Document Type

Article

Publication Title

Santa Clara Law Review

Publication Date

1999

Abstract

Interdependency theory would give caregivers "maximum autonomy, authority, and assistance," in recognition of every child's need for a caregiver and every caregiver's need for support from institutions and other people." Accordingly, the law respecting child visitation would not recognize legal relationships or status. Rather, the central question is whether the claimant for child visitation has "provid[ed] the caretaker child unit with support in a reliable and respectful way, and whether that supportive relationship will continue" into the future. Furthermore, a court should rescind an order of visitation obtained by a person who fails to continue behaving "in a supportive, reliable, and respectful manner."

Professor Czapanskiy asserts that interdependency theory would significantly reduce court intervention on behalf of private parties into the lives and decisions of children and their caregivers, and would permit intervention only to reward supporting caregivers." To the contrary, the standard she provides is just as likely to increase judicial interventions and consequent opportunities for conflict as it is to reduce them. It is not at all clear, I think, what facts will satisfy the standard of supportive, reliable, and respectful behavior. If the courts should adopt interdependency theory and apply Professor Czapanskiy's standard, one may confidently predict that judicial decisions will be no more fathomable than they now are under the prevailing standard of best interests of the child.

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