Family Law as Public Law in a Marriage-free State

What will the law of family be like in a marriage-free state? This question is composed of a proposition that the state should not endorse marriage and an inquiry into how the state should regulate the family. Scholarship that challenges marital supremacy and advocates nonmarital equality includes various proposals to move forward. This paper engages with the abolishment thesis and considers its implications for family law. Part I deals with the theoretical proposition that a just state should be a marriage-free state. Part II considers the future of family law in a marriage-free state. It argues that ‘marital family law” as private law fails to secure equality for all, and that the reconceptualization of family law as public law bears the potential of promoting equality and preventing discrimination based on relationship status. Part III advances the reimagination of family law as public law through an empirical examination of the realities of the marriage contracts in Taiwan.