in relation to the Constitutional elements of family law. ¬†American families underwent significant changes. Divorces increased dramatically, women entered the labour force in growing numbers, contraception and abortion became available family limitation practices and alternative family arrangements or foster homes to homosexual unions challenged the existing definitions of families. These are many other changes transform family life created growing controversies and escalating number of lawsuits. Indeed as at times of social tension the past the family became a battleground contests worn by social change. Unlike the past the the Federal government and especially the Supreme Court became one of the primary arenas that struggle. The Federal government’s role in family life had increased dramatically with the creation of programs like Social Security an aid to families with dependent children. The civil rights revolution also sparked new concerns about national family policies and a new sense of rights consciousness among family members. Similarly, an expanding sense of privacy encouraged new assertions of family autonomy over decisions about pregnancy Charlbury. Consequently, many of the endemic tensions in American family law that are played the state courts of 19th-century emerged to bedevil the Supreme Court of the 20th century.

Beginning in the 1960s, the courts construction of family law rules became more and more extensive. As a range of family matters under scrutiny increased, family beliefs, commitments and disagreements of the justices became more evident. The court often split over whether to defer the state policies or to enlarge individual rights. Both the range and limits of the courts family jurisprudence indicates its role in the nation’s households. In almost every area of family life, the court issued rule is a significantly alter the balance of power within the family between family members and the state. At the same time the justices struggle to the extent character of these changes. Decisions on four issues illustrate the results. The first issue was parents and children, illegitimacy, family privacy and family definition also presented cases which needed decisions to settle the disputes that were arising in the nations family law structure.

The court has redefined the legal relationship of parent and child. It is created new balances between state of parental control of socialisation as was between the rights of children and parents. The case is also exhibited the persistent tension in family law over whether the court should support the rights of individual family members or those of the family as a unit. The overlapping claims rights of families made this troubling issues. The court responded to them in part by continuing the policy of supporting parental rights. In the case of Wisconsin against Yoder of 1972 to grant a constitutional sanctioned Amish parents who withdrew their children from school in violation of compulsory school laws. Yet the first time, children receive Constitution protected rights they could assert against the state and even against their parents. In the case of gold which was heard in 1967 the expansion of juvenile rights occurred with the court great news coming before juvenile courts procedural rights such as the right to Council, the court declared that the young had rights similar to those of adults. It extended these rights in cases like Tinker against orders independent community school district which was decided in 1969 by giving students political rights since a young had rights to they do not leave at the schoolhouse gate. At the same time the court ruled that miners could act independently of their parents by seeking abortions by gaining protections against abuse and neglect. However the court refused to grant minors rights as extensive as those of adults. Parents retained considerable authority of their offspring. In the case of part which supported the rights of parents to commit their children to mental institutions, chief Justice Warren burger use the kind of language often heard in family cases saying that our jurisprudence historically has reflected Western civilisation concepts of the family the unit was brought parental authority of minor children. The court in short rearrange the balance of rights and duties between parents children of the state by using the due process and equal protection clause to create a series of newly protected family rights.


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