Date of this Version
This special issue of Behavioral Sciences & the Law examines some of the many issues related to “Families and the courts.” As Judge Ted Rubin (this issue) observes, “Not everything or everybody ends up in a family court—or any other court—when there is a family problem. But much does and many do.” The issue deals with some of the family matters that do—or should—implicate the legal system (ranging from the attempts of gay men and lesbians to obtain legal recognition of their parental status vis-a-vis their children to the potential role of law in protecting children from emotional maltreatment by their parents). It also deals with issues regarding the nature, structure, definition, and jurisdiction of family courts; the practice of other courts that handle family matters (such as domestic violence), as well as some of the mental health professionals who aid the courts in their decision making. Scientific issues, practical issues, ethical issues, and political issues are covered. The six articles comprising the special issue span a vast territory.