Family Law Prof Blog

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

Friday, July 9, 2010

NY Divorce Legislation

NY may soon become a no-fault divorce state.

From The Wall Street Journal:

Following approval from the state assembly last week, Governor David Paterson is expected to sign legislation allowing for no-fault divorce, a move that would make New York the last state in the country to remove a cumbersome requirement that forces couples to place blame on one spouse for a marriage’s end.

Read more of the update here.


July 9, 2010 in Divorce (grounds) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Blood Test for Down's Syndrome

Researchers are close to completing development of a blood test for Down's Syndrome:

Dutch researchers are close to developing a blood test to determine if the unborn child of a pregnant women has Down syndrome or other chromosome abnormalities. The announcement was reported recently at the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology.

The blood test may reveal problems with the fetal DNA as early as the sixth to eighth week of pregnancy, and the test would be offered to high-risk women. Typically, an amniocentesis test, which is more invasive and carries a higher risk for miscarriage and vaginal bleeding, is given.

The blood test will need to undergo additional study, but if it is found to be accurate and successful, researchers say the blood test may be available within a few years.

Read more here.


July 9, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Federal District Court Strikes Down Part of DOMA

A federal district court in MA just struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as a violation of equal protection.  Read the opinion here and news coverage here.


July 9, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

IVF Raises Risk of Cerebral Palsy

Findings from a new study on IVF and cerebral palsy:  

A new study confirms that children conceived via infertility treatment may have a higher-than-average risk of cerebral palsy -- explained largely by their higher rates of multiple births and preterm delivery.

The study, of nearly 590,000 children born in Denmark between 1995 and 2003, found that those conceived through assisted reproduction were about twice as likely to be diagnosed with cerebral palsy as children who were conceived naturally.

The findings, reported in the journal Human Reproduction, confirm those from a number of past studies. They also suggest that the increased risk of cerebral palsy can be largely attributed to the heightened odds of twin or higher-order births, as well as preterm delivery, with assisted reproduction.

However, the absolute risk of having a baby with cerebral palsy is still quite low for couples undergoing infertility treatment.

Read more here.


July 8, 2010 in Alternative Reproduction | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Aspirational Lying?

From Slate:

A new Boston College study makes the modern American dad look positively Swedish in his dedication to his children and his zeal to participate equally in raising them. The yearlong qualitative study of 33 first-time fathers, released yesterday, found that they viewed themselves as sharing family responsibilities 50-50 with their wives and claimed to devote an average of 3.3 hours each workday to child care. The new dads openly gushed about the way parenthood had changed their priorities and career aspirations. "I love being a father so much more than I thought I would," said one study participant about his new baby girl. "The highlight of my day is in the morning when I hear her start to wake up and I can just go in there and pick her up."

Unfortunately, the study also suggested that the men were lying.  Read more here.


July 8, 2010 in Paternity | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Alleged Baby Seller Beaten by Fellow Inmates

A California couple attempted to sell their 6 month-old baby for $25 outside a Walmart last week.  Apparently, the other inmates at the jail where the father was taken had rather strong opinions about the propriety of that sort of conduct, which they made quite clear.  Read the story here.


July 7, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The Meaning of Marriage

Every day, the meaning of marriage is pondered by the “Stokes unit,” New York’s version of marriage interviews conducted when a citizen seeks a green card for a foreign spouse.  Read more here.


July 7, 2010 in Marriage (impediments) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Jack: "Place Matters: The Significance of Place Attachments for Children's Well-Being"

Gordon Jack has posted "Place Matters: The Significance of Place Attachments for Children's Well-Being" (British Journal of Social Work, Vol. 40, Issue 3, pp. 755-771, 2010) on SSRN.  Here is the abstract:

Whilst the social work literature rightly pays considerable attention to the importance for children's development and well-being of their attachments to people, there has been virtually no consideration of the role which is also played by their attachments to place. Drawing on research from fields such as human geography and environmental psychology, the significance of children's place attachments for the development of their identity, security and sense of belonging is examined. Evidene is also presented about the ‘shrinking world of childhood’, in which children's independent access to their surroundings is becoming ever more restricted as a result of parental fears, and the implications of this trend for the development of children's place attachments. Government policy relevant to these issues, including strategies designed to develop more ‘child-friendly communities’, is critically reviewed, together with evidence-based practice recommendations designed to improve the well-being of looked after children by promoting their place attachments.


July 6, 2010 in Scholarship, Family Law | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

An Account of Father’s Day

Here is a great account of Father’s Day, its history, and its slightly consumerist nature.


July 6, 2010 in Paternity | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Weaver: "The Texas Mis-Step: Why the Largest Child Removal in Modern U.S. History Failed "

Jessica Dixon Weaver (SMU School of Law) has posted "The Texas Mis-Step: Why the Largest Child Removal in Modern U.S. History Failed" (William and Mary Journal of Women and the Law, Vol. 16, p. 1, 2010) on SSRN.  Here is the abstract:

This article sets forth the historical and legal reasons as to how the state of Texas botched the removal of 439 children from the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints’ parents residing in El Dorado, Texas. The Department of Family and Protective Services in Texas overreached its authority by treating this case like a class action removal based on an impermissible legal argument, rather than focusing on the facts and circumstances that could have been substantiated for a select group of children at risk. This impermissible legal argument regarding the ‘pervasive belief system’ of a polygamist sect that allowed minor females to spiritually marry older adult males sparked questions of how far the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment and the Fourteenth Amendment go in protecting religious freedom and parental rights. Ultimately, there was a failure on both sides of the case – harm caused by the unnecessary removal of hundreds of children who were not in immediate danger of abuse, and harm caused by the return of teenage girls who were at risk for sexual abuse on the Yearning For Zion Ranch. The article concludes by discussing key factors that would have made a difference in the outcome of the case and the impact of this decision on the interrelationship between parents, the state, and the child.


July 5, 2010 in Scholarship, Family Law | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

More Mediation in Ireland?

Mediation may become more mainstream in family law in Ireland.  Read more here.


July 5, 2010 in Mediation | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Fourth of July!


July 4, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)