Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Single Men Increasingly Having Biological Children via Surrogacy

From Chicago Tribune:

Bill Guest was about 30 when his biological clock kicked in.

His friends were having kids left and right, and suddenly being a doting uncle wasn’t enough. Guest wasn’t particularly interested in getting married, but he did very much want a child, and not an older child.

“I wanted a baby,” said Guest, 40, of Villa Park. “I wanted to experience all of the stages of life.”

With Father’s Day approaching, single fathers such as Guest are a reminder of how far modern men will go to become parents.

Read more here.

July 15, 2018 in Alternative Reproduction | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, July 14, 2018

The Rise of the Millennial Prenup

From The New York Times:

First comes love, then comes … prenup? If you’re a millennial, maybe.

Prenuptial agreements, commonly known as prenups, are legal documents that outline how engaged couples will divide their assets if they divorce. And, in recent years, more millennials have been requesting them, according to a survey of matrimonial lawyers.

One likely reason: Millennials are marrying later than previous generations, with years to build up assets and debt on their own. “I got married at 23, so we put nothing and nothing together,” said Louis Cannataro, partner and founder of Cannataro Park Avenue Financial, where he has advised dozens of millennial clients on their prenups. “But when someone’s getting married in their 30s, there’s a different approach.”

Read more here.

July 14, 2018 in Current Affairs, Marriage (impediments), Property Division | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 13, 2018

Countries That Guarantee Paid Paternity Leave


From NPR:

What do China, India, South Sudan and the United States have in common?

They are among the 92 countries where there is no national policy that allow dads to take paid time off work to care for their newborns.

According to a data analysis released on Thursday by UNICEF, the U.N. children's agency, almost two-thirds of the world's children under age 1 — nearly 90 million — live in countries where dads are not entitled by law to take paid paternity leave. In these countries, this policy is typically decided by employers.

The data, mapped in an interactive chart produced by World Policy Analysis Center at UCLA's Fielding School of Public Health, allows users to scroll over a country to see its policy on paid paternity leave: no paid leave, less than three weeks (for most countries, that means one week or less), three to 13 weeks or 14 weeks or more. Users can also compare this data with paid maternity leave around the world. According to the center, 185 countries guarantee paid leave for mothers, with at least 14 weeks of leave in 106 countries.

Read more here.


July 13, 2018 in Current Affairs, International, Paternity, Termination of Parental Rights | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Ohio Bill Would Require Teachers to Out Transgender Students to Parents

From USA Today:

Teachers would be required to "out" transgender kids to their parents under a new GOP bill introduced in the Ohio state legislature.

House Bill 658 requires any government agent (which includes teachers) immediately report to all parents or guardians if a child "demonstrates a desire to be treated in a manner opposite the child's biological sex" or exhibits symptoms of gender dysphoria, which is when someone identifies with a gender other than the one they were assigned at birth.

Under the proposed law, it would also be a fourth-degree felony for aschool or any "government entity" to provide gender dysphoria treatment without consent from each parent or guardian. Treatment includes "educational materials, classes, or programs, and medical, psychological, social, or other professional treatment, therapy, counseling, or other services." 

Read more here.

July 12, 2018 in Child Abuse, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

India Named Most Dangerous Place for Women

From Ghana Broadcasting Corporation:

India is the most dangerous country in the world to be a woman because of the high risk of sexual violence and slave labor, a new survey of experts shows.

The Thomson Reuters Foundation released its results Tuesday of a survey of 550 experts on women's issues, finding India to be the most dangerous nation for sexual violence against women, as well as human trafficking for domestic work, forced labor, forced marriage and sexual slavery, among other reasons.

It was also the most dangerous country in the world for cultural traditions that impact women, the survey found, citing acid attacks, female genital mutilation, child marriage and physical abuse.

Read more here.

July 12, 2018 in Current Affairs, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Hoosiers Rally at Statehouse Demanding Resignation of AG Curtis Hill

From The Journal Review:

More than 75 Hoosier women and men rallied Saturday outside the Statehouse demanding the resignation of embattled Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill.

Holding signs reading "Power Is Not Permission," "Time's Up" and "Elect Feminists Now," participants said they came together to show support for the four women allegedly groped by Hill at an Indianapolis bar March 15, including state Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon, D-Munster, and to stand with the numerous state leaders who have called for Hill to leave office.

"Public servants and elected public officials of the state of Indiana should be held, and must be held, at a higher standard," said Kerry Hyatt Bennett, legal counsel at the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Read more here.

July 11, 2018 in Domestic Violence | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Indiana Unseals Thousands of Adoption Records


For the first time in decades, thousands of adoption records are unsealed and available to adoptees across the state after a new state law went into effect on July 1.

She was born at Riverview Hospital in Noblesville: That's about all Indianapolis resident Barbara Allen, who was adopted, said she knows about where she came from.

"I've never been given a lot of information about me. I don't know anything, other than my father was Greek. That's what I was told," Allen said.

Allen said she has searched for years to answer questions such as why her eyes are so distinctly green.

"My son can say 'Oh, I get it from my mom, or I get it from my dad.' I have no idea where I got it (her green eyes) from. I don't know why they're like that. I wish I knew," said Allen.

Read more here.

July 10, 2018 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 9, 2018

FL Court Strikes Down Old Rule

From myPalmBeachPost:

Loxahatchee man and scores of other despondent dads throughout the state on Thursday won the chance to help raise their children when the Florida Supreme Court struck down decades-old rules that put the antiquated notion of a child’s “legitimacy” ahead of a biological father’s rights.

In a decision hailed by family law attorneys as a giant step into the modern world, the state’s high court unanimously agreed that biological fathers should no longer be automatically blocked from having contact with children who are born to women who are married to someone else.

Read more here.

July 9, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Anne Frank's Family Was Thwarted By U.S. Immigration Rules

From The New York Times:

Attempts by Anne Frank’s father to escape the Nazis in Europe and travel to the United States were complicated by tight American restrictions on immigration at the time, one of a series of roadblocks that narrowed the Frank family’s options and thrust them into hiding, according to a new report released on Friday.

The research, conducted jointly by the Anne Frank House in Amsterdamand the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, details the challenges faced by the Frank family and thousands of others looking to escape Europe as Nazi Germany gained strength and anti-refugee sentiment swept the United States.

Otto Frank, Anne’s father, was never outright denied an immigration visa, the report concludes, but “bureaucracy, war and time” thwarted his efforts.

Read more here.

July 9, 2018 in Current Affairs, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Elizabeth Warren and Debate Over Medical Bankruptcy

From The New York Times:

Elizabeth Warren is still sparring with academics over a paper she published in 2005.

The latest round came on Wednesday, in The New England Journal of Medicine, where she and her co-authors critiqued a recent paper that argued that medical problems cause a much smaller share of personal bankruptcies than many people think.

One of the reasons many people think medical bills cause so many bankruptcies is Elizabeth Warren, now a United States senator and possible Democratic presidential candidate. In 2005, she, along with David Himmelstein, Deborah Thorne and Steffie Woolhandler, published a paper in the journal Health Affairs documenting a memorable statistic: More than 40 percent of all bankruptcies in America were a result of medical problems, they wrote. In 2009, they updated that research with an even more startling number: Medical bills were responsible for more than 62 percent of all American bankruptcies.

Read more here.

July 8, 2018 in Bankruptcy, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Estate Planning for a Non-US Citizen

From Bowditch & Dewey:

There are special estate tax planning considerations when a non-U.S. citizen spouse is part of the picture. To be clear, a non-U.S. citizen spouse may be living in the U.S. and even hold a green card, but he or she does not have U.S. citizenship. The planning considerations are best illustrated with an example: husband is a U.S. citizen and wife is a permanent resident (a non-U.S. citizen).


When gifting to his wife or transferring assets for planning purposes, the husband cannot take advantage of the unlimited gifting rule between married U.S. citizens. Instead, the husband is allowed a tax-free annual exclusion gift of $152,000 (2018) to his wife.

Read more here.


July 7, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 6, 2018

Hoosiers With Disabilities Now Have a Less Restrictive Alternative to Guardianship

From Faegre, Baker, & Daniels:

After working for years to become more independent, Richmond native Jamie Beck has made Indiana history in how she successfully terminated the letters of guardianship over her. Indiana Disability Rights (IDR) recently announced that Jamie filed the first petition in Indiana seeking to terminate a guardianship in favor of a Supported Decision Making Agreement. In a matter of first impression, the court granted Jamie’s petition, potentially paving the way for guardians across the state to formalize existing support systems and encourage Hoosiers with disabilities to achieve the greatest degree of independence possible.

Jamie was diagnosed with mild intellectual disability and attention deficit disorder and was adjudicated an incapacitated person in November of 2010. But her petition, filed last month, detailed her improvement since the adjudication. At the time of filing, Jamie lived in the community, worked two part-time jobs and did volunteer work. In October of 2017, Jamie began a vocational training program in environmental services in Muncie, Indiana. Her participation recently led to an offer of full-time employment with Ball Memorial Hospital. Two weeks after Jamie’s petition was filed, she was set to begin orientation.

Read more here.

July 6, 2018 in Current Affairs, Custody (parenting plans) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Supreme Court Rules Against Women in NIFLA v Becerra

From NBC News:

This week the United States Supreme Court ruled against women. Or at least, it ruled against women who might be looking for information about their reproductive rights.

And things are likely to get worse. On Wednesday, Justice Anthony Kennedy, the swing vote on so many important issues including gay rights, affirmative action and abortion, announced that he is retiring from the high court. We will only continue to see more harmful decisions when it comes to the ability of women to control what happens to their bodies.

The court's decision in the case of National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) v. Becerra is just the tip of the iceberg. While there can be no doubt that we must zealously guard the First Amendment rights of those who do not wish to speak, particularly when that speech contravenes their religious beliefs, those rights are not absolute. At some point they must give way to public health concerns and the need to provide patients and would-be patients with accurate information.

Read more here.

July 5, 2018 in Abortion, Alternative Reproduction, Current Affairs, Religion | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

How the Travel Ban Affects Families

From CNN:

Ever since Mohamed Adan Nur became a US citizen 13 years ago, he's been struggling to bring his wife and children to America.

Now, after the Supreme Court upheld President Donald Trump's travel ban, the Somali native has no idea if or when they might join him.

"I'm really very sad. It doesn't make sense," the Atlanta-based truck driver said. "No reason to hold my kids on one side of the world and me on the other."

His is one of countless stories of American citizens directly impacted by the travel ban. Under the ban, close relatives might be able to enter the United States if they get a special waiver. But some relatives -- like Nur's -- have had difficulty getting a waiver, which can be denied without explanation.

Read more here.

July 4, 2018 in Current Affairs, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

What Does Justice Kennedy's Retirement Mean for Roe v Wade?

From CBS News:

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy's announcement on Wednesday that he will be retiring could mean that Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that legalized abortion across the United States, will be overturned in the not-too-distant future.

Despite his loose affiliation with the conservative wing of the Supreme Court, Kennedy was widely seen as a barrier to efforts to repeal Roe v. Wade. In 1992, he sided with liberal justices in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, a decision that reasserted the court's view that abortion access is protected by the Constitution, although he has sometimes ruled in favor of abortion restrictions in other cases.

President Trump, who previously described himself as pro-choice but in recent years has said he opposes abortion, will nominate Kennedy's replacement. And with Republicans holding a narrow majority in the U.S. Senate, which will vote to confirm the pick, it's possible that Roe v. Wade could soon be history.

Read more here.

July 3, 2018 in Abortion, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 2, 2018

Immigration Protests Across the United States

From CNN:

Americans young and old took to the streets of US cities Saturday to say "Families Belong Together" nearly two months after the Trump administration implemented its "zero tolerance" policy toward undocumented immigrants, prompting the separation of thousands of children from their parents.

The main rally was in Washington, DC, but hundreds of marches, protests and rallies took place across the country in cities like New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Milwaukee, Denver, Miami, St. Louis, San Francisco and Los Angeles, where crowds called for the immediate reunification of migrant families and an end to family detentions and separations.

According to organizers, protesters have three demands:

They want separated migrant families to be reunited immediately.
They want the government to end family detentions.
And they want the Trump administration to end its zero tolerance policy.

Read more here.


July 2, 2018 in Child Abuse, Current Affairs, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, July 1, 2018

COA Discourages Interlocutory Appeals of CHINS Status Changes

From The Indiana Lawyer:

The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed on interlocutory appeal a change in the permanency plan for two children from reunification to termination of parental rights while also cautioning that such trial court rulings are “generally not suitable for interlocutory review.”

The appeal pertains to a children in need of services case involving a “nontraditional couple” who have a long history with the Department of Child Services. In 2006, DCS brought sexual misconduct claims against C.Q., now 79, involving R.O., now 27, when R.O. was 15 years old. Since then, however, R.O. and C.Q. have continued their relationship and have three children together: A.Q., K.Q., and R.Q.

Claims of neglect of A.Q. and K.Q. were filed after a domestic-violence incident between the mother and father in 2013. Two months later, A.Q. and K.Q. both presented with injuries, and DCS again substantiated claims of neglect against mother and father. The two children were later removed from the home and adjudicated as CHINS. But after engaging in services with DCS, the parents regained care of the children.

Read more here.

July 1, 2018 in Termination of Parental Rights | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, June 30, 2018

For Women In Papua New Guinea, Income From Selling Betel Nut Can Come At Heavy Price

From NPR:

The women are mostly in their early 20s. They have children at home. Selling betel nut — an addictive, natural chew — to passersby in mountain towns of Papua New Guinea is a good way to earn a living.

But the extra income sometimes comes at a heavy price: violent beatings by their spouses. Two out of three women in Papua New Guinea experience abuse at the hands of an intimate partner at least once in their lifetime, according to the World Health Organization and aid groups.

Betel nut sellers in Goroka, the main city in the Eastern Highlands, say physical violence is particularly common in their marriages.

Read more here.

June 30, 2018 in Divorce (grounds), Domestic Violence, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, June 29, 2018

Life Difficult for Venezuelan Migrants

From The National Geographic:

The Simón Bolívar bridge, connecting the Colombian city of Cúcuta with the Venezuelan city of San Antonio, is packed with people all day long.

Soon after the border opens in the early hours of the morning, thousands cross by foot from Venezuela to Colombia. Many are ready to leave everything behind, planning not to return to their home country. Some expect to stay in Colombia and others are moving through to different destinations. Another group crosses the bridge to shop for basic items. The number of daily pedestrians varies, but it’s estimated that about 35,000 people are now crossing the bridge every day.

Although the region has experienced multiple population movements, this exodus is thought by some to be Latin America’s worst-ever migration crisis. Over the last four years, amid a long and dire economic downfall, Venezuela has seen the impoverishment of its citizens and a resulting mass exodus.

Read more here.

June 29, 2018 in Current Affairs, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Argentina Takes Big Step Toward Legal Legalizing Abortion


From NPR:

It took more than 22 hours of debate, stretching overnight into Thursday morning, but finally Argentina's lower house of Congress has decided: By a 129-125 vote, the Chamber of Deputies passed a bill legalizing abortion before 14 weeks of pregnancy.

The bill now heads to the country's Senate, where its chances of passage appear less rosy — but if it does get a yes vote in the upper chamber, Argentine President Mauricio Macri has said he will sign it into law, despite his own reservations.

Outside Argentina's Congress on Thursday morning, a massive crowd of demonstrators bearing green flags and dressed in warm clothing erupted in cheers at the news.

Read more here.

June 28, 2018 in Abortion, International | Permalink | Comments (0)