6 Pac. L. J. 508 (1975)
Filial Support and Family Solidarity

handle is hein.journals/mcglr6 and id is 526 raw text is: Filial Support and Family Solidarity
JAMES L. LOPES*
Honor thy father and thy mother that thy days may be long in the
land that the Lord thy God giveth thee. Exodus 20:12.
The concept of filial responsibility has existed for many centuries.
Although the origins of this moral tenet will probably never be identi-
fied with any degree of precision, the origin of the legal responsibility
to provide for one's parents is more readily traceable. Statutes which
presently exist in a majority of American states are essentially identical
to the responsible relatives statute found in the seventeenth century
Elizabethan Poor Law. Prior to the enactment of -this comprehensive
statutory scheme to deal with the problems of the poor, there was no
legal duty imposed on children to provide for their indigent parents'
support.
The responsible relatives statutes embrace more than merely the
child-parent relationship. They are concerned also with the duties of
parent to child, husband to wife, and wife to husband. Additionally,
some impose duties beyond this immediate family sphere, extending
the obligation of support to grandparents and grandchildren and even
brothers and sisters of the indigent. The focus of this article, however,
is on the legal responsibility of children to contribute to the support
of their parents and the wisdom of the imposition of this duty.
* B.S., 1969, University of California, Davis; J.D., 1974, University of the Pa-
cific, McGeorge School of Law; LL.M., 1975, Harvard Law School. Member, State Bar
of California. The author was Editor-in-Chief of the Pacific Law Journal during 1973-
74, and is associated with the firm of Gendel, Raskoff, Shapiro and Quittner, Los Ange-
les, California.

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