Family Law Prof Blog

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

Friday, May 25, 2018

Remarrying After Divorcing

From NPR:

Both Lillian Barnes' and Harold Holland's spouses died in 2015. Holland and Barnes saw each other soon after at a family reunion. As Holland put it, they "got to talking, and went to a graduation dinner, and then a Christmas dinner and one thing led to another. I said, 'Well, we should try this again.'"

Barnes and Holland had divorced each other 50 years earlier. This month, they're remarrying each other.

Read more here.

May 25, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Connecticut Encourages LGBT Families to Adopt

From The Hill:

Connecticut is working to actively recruit LGBT families to adopt and foster children, even as other states pass laws allowing agencies to ban them.

The Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF) has launched an outreach campaign and will begin working with LGBT organizations and community centers to encourage people to apply to become adoptive or foster parents, according to The Associated Press.

Similar efforts are also underway in New York City and San Francisco.

Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) said that he wants Connecticut to be known as a state that welcomes the LGBT community, adding that more than 4,000 children are in state care and about half of them likely won't return to their biological parents.

Read more here.


May 25, 2018 in Adoption, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, May 24, 2018

San Francisco Too Expensive for Divorce

From SF Gate:

A new trend among parents who separate or divorce is to continue living together. It's more economical, and if the parents can have a friendly domestic partnership, it's great for the kids.

Patrick, an Oakland resident in his 50s, is still living with his wife in their home of 13 years. But the couple has been separated for the last six of those years.

Under the same roof, they're sleeping in separate bedrooms, yet raising a 13-year-old daughter together, eating dinner around the table as a family about four times a week and sharing domestic tasks.

When the couple first agreed to split up, Patrick tells me he explored moving out, but they realized their income with him as a writer and her as a lawyer in private practice wouldn't cover two separate residences in Oakland.

Read more here.

May 24, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Former Playmate Kills Self, Son, in Custody Battle

From The New York Post:

A former Playboy Playmate killed herself and her 7-year-old son in a murder-suicide leap from a Midtown hotel penthouse Friday amid a bitter custody battle with her estranged husband, sources told The Post.

The bodies of Stephanie Adams and her son, Vincent, were found on a second-floor balcony area by a guest at the Gotham Hotel, police said.

Adams, 47, had been battling with her husband, Manhattan chiropractor Charles Nicolai, in court, and the dispute had heated up Tuesday when he filed a motion for sole custody of the boy, said his lawyer, William Beslow.

Read more here.

May 24, 2018 in Child Abuse, Current Affairs, Custody (parenting plans), Divorce (grounds), Domestic Violence | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Will Ireland's Abortion Laws Be Changed May 25?

From BBC News:

A referendum will take place on 25 May on whether to reform Ireland's strict abortion laws.

The vote will decide whether to repeal a constitutional amendment that effectively bans terminations.

It will be the country's sixth referendum on the issue. Currently, abortion is only allowed when a woman's life is at risk, but not in cases of rape, incest or fatal foetal abnormality.

Read more here.

May 23, 2018 in Abortion, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Parents Evict Son

From CNN:

A 30-year-old man didn't get the message that it was time to move out of his parents' home, even after they left him five notices and an offer of cash to help find new digs.

The New York family drama eventually rolled into the court system, where a judge on Tuesday ruled in the parents' favor and ordered Michael Rotondo to leave after having a room for eight years.
But Rotondo contends he is owed a six-month notice.
"I just wanted a reasonable amount of time to vacate, with consideration to the fact that I was not really prepared to support myself at the time of the notices," he told CNN affiliate WSTM.
Read more here.

May 23, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Irish Referendum on Abortion

From CNN:

Come May 25, Ireland will go to the polls in a referendum on whether to repeal the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution, which says a fetus has an equal right to life as the mother.
A yes vote would open the doors to legislation allowing abortion up to 12 weeks gestation -- and later in cases in which there is a risk to the mother's life or the fetus is not expected to survive.
A no vote would keep Ireland's abortion laws, some of the strictest in the European Union.
Read more here.

May 23, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Breger: "Reforming by Re-Norming: How the Legal System Has the Potential to Change a Toxic Culture of Domestic Violence"

Melissa L. Breger has posted to SSRN her paper Reforming by Re-Norming: How the Legal System Has the Potential to Change a Toxic Culture of Domestic Violence, 44 Notre Dame Journal of Legislation 171 (2018). Here is the abstract:

Regressive societal norms and gender-based biases, both explicit and implicit, have compounded over time to form a cultural realm of tolerance toward domestic violence. This Article examines how the law has contributed to the development of this culture, and more importantly, how the law can be utilized to transform a toxic culture of intimate partner violence. The law can be a positive agent of change, and its powers should be marshaled to effectuate change in attitudes and norms towards domestic violence. By importing the social norms theory of psychology and theories of re-norming and implicit biases, we may work to detoxify society’s treatment and tolerance of intimate partner violence.

May 22, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Forging Divorce Papers

From King5:

A man accused of forging his wife’s signature on divorce papers — while giving himself a small break on the amount of child support he owed and adding a couple weeks to summer visits with his son — pleaded guilty last month to first-degree perjury.

Brian Kimmell’s now-former wife, Cassie Kimmell, said she was mystified why he would go behind her back as they had agreed to divorce.

Read more here.

May 22, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Odds That Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Marriage Will Last

From Business Insider:

When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle ascend to the altar Saturday, the whole world will be watching. And in the years that follow, any hint of marital discord or unfaithfulness between them will be pounced upon as juicy gossip.

That is to say: There's a lot of pressure on these two to make it work. Will they?

Before we get into any predictions, it's important to note that no one can say with absolute certainty whether an individual couple will have a successful marriage, or whether they'll get divorced. The findings and observations below apply to couples in general.

Read more here.

May 22, 2018 in Current Affairs, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 21, 2018

Divorce Rate in Military


The overall divorce rate among both male and female service members held steady in fiscal 2017, marking the fourth year running that the rate has hovered between 3 percent and 3.1 percent.

Read more here.

May 21, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Changing Profile of Unmarried Parents

From Pew Research Center:

One-in-four parents living with a child in the United States today are unmarried. Driven by declines in marriage overall, as well as increases in births outside of marriage, this marks a dramatic change from a half-century ago, when fewer than one-in-ten parents living with their children were unmarried (7%).

At the same time, the profile of unmarried parents has shifted markedly, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data.1 Solo mothers – those who are raising at least one child with no spouse or partner in the home – no longer dominate the ranks of unmarried parents as they once did. In 1968, 88% of unmarried parents fell into this category. By 1997 that share had dropped to 68%, and in 2017 the share of unmarried parents who were solo mothers declined to 53%. These declines in solo mothers have been entirely offset by increases in cohabitating parents: Now 35% of all unmarried parents are living with a partner.2 Meanwhile, the share of unmarried parents who are solo fathers has held steady at 12%.

Read more here.

May 21, 2018 in Cohabitation (live-ins), Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Parenthood Guilt

From ABC7:

Guilt and parenthood seem to go together. When it comes to missing out on a child's game or performance, it can feel devastating to a parent.  But some experts say parents need to learn to let go of the guilt.

Read more here.

May 20, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Interview with Arab Women on Family Plans

From Vice:

It's still taboo in much of the Arab world for women to openly admit that they don't want to have children. But in recent years, more and more young women are actively pushing back against the accepted wisdom that says their main purpose in life is to become a mother. 

I spoke with ten Arab women and asked them to describe why they've decided not to have kids. The responses ranged from fears about not being able to keep them safe in an often politically unstable region, to simply not wanting to give in to what society and their families demand.

Read more here.

May 19, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 18, 2018

More Grandparents Going to Court in UK

From the Telegraph:

A rising number of grandparents are going to court to win the right to see their grandchildren, new figures show, as experts say fathers’ parents are more likely to miss out. 

Statistics from the Ministry of Justice show that almost 2,000 applications for child arrangements orders, which give family members the right to see a child, were made by grandparents in 2016. 

This has risen from 1,617 in 2014. The figures show that more than 1,000 applications were made between January and June last year, suggesting that that 2017's figures were set to outstrip the previous year's statistics. 

Read more here.

May 18, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, May 17, 2018

No Fighting in Front of Kids

From Psychology Today:

For years I’ve found in clinical experience that the number one cause of children’s psychological problems (apart from severe abuse and neglect) is parents having arguments in front of their kids. How do I know that kids get emotionally disturbed, sometimes severely, when they hear their parents fighting? Simple. The kids tell me.

Read more here.

May 17, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Nuns Help Imprisoned Moms

From CNN:

Kellie Phelan doesn't mince words when she looks back at herself five years ago.

"I was basically a crackhead," Phelan said. "I literally was getting arrested every other week. I got pregnant by a drug dealer. ... I was seven months pregnant, and I was still smoking crack."
When she finally gave birth to her daughter, Phelan was behind bars, serving a 90-day jail sentence for possessing crack cocaine, violating her probation.
It was a wake-up call.
"That was the most traumatizing experience of my life," Phelan said. "To go see my beautiful, healthy baby girl in an orange jumpsuit and handcuffs and shackles ... I was embarrassed that was the way I brought her into this world.
"I knew I was changing my life. I just didn't know how I was going to change my life."
Fortunately, Phelan connected with Hour Children, a nonprofit that reaches out to convicted mothers at five correctional facilities in New York. Now, at 38, she says she is drug-free, has a job she loves and is raising her daughter in an apartment of her own.
"When you see what (these women) can do with support and love and education, it's miraculous, really," said Sister Teresa Fitzgerald, who founded Hour Children. "They don't believe in a future and are hung up on the mistakes of their life. And life is not about a mistake. We all get a gift of life, and we have to live it."
Over the past 25 years, Fitzgerald's group has provided life-changing assistance to more than 9,000 mothers both behind and beyond bars. Its goal is to reintegrate former inmates into society by helping them with common post-release stumbling blocks, such as reuniting families and finding safe, affordable housing. It also provides the women with free counseling, education and employment support.
"Everybody loves children, and they're an easy sell," Fitzgerald said. "But the mothers, for many of them, their lives were so horrific growing up, and they didn't have what children deserve. They ended up on the negative side of life.
Read more here.

May 16, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Money Issues

From WWL:

Following infidelity, experts say money issues are the next leading cause of divorce. And, it now appears to be an issue both before and during a marriage.

Earnings may well determine whether a couple even ties the knot or not.

Local Marriage & Family Therapist, 'Camey' Grau, says national studies show people are getting married at an older age than they used to. 

"I think the reason behind why people are waiting longer is to become more financially stable," she says. "When partners are looking to take that next step, they want to be financially sound."

Read more here.

May 15, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 14, 2018

Marriage Quiz

Can you pass the Green Card Marriage test?  Read about it here.

May 14, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Profile of Former Divorce Lawyer

From the Washington Post:

How do you make peace happen? I’ve noticed that wearing a T-shirt that says “PEACE” on it hasn’t been working.

I’ve gone through a series of different types of careers, but all in some way were focused on helping people build a better life. So I started off as a divorce lawyer.

A utopian divorce lawyer!

Well, most of my clientele were women who were trying to transition to a better life for themselves. My parents had been divorced, so I kind of experienced that. Then I was teaching legal studies at a community college. This is where I started to realize that a lot of the stuff we deal with in our life has to do with being able to get along with somebody on a one-to-one basis. Negotiation is very important to relationships. It’s the substance of how we interact with each other. I remember I was at a college and was talking to the career director. She was saying she has to train college students to be able to talk on the telephone. These types of interpersonal skills, these are all peace-building and conflict-resolution skills.

Read more here.

May 13, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)