Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Hofri on Parents, Children and Property in Late 18th-Century Chancery

Parents, Children and Property in Late 18th-Century Chancery by Adam Hofri, Hebrew University Law, will appear in the 32:4 issue of the Oxford Journal of Legal Studies but is already available on the journal’s (gated) Advance Access website.  Here is the abstract:
The late 18th-century court of Chancery established a balance between the respective interests of parents and their children in the family’s property. The court required parents, especially fathers, to provide for the maintenance and education of their minor children themselves, even where money was made available for these purposes from a non-parental source. It prevented parents from intercepting gifts given to their children by third parties. It permitted parents, however, to make their children's entitlements to marriage portions conditional, for children marrying before majority, on the children's choice of spouse being consented to by a parent or parental surrogate. Chancery’s overall intergenerational policy was notably anti-dynastic: it made sure that younger generations, specifically those just reaching adulthood, marriage and parenthood, were endowed with sufficient property to give them at least a measure of independence from their elders, and some power over their own children.