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Philosophical Foundations of Children's and Family Law$
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Elizabeth Brake and Lucinda Ferguson

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198786429

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198786429.001.0001

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Moral and Legal Obligations to Support ‘Family’

Moral and Legal Obligations to Support ‘Family’

(p.173) 8 Moral and Legal Obligations to Support ‘Family’
Philosophical Foundations of Children's and Family Law

Diane Jeske

Oxford University Press

We have various kinds of moral obligations to take care of those to whom we stand in intimate relationships, and, for many of us, some of those whom we consider family are among our most important intimates. These moral obligations have various grounds; some are unique to intimate relationships while others also occur in non-intimate relationships. Given the centrality of intimate relationships and their attendant moral obligations to our lives, we need to consider what role, if any, political and legal institutions ought to play in protecting, enforcing, and/or regulating intimacy, whether familial or not. I consider various approaches that the state might take to intimate familial relationships and their possible justifications. I then consider state regulation of spousal support after the dissolution of a marriage to see what approach the state seems to take and whether this has implications for how it ought to proceed in other cases.

Keywords:   intimacy, obligations, spousal support, family, marriage, relationships, moral obligations, alimony, divorce

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