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Family Law in the Twentieth Century


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Table of Contents

Table of Cases Table of Statutes Table of Statutory Instruments An Explanatory Note on Parliamentary Procedures Introduction Part I. The Legal Family: Marriage 1 Weddings 2 Marriage: Eligibility 3 Legal Consequences of Marriage: Property Regimes 4 Other Legal Consequences of Marriage: Conjugal Rights and Remedies Part II. The Ending of Marriage: Divorce 5 Ending Marriage by Judicial Divorce under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1857 6 The Campaign for Reform of the Victorian Divorce Law 7 The Ground for Divorce under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1937 8 The Family Justice Process 1900-1970 9 Irretrievable Breakdown as the Ground for Divorce: The Divorce Reform Act 1969 Part III. Ending Relationships: The Legal Consequences 10 Marital Breakdown: The Financial Consequences 11 Maintenance, the Magistrate's Court and the State 12 The Ending of Relationships by Death: The Financial Consequences 13 Unmarried Couples: The Legal Consequences of Ending the Relationship Part IV. Children, the Family and the State 14 Parentage 15 Children's Legal Status: legitimate or Illegitimate? 16 Parents and Children: Legal Authority in the Family 17 Legal Adoption of Children, 1900-1973 18 The State, Parent and Child: 1) before the Welfare State 19 The State, Parent and Child: 2) the Welfare State and Child Care Legislation 20 The State, Parent and Child: 3) Child Care Legislation at a Time of Transition, 1969-1989 Part V. The Family Justice System at the Millennium 21 The Family and the Law: Reform of the English Family Justice System Towards the End of the Twentieth Century Bigraphical Notes Sources and Select Bibliography Index

About the Author

Stephen Cretney was a practising solicitor in the City of London from his graduation until 1965. Thereafter, he held academic posts, becoming Quarrell Fellow and Tutor in Law at Exeter College Oxford, in 1969. Beween 1978 and 1984, he served as a Law Commissioner before becoming Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Law at Bristol University. From 1993 until retirement he was a Senior Research Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and a Queen's Counsel honoris causa.


a truly remarkable book ... will be of consuming interest, not merely to family lawyers but to everyone who seeks novel and illuminating insights into the social and political history of the last 150 years. It is a staggering and triumphant achievement ... and now it is available to all. The Hon Mr Justice Munby, Family Law

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