Jens M. Scherpe
This chapter discusses family law in relation to comparative law. It first considers whether family law can be a subject fit for comparative study in a constantly changing world before describing various efforts aimed at introducing comparative perspectives into family law, both by individuals as well as by several key groups and institutions. It then examines ‘organic’ and ‘institutional’ harmonization of family law, along with the ‘great debates’ and future challenges with respect to comparative family law. In particular, it explores issues relating to horizontal family law (marriage, divorce, and property division; registered partnerships; cohabitation/de facto relationships) and vertical family law (parentage; paternity and maternity; parenthood; parental responsibility). The chapter also analyzes individual family law and concludes with an overview of family law’s move away from form towards function.