Saturday, September 29, 2007

Divorce Rate Falling, Not Rising?

"The story of ever-increasing divorce is a powerful narrative. It is also wrong. In fact, the divorce rate has been falling continuously over the past quarter-century, and is now at its lowest level since 1970. While marriage rates are also declining, those marriages that do occur are increasingly more stable. For instance, marriages that began in the 1990s were more likely to celebrate a 10th anniversary than those that started in the 1980s, which, in turn, were also more likely to last than marriages that began back in the 1970s.

Why were so many analysts led astray by the recent data? Understanding this puzzle requires digging deeper into some rather complex statistics."

By Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers, N. Y. Times Opinion Link to Article (last visited 9-28-07 NVS)

September 29, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Technology Transforms Evidence in Divorce Cases

"The age-old business of breaking up has taken a decidedly Orwellian turn, with digital evidence like e-mail messages, traces of Web site visits and mobile telephone records now permeating many contentious divorce cases.

Spurned lovers steal each other’s BlackBerrys. Suspicious spouses hack into each other’s e-mail accounts. They load surveillance software onto the family PC, sometimes discovering shocking infidelities.

Divorce lawyers routinely set out to find every bit of private data about their clients’ adversaries, often hiring investigators with sophisticated digital forensic tools to snoop into household computers.

“In just about every case now, to some extent, there is some electronic evidence,” said Gaetano Ferro, president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, who also runs seminars on gathering electronic evidence. “It has completely changed our field.”"

By Brad Stone, N.Y. Times Link to Article (last visited 9-19-07 NVS)

September 19, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Maryland Court Approves Ban on Same-Sex Marriage

"Plaintiffs vowed to take the fight over gay marriage in Maryland to the Legislature after the state's highest court threw out a suit challenging a law that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

In a 4-3 decision, the Court of Appeals ruled that the state's 1973 ban on gay marriage does not discriminate on the basis of gender and does not deny any fundamental rights guaranteed by the state constitution. The court also found that the state has a legitimate interest in promoting opposite-sex marriage.

''Our opinion should by no means be read to imply that the General Assembly may not grant and recognize for homosexual persons civil unions or the right to marry a person of the same sex,'' Judge Glenn T. Harrell Jr. wrote for the majority."

AP, N.Y. Times Link to Article (last visited 9-19-07 NVS)

September 19, 2007 in Marriage (impediments) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Lawsuit Over In-Vitro Twins

"An Australian woman who gave birth to twins instead of a single baby after undergoing in-vitro fertilization has sued her doctor for the cost of bringing up the second child.

The woman, who cannot be identified because of a court order, is seeking $329,000 to cover the expense of raising one child until age 21.

Testifying in the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory on Tuesday, the 40-year-old mother said she told her doctor that she only wanted one child.

But an embryologist under the doctor's supervision implanted two embryos in her uterus, resulting in the birth of non-identical twin girls."

AP, N.Y. Times Link to Article (last visited 9-19-07 NVS)

September 19, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Families Pay More for Child Support Collection

Millions of families that turned to federal and state governments for help in collecting child support payments will now have to pay more for the service.

Beginning Oct. 1, families in several states will have to pay $25 annually when their states have collected at least $500 on their behalf. Families that previously received public assistance will be exempted.

The $25 will help reduce the federal deficit and compensate the federal government and the states for providing a child support program. Two-thirds of the fee will go the federal government; one-third to the state.

Families also pay a $25 application fee to get a state's help in obtaining child support.

For Claudia Fauntleroy of Petersburg, Va., the notice about the additional fee was akin to getting a $25 parking ticket in the mail. Her immediate reaction? ''You've got to be kidding me.''

AP, N.Y. Times Link to Article (last visited 9-14-07 NVS)

September 13, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Chid Mortality Drops

For the first time since record keeping began in 1960, the number of deaths of young children around the world has fallen below 10 million a year, according to figures from the United Nations Children’s Fund being released today.

This public health triumph has arisen, Unicef officials said, partly from campaigns against measles, malaria and bottle-feeding, and partly from improvements in the economies of most of the world outside Africa.

The estimated drop, to 9.7 million deaths of children under 5, “is a historic moment,” said Ann M. Veneman, Unicef’s executive director, noting that it shows progress toward the United Nations Millennium Development Goal of cutting the rate of infant mortality in 1990 by two-thirds by 2015. “But there is no room for complacency. Most of these deaths are preventable, and the solutions are tried and tested.” 

By Donald G. McNeil, Jr. , N.Y. Times Link to Article (last visited 9-13-07 NVS)

September 13, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)