Hebrew University of Jerusalem, December 11, 2018
Emerging family law scholarship emphasizes that when a child has more than one parent, the relationships that are created are not merely vertical between each parent and the child. Rather, the joint parenthood creates not only a vertical relationship towards the child, but also a horizontal relationship between the adults who share parenthood. This seems to be true regardless of whether the parties shared a relationship as spouses or romantic partners.

The workshop, to take place at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Faculty of Law, at December 11, aims to gather high-quality and cross disciplinary contributions to the normative study of questions related to the proper legal regulation of co-parenting. The purpose of this workshop is to advance the academic research and analysis of the horizontal relationship between joint parents and the obligations joint parents owe one another. The workshop will include confirmed speakers Prof. Kathryn Edin (Princeton University), Prof. Merle Weiner (University of Oregon), Prof. Shahar Lifshitz (Bar-Ilan University), and Prof. Ayelet Blecher-Prigat (Academic College for Law & Science).

Key issues to be discussed are:

What are the different contexts where joint parenthood exists outside marriage (or similar romantic-bond)? Is there a difference, from a normative point of view, between co-parenting of former spouses after divorce; unwed parents with uncommitted relationships after unplanned pregnancies; and strangers who enter an agreement to have and raise a child together? What is the effect of the difference in socio-demographic characteristics of parenthood in those cases, and do we have a unified phenomenon at all? And what role should empirical research play in shaping the normative rules that might govern these relationships?

What would it be like if family law and policy centered around the (horizontal) relationship between parents, rather than on the romantic-sexual bond (epitomized by marriage)?

How (if at all) would it affect the way family property laws are shaped, given the role of caregiving in current justifications for the allocation of marital property upon divorce?

What should be the place of the romantic-partnership relationship (whether marriage or cohabitation) under such a regime? Even if joint parenthood as such creates a legal relationship between the adults who share it, does it mean that the relationship the joint parents shared is entirely irrelevant?

What are the dictates of fairness between joint parents (beyond the norms that supervene on the children’s interests)?

Does this project necessarily require a redefinition of parenthood itself, and if so, in what ways?

If you would like to present a paper at the workshop, please submit your 500 word abstract to ram.rivlin@mail.huji.ac.il by the deadline of Wednesday, October 10, 2018. If you wish to attend the workshop without presenting your work, please send an email by the same deadline.

There is no registration fee. Participants will be responsible for their own travel and hotel expenses.