Dr. Ronald B. Standler
Essays on U.S. Family Law
I have done extensive legal research and written essays on several topics
in divorce law in the USA:
- Prenuptial and Postnuptial Contract Law in the USA,
nationwide history of the validity of these contracts.
- Legal Duty of Parent in USA to Pay for Child's College Education,
history and review of law in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts
(written in July 2003).
- Reimbursement of Educational Expenses at Divorce in the USA,
my nationwide review of this topic in July 2003.
- Some Provocative Suggestions for Drafting Prenuptial Contracts in the USA,
an essay I wrote in March 2004. Please understand that I am not advising
anyone to use the provocative ideas in this essay in their prenuptial agreement.
I address these provocative suggestions to attorneys who specialize in family law,
to consider in appropriate situations.
- Federal Court Jurisdiction in the USA in Family Law Cases, my
April 2004 review of why federal courts do not accept cases involving divorce or alimony.
Lower Federal Court Cases 1968-82 on the Domestic Relations Exception,
contains quotations from ten cases about the history of the domestic relations exception
to federal court jurisdiction, with my annotations.
- Litigated Divorce in the USA as a Waste of Marital Assets,
discusses an interesting series of cases in Florida that hold that a party who causes
avoidable divorce litigation can be ordered to reimburse the attorney's fees of the other party.
I also cite some cases from other states.
- Problems with Division of Marital Property and Alimony in the USA
criticizes modern state divorce statutes in the USA for:
This essay has a nationwide scope and cites many cases and articles in law reviews.
(written during July-October 2008)
- having a long list of factors for a judge to consider,
which gives an unpredictable result. I explain why judges avoid using
mathematical formulas for the division of martial property and amount of alimony.
- either ignoring misconduct, or making misconduct one of many factors to consider,
in a decision to award alimony.
- possibly being unconstitutional, while I admit that it is a long shot for a judge
to declare a divorce statute unconstitutional.
- Waiver of Alimony in the USA discusses history of
acceptance of a prenuptial contract
to waive legal rights to alimony and/or alimony pendente lite (APL).
Includes cases from major states (e.g., California, New York, Florida, Pennsylvania),
my state of Massachusetts, and nationwide cases of historical importance.
- Voluntary Consent in Prenuptial Contracts in the USA considers
three difficult moral and legal issues in wife's voluntary acceptance of a prenuptial contract
that was drafted by husband. At divorce, the wife attempts to invalidate
the prenuptial agreement because either:
This essay considers cases nationwide before August 2009.
- ultimatum by husband to sign contract or there will be no marriage,
- first presentation of written contract to bride less than a few days before the
- bride is pregnant and also husband is father of the unborn child.
- Privacy Violations During Divorce in the USA discusses
privacy torts for wiretapping a spouse, videotaping a spouse in the bedroom or bathroom,
reading a spouse's e-mail or computer files,
or installing a keystroke logger on a computer used by a spouse.
I also discuss the concept of reasonable expectation of privacy
during a marriage and during divorce.
This essay considers cases nationwide before December 2011.
Each of the above-mentioned essays is protected by a federally registered copyright.
It is specifically prohibited to either (1) print a copy,
(2) post a copy at a web site,
(3) store a copy on your computer, or
(4) distribute a copy of my essay(s) by any means.
You may link at your website to my essay(s) at my website.
See my terms of service.
(I added this warning only after I did one Google search on 17 Jan 2009 and
discovered that two different divorce reform websites had posted a copy of my essays,
in violation of my copyright and in violation of my terms of service.)
Information is not free: each of these essays was the result of more than
one month of my unpaid labor and unreimbursed expenses.
As a self-employed attorney and consultant, I can not subsidize your need for free legal research.
If you want my services, please have your attorney hire me as a consultant.
Because of a lack of paying work, I have ended my legal research service,
to focus on my core areas of academic issues in higher-education law,
copyright law, and torts involving technology.
From July 2008 to July 2015, I offered consulting services to family lawyers,
particularly in the areas of legal research, and preparing memoranda of law on:
- pre- or post-nuptial contracts
- equitable reimbursement of educational expenses at divorce
- financial support of children's college education
- invasions of privacy in marriage or during divorce litigation
(e.g., videotaping, spyware or keystroke loggers on computers,
searches of garbage, reading other spouse's e-mail, etc.)
- conflict of laws between states
- constitutional issues in alimony or division of marital assets
Nonattorneys who live outside of Massachusetts need to respect the fact that
I am licensed to practice law only in Massachusetts,
so the only way I can work on such cases
is if your local attorney hires me as a consultant.
If you are seeking an attorney in a state other than Massachusetts,
please see my hints for how to
an attorney, as statutes regulating the practice of law
prohibit my providing legal services (including legal research)
to people outside of Massachusetts.
Copyright 2008-2015 by Ronald B. Standler
this document is at http://www.rbs2.com/famlaw.htm
first posted 12 July 2008, revised 6 August 2015
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