Family Law Prof Blog

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

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Divorce Rate Among Baby Boomers

From the New York Times:

Over the past 20 years, the divorce rate among baby boomers has surged by more than 50 percent, even as divorce rates over all have stabilized nationally. At the same time, more adults are remaining single. The shift is changing the traditional portrait of older Americans: About a third of adults ages 46 through 64 were divorced, separated or had never been married in 2010, compared with 13 percent in 1970, according to an analysis of recently released census data conducted by demographers at Bowling Green State University, in Ohio.


The elderly, who have traditionally relied on spouses for their care, will increasingly struggle to fend for themselves. And federal and local governments will have to shoulder much of the cost of their care. Unmarried baby boomers are five times more likely to live in poverty than their married counterparts, statistics show. They are also three times as likely to receive food stamps, public assistance or disability payments.

Read more here.


March 3, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, March 2, 2012

Paternity Leave Used for Father-Time?

From the WSJ Blog, news of a new study based on 2001 data:

Fathers often talk the talk about sharing parenting duties with mothers when it comes to a newborn.  But a new study finds that couples who profess to believe in equally-shared parenting rarely do so in practice.

The researchers surveyed 181 married, heterosexual, tenure track professors with children under age two. All of the professors had access to paid parental leave. Each survey participant was asked how their handling of about 25 child-care tasks compared with their spouse’s handling of the same tasks. Among the tasks: changing child’s diapers; taking child to doctor; feeding the child; staying home from work to care for the child; giving child a bath. (See the full list on page 21 of the study.)

The majority of professors – both male and female, particularly the women –  held the view that men and women should share child care duties. But only three of 109 male faculty members surveyed reported that they did half or more of the care, while 70 of 73 women reported doing at least half–even when both spouses worked full time.

Read more here.



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

Thursday, March 1, 2012

MD Legalizes Gay Marriage

From USA Today:

Gov. Martin O'Malley, a Democrat, signed the bill a week after its final passage in the Legislature. The law is scheduled to take effect in January 2013.

However, opponents — backed by many churches — are expected to petition the law to a referendum on the November ballot.

Read more here.


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

Smokers' Child Custody

From the Washington Times:

If you smoke cigarettes, by now you have heard all the reasons you should quit: the harm to your health, the expense, the limits on where you can indulge your habit.

How about the possibility of losing custody of your children? Would that motivate you to quit?

Read more here.


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

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Any Proposals Today?

From the Washington Post:

Leap days disrupt our calendar, and with it — if history is any indication — our entire societal sense of decorum. Clutch your pearls and ready your smelling salts for what you’re about to hear: On a leap day, women are permitted to propose to men, according to tradition.


Men who declined a lady’s proposal had to pay the woman a forfeit, in the form of money, a kiss, or sometimes, a silk dress. The tradition evolved to inspire Sadie Hawkins Day (based on the bold “Li’l Abner” character), sometimes celebrated in November, in which women can take the lead in asking men to a dance.

Read more here.


February 29, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

FL Alimony Law

From the Miami Herald:

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- A House panel has given the green light to a bill that would overhaul what critics say is the state's antiquated alimony law.

Rep. Ritch Workman's bill (HB 549) Thursday cleared the House Judiciary Committee by a 17-1 vote. The Melbourne Republican said the measure would ensure alimony is fair to both ex-spouses.

Read more here.


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February 29, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Embryo Open Adoption

From Today:

Carmen Olalde really wanted children. She went through years of infertility treatment and IVF, then a difficult pregnancy, to have her twins. And as her twins turned four, she realized that two kids were enough.

But she still had four frozen embryos from her last IVF cycle.  And so she made a decision that put her at the frontier of reproductive ethics. She donated the embryos to a Virginia couple also suffering from infertility, whom she met via a website ad – on the condition that the donation be "open," and they send regular photos of any resulting child and hopefully keep in touch by e-mail and phone.

Read more here.


February 28, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Profs on VAWA

Professors Caroline Bettinger-Lopez, Donna Coker, Julie Goldscheid, Leigh Goodmark, Valli Kalei Kanuha, James Ptacek, and Deborah Weissman have spoken out about the Violence Against Women Act ("VAWA") reauthorization bill:

The VAWA reauthorization bill would extend funding for important services; provide additional
protections for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking; and
would ensure that tribal courts have jurisdiction over domestic violence that occurs on tribal
land. We urge Congress to pass this bill!

But while we applaud much that is in the bill, we are concerned that like its predecessors, the bill
focuses a significant amount of funding on criminal justice responses and much less on economic
and racial justice initiatives that would support efforts to stop domestic violence. We urge
Congress to do more to address economic and racial inequalities that make poor women--
particularly poor women of color, undocumented women, and Native American women, more
vulnerable to intimate violence. We urge Congress to recognize that economic policies that
result in widespread unemployment and downward mobility increase domestic violence. We
further urge Congress to recognize that as important as criminal remedies may be for some
victims, a focus on criminal justice remedies will never be sufficient to empower women. Many
women who experience domestic violence do not want the current limited menu of criminal
justice responses. We urge Congress, therefore, to consider and support programs that explore
alternatives to the current criminal adjudication models, and that address the underlying causes
of abuse.

Download further remarks in PDF here:

Download VAWA


February 28, 2012 in Domestic Violence | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Trademarking Baby Name?

From the Mail Online:

She appeared on her father's single at just a few hours old, so it comes as no surprise that Beyoncé and Jay-Z's daughter Blue Ivy is a brand in the making.

According to reports in the US, the new parents have moved to trademark their one-month-old baby's name.

The power-couple have filed an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to protect Blue Ivy's name against others using it.

Read more here.


February 27, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)