Family Law Prof Blog

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

Friday, February 23, 2007

Conference Announcement: Promoting Children's Interests: Preparation, Practice & Policy Reform


Harvard Law School's new Child Advocacy Program (CAP), together with the ABA Center on Children and the Law (CCL), are co-sponsoring a conference this April 13-15, at HLS:  "Promoting Children's Interests: Preparation, Practice & Policy Reform"

REGISTRATION: Register for the conference at: <>

We recommend that you register for the conference SOON to ensure you gain admission, and also that you book your hotel rooms soon (we have a limited hotel block and the conference is being held on the weekend preceding the very popular April 16 Boston Marathon).

This conference is designed to build upon and significantly expand the National Conference on Children and Law which CCL has put on in past years.  The program is targeted to a broad audience including those from the worlds of practice, policy reform, and academia.  The conference should be of interest to all law teachers in the family and child law areas.  For an excerpted version of the agenda which highlights some of the sessions, and associated presenters, most relevant to the law school community, see: <>

We would especially like to draw your attention to two workshop sessions on Friday (April 13) afternoon (A1 and B1) which are specially designed for law school faculty and administrators interested in expanding, modifying, or creating child law programs (including but not limited to clinics).  Our hope is to stimulate a productive conversation about the pros and cons of different models, as well as to generate new ideas about the form such programs might take.  We expect that this set of workshops, together with the rest of the conference offerings, will be useful for law schools with existing programs to consider ways in which we might modify or expand, and for law schools without such programs to consider whether they might want to start one, and if so which models look most promising.

LAW STUDENTS:  The conference should be of interest to all students interested in child law, welfare, and policy issues.  We are WAIVING the conference fee for students.  However, all students must REGISTER for the conference, including the specific sessions they will be attending, to gain admission.  There is a special section on the on-line registration form where students can note their status and bypass the payment section.

AREAS COVERED: Child welfare issues will be the focus (e.g., abuse and neglect, adoption, foster care) with some sessions on education, juvenile justice, youth at risk, and related family law issues.

To register: <>

February 23, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Conference Announcement: Children & Family Law

Capital University Law School and the National Center for Adoption Law and Policy will host the first annual Works in Progress Conference on Children and Family Law on Friday, June 15, 2007. The Conference offers an opportunity for children and family law scholars to present their works-in-progress or recently submitted articles and to receive comments from their colleagues. In addition to presentations on works-in-progress, a few participants will have the opportunity to give short presentations on ideas for future scholarship that have not yet developed into a paper. While all participants are welcome to present, presentation is not required. If time does not permit all interested participants to present, presentations by junior faculty scholars will be given preference. For more information and to register for the conference as a participant or presenter, please visit the following link.

February 23, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Law Review Article: Incarcerated Fathers

Solangel Maldonado, Recidivism and Paternal Engagement, 40 FAM. L.Q. 191 (2006).  This article surveys social science and legal literature concerning relationships between incarcerated fathers and their children. The author concludes that stronger father-child relationships lead to decreased delinquency in children and lower rates of recidivism for fathers. Link to Article on Westlaw (last visited 2-21-07 NVS)

February 22, 2007 in Custody (parenting plans) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Law Review Article: Abuse vs. Alienation

Michele A. Adams, Framing Contests in Child Custody Disputes: Parental Alienation Syndrome, Child abuse, Gender, and Fathers' Rights, 40 FAM. L.Q. 315 (2006). This article analyzes PAS from a social constructionist and framing perspective. The author focuses on two competing frames: abuse of a child by a noncustodial parent versus alienation of the child from a noncustodial parent. The author discusses a possible middle ground where parental alienation is viewed as a potential issue rather than a psychological disorder. Link to Article on Westlaw (last visited 2-21-07 NVS)

February 22, 2007 in Custody (parenting plans) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Call for Papers: International Society of Family Law

The International Society of Family Law North American Regional Conference will be held June 18-20, 2007 in Vancouver, British Columbia.   


When the facts are clear and legislative values uncontroversial, it is relatively easy to design workable, cost-effective legal standards.   But family law almost invariably involves contested facts and controversial values.  Conference papers should address these special problems in the development of legal standards to govern family relationships.  International and comparative approaches are encouraged but not required.  The conference theme is inclusive, and papers may explore contested values (for example, individual autonomy vs. relational community, parents’ rights vs. children’s rights), facts (for example, the nature of cohabitation, the benefits and harms associated with divorce) or practical issues (for example, the relative advantages of discretion vs. rules, dispute resolution methods) in the context of either private rights and obligations (custody, property division, support) or public regulation of the family.

Please send a one-page proposal to:       Professor Margo Melli, University of Wisconsin Law School, 975 Bascom Mall, Madison, WI  53706,  E-mail:                        DEADLINE FOR PROPOSALS:              April 1, 2007. 


February 22, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Call for Papers: AALS Family & Juvenile Law Section

The deadline is nearing for Family Law Professors to submit their proposals for presentations at the Family and Juvenile Law Section of the 2008 AALS Annual Meeting (January 2-6, 2008, New York City).  The Panel topic will be "The Moral (and Policy) Foundations of Family Law" - discussing the ideas that either are, or should be, foundational, either for family law as a whole, or for some significant sub-area within family law.

Those taking part must write a 2-5 page (double-spaced) abstract, summarizing the (15-20 minute) presentation you would give if selected.  The abstract must related to the Panel topic, given above.

Abstracts are due by 5:00 pm (Central Time), February 28, 2007.

Because abstracts will be judged “blind,” the following process will be used.  Those taking part will need to send TWO files by e-mail attachment to Prof. Janet Richards (Memphis)

The first file will contain identifying information (name,  law school affiliation, contact information, along with the title of the abstract); the second file will contain the title and the abstract itself – but with NO identifying information. Only the second file will be forwarded for review.

Selections will be made as soon as possible after the deadline passes.


February 22, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Call For Papers: Women's History

The University of Akron School of Law announces a call for papers for its upcoming symposium on The New Face of Women’s Legal History, Friday, October 19, 2007, Arkron, Ohio . 

This one-day symposium will bring together legal scholars and historians to focus on modern scholarship reviving and recreating the field of women’s legal history.  The broad theme encompasses the diverse array of topics in the recent work on gender and legal history. The University of Akron Law Review anticipates publishing a special symposium edition of the journal. If you are conducting research in the field of women’s legal history and would be interested in presenting your research at the symposium or contributing to the symposium issue, please email an abstract and CV along with a cover letter to Professor Tracy Thomas (  Priority will be given to submissions received before April 10, 2007.

Online registration will be forthcoming


February 22, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

New Jersey Civil Unions

"About a dozen couples visited clerks’ offices in New Jersey on Monday, the first day on which people were allowed to submit applications for civil unions, which guarantee all the rights and benefits of heterosexual marriage. New Jersey is the third state to offer civil unions, following Vermont, which introduced them to rapt national attention in 2000, and Connecticut, which quietly followed suit in 2005.

Massachusetts is the only state in which same-sex couples can marry. California has a domestic partnership law that guarantees many of the rights of marriage.

A handful of couples in New Jersey were so eager to take advantage of the new law that they waited outside clerks’ offices until 12:01 on Monday, when the first civil unions could be processed. Among that group, some said the experience was bittersweet; activists had held out hope that New Jersey would follow Massachusetts as the second state to grant same-sex couples the right to marry." By Ellen Barry, N.Y. Times Link to Article (last visited 2-20-07 NVS)

February 20, 2007 in Marriage (impediments) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Adoptive Parents Invest More In Children?

"Adoptive parents invest more time and financial resources in their children than biological parents, according to a new national study challenging arguments that have been used to oppose same-sex marriage and gay adoption. The study, published in the new issue of the American Sociological Review, found that couples who adopt spend more money on their children and invest more time on such activities as reading to them, eating together and talking with them about their problems.

''One of the reasons adoptive parents invest more is that they really want children, and they go to extraordinary means to have them,'' Indiana University sociologist Brian Powell, one of the study's three co-authors, said in a telephone interview Monday.

''Adoptive parents face a culture where, to many other people, adoption is not real parenthood,'' Powell said. ''What they're trying to do is compensate. ... They recognize the barriers they face, and it sets the stage for them to be better parents.''

Powell and his colleagues examined data from 13,000 households with first-graders in the family. The data was part of a detailed survey called the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education and other agencies." AP, N.Y. Times Link to Article (last visited 2-20-07 NVS)

February 20, 2007 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Pakistan May Outlaw Forced Marriage

"Pakistan's ruling party introduced a bill on Tuesday aimed at outlawing the forced marriage of women and practices preventing them from inheriting property. President Pervez Musharraf has vowed to empower women as part of his vision of ``enlightened moderation'' for the predominantly Muslim country of 160 million people where women, particularly in poor, rural areas, face widespread discrimination and violence.

The Prevention of Anti-Women Practices Bill introduced in parliament on Tuesday is expected to be referred to a committee that will finalize a draft to be debated and voted upon later in the year. ``The credit for this goes to President Musharraf who is endeavouring to give due status to women in society,'' the head of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, told the lower house National Assembly.

The bill seeks to end practices such as vani, a centuries-old tradition of marrying women off to settle disputes between families, and the practice of marrying women to the Koran, which deprives them of a share of family property, he said." Reuters, N.Y. Times Link to Article (last visited 2-20-07 NVS)

February 20, 2007 in Marriage (impediments) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)