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Family Law Quarterly

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AIDS is the greatest public health challenge of the late twentieth century. It is a frightening disease, inevitably fatal to its victims. We do not know who among us carries the virus that causes AIDS; symptoms may not become visible for years after infection. Yet, we do know that the numbers of people potentially afflicted are staggering. There is no cure, no miracle vaccine, in sight.

Inevitably, some people infected with the AIDS virus, will be married, parents, and involved in disintegrating relationships with their spouses. AIDS-related problems will be a focal point of their divorces. Indeed, such cases are beginning to be reported.

A narrow purpose of this article is to preliminarily explore the impact of AIDS on divorce law: the grounds for divorce, discovery, property distribution, maintenance, child support, custody and pretrial procedure. The article's aim, however, is broader than simply analyzing and applying legal doctrine. By analyzing the impact of AIDS on divorce, it seeks to highlight fundamental questions about the purposes of divorce law and procedure.

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