October 1, 2011
MA Alimony Changes
From the New York Times:
Gov. Deval Patrick on Monday signed into law new limits on alimony in Massachusetts, sharply curbing lifetime alimony payments in divorce cases and making a series of other changes to a system that critics considered outdated.
The previous system allowed judges to award lifelong alimony after both short and long marriages, in contrast to the practices of most states. It often required payments to continue even after the spouse paying the alimony retired or the spouse receiving it moved in with a new partner.
The new law, which had widespread support in the legislature, allows most of those paying alimony to stop once they retire. It also sets limits, based on the length of a marriage, on the number of years former spouses can receive payments.
Read more here.
September 30, 2011
First Generation of Sperm Donor-Conceived Children
From the Washington Post:
LaBounty is part of the first documented generation of donor-conceived children: those born in the late 1970s to mid-1980s, when sperm banks began to spread in the United States. These children are now adults, and caring for them has prompted a host of unanticipated issues, ranging from a lack of medical histories to the psychological impact of knowing the circumstances of their conception. Many donor-conceived children are finding out, often only by chance, that they are predisposed to certain illnesses. In one recent case in the news, a donor-conceived teen learned that his biological father, who provided sperm for at least 24 children, carried a genetic disorder that causes a potentially fatal heart defect.
In July, a law went into effect in Washington state giving adults the right to medical and identifying information about their sperm donor. Although the law gives donors the option of vetoing disclosure of their identities, it guarantees that offspring will be able to access their medical histories in every case.
“It’s really landmark legislation,” said Naomi Cahn, a family law professor at George Washington University, though there are still questions about how it will be implemented. For example, sperm is often shipped across state lines. “In the absence of federal law,” Cahn notes, “it’s unclear what the rights are of any individual in each state.”
Read more here.
September 29, 2011
Divorce Numbers in Asia Rising
The Financial Times reports that divorce numbers in Asia are rising due to women's growing economic power. Read more here.
September 28, 2011
Effect of Recession on Young People
In record-setting numbers, young adults struggling to find work are shunning long-distance moves to live with Mom and Dad, delaying marriage and buying fewer homes, often raising kids out of wedlock. They suffer from the highest unemployment since World War II and risk living in poverty more than others — nearly 1 in 5.
Read more here.
September 27, 2011
Ownership of Dodgers
From the Los Angeles Times:
Frank and Jamie McCourt expect to settle their divorce -- and with it the question of who owns the Dodgers -- in a trial during the 2012 baseball season.
The trial is expected to start next spring or summer and last 30 to 45 days, a timetable set forth by attorneys on both sides after a hearing Wednesday at Los Angeles Superior Court.
Frank McCourt claims sole ownership of the Dodgers, and ex-wife Jamie claims half-ownership. It is unclear when the Dodgers will emerge from federal bankruptcy protection, and the team has funding to operate until well into next season.
Although Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon could decide ownership of the team before the bankruptcy proceedings end, he emphasized Wednesday that "the ultimate question of the disposition of the Dodgers" would need to wait for a resolution in Bankruptcy Court.
Read more here.
September 26, 2011
Cahill: "Regulating at the Margins: Non-Traditional Kinship and the Legal Regulation of Intimate and Family Life"
Courtney Cahill (Roger Williams Univ. School of Law) has posted "Regulating at the Margins: Non-Traditional Kinship and the Legal Regulation of Intimate and Family Life" (forthcoming Arizona L. Rev.) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
This Article offers a new theory of how the law attempts to control intimate and family life and uses that theory to argue why certain laws might be unconstitutional. Specifically, it contends that by regulating non-traditional relationships and practices that receive little or no constitutional protection - same-sex relationships, domestic partnerships, de facto parenthood, and non-sexual procreation - the law is able to express its normative ideals about all marriage, parenthood, and procreation. By regulating non-traditional kinship, that is, the law can be aspirational in a way that the Constitution would ordinarily prohibit, and can attempt to channel all of us in ways that satisfy its normative ideals. This Article refers to this form of channeling or control as “back door” regulation, and maintains that by regulating at the margins, the lawattempts to regulate everyone. In addition to offering a new theory of the family and its legal regulation, this Article uses that theory to enrich constitutional challenges to laws, like exclusionary marriage regimes, that selectively burden non-traditional intimacy and practices. Most broadly, it invites readers to consider just how far the lawreaches when it regulates as well as just how interconnected to one another the law’s regulation (and discrimination) makes us.
TN Alimony Case
From the Commercial Appeal:
NASHVILLE -- The Tennessee Supreme Court Friday reversed a lower appeals court decision to award long-term and lump-sum alimony to a suburban Nashville woman who is in good health, has a stable and relatively well-paying job and received significant assets in the divorce.
The divorce case of Johanna and Craig Gonsewski of Hendersonville had been watched by family law attorneys because the earlier Court of Appeals ruling reversed years of precedents that limited lifetime alimony for former spouses who are not in especially difficult circumstances.
The Supreme Court's unanimous decision Friday reinstated the trial court's decision not to award lifetime alimony and substantial attorneys fees to Johanna Gonsewski, even though she earned less than her husband of 21 years.
Read more here.