Family Law Prof Blog

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

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Celebrating Loving v. Virginia

Yesterday, June 12th, was the 39th anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision in Loving v. Virginia, declaring unconstitutional prohibitions on interracial marriage. Read about celebrations of "Loving Day" held throughout the country at (last visited June 13, 2006 bgf)

June 13, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, June 12, 2006

Law Review Article: Marriage and Child Nurturing

RwilsonTITLE:Evaluating Marriage: Does Marriage Matter to the Nurturing of Children?
AUTHOR:Robin Fretwell Wilson, University of Maryland School of Law
ABSTRACT: "Three decades ago, it would have been inconceivable for people to discuss seriously the idea of withdrawing the legal and financial support society gives to marriage. In recent years, however, thinkers and policymakers have given more serious thought to the possibility of eliminating marriage as a category entitled to the State’s support. An important consideration in this debate is whether keeping or eliminating the State’s support of marriage matters to the well-being of children. A wealth of studies contemplating modern family forms now exists, many of which invariably stack newer family structures up against the more traditional nuclear family. Until recently, such studies contrasted families that are so dissimilar that nothing meaningful could be drawn from them about the importance of marriage.

This article evaluates the extent to which newer, more carefully constructed studies can assist us in isolating the impact on a child’s well-being of living in a marital home. Part I describes the limitations of earlier studies of family structure. Part II examines a pair of studies published in 2003 that compare children’s outcomes and parental investments in children in families that contain biological, married parents with those containing biological, unmarried parents. These studies conclude that “marriage per se confers advantage in terms of” how children thrive and to the extent to which parents are willing to invest in children. Part III evaluates the degree of reliance we should place on these newer studies. It first identifies various selection effects that may color the study results. It then reviews scholarship that suggests that the transformative power of marriage may lie first in the greater permanence of marital relationships and, secondarily, in the motivation of the parties to invest in these relationships. This article concludes that perceptions of enduringness may shape not only relationships between the adults, but may also frame the adults’ relationships to their children." 42 (3) SAN DIEGO LAW REVIEW 847 (2005) Link to Article (last visited 6-11-06 NVS)

June 12, 2006 in Marriage (impediments) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

AFCC Launches Parenting Coordination Network

"The AFCC Parenting Coordination Network is a group email networking list for AFCC members who serve as parenting coordinators or are interested in this role.  AFCC has taken the lead in the development of this growing professional field through its two Parenting Coordination Task Forces, the creation of Guidelines for Parenting Coordination, through training opportunities around the U.S. and by workshops on parenting coordination at its conferences.

AFCC is providing this networking service to help its members connect with each other, ask questions, share techniques and referrals and learn more about the role of parenting coordinators.  AFCC members can join online by logging on to the AFCC member center at Link to Website and clicking the “PC Network” link. 

The AFCC PC Network is for AFCC members only.  Information on joining AFCC can be found online at Link to Website."  By Dave Vigliotta, AFCC (last visited 6-11-06 NVS)

June 12, 2006 in Custody (parenting plans) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Death Penalty for Sex Crimes Against Children

"Oklahoma became the fifth state to allow the death penalty for sex crimes against children yesterday, a day after South Carolina enacted a similar law. The constitutionality of the new laws is unclear. The Oklahoma measure, signed into law by Gov. Brad Henry, a Democrat, makes people found guilty of rape and other sex crimes more than once against children younger than 14 eligible for the death penalty. The South Carolina law also requires multiple offenses, but against children under 11. Gov. Mark Sanford, a Republican, said in a statement that the law would "be an incredibly powerful deterrent to offenders that have already been released."

But Richard C. Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, a research group that opposes capital punishment, said the new laws were largely symbolic, would impose disproportionate punishment and were probably unconstitutional." By Adam Liptak, N.y. Times

June 12, 2006 in Child Abuse | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Parents Reward Good Behavior with Marijuana

"Police have arrested two Chandler parents accused of giving marijuana to their young sons as a reward for good behavior. Toni Lynn Carlson, 31, and Aaron Virgil Carlson, 23, were booked on suspicion of possessing marijuana and drug paraphernalia, possessing marijuana for sale, contributing to the delinquency of minors and endangerment, police said Friday." AP, Yahoo News Link to Article (last visited 6-12-06 NVS)

June 12, 2006 in Child Abuse | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Baldwin/Basinger Psychological Evaluations

"Alec Baldwin may have requested last year that his ex-wife,Kim Basinger, be forced to undergo psychological evaluation, but a Los Angeles court has instead ordered the 48-year-old actor to consult a therapist before he is allowed extra visits with his 10-year-old daughter, Ireland, L.A. City News Service reported Friday." By Natalie Finn, Yahoo News Link to Article (last visited 6-11-06 NVS)

June 12, 2006 in Visitation | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, June 11, 2006

North Carolina Social Services Takes Custody of Child Bitten 100 Times by Rat

In North Carolina, the Henderson County Social Services Agency took custody of a 15-month-old-boy repeatedly bitten by a rat in his home after his parents were arrested late Thursday. The parents were charged with contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile, a misdemenor charge.  The child was hospitalized May 30 after suffering to 100 rat bites while lying on a bed in the family’s trailer. According to press reports, the boy suffers from cerebral palsy and a seizure disorder. Source. Dale Neal, For the complete story, please click here (last visited June 11, 2006, reo).

June 11, 2006 in Child Abuse | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Michigan Attorney General Reports Collecting More than $26 Million in Child Support

The Michigan Attorney General reports that his office has collected more than $26 million in child support since 2003 involving more than 3,000 children. He says that his child support enforcement program “focuses on prosecuting parents who have the ability to pay child support but choose not to.”  Source.  WWMT-TV, For the complete story, please click here (last visited June 11, 2006, reo).

June 11, 2006 in Child Support Enforcement | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Ohio Committee to Hear Proposed Legislation that Would Criminalize All Abortions

On Tuesday, a committee of the Ohio House of Representatives is to hear a proposed bill that would criminalize all abortion -- whether to save the life of the woman or to end pregnancies resulting from rape or incest. The bill would also make it a felony for anyone to take a woman across the state line to obtain an abortion elsewhere. Source. Carl Chancellor, Beacon Journal, For the complete story, please click here (last visited June 11, 2006, reo).

June 11, 2006 in Abortion | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

DNA Test to Resolve Paternity so Wrongful Death Action may Proceed

The question of who is the biological father of a 16-year-old boy shot and killed by Delray Beach, Florida police will be resolved through DNA testing, a judge ruled this week.  The boy’s mother is dead and both men claim to be his biological father and both are seeking to file a wrongful death suit against Delray Beach. One of the two men has already indicated a desire to settle the case for 7.5 million.  Source.  Missy Sotddard, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, For the complete story, please click here (last visited June 11, 2006, reo).

June 11, 2006 in Paternity | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Israel’s Chief Rabbi Allows Impoverished Woman to Use Surrogate to Carry Her Child

In what is described as a “pioneering ruling,” Israel's Chief Rabbi has allowed a poor woman that went through five abortions to use a married surrogate to carry her child. The current Jewish and Israeli laws do not permit married women to serve as surrogates, and the decision is viewed as representing a breakthrough. The 1966 Surrogates Law says that only unmarried women can serve as surrogates.  Source. Haim Levinson, Jewish Scene, For the complete story, please click here (last visited June 11, 2006, reo).

June 11, 2006 in Alternative Reproduction | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)