Family Law Prof Blog

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

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Too Old to Parent

From Mail Online:

An Italian court has ordered a baby girl to be taken into care after ruling her parents were too old.

Parents Luigi De Ambrosis, 70, and his wife Gabriella 57, had the child taken off them as a judge in Italy ruled there was every possibility the children would be orphaned at a young age.

The 18-month-old baby was conceived through artificial insemination after the couple were treated at an overseas clinic.

Read more here.


October 15, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Generation X & Children

From the Juggle, a WSJ blog:

It’s long been known that high-powered careers can hamper or delay women’s plans to have children. But a new study suggests the challenges loom especially large for women of Generation X.

A full 43% of skilled white-collar Gen X women,  ages 33 to 46 years old, haven’t yet had children based on a study of 2,952 college-educated white-collar workers released last week.

The study conducted for the Center for Work-Life Policy, by Knowledge Networks, suggests the pressures imposed by demanding work schedules of 60 hours or more a week, along with strong career ambitions, heavy debt loads and the sluggish economy, are among the reasons, according to the Center. The conclusions are based on a survey, focus-group discussions and one-on-one interviews.

Read more here.


October 14, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

UK Reporting of Family Cases

From Legalbrief Today:

The UK Ministry of Justice may scale back plans to publish Family Court judgments online, after a review of the pilot project questioned whether there was any 'real benefit' in reporting every case, says a Law Gazette report.

Read more here.


October 13, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

KS: Decriminalizing Domestic Violence Due to Budget Cuts

From the New York Times:

TOPEKA, Kan. — The startling vote came up at a City Council meeting here on Tuesday, provoked by a run-of-the-mill budget dispute over services that had spun out of control: decriminalize domestic violence.

Three arms of government, all ostensibly representing the same people, have been at an impasse over who should be responsible for — and pay for — prosecuting people accused of misdemeanor cases of domestic violence.


By a vote of 7 to 3, the City Council repealed the local law that makes domestic violence a crime.

The move, the councilors were told, would force District Attorney Chad Taylor to prosecute the cases because they would remain a crime under state law, a conclusion with which he grudgingly agreed. The Council also approved negotiations to resolve the impasse.

Read more here.



October 12, 2011 in Domestic Violence | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Iranian Divorce Film Submitted for Oscar Consideration


Tehran - Iran has selected a divorce drama as its nominee for best foreign language film at the Oscars, ISNA news agency reported Friday.

The film Jodaeiye Nader az Simin (Nader And Simin, A Separation), written, directed and produced by Asghar Farhadi, has been selected by a special cinema committee to run for next year's Academy Awards competition.

The 123-minute film, starring Leila Hatami and Shahab Hosseini, is the story of a couple whose lives begin to spin out control after a court rejects their divorce.

Read more here.



October 12, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Chinese Adoptions Result from Child Abduction?

From New York Times:

IN almost any adoption, the new parents accept that their good fortune arises out of the hardship of the child’s first parents. The equation is usually tempered by the thought that the birth parents either are no longer alive or chose to give the child a better life than they could provide.

On Aug. 5, this newspaper published a front-page article from China that contained chilling news for many adoptive parents: government officials in Hunan Province, in southern China, had seized babies from their parents and sold them into what the article called “a lucrative black market in children.”

The news, the latest in a slow trickle of reports describing child abduction and trafficking in China, swept through the tight communities of families — many of them in the New York area — who have adopted children from China. For some, it raised a nightmarish question: What if my child had been taken forcibly from her parents?

And from that question, inevitably, tumble others: What can or should adoptive parents do? Try to find the birth parents? And if they could, what then?

Read more here.



October 11, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Parkinson: "When Is Parenthood Dissoluble?"

Patrick Parkinson (Univ. of Sydney Faculty of Law) has posted "When is Parenthood Dissoluble?" on SSRN.  Here is the abstract:

Across the western world, there has been a major shift in the law concerning parenting after separation in the last thirty years. The notion that following the breakdown of a marriage, the court simply allocated the children to one parent or the other has given way to an emphasis on the importance of having both parents involved in children’s lives following separation. This typically involves joint parental responsibility even if the parents never married, and, where geographical proximity allows, some level of shared parenting. Whereas once family law was premised on the indissolubility of marriage, now a defining feature of family law in western societies is the notion that parenthood is indissoluble.

Women’s groups and feminist scholars have long resisted this transformation in family law, and one of the arguments used in recent years is that laws that promote the indissolubility of parenthood place women and children at risk from violence and abuse. This article considers how the issue of domestic violence should be dealt with in an era of indissoluble parenthood, using illustrations from the laws of Australia, California, Massachussetts, New York, New Zealand, Oregon and Wisconsin as examples of different approaches. Its premise is that an absolute priority must be given to the safety of women and children from a risk of serious harm and this means that parenthood must be dissoluble in some instances. However, many laws cast the net too wide by focusing on a history of violence rather than current safety concerns. There is also a need to differentiate between types of family violence in assessing the risk of violence or abuse in the future. There are not two irreconcilable choices – greater involvement of non-resident fathers on the one hand and protection from domestic violence on the other. There is nonetheless a need to recognise that by no means all father-child relationships should survive parental separation. Sometimes family courts try to hard to maintain parent-child relationships where contact is not safe and cannot be made safe for women and children.


October 10, 2011 in Scholarship, Family Law | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Gendered Benefits to Marriage?

From Good Health:

Cut the cake! Both men and women are likely to pack on a few extra pounds after they get married. That modest figure is an average—it also includes married folks who gain or lose a significant amount of weight upon tying the knot. And according to a new study, marriage is linked to a heightened risk for major weight gain among women. For men, the pounds come a little bit later: after the divorce.

Add a steady waist measurement to one of the many social perks of marrying as a man. Married men make more money and get more promotions than single guys. They live longer, have less heart disease, drink less, smoke less weed, and experience less stress. Meanwhile, married women have less fulfilling sex lives and less free time than their husbands. They also have smaller paychecks. (They do get to keep smoking the same amount of weed). These factors help explain why women are less into marriage than men are. And they may also contribute to the gendered risk of gaining weight after getting hitched. 

Read more here.



October 10, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)