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8 Duke J. Gender L. & Pol'y 301 (2001)


The Chief Reporter of the American Law Institute's Principles of the Law of Family Dissolution wrote in his introduction; "Children are necessarily at the heart of any set of principles of family law." My favorite chapter of the Principles is Chapter Two, entitled "Principles Governing the Allocation of Custodial and Decisionmaking Responsibilities for Children." As of this writing, Chapter Two holds the distinction of being the only portion to have been adopted by a state legislature. While other Chapters had Reporters who were women, Chapter Two not only had a feminist Reporter, but the "allocation principle" that forms the substantive heart of the Chapter was also credited to a woman. It should come as no surprise that feminist principles permeate the Chapter. The plan of this commentary is to first set forth those characteristics that make Chapter Two distinctive, and then to discuss how these characteristics relate to feminist principles. Because this Chapter appeals to so many women, those who influence public policy must prepared to demonstrate that men's interests will not be compromised by legislative adoption. My conclusion will offer some suggestions along these lines.


Reprinted with permission of Duke Journal of Gender Law and Policy.

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