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Neoliberal autonomy and financial remedy reform: lessons from Sweden

Heenan, Anna ORCID: 2020. Neoliberal autonomy and financial remedy reform: lessons from Sweden. Child and Family Law Quarterly 2020 (3) , pp. 263-284.

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There is a tension at the heart of family law between neoliberal ideas of autonomy, which assume freedom of choice and promote economic independence, and the demands of caring for children. This article considers this tension in the context of proposed reforms to the law of financial provision on divorce. Drawing on lessons from Sweden, considered a global leader when it comes to gender equality, this article explores two central claims underpinning the proposals for reform. First, that reforming the law will increase gender equality in society, and, second, that neoliberal autonomy would be a desirable guiding principle for the law of financial remedies in a more gender equal society. Both claims are rejected. Instead, it is suggested that gender equality cannot be achieved without state intervention. Even then, if families are to have a genuine choice about how to arrange their lives, the law of financial remedies on divorce must retain the flexibility to respond to the costs of caring.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Cardiff Law & Politics
Subjects: K Law > KD England and Wales
Additional Information: Access to the full text of this article must be embargoed until 12 months after publication, and under a CC-BY-NC license. Prior approval from the publishers is required to reproduce the article before the embargo is lifted.
Publisher: Jordan Publishing
ISSN: 1358-8184
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 24 July 2020
Date of Acceptance: 7 July 2020
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2023 09:09

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