Family Law Prof Blog

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

Saturday, October 20, 2012


From the Washington Post:

A scholar of religion and law at Emory University in Atlanta, Witte is working on a lengthy history of polygamy due out next year. He believes that polygamy is the next frontier in marriage and family law. If states are able to dismantle traditional or conventional views of marriage by allowing two men or two women to wed, then why should they not go further and sanction, or at least decriminalize, marriages between one man and several women?

Read more here.


Hat Tip: SH

October 20, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, October 19, 2012

New Alternative Reproduction Technique

From Science:

Want baby mice? Grab a petri dish. After producing normal mouse pups last year using sperm derived from stem cells, a Kyoto University team of researchers has now accomplished the same feat using eggs created the same way. The study may eventually lead to new ways of helping infertile couples conceive.

Read more here.


Hat Tip: SH

October 19, 2012 in Alternative Reproduction | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

2d Circuit Holds DOMA Unconstituional

From the Huffington Post:

Saying the gay population has "suffered a history of discrimination," a divided federal appeals court in Manhattan ruled Thursday that a federal law defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman was unconstitutional, adding fuel to an issue expected to reach the U.S. Supreme Court soon.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals seemed interested in adding its voice to several other rulings already at the high court's doorstep by issuing its 2-to-1 decision only three weeks after hearing arguments on a lower court judge's findings that the 1996 law was unconstitutional.

In a majority opinion written by Judge Dennis Jacobs, the 2nd Circuit, like a federal appeals court in Boston before it, found no reason the Defense of Marriage Act could be used to deny benefits to married gay couples. It supported a lower court ruling after a woman sued the government in 2010, saying the law required her to pay $363,053 in federal estate tax after her partner of 44 years died.

Read more here, and read the 2d Circuit COA opinion here.


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

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

NJ's Lowest Divorce Rate

From the New York Times:

According to the 2011 American Community Survey released last month by the Census Bureau, New Jersey ranks last among the states in the percentage of residents 18 and older who are divorced. Just 9 percent of New Jersey adults are divorced, compared with nearly 52 percent of whom are now married.

“The composition of New Jersey married individuals is quite favorable across several indicators, providing some evidence for the low divorce rate,” said Susan L. Brown, a sociology professor and co-director of the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. “These factors include education, race-ethnicity, age, and age at first marriage.”

On paper, at least, Ms. Giudice personifies those demographic factors that, compared with the rest of the country, make the state such a paradigm of marital durability if not necessarily bliss. She has a college degree. She was past 25 when she married. She is white. And she and her husband were apparently wealthy enough to have piled up millions of dollars in debts.

“Marriages are more likely to last for longer periods of time when people marry at an older age, have a higher education and earn more, and New Jersey scores high on these three criteria,” said Naomi Cahn, a professor at George Washington University Law School and an author of “Red Families v. Blue Families.”

Read more here.


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

Indian Anti-Gender-Selection Law

From the New York Daily News:

Entire families of women who abort a female fetus could be jailed for up to seven years under an Indian government move to ease the pressure for male children.

The initiative is an attempt to halt the growing gender imbalance in India where girls are considered a financial burden and families fear the cost of paying illegal but common dowries when they marry.

Campaigners believe up to eight million unborn girls were aborted in India in the last decade, while UN figures show that female infants are twice as likely to die in India before the age of five. The number of girls born per thousand boys has declined from 976 in 1961 to 914 in 2011, according to census statistics.

Read more here.


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

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

New B.C. Law

From the Vancouver Sun:

Veteran Vancouver family lawyer Craig Neville says he's excited over the sea change about to occur in the way B.C. families fall apart.

On March 18, the 1978 Family Relations Act will be replaced by the Family Law Act and the provincial landscape of divorce and separation will change dramatically.

Billed as bringing family law into the 21st century, the legislation was the result of five years of extensive research and consultation.

It is designed not only to trans-form how we split up, but also to address a court system bursting at the seams. It allows family matters to be resolved out-side court, where appropriate, through agreements, mediation and parenting coordination.

Read more here.


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

Monday, October 15, 2012

Canadian Statistics

From the Wall Street Journal:

The typical Canadian family looks a little different than it used to, according to census data Statistics Canada.

Married couples as a proportion of all Canadian families declined between 2006 and 2011, while the share of common-law couples increased. Growth in common-law couples comfortably outpaced the increase in married couples and lone-parent families. And the number of same-sex couples tripled, reflecting the first five-year period during which same-sex marriage was legal in Canada.

Read more here.


October 15, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)