Marriage Mimicry: The Law of Domestic Violence

In this article, Professor Colker argues that the legal system does not simply privilege those in marital relationships but has now begun to privilege those in "marriage-like" relationships through what she terms a marriage mimicry model. She uses the law of domestic violence to critique this method of according benefits and protections. She traces the haphazard development of the law of domestic violence and argues that it has served to underprotect many of the victims of domestic violence because law makers have reflexively privileged marriage-like relationships without asking who is most in need of protection. She argues that the legal system should disentangle benefits and protections from marriage and, instead, use a functional approach to deciding who receives benefits and protections.
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Colker, Ruth, "Marriage Mimicry: The Law of Domestic Violence" .
William & Mary Law Review, Vol. 47, 2006

The paper is available for download at http://ssrn.com/abstract=819164.