Family Law Prof Blog

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

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Palin & Johnston Custody Case Closed

From the Huffington Post:

JUNEAU, Alaska — A custody case between Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston has been closed, and an attorney says the two likely will work out any future differences regarding their 3-year-old son on their own.

Alaska court records show the case involving Sarah Palin's grandson Tripp was closed this month after a lack of activity.

Johnston attorney Rex Butler said Monday the best way to interpret the development is that the parties likely will resolve any problems themselves. An attorney for Bristol Palin didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Read more here.


Hat Tip: NC

September 22, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Whether Potty-Training Kids should be Allowed to Urinate Publicly

From Jacoba Urist, writing for NBCNews:

To pee or not to pee in public? That’s a hot debate among potty-training parents. Some say it’s no big deal for a small child to do an occasional “nature pee,” while others think public pottying should be a crime.

In some places it is. Philadelphia mom Caroline Robboy recently got slapped with a ticket – and a lecture on bad parenting – when she let her 2-year-old son pee in public. She and her three children went out to dinner at a Johnny Rockets, then visited a nearby clothing shop, where her 2-year old son announced he had to go. Robboy told NBC News the store wouldn’t allow them to use the restroom. 

Read more here.


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

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Family Law Film

Chaptered for classroom use, Talk to Strangers and its companion guide offer students perspectives on custody and access cases that until now have been available only to those who litigate them.  ALAN DERSHOWITZ calls Talk to Strangers a "wonderful film" that will provide insight to the counsel of divorcing parents.  ARTHUR BALBIRER, a past president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, declares the film a "must-see" for attorneys litigating custody.  THE LIBRARY JOURNAL hails its portrayal of the "bewildering and destructive" child custody process. Visit to preview the film and see for yourself.

September 20, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Call for Presentations: The National Center for Family Law at the University of Richmond School of Law

Call for Presentations:

The National Center for Family Law at the University of Richmond School of Law seeks presentation proposals relating to the role of cognitive bias and/or emotion in the practice and the evolution of family law, to be included in the Law School’s biennial State of the Family Symposium scheduled for September 15 – 16, 2013.  The 2013 Symposium theme is “The Divorcing Brain,” and, in addition to considering the role of cognitive bias and emotion in family law, will address topics including neuroscience of decision-making and the impact of cognitive bias on the lawyer-client relationship. We anticipate presentations will be between 20 to 50 minutes in length, depending on the topic

Submission Procedures:

Email an abstract or summary of the proposed presentation proposal as a Word or PDF document by 12/15/2012 to Professor Meredith Johnson Harbach, Applicants will be notified by January 31 whether their proposals have been accepted.

Symposium Details:

The Symposium will take place on the campus of the University of Richmond, Richmond, VA, beginning Sunday, September 15, 2013 at 1:00 pm and concluding at 5:00 pm on Monday, September 16, 2012, with solicited presentations on Monday. Dinner on Sunday and breakfast and lunch on Monday are included.

If you have questions about this call for presentations, please contact Meredith Johnson Harbach,, or Adrienne E. Volenik,

September 19, 2012 in Scholarship, Family Law | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Men vs. Women in the Economy

From David Brooks in the New York Times:

You’re probably aware of the basic trends. The financial rewards to education have increased over the past few decades, but men failed to get the memo.


Over the years, many of us have embraced a certain theory to explain men’s economic decline. It is that the information-age economy rewards traits that, for neurological and cultural reasons, women are more likely to possess.

To succeed today, you have to be able to sit still and focus attention in school at an early age. You have to be emotionally sensitive and aware of context. You have to communicate smoothly. For genetic and cultural reasons, many men stink at these tasks.

But, in her fascinating new book, “The End of Men,” Hanna Rosin posits a different theory. It has to do with adaptability. Women, Rosin argues, are like immigrants who have moved to a new country. They see a new social context, and they flexibly adapt to new circumstances. Men are like immigrants who have physically moved to a new country but who have kept their minds in the old one. They speak the old language. They follow the old mores. Men are more likely to be rigid; women are more fluid.

Read more here.


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

Monday, September 17, 2012

"Divorce Court" Judge Speaks on Marriage

An editorial by TV "Divorce Court" judge on HuffPost:

As the judge on "Divorce Court," I am familiar with, if not inundated by, the thematic mistakes made in marriages. Yes, I know the show is a bit extreme, voyeuristic, and, well, often a little silly, but when my husband and I were staring into the marital abyss, I learned a valuable lesson from "Divorce Court" that helped me out at home.

I learned this particular lesson from couples who couldn't figure out how they had gotten to "Divorce Court" in the first place. They had marriages that went awry in such small increments they didn't know what had happened. But before me they were forced to compress years' worth of trouble into a short presentation. Each telling me a different story the other was usually surprised to hear, they often found that they were coming apart not because one or both were wrong, but because of unexamined needs. Seeing that scenario play out before me over and over again helped me figure out what was going wrong in my own home.

Read more here.


September 17, 2012 in Marriage (impediments) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)