Friday, June 22, 2012

The Family Law Community in California, the United States and even the world, mourns the loss and reflects upon the life of Judith Wallerstein at the age of 90.  As my esteemed colleague and long-time friend Leslie Shear, CFLS, another custody attorney such as myself, stated today to our Association of Certified Family Law Specialists list serve, Judy was a pioneer in child custody research. She was the author of the influential amicus briefs filed in Burgess and other moveaway cases in the U.S. and Canada that made it easier for "primary" parents to move. We learned a lot from her work. She founded the Center for Families in Transition in Marin (also known as the Wallerstein Center)  that produced a lot of the very important research shaping our understanding of the psychology of divorce. 

Some of Wallerstein's important works include:
Surviving the Breakup: How Children and Parents Cope with Divorce by Judith S. Wallerstein and John Berlin Kelly (Sep 15, 1980)

Second Chances : Men, Women and Children a Decade after Divorce by Judith S. Wallerstein and Sandra Blakeslee (1989)

The Good Marriage: How and Why Love Lasts by Sandra Blakeslee and Judith  S. Wallerstein (1995)
The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce: The 25 Year Landmark Study by Judith  S. Wallerstein, Julia M. Lewis and Sandra Blakeslee (2000) 

What About the Kids?: Raising Your Children Before, During, and After Divorce by Judith  S. Wallerstein and Sandra Blakeslee (2003)

In 1976, Judith Wallerstein and Joan Berlin Kelly published the initial findings of their study of divorcing families in scholarly journals. The families studied were the last of the mid-century traditional family structure, who were upper middle class families from Marin County who agreed to be study in exchange for some divorce and custody counseling. 

"Joint custody was brand new as an idea in the late 1970's. Roman and Haddad published The Disposable Parent in 1978and Miriam Galper also published Co-Parenting: Sharing Your Child Equally : a Source Book for the Separated or Divorced Family  in 1978No-fault divorce began in 1970 here in California, and the maternal presumption was repealed shortly thereafter but survived in practice.