Family Law Prof Blog

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

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Emergency Weddings

The NYT recently ran an interesting essay written by a judge about emergency weddings:

But Cheryl begged; she practically yanked my bleeding heart right out of my chest. She explained that she was a hospice social worker for Thomas, 77, who had recently been discharged from the medical center hospice unit so he could die at home. He was conscious and lucid but likely to die at any moment. He could no longer talk and communicated entirely though hand squeezes.

His dying wish was to marry Donna, his life partner of 38 years. She was 57. They had talked about marriage over the years but had never gotten around to a wedding. They had even gone so far as to fill out the application from the downtown wedding license center.

Was this yet another case of people irresponsibly leaving things until the last minute? Probably. But I realized in the moment it didn’t matter. People do stupid, human things. I could make this one right.

Read more here.


October 22, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Heneghan: "Relocation Cases - the Rhetoric and the Reality of a Child's Best Interests - a View from the Bottom of the World"

Mark Heneghan (Univ. of Otago) has posted "Relocation Cases - the Rhetoric and the Reality of a Child's Best Interests - a View from the Bottom of the World" (23 Child and Family Law Quarterly 155 (2011)) on SSRN.  Here is the abstract:

Relocation cases have become a very significant aspect of family law. This article examines the difficulties in deciding (and predicting the outcomes of) national and international relocation cases. The article questions the usefulness of using checklists of non-prioritised, non-exhaustive factors to decide relocation cases based on the uncertainty such general checklists create for litigants and their children. This inevitably leads to increased litigation and appeals until the litigant finds a judge who will see the facts the litigant’s way.

The article seeks to find a more principled way to decide relocation cases that would enable litigants to be given a realistic assessment of their likelihood of success at the outset. The article examines social science research for potential answers, but finds that there is no clear social science basis to support a policy either for or against relocation. The article discusses different theoretical frameworks, and argues that power between parents in relation to relocation should be allocated on the basis of actual responsibility for children. The article ultimately concludes by suggesting a prioritised ‘discipline’ for the values that need to be considered in relocation disputes. This discipline attempts to provide a visible framework for litigants, lawyers and judges to follow, which is designed to enhance consistency and predictability in decision making, and to give real meaning to the welfare principle.



October 21, 2011 in Scholarship, Family Law | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Divorce Rate Lowest in...NJ


A U.S. Census report shows the Northeast, and New Jersey in particular, has the lowest divorce rates in America, trailed closely by New York.


"People assume that people in the Northeast divorce easily because they’re less religious, but that’s not the case," said Deborah Carr, a professor of sociology at Rutgers University. New Jerseyans may also stick together because here, well, it’s just too expensive to break up.

In the Northeast, 7.2 per 1,000 men and 7.5 per 1,000 women got divorced. In the South, the rates were 10.2 for men and 11.1 for women.

New Jersey’s rates — the lowest — were 6.1 for men and 6 for women, according to the 2009 American Community Survey, which released the data last month.

Read more here.


October 21, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

October 21, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

On the Need for the Regulation of Fertility Market


"Oct. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Naomi Cahn, law professor at George Washington University Law School and author of "Test Tube Families: Why the Fertility Market Needs Legal Regulation," and Bloomberg Law's Jason Brocks talk about federal and state regulation of sperm donations and the welfare of donor-conceived children.  They speak with Spencer Mazyck on a Bloomberg Law podcast."


October 19, 2011 in Alternative Reproduction | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Creatively Procreative

From Wonkblog:

Science can’t write a catchy melody for you, but it can advise you to include more references to sex in your songs if you want to reach the top of the charts. This advice comes from a 2011 study in Evolutionary Psychology by Dawn Hobbs and Gordon Gallup, who found that songs that made it onto the Billboard Top Ten in 2009 were far more likely to include references to sex (or, in the dry academic parlance of our times, “reproductive messages”) than songs that didn’t.

Read more and see a related chart here.


October 19, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Saving the Post Office and Marriages at the Same Time

From the Telegraph:

China's post office has come up with an inventive way of stemming the country's rising divorce rates - offering newly-weds the chance to send sealed love letters to each other to be delivered seven years on from their big day.

Read more here.



October 18, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Power & Infidelity

A new study shows that power increases marital infidelity for both genders.  Read it here.


October 17, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Dowd's Justice for Kids

NYU Press has published a new book edited by Nancy E. Dowd, entitled Justice for Kids. From the press release:

Children and youth become involved with the juvenile justice system at a significant rate. While some children move just as quickly out of the system and go on to live productive lives as adults, other children become enmeshed in the system, developing deeper problems and or transferring into the adult criminal justice system. Justice for Kids is a volume of work by leading academics and activists that focuses on ways to intervene at the earliest possible point to rehabilitate and redirect—to keep kids out of the system—rather than to punish and drive kids deeper.

Justice for Kids presents a compelling argument for rethinking and restructuring the juvenile justice system as we know it. This unique collection explores the system’s fault lines with respect to all children, and focuses in particular on issues of race, gender, and sexual orientation that skew the system. Most importantly, it provides specific program initiatives that offer alternatives to our thinking about prevention and deterrence, with an ultimate focus on keeping kids out of the system altogether. 

Here is an order form and coupon: Download Dowd_Justice_Kids.


October 17, 2011 in Scholarship, Family Law | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)