Family Law Prof Blog

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

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Russian Fertility Rates

From Mail Online:

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was mocked by his own countrymen today after urging Russians to start having more sex to put a stop to the country's declining population.

In one of his more controversial presidential election campaign pledges, Putin vowed to give cash incentives to mothers who have a third child, to help encourage more births.

Read more here.


February 25, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, February 24, 2012

Outsourcing in Exchange for Romance

From the Washington Post:

Two top economists, who happen to be a couple raising a daughter, think that paying others to do chores, including the bulk of childcare duties, may be an under-appreciated secret to stronger marriages.

Read more here.

Meanwhile, Slate has published relevant "Dear Prudence" advice:

Q. Housekeeper: This is a problem I am sure a lot of people would love to have. My boyfriend and I are in our late 20s and we both have good salaries. We talked about moving in together and we are fairly compatible. But here is the thing: He has a housekeeper. (That sound you hear is all my girlfriends rolling their eyes.) I do not think we need a housekeeper. Two people keeping a two bedroom apartment clean should be manageable. He thinks that if he hates to clean and can afford to pay somebody else he should. While I can't see anything outright wrong with that, part of me feels like he is indulgent and immature. I don't like to do a lot of things, but I do them anyway. He told me that if we let the housekeeper go then I will be totally responsible for all the cleaning. I think that is also unreasonable. Why can't he just pick up after himself? What if we can't afford a housekeeper in the future? Will he have any idea how to be self-reliant? Is it so wrong that I think we should be responsible for keeping such a small space clean?

A: Please dump this guy so he can find someone who will appreciate that a man who wants to pay someone a fair wage to keep his apartment clean is a keeper.

Read it here.


February 24, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Same-Sex Marriage in MD

From AP:

Gay marriage is all but legalized in Maryland after the legislature gave its final OK Thursday to the law that's being sent to Gov. Martin O'Malley, who said he expects to sign it sometime this week.

The state Senate voted 25-22 for the law. The vote comes less than a week after the House of Delegates barely passed the measure.

Maryland will become the eighth state to allow gay marriage when O'Malley — who sponsored the bill — signs the legislation. The Democrat made the measure a priority this session after it stalled last year.

Read more here.


February 23, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Misdemeanor...Elementary School Tardiness?!

From the Washington Post:

Amy and Mark Denicore are headed to a full-blown trial to defend themselves against charges that they violated Virginia law by making their kids late to elementary school too often.

Read more here.


February 23, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Too Poor to Marry?

The New York Times recently ran an article suggesting that marriage is largely for the rich, here.  Read the response of the National Review online here.


February 22, 2012 in Marriage (impediments) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Rosenberg: "Liberalism Unsettled: Freedom and Status in the Promise of Marriage"

Anat Rosenberg (Radzyner School of Law) has posted "Liberalism Unsettled:  Freedom and Status in the Promise of Marriage" on SSRN.  Here is the abstract:

This paper examines the tension between freedom and subjection under liberalism; but, rather than emphasize either side of the binary, my aim is to articulate the terms of duality, and provide an account of the social life of liberal thought. To do so, I revisit the nineteenth-century promise of marriage. 

The promise of marriage represented a conceptual fusion of the liberal ideals of contract and sentiment, central to rise of the free market and the conjugal family, and of the counterforces of status - particularly gender and class. While the former marshaled the hope of free will as a new basis for the social order, subjection lurked in the latter. The fusion threw the hopes and tensions of the liberal hypothetical into sharp relief, and turned the promise of marriage into a central cultural locus for Victorians. 

I rely on an interdisciplinary reading of the promise’s fortunes in contract law and canonic novels to examine the terms on which liberalism engaged with status. The examination reveals two historical strategies. One was containment: considerations of status were contained within the conceptual liberal frameworks of sentiment and contract, and, in consequence, reduced in magnitude. A second was withdrawal: the application of the liberal framework was bordered and limited, but the delimitation was construed as inconsequential, because liberalism retained relevance in areas conceptualized as the core of social relations. 

Contra familiar accounts, which treat the opposition between liberal ideals and status in terms of mutual exclusion, and take the persistence of status to mean that liberalism has been a (partially) failed hope or a form of apologetics for power, containment and withdrawal tell a more complex story. The liberal rejection of status did not entail an attempted elimination but rather a new interpretation of status’s legitimate workings within social relations. Containment and withdrawal teach us of the distinctive ways in which liberalism, as a social phenomenon – rather than an ideal philosophical construct, processed, adapted to, and also transformed, forces of status.


February 21, 2012 in Scholarship, Family Law | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Picking a Spouse

The blog "Barking up the wrong tree" reviews what studies say about picking a marital partner.  Read it here.


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

Monday, February 20, 2012

Berenos: "Time to Move On? The International State of Affairs with Respect to Child Relocation Law"

Yildiz Maria Berenos (Utrecht Univ. School of Law) has posted "Time to Move On?  The International State of Affairs with Respect to Child Relocation Law" (8 Utrecht L. Rev. 1 (2012)) on SSRN.  Here is the abstract

By surveying binding law in civil and common law jurisdictions and non-binding law produced by national, regional and international organizations, this article tries to map the international state of affairs with respect to child relocation. Various legal topics that have concerned legislatures are discussed. It appears that - worldwide and more specifically within Europe - great variety exists with respect to child relocation law, which leads to legal uncertainty. As a consequence, parents often do not know how to act in case of child relocation. This might have a negative effect on other issues, such as child abduction. Harmonization of law on child relocation seems necessary to diminish the existing legal uncertainty. It is concluded that the development of a European or international non-binding law instrument that addresses both national and international relocation cases could be a first step in the harmonization process.


February 20, 2012 in Scholarship, Family Law | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

The Costs of Expecting

From Daily Mail:

The financial strain of having a baby can come as a shock to many.

But a new study has found costs start to mount up even before the baby's birth.

Findings revealed that first-time parents spend an average of £1,786 in preparation for their newborn.

Meanwhile a wealthy six per cent fork out nearly £10,000, from decorating the nursery to freezing stem cells in the hope of medical breakthroughs.

Despite having limited funds, two thirds of expectant parents turned to credit cards or took out loans and a quarter reported financial woes after the birth.

Read more here.




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

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Lafferriere: "Artificial Reproductive Techniques and Parenting: Trends and Paradoxes"

Nicholas Lafferriere (Universidad Catolica Argentina) has posted "Artificial Reproductive Techniques and Parenting:  Trends and Paradoxes" on SSRN.  Here is the abstract:

The increasing use of artificial reproductive techniques generates very complex problems concerning parent-child juridical relations. Posthumous insemination, heterologous fertilization procedures, and surrogate motherhood raise questions as to the traditional ways in which we establish parenthood. This paper analyzes trends in comparativefamily law and proposes responses to the challenges presented by artificial reproductive techniques. First, it considers the juridical issues that arise from the use of donor gametes, with special attention to the question of donor anonymity. Then the paper considers basic principles that should guide law and policy in this area, and proposes conclusions as to the right to identity, the commodification of the human body, the traceability of gametes, the exploitation of women, and other matters. The paper considers same-sex marriage (with special attention to a recent Argentinian law recognizing them); and it considers the possibility of “two-mother” or “two-father” families. The complexities of the different combinations of biological parents, donors, and surrogate mothers are considered. The paper concludes by identifying the problems intrinisic to these reproductive techniques and by emphasizing the need for strong legal measures to assure the human dignity of the unborn child and the transmission of life, with special consideration to family law.


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