Family Law Prof Blog

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

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Reviews of Books Dealing with Motherhood...

... are found in the New York Times here.


Hat Tip: Naomi Cahn

May 12, 2012 in Scholarship, Family Law | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Possible MN Child Custody Law Change

From Minnesota Public Radio:

St. Paul, Minn. — The Minnesota House voted 80-53 for a bill that would change Minnesota's child custody laws.

The bill would add a presumption of joint physical and legal custody, which supporters say is necessary to correct a system they believe is stacked in favor of mothers.

Opponents argued that 95 percent of separated parents manage to agree on parenting arrangements, and adding the joint custody presumption would increase the level of conflict.

Read more here.


May 11, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Celebrity Weddings & Divorces

Courtney Wheeler posted a fun piece about celebrity weddings and divorces to

With all the money circulating in the celebrity circle, it’s no surprise that perhaps the most costly event in a celebrity’s life is their marriage and consequently, their divorce. This is a big year for these two events and the media has been quick to publish the hairy details.

Read more here.


May 10, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Call for Papers

Only 5 topics left for the call below:


We are inviting academic editorial contributors to Cultural Sociology of Divorce: An Encyclopedia, a 3-volume library reference to be published in 2013 by SAGE Publications.  We hope you’ll consider contributing to this exciting project.     

While the formal definition of divorce may be fairly concise and straightforward (the legal termination of a marital union, dissolving the bonds of matrimony between parties), the effects are anything but, particularly when children and other family members are involved. The Americans for Divorce Reform estimates that “probably, 40 or possibly even 50 percent of marriages will end in divorce if current trends continue." And outside the United States, there are markedly increased divorce rates across developed countries—divorce and its effects are a significant social factor in our culture and others. In fact, it might be said that a whole “divorce industry” has been constructed, with divorce lawyers and mediators, family counselors, support groups, etc. As King Henry VIII’s divorces showed, divorce has not always been easy or accepted. In some countries, divorce is not permitted and even in Europe, countries such as Spain, Italy, Portugal, and the Republic of Ireland only legalized divorce in the latter quarter of the twentieth century. This multi-disciplinary encyclopedia covers curricular subjects around the world ranging from marriage and the family to anthropology, social and legal history, developmental and clinical psychology, and religion.  Three volumes, including over 500 articles, illuminate what has become a culture of divorce and its impact on society.  

This comprehensive project will be marketed to academic and public libraries as a print and digital product available to students via the library’s electronic services.  Each article, ranging from 900 to 4000 words, is signed by the contributor. The General Editor of the encyclopedia is Robert E. Emery, Ph.D., University of Virginia, who will review all the articles for editorial content and academic consistency.  Payment for the articles are honoraria that range from a $50 book credit from Sage Publications for article submissions up to 1,000 words up to a free copy of the encyclopedia for contributions totaling greater than 10,000 words. More than this, your involvement can help assure that credible and detailed data, descriptions, and analysis are available to students of divorce issues.

At this time the project is almost completely assigned with the exception of the following topics (including proposed word counts): 

  1. Africa, History of Divorce in  2,500
  2. Europe, History of Divorce in  3,000
  3. Literature, Adult  2,500
  4. Politicians and Divorce (famous cases)  2,000
  5. Property Distribution 3,000

The final deadline for submissions for these entries is June 15, 2012.  If you would like to contribute to building a truly outstanding reference with Cultural Sociology of Divorce: An Encyclopedia, please contact me by the e-mail information below.   I will provide you with the complete article list, submission guidelines, and sample article for your review. 

Thanks very much,

Lisbeth Rogers

Author Manager

Golson Media for SAGE Publications

May 9, 2012 in Scholarship, Family Law | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Obama on Same-Sex Marriage

From the New York Times:

President Obama declared for the first time on Wednesday that he supports same-sex marriage, putting the moral power of his presidency behind a social issue that continues to divide the country.

“At a certain point,” Mr. Obama said in an interview in the Cabinet Room at the White House with ABC’s Robin Roberts, “I’ve just concluded that for me personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.”

The comments end years of public equivocating over the divisive social issue for the president, who has previously said he opposed gay marriage but repeatedly said he was “evolving” on the issue because of contact with friends and others who are gay.

Mr. Obama’s remarks — with which he became the first sitting president to support extending the rights and status of marriage to gay couples — came after long-standing pressure from gay rights activists who are among his most loyal constituent but have been frustrated by his refusal to weigh in on the issue.

See the interview and read more here.


May 9, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

North Carolina Voters Approve Gay Marriage Ban

North Carolina voters approved a constitutional amendment Tuesday night banning gay marriage, but the measure also goes one step further by not allowing civil unions.

The state becomes the last in the South to approve an anti-gay marriage amendment and joins 30 others with similar measures. Incomplete returns Tuesday night showed the amendment passing by 60 percent of the vote.

The amendment, also known as Amendment One, would make marriage the only legal domestic union valid in the state. Opponents said the measure was unnecessary because a state statute has banned gay marriage in North Carolina since 1996. They also argued that domestic partners – both straight and gay – and their children could lose health benefits under the amendment, but advocates for the new measure claim that will not happen.

Read more here.


May 9, 2012 in Marriage (impediments) | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Public Opinion on Gay Marriage

From The Wall Street Journal:

President Barack Obama faces new pressure to clarify his position on gay marriage – a move he has been in no rush to make — thanks to comments from his vice president and his education secretary.

Republicans in past presidential races have used the issue to mobilize their conservative base and Mr. Obama has tried to avoid making news on the issue. But as the Journal reported, polls show the political risk of embracing same sex-marriage is fading amid a rapid shift in public opinion.

Which leads to the question — what is the public’s current split on gay marriage, and precisely how rapidly has it changed?

Read more here.


Hat Tip: Naomi Cahn

May 8, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, May 7, 2012

One Court's Approach to Single Parents

From NPR:

Across the U.S., 40 percent of children are now born to unmarried parents. This demographic shift, primarily among younger, low-income parents, can pose a challenge to a child support system designed chiefly to extract money from paychecks.

A court in Minneapolis is now trying a new approach, one that's about more than just the money as it attempts to keep both parents involved in the lives of their kids.

Hennepin County Family Court Judge Bruce Peterson noticed a problem: Young men were showing up for paternity establishment and child support hearings, but the future of their families looked shaky.

"We were telling young dads, 'Congratulations, you're the father legally now. Here's your child support obligation.' " Peterson says. "So it was very apparent to me there was much more work to be done to support these young parents."

Read more here.


Hat Tip: Kristin Farleigh

May 7, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Father's Rights in Adoptions

From CBS St. Louis:

JEFFERSON CITY – After a six year custody battle in the Missouri Supreme Court, lawmakers want to protect the rights of mothers and allow an adoption of the child to take place without the father’s consent.The bill, which is now making its way through the General Assembly to the Senate, was written in response to the 2007 Lentz case presented to the state Supreme Court.

Read more here.


May 7, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)