Family Law Prof Blog

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

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Unexpected Adoption Circumstances

The Chicago Tribune recently wrote the story of one family struggling with the consequences of their adoption, ultimately separating from their adopted daughter.  Read it here.



November 6, 2010 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

A new study from the Pew Research Center reveals a sharp rise in the number of grandparents raising grandchildren, such that 1 in 10 American children are now said to live with a grandparent.

Read the study here.


November 5, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Domestic Violence Approved in the UAE

From the UK's Daily Mail:

Husbands are allowed to beat their wives and children - as long as they don’t leave any physical marks, an Islamic court in the United Arab Emirates has ruled.

The astonishing legal ruling gives all husbands and fathers in the ultra-rich Gulf state the 'right to discipline' female family members if they have first attempted reconciliation.

The judgment was made by one of the UAE’s most senior judges, Chief Justic Falah al Hajeri, who made the ruling in the case of a man fined £85 for slapping his wife and kicking his daughter.

The Emirati man in the case was found guilty of slapping his wife so hard he damaged her bottom lip and teeth.

He also slapped and kicked his 23-year-old daughter so that she suffered bruises on her hand and knee.

While the defendant, who has not been named, initially claimed he hit the two women only by accident, he was found guilty of assault.

However, he appealed, claiming that even if he had intended to strike his wife and daughter, under Shariah law he had the right to do so if he had first exhausted all other ways of resolving the dispute.

Chief Justice Falah al Hajeri said: 'Although the law permits the husband to use his right to discipline, he has to abide by the limits of this right. 

'If the husband abuses this right to discipline, he cannot be exempted from punishment.'

Mr al Hajeri went on to explain that one of the ways of determining whether a man had breached this limit was to look for physical traces of beating.

While the ruling was greeted with anger by many Arab world commentators, others claimed it is a ‘real-life compromise’ between the competing demands of the petro-state’s highly Westernised population and its conservative Muslim heritage.

Read the full article here.

November 5, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Lu & Zuo: “Effects of a Child's Disability on Affected Female's Labour Supply in Australia”

Zeng-Hua Lu & Alec Zuo have posted Effects of a Child's Disability on Affected Female's Labour Supply in Australia, 49 Australian Economic Papers, 222-240 (2010) on SSRN.  Here is the abstract:

Australia has experienced a growing rate of child disability, with the rate of 3.7 per cent in 1998 increasing to 4.3 per cent in 2003 for children aged under four years and from 9.5 per cent to 10 per cent for children aged five to 14 years in the same period. However, surprisingly no study has examined the economic effects of child disability in the Australian context. This paper attempts to quantify the link between a child's disability and the work behaviour of the female in the affected family. Our findings provide empirical justifications for the current policy linking the severity level of child disability to the assessment of eligibility for Carer Payment (Child). We also found that child disability has different impacts on the labour market activities of married women and non-married women. It appears that child disability imposes a greater hardship on non-married women than on married women in terms of work choice decision. Once non-married women manage to enter the labour force, they may have to stay on to work as usual even if they have a disabled child, because they may not have other family members to turn to for help as married women do.  


November 5, 2010 in Scholarship, Family Law | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Worst Countries for Kids in Terms of Education

A recent study by the Global Campaign for Education, based in South Africa, released the top 10 worst places in the world to be a school-aged child due to inadequate access to education.

Here is the list:

1. Somalia

2. Eritrea

3. Haiti

4. Comoros

5. Ethiopia

6. Chad

7. Burkina Faso

8. Central African Republic

9. Mozambique

10. Zimbabwe

Read news coverage here and the report here.



November 4, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Brinson: "Measuring Social Generational Change in Discourse About Same-Sex Marriage"

P.K. Hart-Brinson has posted "Measuring Social Generational Change in Discourse About Same-Sex Marriage" on SSRN.  Here is the abstract:

The cultural turn in sociology sparked a renewal in theorizing about generational change in European sociology. While this represents an improvement over older research on generational change, the persistent problem in generational research has always been empirical, not theoretical. In this paper, I show how social generational change can be measured as it is manifested in the discourse about same-sex marriage in the United States. By comparing simultaneously between and within cohorts, I show that social generational change in people's cultural repertoires manifests itself differently depending upon a person's political and religious ideologies. Specifically, I show that young religious conservatives and older liberals are more likely to use middle-ground discourses to talk about same-sex marriage because their taken-for-granted understandings of homosexuality conflict with their political or religious ideologies. I argue that the social generation concept is integral to the analysis of social reproduction and social change as long as it is conceptualized and operationalized in theoretically-sound ways.


November 3, 2010 in Scholarship, Family Law | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

"I represent celebrities, but I am not a celebrity." --Laura Wasser

CNN recently profiled a divorce attorney to the stars:

Los Angeles, California (CNN) -- Laura Wasser is known around Hollywood as the "Disso Queen," as in dissolution of marriage. As in d-i-v-o-r-c-e.

The first marital dissolution she ever handled was her own, in 1993. She met a guy while she was at Loyola Law School, married him, and it lasted a year. She filed the paperwork as soon as she passed the bar, landing -- permanently, she says -- in Splitsville.

The divorce was simple. There was no money to wrangle over, no kids. Still, Wasser vowed she'd never get divorced again because she'd never get married again.

"Everybody should get married -- once," Wasser said. "I was 25."

These days, Wasser is a divorce lawyer to the stars and there's much more to fight over: Millions of dollars, high-end property, children blessed by the gene pool -- not to mention reputations that can anchor a record label or movie franchise.

Read the article here.


Hat Tip: GH


November 3, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Hener: "Do Couples Bargain Over Fertility? Evidence Based on Child Preference Data"

Timo Hener has posted "Do Couples Bargain Over Fertility? Evidence Based on Child Preference Data" on SSRN.  Here is the abstract:

Empirical literature has found evidence in favor of household bargaining models. In contrast to earlier tests that are limited to assignable private goods, we use child preference data in order to extend the empirical evidence on household bargaining to public household goods. In the empirical analysis, we exploit the different theoretical predictions for couples with heterogeneous and homogeneous preferences derived from household models. Our results indicate that couples bargain over fertility. Furthermore, we find that the ability to commit to household resource allocations depends on the gender of the partner with higher preferences.


November 2, 2010 in Scholarship, Family Law | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Religious vs. Civil Marriages in Egypt

Many people in Egypt might prefer a civil marriage rather than a religious one.  Read more about it here.


November 2, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Clinical Faculty Position

Clinical Faculty Position Available
The Ohio State University, Michael E. Moritz College of Law
The Moritz College of Law invites applications for the position of Assistant Clinical
Professor of Law in its Justice for Children Practicum, to start in July or August 2011. After an
initial probationary period, this position involves a long-term renewable contract. Clinical
faculty at the Moritz College of Law have full faculty governance rights in all matters of College
administration other than the appointment and promotion of tenure-track faculty.
The Practicum is part of the Justice for Children Project at the Moritz College of Law,
founded during the 1997-98 academic year. Through a clinical course, or “practicum,” the
Project provides direct legal representation to children in a variety of legal proceedings, including
delinquency, unruly, abuse and neglect, judicial bypass, and custody matters. The Practicum’s
clinical professor will have several responsibilities, including 1) supervising law students who
represent clients under the Ohio Supreme Court’s student practice rule, 2) representing children
(primarily in juvenile court matters), and 3) classroom teaching of lawyering skills.
We will consider all applicants; however, we prefer candidates with at least three years of
litigation experience as well as interest or experience in advocacy on behalf of child clients.
Candidates should be admitted to the Ohio Bar or eligible for admission in Ohio. Finally,
candidates should have an academic record that demonstrates potential for clinical teaching and
clinical scholarship or preparation of clinical educational materials. The starting salary range will
be $78,000 – $81,000 for a 12-month contract; full University fringe benefits are provided as
well. The starting date will be July 1, 2011, or as soon thereafter as possible.
A resume, references, and cover letter should be submitted to Professor Steven Huefner,
Chair, Clinical Faculty Search Committee, The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law,
55 West 12th Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43210. Send e-mail applications to
Applications will be reviewed immediately and will be accepted until the position is filled.
The Ohio State University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. To build a
diverse workforce Ohio State encourages applications from individuals with disabilities,
minorities, veterans, and women.


November 1, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Amzat: “The Effect of Poverty on Education in Nigeria: Obstacles and Solutions”

Ismail Hussein Amzat has posted The Effect of Poverty on Education in Nigeria: Obstacles and Solutions, 1 OIDA International Journal of Sustainable Development 55-72 (2010) on SSRN.  Here is the abstract:

This paper embarks on a long journey deep into the history of a country that is supposed or predicted generally to be economically one the leading countries in the world or at least in Africa. Nigeria has been blessed tremendously and generously with remarkable economic resources such as oil, cocoa, rubber and plantations. Despite all these natural resources and blessed assets, it is really lamentable to see an increasing number of Nigerians still living in absolute poverty in recent times. In the rural areas, poverty seems to be higher compared to urban areas. The effects of poverty in the country, the instability of the government and the country’s leadership have seriously damaged the educational system as well as its quality. The graduate unemployment rate is high and frightening as well as that of adults, and the number of children dropping out from schools, joining the street traders and snatch-thieves is alarming. Adequate planning, resources and materials are not invested and technological intervention is not incorporated. In this regard, this paper is a qualitative research by nature based on interviews with some Nigerian experts, educationists and scholars about what the Nigerian government should do to reduce poverty that is tearing our educational standards and quality apart. Besides, the paper proposes some solutions and makes recommendations through interviews which perhaps the Nigerian government will consider to raise the standard and quality of education in Nigeria.


November 1, 2010 in Scholarship, Family Law | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, October 31, 2010


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October 31, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)