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Redefining Family with Matheu Nunn

July 6, 2022 | by Patricia M. Barbarito, Matheu Nunn

What is family? Whether you envision a traditional (two parents of different genders with biological offspring) or expanded (parents that include single, adoptive, step, foster, grandparents, siblings, or other kin, same-sex couples, etc.) model, the ties that bind families together are varied and complex. Host Pat Barbarito and featured guest Matheu Nunn examine the legal definition of family and explore how that affects the rights, responsibilities, and obligations of everyone involved.


Highlights include:

  • Surprising roots of the U.S. legal definition of family;
  • The hierarchy of rights for parents, other family members, and interested third parties, as well as a review of the parens patriae principle, and the difference between parental rights and visitation rights;
  • How the rights of biological parents are protected, even when considering the termination of those rights;
  • Negotiating parental rights in blended families, at the beginning or end of a relationship/marriage;
  • Why the legal relationship between parent and child must be severed before adoption can be finalized;
  • When and why the court can insert itself and its guidance, including the removal of a child or termination of parental rights, into a family; and so much more.

BONUS: Follow Mat’s seven-year litigation saga as it winds through various courts to help a non-traditional family be legally recognized by the U.S. legal system.

Matheu Nunn is a Partner and Board Member of Einhorn, Barbarito, Frost & Botwinick, PC, co-chairs the firm’s Family/Matrimonial Practice and its general Appellate Practice. Mat has a wide array of experience representing individuals from all fields, including athletes, business owners, entertainers, executives, financial services professionals, lawyers, physicians, police officers, and teachers – as well as the spouses of those individuals. An experienced litigator, Mat has tried jury and bench trials and served as counsel in more than 60 Appellate Division and Supreme Court matters, including precedent-setting family law decisions.

About Heartbreak & Hope

Heartbreak and Hope PodcastCo-managing partner and divorce lawyer Pat Barbarito thought she knew all about complex relationships and the laws that govern them – until her own marriage of 17 years ended and she determined to get to the heart of love, marriage, and human connection. Her journey spanned the entire scope of relationships – from the science of attraction to the financial impact of separation, to old myths that society still touts as true to new laws that outline how to navigate both uniting and uncoupling.

Heartbreak & Hope with Pat Barbarito offers insights, anecdotes, and guidance from a variety of experts and includes her own perspective on how best to thrive through any stage of relationship building.



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