NASA's space program, along with private corporations such as SpaceX are making plans for the exploration and colonization of Mars.
SpaceX founder Elon Musk intends on establishing a Mars settlement with a population of 80,000 people within the coming decades (http://www.space.com/18596-mars-colony-spacex-elon-musk.html ).
Nasa, SpaceX and others are devising plans and exploring solutions to many of the problems and challenges that will be presented to the settlers on Mars. This includes devising rules to protect property rights on Mars and some other legal issues. To date, there has been no discussion or draft plans for how settlers on Mars will govern the relationships between parents, children and the community. With 80,000 people, there will be intimate relationships, many of these intimate relationships will end and some will end with children involved.
High-performance space architecture Georgi Petrov’s 2004 Massachusetts Institute of Technology, graduate thesis, “A Permanent Settlement on Mars: The First Cut in the Land of a New Frontier” http://www.spacearchitect.org/pubs/Petrov-20040201.pdf identified the necessity of developing a social structure for Mars settlement as a pre-curser to other design steps.
"Prior to beginning design, the social structure and purpose of the settlement must be specified. Due to its extreme isolation the Mars settlement cannot function like a normal part of established terrestrial society. One must therefore look for precedents in the rich history of thought on how to structure an isolated human society that stretches as far back as the age of colonization in Ancient Greece, and as recently as Paolo Soleri's Arcosanti project, which is still being built [Soleri 1984]. Besides the numerous theoretical works on the subject, there have been a number of Utopian experiments carried out, most notably on the American frontier during the 19 century [Tod 1978], [Holloway 1996].
Some of the most important stands that people have taken focus on the tension between individual and communal needs, the attitude towards human sexual and family life, and on the government structure of the group. Without trying to be social engineers the designers of the first base must imagine a viable social structure that is reflected in the spatial organization of the habitat."
Unfortunately, no such model social structure currently exists. Apart from some efforts from the arts community, no preparation is currently underway to develop such a model.
The comprehensive family law models on Earth are currently undergoing reviews following a general recognition that they are not serving communities, parents and children at an acceptable level.
Changes to national and regional family law systems are slow and mired in historical, political and structural resistance. At the same time, modern research and experience lays a clear and solid foundation for a new comprehensive family law model.
The Mars Family Law Project aims to develop a best practices comprehensive family law system that incorporates:
1. Practical social regulation;
2. Serves the long-term best interests of children;
3. Serves the long-term autonomy, independence and health of parents;
4. Protects and enhances community resources and functioning; and
5. Values and complies with universal standards for individual human rights.
This system will be designed and built with the contributions from:
Space Science Community: Engineers, architects, scientists and students of the space science community are actively thinking about life in a Mars settlement. The physical infrastructure and the social infrastructure must be coordinated to make the most efficient use of resources.
Family Justice Professionals: Current lawyers, social workers, academics, Judges, mediators and other professionals within the current, Earth based family justice systems are intimately aware of what is working and what is not working.
Social Scientists and Physicians: Contemporary research is clearly showing that families – parents and children, are not generally faring well under the current family justice system. Children and parents that have been exposed to family courts are generally worse off in every way – their short term and long term outcomes. However, there are exciting insights – research showing a path to better relationships (John and Julia Gottman https://www.gottman.com ) and showing a better ways to nurture and build resilience in children.
Artists: The imagination and insight into the future of the human condition is already underway within the broad arts community. From Jane Fonda’s Barbarella http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0062711/, Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blade_Runner , and Spike Jonze’s Her (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1798709/) to Lady Gaga’s Born this Way (https://bornthisway.foundation/ ) artists are dreaming of different forms of family structures in the future. Their contributions and innovations will be important for this initiative.
You: Whatever your background, your experiences as a child, a parent or a community member are important to the framing and development of a comprehensive family law model.