Saturday, August 31, 2013

Avidan Milevsky: The Non-Existent Sibling in U.S. Family Law

From the Huffington Post:

Avidan Milevsky: The Non-Existent Sibling in U.S. Family Law

“Hardly a week goes by that I'm not presented with a proposed parenting plan that separates siblings"

- Judge Anne Kass 

Imagine two child siblings tied together by much more than their sibling title. They love each other dearly and depend on each other for everything. At dawn, they laugh their way through the morning routine, breakfast, and the ride to school. When they cross paths during recess they make sure their eyes meet and nod to each other in an acknowledgment of their unrepeatable bond. After a long school day, they make their way home together and help each other with their home work. They spend the afternoon riding bikes together and can't wait for bedtime when they get to talk and giggle in bed together before mom comes in for the final request for quiet.

Now imagine that the warmth found in this sibling relationship is missing in the marital relationship of their parents. Their parents have been bickering for years and recently decided to divorce. After a lengthy divorce and custody battle the decision was made to split custody. The decision was reached based on the fact that the siblings were in fact half-siblings, the oldest sibling was from dad's previous marriage and the younger one was born to this crumbling union.

When the siblings inquire about being able to see each other after the divorce they are told that since their parents are no longer married they are legally no longer siblings and hence have no visitation rights.

 For the full text, click here

ABC

August 31, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Hospital in Japan Offers Adoption Service

From the Japan Times:

A gynecology and obstetrics hospital in Kumamoto has become the first medical institution to provide a “special adoption service” at the request of the Japan Medical Association, health ministry officials said Thursday.

Fukuda Hospital has arranged two adoptions since May after it was asked by the association to offer the service to help prevent child abuse and abandonment, they said.

Read more here.

MR

August 31, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, August 30, 2013

Call for Papers

The Social History of American Families is looking for short encyclopedic entries on the following topics (email Joseph Golson at families@golsonmedia.com for more information):

Headword Planned Words
Audio and video tape players 1,000
Automobiles 3,500
Babysitters 900
CD-ROMs 900
Child safety 1,200
Church camps/Bible camps 1,000
Cotillion 1,000
Debutantes 1,000
Disability (parents) 1,200
Discount stores; chain stores 1,000
Dynasties 2,200
Estate planning 1,200
Estate taxes 1,000
Evolutionary theories 2,000
Families First 1,000
Family reunions 1,000
Family Services Association of America 900
Fast food 1,200
Film, 1930s 2,000
Film, 1940s 2,200
Film, 1960s 2,800
Film, 1970s 2,800
Film, 2010s 1,200
Film, Silent 2,000
First Focus 900
Gated communities 1,000
Generation gap 1,200
Generation X 2,000
Genetics and heredity 4,000
German Immigrant families 1,200
Health of American families 2,500
Homemaker 1,200
Human Genome Project 2,200
Indian (Asian) Immigrant families 2,200
Inheritance 2,000
Inheritance tax/death tax 1,200
Irish Immigrant families 2,200
Leisure time 1,000
Middle class families 4,000
Military drafts 1,000
MP3 players 900
National Partnership for Women and Families 900
Natural families 2,000
Personal Computers in the home 2,200
Pets 2,200
Phonographs 900
Poetry 2,200
Polish Immigrant families 2,200
Portable/Personal Devices 2,000
Radio, 1971-2013 2,200
Religious holidays 2,000
Remittances 1,000
Richards, Helen 1,000
Self-help, Culture of 1,200
Social History of American Families: 2001 to the Present 2,000
Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children 1,000
Southwestern families 2,200
Sun City and retirement communities 2,000
Sunday school 1,000
Telephones 1,000
Television, 1970s 2,200
Television, 1990s 2,200
Television, 2000s 2,000
Television, 2010s 1,200
The 47% 2,000
Theater 3,500
Union families 2,000
Vacations 2,200
War on Terror 1,200

August 30, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Donaldson Adoption Institute's Publication

The Donaldson Adoption Institute has released a new, research-based publication titled A Need to Know: Enhancing Adoption Competency among Mental Health Professionals, written by the Institute's Research & Project Director David Brodzinsky.

MR

Hat Tip: Naomi Cahn

August 30, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Breaking News: New IRS Treatment of Legally Married Sex-Same Couples

From the U.S. Department of Treasury:


The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) today ruled that same-sex couples, legally married in jurisdictions that recognize their marriages, will be treated as married for federal tax purposes. The ruling applies regardless of whether the couple lives in a jurisdiction that recognizes same-sex marriage or a jurisdiction that does not recognize same-sex marriage.

The ruling implements federal tax aspects of the June 26th Supreme Court decision invalidating a key provision of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act.

Read more here.

MR

August 30, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Same-Sex Marriage Strategy

From Washington Post:

After years of legislative and political victories, supporters of same-sex marriage are running out of states where friendly politicians can deliver on legislation legalizing unions between gay and lesbian couples. So marriage equality supporters are shifting tactics, focusing on courts of law rather than state legislatures.

In at least 15 states, same-sex couples have brought lawsuits aimed at getting their unions recognized. The cases fall into three broad categories: One set seeks to overturn state bans on same-sex marriage. Another seeks to force states to recognize marriages that occurred in other states. And a third deals with some of the less romantic aspects of marriage, like divorce.

Read more here.

MR

Hat Tip: Naomi Cahn

August 30, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Canada Bans Adoptions from Pakistan

From the News:

Canada has stopped adoptions from Pakistan, citing a conflict with the Islamic law over adoption and guardianship.    

The abrupt move, which took effect in July, has left Canadian adoptive parents heartsick and religious leaders baffled.

Read more here.

MR

 

August 30, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Family Law in the 50 States

The ABA, through Family Law Quarterly, has updated its "Family Law in the Fifty States Case Digests."  A series of charts, updated to 2013, summarize basic laws in each state by topic.  This year's updates include:

To access the 2013 charts, click here.

ABC

August 30, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Greenberg: "DOMA's Ghost and Copyright Reversionary Interests"

Brad Greenberg has published "DOMA's Ghost and Copyright Reversionary Interests" at 108 Northwestern University Law Review Colloquy (2013).  Here is the abstract:

Copyright law typically is not thought of as intertwined with family law. But a major theoretical underpinning of copyright’s incentive system is that an author is motivated not only by the financial reward she hopes to reap during her life but also whatever her family might reap long after her death. And the Supreme Court’s highly anticipated decision in United States v. Windsor complicates this family-incentive theory. Specifically, Windsor undermines Congress’s belief that an author would want her widow to inherit her rights and creates a situation in which federal law and state law too often will recognize different heirs.

This Essay analyzes Windsor’s overlooked copyright implications and argues that Congress should amend the Copyright Act to rely on the law of the state in which the marriage was celebrated. Doing so would add some consistency to copyright law’s family-incentive theory. It also would remove inefficient grants of copyright ownership that fail to motivate authorship because the disposition is contrary to the author’s desires. 

ABC

August 29, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Israeli Divorce Law

From the Los Angeles Times:

After four years of marriage, Tamar Tessler filed for divorce, taking her infant daughter and embarking on what she hoped would be a new chapter of her life.

Today that daughter is 36 years old — and Tessler is still awaiting the divorce.

Her husband long ago moved to America, said the 61-year-old retired nurse. But under Israeli law, she remains trapped in a defunct marriage that her husband won't allow to end. She can't legally remarry, was obligated as his spouse to repay some of his debts, and lost out on tax breaks for single mothers even though she raised their daughter alone.

Read more here.

MR

August 29, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Waiting for a Divorce

From the Huffington Post:

As gay couples in Minnesota counted down the days until August 1 so they could tie the knot, one couple was looking forward to the legalization of same-sex marriage for a different reason: so they could get divorced.

My Fox 9 in Minneapolis reports that Dawn Tuckner filed the state's first same-sex divorce petition just one week after gay marriage was legalized. Tucker was married in Canada in 2004 and has been waiting for years to legally end the marriage that she calls a "mistake."

Read more here.

MR

August 28, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Expensive Divorce

From the Guardian:

A high court judge has said a couple have committed "financial suicide" by spending £850,000 on legal bills during their divorce [in London].

Aloke Ray, 41, and his estranged wife Charoo Sekhri, who is in her late 30s, had each spent a "staggering" £430,000 after starting divorce litigation, said Mr Justice Holman.

The judge said the couple, a lawyer and a doctor who met via an internet dating agency, had spent nearly a quarter of their combined wealth of around £4m.

He said he had begged them to resolve their differences and described the story as a tragedy.

Read more here.

MR

August 27, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, August 26, 2013

Divorce Statistics in England

From Family Law Week:

Divorce statistics produced by the Office for National Statistics show that the number of people getting divorced each year has been falling steadily since the mid-1990s. However, the number of people aged 60 and over divorcing has been rising during this period. This rise, says the ONS, is partly driven by the increasing number of people aged 60 and over living in England and Wales. Other possible reasons for the increase, and the characteristics of those older people divorcing, are set out below below.

The number of divorces to men aged 60 and over also rose during the 1970s before stabilising during the 1980s and 1990s at between 5,000 and 6,000 divorces a year. The number increased again in the late 1990s and in 2011, nearly 9,500 men aged 60 and over divorced. This is a 73% increase compared with 1991. Similar trends are observed for women aged 60 and over; 5,800 women in this age group divorced in 2011 compared with 3,200 in 1991. It should be noted that men aged 60 and over could be getting divorced from women of any age (and vice versa for women aged 60 and over). So while overall the numbers of men and women divorcing are equal, the number of men aged 60 and over divorcing is usually higher than the number of women in the same age group divorcing because husbands tend to be older than their wives on average.

Read more here.

MR

August 26, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Sperm is Property, According to Court in British Columbia

From Impact Ethics:

A recent family law case from British Columbia, J.C.M. v A.N.A., (here) illustrates some of the complexities involved in resolving these types of disputes, and highlights a key difference in the way the law treats gametes and embryos.

...

Ultimately, the court concluded that the sperm straws were “property” and ordered them to be divided between the two women in accordance with the separation agreement. The parties did not appeal the Court’s decision. In reaching its decision, the court found that the right to procreate was not engaged because A.N.A. would not be the biological or legal parent of any child conceived by T.L. from the sperm. The court refused to address the best interests of the existing or any future children.

Read more here.

MR

August 24, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, August 23, 2013

Celebrity Children

From Slate:

Jennifer Garner and Halle Berry testified before California's Assembly Judiciary Committee last week in support of a bill that would draw a press-free line around celebrities’ children. SB 606 increases monetary and prison-time penalties for any conduct that “seriously alarms, annoys, torments, or terrorizes” a “child or ward,” and that “serves no legitimate purpose.” It might mean more legal recourse for families traumatized by the incessant shouts and flashbulbs that drove even Gandhi to reflect, “I believe in equality for everyone, except reporters and photographers.”

Read more here.

MR

Hat Tip: SH

August 23, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Difficult Making Friends

From the New York Times:

Our story is not unusual. In your 30s and 40s, plenty of new people enter your life, through work, children’s play dates and, of course, Facebook. But actual close friends — the kind you make in college, the kind you call in a crisis — those are in shorter supply.

As people approach midlife, the days of youthful exploration, when life felt like one big blind date, are fading. Schedules compress, priorities change and people often become pickier in what they want in their friends.

No matter how many friends you make, a sense of fatalism can creep in: the period for making B.F.F.’s, the way you did in your teens or early 20s, is pretty much over. It’s time to resign yourself to situational friends: K.O.F.’s (kind of friends) — for now.

Read more here.

MR

August 22, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Postnuptial Agreements on Rise

From USA Today:

If you think prenups are controversial, brace yourself. Postnups are on the rise.

Postnuptial agreements — similar to prenups, but for married couples — are gaining acceptance, with nearly all 50 states now allowing them. The agreements can cover everything from how to divide financial assets in divorce to limits on partners' weight gain, just as prenups can. And in a survey of divorce lawyers by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 51% saw an increase in postnups and 46% saw no change from 2009 to 2012.

Now that the Supreme Court has struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, experts say more postnups could be in the offing.

Read more here.

MR

August 21, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

College Hook-Up Scene White & Wealthy

From Slate:

The vast majority of published research on hookup culture, mine included, focuses on the gender dynamics: the extent to which college women are empowered or disempowered by their experience with hookup culture. Media coverage of the phenomenon has followed suit.

Gender, however, is not the only way to slice the data. Buried in the statistics is information about who is participating in the hookup culture more or less actively. And, it turns out, not everyone on campus embraces the scene equally. Only 14 percent of students hookup more than 10 times in four years and these students are more likely than others to be white, wealthy, heterosexual, able-bodied, and conventionally attractive, according to quantitative studies of hookup behavior. Students who do not fall into these categories hook up significantly less and are more likely to disapprove of or be uninterested in the whole endeavor. To give you an idea of why, I’ll briefly discuss what we know about the attitudes and behaviors of African-American versus white and working-class versus middle-class students.

Read more here.

MR

Hat Tip: SH

August 20, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Same-Sex Divorce

From the New York Times:

Mr. Cardinal cannot remarry — to do so would make him a bigamist in states like Massachusetts or New York that recognize his previous nuptials. And although he and his husband did not combine their assets, the lack of an official document certifying the end of their marriage carries financial risks.

“I didn’t realize this could potentially be an issue, that we couldn’t divorce when we wanted to,” Mr. Cardinal said. “That was really upsetting.”

The Supreme Court’s ruling last week striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act has been hailed as a victory for gay couples who wish to marry. But it has also offered new hope to people like Mr. Cardinal who are stuck in a marriage they cannot dissolve.

In a highly mobile society, state bans on same-sex marriage have in many cases made untying the knot far harder than tying it in the first place. But the language in the court’s decision is broad enough, legal experts say, to provide a basis for challenges to state laws.

Read more here.

MR

August 19, 2013 in Divorce (grounds) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Unhappy Couples Scared to Divorce

From the Huffington Post:

What keeps people stuck in unhappy marriages?

According to a recent study by UK law firm Slater & Gordon, the number-one reason unhappy spouses stay together is because they lack the courage to divorce. And of the the 2,000 married people surveyed, a fifth said they felt trapped in their relationship but would not consider a divorce unless financial stability could be guaranteed.

Read more here.

MR

August 17, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)