Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Pre-Engagement Ring Hand Procedures

From the New York Times:

It was the stuff of Marie Valencis’ dreams: a 3.9-carat, princess-cut, platinum engagement ring with a diamond band — which her fiancé picked out by himself. But after the initial elation wore off, a seemingly more practical matter popped into her head: What about the selfies she would invariably post on Facebook, Instagram and elsewhere?

Never mind that she was a sprightly 30 years old. Despite the bauble shimmering on her finger, her hand looked scaly, she said, with a few sunspots dotting it. “When I saw a picture, I thought, ‘Oh, it doesn’t look very smooth, plump and youthful,’ ” said Ms. Valencis, a baker in Farmington, Conn. “I wanted a hand makeover.”

In the time that has passed since the Styles section last reported on hand-lift procedures (March 15, 2012), doctors are saying that they are seeing more newly engaged women come in specifically with the selfie in mind.

Read more here.

MR

July 23, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Hasday's "Family Law Reimagined"

From Jill Elaine Hasday (University of Minnesota), writing for Slate:

Too often, the law permits sibling relationships to be severed by an adoption or a parent’s divorce or death. Sometimes, siblings are left with no way to stay in touch with each other. When siblings placed in different households have had the chance to write or speak publicly about their experiences, they have emphasized the pain, sadness, and complete shock that separation can inflict.

The tie between siblings is often the longest lasting relationship that a person ever experiences. Social science research makes clear that strong bonds between brothers and sisters can develop very early in childhood. Many children spend more time with their siblings than with anyone else, and siblings who grow up together accumulate a store of shared memories that can shape each sibling for life. Children with absent, dysfunctional, or warring parents often forge especially intense bonds with each other that provide solace, nurturing, and secure emotional attachments.

But as I discuss in my new book, Family Law Reimagined, the legal system has long acted as if marriage and parenthood are the only two family relationships that matter. In recent years, the law has expanded its focus slightly by directing more attention toward unmarried couples. Yet courts and legislatures still do remarkably little to protect sibling ties.

Read more here.

MR

July 22, 2014 in Scholarship, Family Law | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Time Spent with Kids

From the Guardian:

Dads may deserve that card to mark Fathers' Day as research shows they spend seven times as much time interacting with their children than their own fathers did with them 40 years ago.

While the time focused on their offspring still comes in at a fairly low average of 35 minutes a day for working fathers, it is far higher than the five minutes registered in 1974. Mothers' quality time with their kids has also risen over the same period, from 15 minutes a day to an hour.

But while it would seem to be good news for children, the researchers found a worrying social disparity over how that extra time is spent. More educated parents were far more likely to report spending time helping their children with homework, while parents without further or higher education were less likely to get involved in any kind of learning activity.

Read more here.

MR

July 21, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Review of Carbone and Cahn's "Marriage Markets"

From Brookings:

Economists have long argued that there is such a thing as a market for spouses. The old theory, associated with University of Chicago Nobel laureate, Gary Becker, is that people marry for the same reason that nations trade with one another: comparative advantage. If men are better at earning money in the labor market and women are better at taking care of home and children, it makes sense for them to combine forces within marriage so that they can then specialize in what they each do best. The problem with Becker's theory is that with the expansion of labor market opportunities for women, it now needs revision.

Along come June Carbone and Naomi Cahn, who have just written a fascinating book providing us with the needed update. Although they are both lawyers, their story has an economic ring to it. The book, entitled "Marriage Markets," argues that these markets are more segmented by class than in the past (lawyers now marry other lawyers not their secretaries). One can only understand what has happened to marriage if one combines this reality with another one which is the fact that growing income inequality has produced a shortage of women at the top end of the income distribution (where top earners are still primarily male) and a shortage of men at the bottom end (where less skilled men can no longer find good jobs in manufacturing, for example).

Read more here.

MR

July 19, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Reasons for Divorce

From the New York Post:

When it comes to marriage, some things never change. That’s certainly one lesson from a recent survey of 4,000 ever-divorced adults between the ages of 18 and 60.

Researchers at the Austin Institute for the Study of Family and Culture used new data from the “Relationships in America” survey to find out why people got out of their marriages.

Sexual infidelity is still the most common reason for divorce. Nearly 37 percent of respondents cited their own infidelity or their spouse’s as a cause for the split.

Read more here.

MR

Hat Tip: Naomi Cahn

July 18, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Surrogacy Destination--the U.S.

From the New York Times:

At home in Lisbon, a gay couple invited friends over to a birthday celebration, and at the end of the evening shared a surprise — an ultrasound image of their baby, moving around in the belly of a woman in Pennsylvania being paid to carry their child.

“Everyone was shocked, and asked everything about how we do this,” said Paulo, who spoke on the condition that neither his last name nor that of his husband, João, be used since what they were doing is a crime in Portugal.

While babies through surrogacy have become increasingly common in the United States, with celebrities like Elton John, Sarah Jessica Parker and Jimmy Fallon openly discussing how they started a family, the situation is quite different in Portugal — as it is in most of the world where the hiring of a woman to carry a child is forbidden. And as Paulo and João have discovered, even bringing home a baby born abroad through surrogacy can be complicated.

Read more here.

MR

Hat Tip: Naomi Cahn

July 17, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Fathers' Rights in Scotland

From Professor Elaine E Sutherland, writing for the Journal:

The familiar bones of contention – the recognition of non-marital (unmarried) fathers, the allocation of parental responsibilities and parental rights, and sanctions for parents who obstruct the other parent’s involvement in their child’s life – are back in the spotlight again in Scotland.  

A Public Petition, the mechanism by which members of the Scottish public can seek to influence legislative change in country, has been lodged by a fathers’ rights campaigner calling for reform of the law on these matters. 

Read more here.

MR

July 16, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

New Yorker Cartoon on Marriage

Here.

MR

July 15, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, July 14, 2014

New Online Dating Outlet

From CNN:

But a new partnership between American Mensa and online dating giant Match.com offers a new, enticing reason to join the society of geniuses: true love.

Beginning this week, members of the brainiac group can connect through a separate, exclusive dating service called Mensa Match. In addition, Match.com members can add a special Mensa badge to their profiles, signaling a specific interest in connecting with a single person with a confirmed genius-level IQ score.

Read more here.

MR

July 14, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Mormon Church Leaving Adoption Role

From the Salt Lake Tribune:

LDS Family Services still will work with couples who want to adopt and with pregnant women — but as professional counselors, not adoption brokers.

"As a traditional adoption agency, it’s not working out for us," said David M. McConkie, manager of services for children at LDS Family Services.

At the heart of the decision is a trend that forced LDS Family Services to reassess how it can best serve Mormons: the fact that few unwed mothers give up their babies for adoption anymore.

Thirty years ago, 15 percent of single pregnant teenagers and young women chose adoption. Today, it’s 1 percent nationally and perhaps slightly higher in Utah, McConkie said.

Read more here.

MR

July 12, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, July 11, 2014

Work-Life Balance

Are peoples stressed more at home or work?  See results here.

MR

July 11, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Timing in Divorce

From the Wall Street Journal:

Hedge-fund billionaire David Tepper, 56, has reportedly split from his wife of 28 years. Most people don’t have the kind of wealth to consider in a divorce as Tepper, who has an estimated worth of $10 billion. But consider this harsh reality: Half of all marriages end in divorce, and when it comes to splitting up even for the 99%, experts say, timing is everything.

Read more here.

MR

July 10, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Marriage Frozen

From the Guardian:

A man posting on a Japanese marriage advice forum has said the reason for his wife divorcing him was that he didn't enjoy the Disney film Frozen. 

He writes that his wife became obsessed with Frozen after a friend introduced her to it, prompting her to see it at the cinema numerous times. He was eventually cajoled into going along with her, but afterwards said that it was only "OK", and he "didn't really care for it personally". 

Perhaps inspired by the self-empowerment message in the film's central anthem Let It Go, the woman then said: "If you can't understand what makes this movie great, there's something wrong with you as a human being!" before saying that she wanted a divorce. He says she now won't talk to him directly, but mediates through their parents.

Read more here.

MR

 

July 9, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Marriage "Masters"

From the Atlantic:

Every day in June, the most popular wedding month of the year, about 13,000 American couples will say “I do,” committing to a lifelong relationship that will be full of friendship, joy, and love that will carry them forward to their final days on this earth.

Except, of course, it doesn’t work out that way for most people. The majority of marriages fail, either ending in divorce and separation or devolving into bitterness and dysfunction. Of all the people who get married, only three in ten remain in healthy, happy marriages, as psychologist Ty Tashiro points out in his book The Science of Happily Ever After, which was published earlier this year.

Social scientists first started studying marriages by observing them in action in the 1970s in response to a crisis: Married couples were divorcing at unprecedented rates. Worried about the impact these divorces would have on the children of the broken marriages, psychologists decided to cast their scientific net on couples, bringing them into the lab to observe them and determine what the ingredients of a healthy, lasting relationship were. Was each unhappy family unhappy in its own way, as Tolstoy claimed, or did the miserable marriages all share something toxic in common?

Psychologist John Gottman was one of those researchers. For the past four decades, he has studied thousands of couples in a quest to figure out what makes relationships work. I recently had the chance to interview Gottman and his wife Julie, also a psychologist, in New York City. Together, the renowned experts on marital stability run The Gottman Institute, which is devoted to helping couples build and maintain loving, healthy relationships based on scientific studies.

John Gottman began gathering his most critical findings in 1986, when he set up “The Love Lab” with his colleague Robert Levenson at the University of Washington. Gottman and Levenson brought newlyweds into the lab and watched them interact with each other. With a team of researchers, they hooked the couples up to electrodes and asked the couples to speak about their relationship, like how they met, a major conflict they were facing together, and a positive memory they had. As they spoke, the electrodes measured the subjects' blood flow, heart rates, and how much they sweat they produced. Then the researchers sent the couples home and followed up with them six years later to see if they were still together.

From the data they gathered, Gottman separated the couples into two major groups: the masters and the disasters. The masters were still happily together after six years. The disasters had either broken up or were chronically unhappy in their marriages. When the researchers analyzed the data they gathered on the couples, they saw clear differences between the masters and disasters. The disasters looked calm during the interviews, but their physiology, measured by the electrodes, told a different story. Their heart rates were quick, their sweat glands were active, and their blood flow was fast. Following thousands of couples longitudinally, Gottman found that the more physiologically active the couples were in the lab, the quicker their relationships deteriorated over time.

Read more here.

MR

July 8, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, July 7, 2014

New Dating App

From Washington Post:

The headlines read like a synopsis for Spike Jonze’s next romantic drama: In the approximate future — in a strangely pastel L.A. — romantic loss will simply cease to exist! That’s because Match.com is rolling out facial recognition technology that can find you a clone of your ex. An exact lookalike. A twin. For $5,000, in short, you never have to move on.

Read more here.

MR

July 7, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, July 5, 2014

1 Year Post-Windsor

From Washington Post:

Now that their marriages are recognized by the federal government, same-sex couples have acquired a simpler tax filing process, broader family protections and other federal spousal benefits.  But a year after the "United States vs. Windsor" decision, some of the basic rights granted to opposite-sex married couples are still pretty complicated for same-sex couples. "The good news is there’s been a lot of progress -- the administration has done [a lot] over a short period of time," says William Moran, an adviser with Merrill Lynch Wealth Management. "But there are still things that need to be addressed."

Read more here.

MR

Hat Tip: Naomi Cahn

July 5, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy Fourth of July!

uncle sam

July 4, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Kutty: "Islamic Law and Adoptions"

Faisal Kutty (Valparaiso University Law School) has posted "Islamic Law and Adoptions," forthcoming in Robert L. Ballard et al., The Intercountry Adoption Debate: Dialogues Across Disciplines (Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014).  Here is the abstract:

Throughout history, adoption has held a contentious and ambiguous role in the social imagination of many cultures. Adoption is a complex social, legal, and economic phenomenon that has existed in one form or another in most societies since ancient history. Religion has served to both advance and restrict adoption and similar childcare arrangements. Some religions have encouraged adoptions, others have initially been interpreted to restrict them, and yet others continue to restrict or advocate alternative arrangements. 

The belief that closed adoption, as practiced in the West, is the only acceptable form of permanent childcare is a significant obstacle to its acceptance among many Muslims. Adoption rights activists—and prospective adopters—have struggled to find ways around the difficulties this simple binary view causes for the millions of children around the world who could benefit from a loving home. With increasing numbers of abandoned and orphaned children and a growing number of hurdles, there is now an added urgency to tackle this issue. It is beyond the scope of this chapter to grapple with all of the nuances and issues raised by adoption in Islam. The goal of this chapter is more modest. It is to contribute to a better understanding of Islamic views on adoptions, provide insights into some of the tensions and points of convergence, lay groundwork to help in bridging the gap, and fill the existing void in properly caring for orphans, abandoned children, and children of unknown parentage consistent with contemporary notions of child welfare and the spirit of the Sharia. Part I provides a basic background on Islamic law, its sources, principles and methodology for development and evolution. Part II sets out a description of adoption and alternatives under classical Islamic law as understood and accepted by the orthodox Sunni community. Part III explores and highlights the areas of tension and convergence with modern western conceptions of adoption and child welfare. The chapter then concludes with some parting thoughts.

The chapter demonstrates that there is sufficient basis in Islamic jurisprudence to argue for qualified support of international adoptions. It is undeniable that taking care of orphans and foundlings is a religious obligation. Arguably one of the best ways to take care of these children is to place them in loving homes, provided that a child’s lineage is not intentionally negated or concealed. A reformed model of Islamic adoptions will enable Muslims to fulfill this religious obligation while ensuring that the most vulnerable do not fall through technical cracks and will not be negatively impacted by formal rules that no longer serve their intended purposes.

Read more here.

MR

July 3, 2014 in Scholarship, Family Law | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Gray Divorce

From New York Times:

The divorce rate in the United States among people 50 or older has doubled since 1990, according to a study by the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. And as the American population steadily ages, gray divorces will keep rising: By 2030, it is estimated that 800,000 will occur annually.

Besides causing depression and dashing dreams, these divorces can sabotage retirement plans as assets are cut in half and expenses as a divorced single rise. For some older people, emerging from divorce with retirement plans intact can be challenging.

Read more here.

MR

Hat Tip: Naomi Cahn

July 3, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

No Trophy Wives

From Huffington Post:

Whether you judge her, respect her, want to marry her, or want to be her - you think you know her. Turns out you don't. A university of Notre-Dame sociologist, Elizabeth McClintock, has shown that the 'trophy wife' is largely a myth.

Read more here.

MR

 

July 3, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)