Family Law Prof Blog

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

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Int'l Custody Battle

From CBS Chicago:

A 5-year-old Orland Park boy at the center of an international custody battle was sent to Ireland on Tuesday to live with his father, even though he was born in the U.S. and has lived most of his life here.

Jack Redmond was born in south suburban Blue Island, and has spent all but a few months of his life in the United States. His mother, Mary Redmond, says the Chicago area is all the boy has ever known. His school, his doctor, his dentist, his friends — they’re all here.

Custody battles are messy, this one moreso because Jack’s parents were never married.

A United States federal judge has ordered that Mary Redmond abide by an Irish judge’s ruling and return to Ireland to live and share custody of the boy with his father, Derek Redmond. (Though they have the same last name, they were never married.)

Read more here.


July 21, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Two Marital Classes

From the New York Times:

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Jessica Schairer has so much in common with her boss, Chris Faulkner, that a visitor to the day care center they run might get them confused.

They are both friendly white women from modest Midwestern backgrounds who left for college with conventional hopes of marriage, motherhood and career. They both have children in elementary school. They pass their days in similar ways: juggling toddlers, coaching teachers and swapping small secrets that mark them as friends. They even got tattoos together. Though Ms. Faulkner, as the boss, earns more money, the difference is a gap, not a chasm.

But a friendship that evokes parity by day becomes a study of inequality at night and a testament to the way family structure deepens class divides. Ms. Faulkner is married and living on two paychecks, while Ms. Schairer is raising her children by herself. That gives the Faulkner family a profound advantage in income and nurturing time, and makes their children statistically more likely to finish college, find good jobs and form stable marriages.

Read more here.  But see here for criticism of this view.

Law Professors June Carbone and Naomi Cahn write on this topic in the Next New Deal:

Ever wonder what the “war on women” is really about? An article in the New York Times, “Two Classes, Divided by 'I Do': For Richer Marriage, for Poorer, Single Motherhood” provides some clues. The article documents the growing class divide in family form. College graduates like Chris and Kevin Faulkner, who were profiled in the article, postpone starting families, produce marriages with lower divorce rates than a generation ago, and reap the rewards in terms of greater time and resources to invest in children. In the meantime, women like Jessica Schairer who do not graduate from college, also profiled in the article, are increasingly raising children on their own. These women often give up on the men in their lives and struggle to balance the demands of low-paying jobs with the attention their children need.

The article presents a compelling portrait of the causes and the effects, but not of the partisan divide over the potential solutions. That divide can be summed up by a struggle over a simple question: are women like the single mother, Jessica Schairer, the victims of our economy or the problem? Those who see them as the problem are setting forth proposals to make their lives (and their children’s lives) worse. Those of us who see Jessica Schairer as a victim of increasing economic inequality recognize that supporting her ability to care for her children is critical to the strength of the country’s next generation. The political war for the future of Jessica Schairer is under way.

Read more here.



July 19, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

(Not) Having It All

By Naomi Cahn and June Carbone in AlterNet:

Helping highly educated women have it all is a hot topic, from Anne-Marie Slaughter’s Atlantic article, to Amy Chua’s book about Chinese child-rearing Tiger Mothers to Pamela Druckerman’s ode to French parents. The blogosphere is on fire.

Missing from this discussion is the plight of working-class women to have it at all.  Since the Great Recession, a larger portion of adults worry that they cannot afford children. Doing so often requires a stark choice between jobs essential to the family’s solvency or adequate supervision of the young. The class contrasts are wide and growing starker.

Read more here.


July 19, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Pro Baseball Players & Paternity Leave

Jacoba Urist writes on MSNBC:

Like most guys with a very pregnant wife, Baltimore Orioles pitcher Dana Eveland had been keeping his cell phone close by for the past week. His wife, Ashley, was due to deliver their second son yesterday, and Eveland was prepared to take advantage of something many players have never had – paternity leave.

Ashley, however, went into labor early, giving birth to little Asher Perry last weekend, and giving the new dad time to fly back for his team’s Tuesday night home game against the Angels. 

Because of baby Asher’s impeccable timing and the Orioles’ schedule, Eveland didn’t need to use the MLB’s allowance of father-child bonding.  Introduced only last season, “the paternity leave list” allows a team to replace a player on its active roster for up to three days after having a child.

Read more here.


July 18, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

More on 3 Parents, 1 Child

From the Wall Street Journal:

A California bill allowing children to have more than two parents is moving through the legislature. Its passage could fuel similar legislative efforts in other states to help address expanding definitions of family and parenthood brought on by same-sex marriage and advances in reproductive technologies.

Read more here.


July 17, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Interfaith Parenting

Jacoba Urist writes on MSNBC:

According to numerous sources over the past ten days, the TomKat split was about something many Americans can relate to: the tricky business of raising a child in an inter-faith marriage. A 2007 Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life study found that 27 percent of Americans were in interfaith relationship, and more folks are disucssing the particular challenges that come with interfaith families and parenting.

Read more here.


July 16, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)