Family Law Prof Blog

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

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Lessons from Celebrity Divorces

Mckinley Irvin has a fun piece on what we can learn from celebrity divorces here.


August 4, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, August 3, 2012

Final Call for Authors: Cultural Sociology of Divorce: An Encyclopedia

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.  Divorce Law-Hispanic Traditions (2000 words) (e.g. Spanish Empire's influence on communal property laws in the U.S.)
2.  Palimony (1500 words)
3.  Property Distribution (3000 words)

The final deadline for submissions for these entries is  September 24, 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


August 3, 2012 in Scholarship, Family Law | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Baby Hatches in Germany

From Spiegel Online:

The "baby hatch" is largely hidden from view at the back of a parking lot. From a distance, it looks like no more than a dark hole in the white plastered wall of the clinic.

This facility -- intended as a place where anyone can anonymously give up a baby -- has been in place here in the town of Erbach im Odenwald in the German state of Hesse since mid-March. It is designed so that once the human cargo has been slid through the confines of the slot, the hatch can no longer be opened from outside.

The crib frame that stands behind the hatch is custom made. An alarm system is in place to alert caregivers when a baby has been placed inside the crib, and heat lamps ensure the child's survival. Technically speaking, everything is here and ready for mothers or fathers who might wish to give up a newborn child anonymously.

Yet so far the baby hatch has remained locked shut, and it's unclear whether the facility will ever go into operation. "We have been left totally uncertain," says Christiane Karnovsky, 53, deputy director of the clinic. "We no longer know if it's even legal to run this sort of facility."

See a picture of the hatch and read more here.


Hat Tip: Amanda Butler

August 3, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Adoption in England

From Family Law Week:

The Prime Minister has announced plans to reduce radically the time it takes for a child to move in with their permanent family. The proposals are included in the policy paper Proposals for placing babies with permanent carers earlier.

The Government will legislate to make fostering by potential adopters standard practice in many cases, so that those in care are placed with carers who have the potential to become their adoptive parents, rather than in temporary homes.

The Government wants to see more children becoming part of a permanent family sooner so they can reap the benefits of growing up in a stable and loving environment. The Prime Minister has already expressed concern that just 60 babies under one year of age were adopted in 2010/11.

New analysis shows that for the babies who come into care aged under one month, half were eventually adopted, but it took an average of more than 15 months for them to move in with their permanent family.

Ministers believe this is too long and want many more babies and children to move into their potentially permanent home earlier than they have done in recent years. The Government will do this by introducing a new legal duty on local authorities to consider placing children with approved adopters who will foster the child first, and help provide a stable home much earlier in their life. This will remove groundless doubts about whether 'Fostering for Adoption' is legal and good practice.

Read more here.


August 2, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

On Mommy Wars

From the Huffington Post:

The only mommy war I support involves moms banding together to talk about the number of children in our world who are missing out on basic human needs. Security. Love. Affection. Let's wage a war about that. Not everyone can adopt, but we can all do something. Even if it's just using our voices for something more productive than personal parenting choices.

Read more here.


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

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Jacobs: "Overcoming the Marital Presumption"

Melanie B. Jacobs has posted her atricle Overcoming the Marital Presumption, 50 Family Court Review (2012) on SSRN.  Here is the abstract:

Parentage law is heavily influenced by the number “two.” The traditional paradigm of one mother and one father, especially a married mother and father, has been a bedrock of Western society. In recent decades, however, the traditional two parent paradigm has started to erode and courts have responded. For example, some courts have held that a child can have two legal parents of the same sex. In other cases, a child has been deemed to have just one legal parent and yet in others, even three legal parents. These cases highlight shifts within the law of parentage that have occurred as the nuclear family has decreased in prominence and as the use of assisted reproductive technologies has changed the ways in which families are created. I have previously advocated for the expansion of legal parentage to persons not traditionally considered a legal parent, such as the lesbian partner of a legal mother. I have also suggested that, in limited circumstances, courts consider conferring legal parentage in more than two adults who are raising a child including recognizing that a child might have two fathers. In my home state of Michigan, the traditional two parent paradigm is firmly entrenched as illustrated, in part, by the state’s strict marital presumption, which does not permit a putative father the ability to challenge the husband’s paternity. About one-fifth of U.S. jurisdictions have a similarly strict marital presumption. In this short essay, I criticize the lingering marital presumption and use the critique to illustrate broader inconsistencies within the law of parentage. I also make some modest suggestions for parentage law reform.

Read more here.


July 31, 2012 in Scholarship, Family Law | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, July 30, 2012

Financial Impact of Divorce

From ABC News:

Joint research led by the Australian Institute of Family Studies has shown divorced women found it difficult to recover financially and the effects last into old age.

Women with dependent children found it particularly difficult to recover financially, due to problems balancing childcare and work.

Institute director Professor Alan Hayes says while women without dependent children financially recover after six years, those with young children find it hard.

Read more here.


July 30, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)