Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Child Support in Australia

From the Australian:

THE Abbott government has called for a parliamentary inquiry into how the child support system works, including links between it and the Family Court.

The last Coalition government, the Howard government, held a historic parliamentary inquiry into the child custody system that led to widespread changes including “shared parenting”.

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs has announced it has commenced a new inquiry into the Child Support Program, as requested by the Minister for Social Services Kevin Andrews.

Read more here.

MR

April 30, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Child Support in NJ

From CBS Philly:

New Jersey is offering a one-week amnesty program for parents who owe child support.

Parents who are behind on their child support payments can avoid jail time and other penalties if they come in to make payments or to work out payment plans, says Camden County freeholder Scot McCray.

Read more here.

MR

April 29, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, April 28, 2014

Divorce Division of Lotto Millions

From USA Today:

A man who won $2 million in the Hoosier Lottery while separated from his wife has to give her only 2.5% of the winnings, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.

...

Judges in "separate property" states may divide assets "in any manner that is just and reasonable, and that determination depends on the facts of the case," said Margaret Ryznar, a professor at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis.

"Often the court will divide marital assets in a proportion resembling 50-50, but there is room for departure depending on the court's judgment," she explained.

"Here, the departure is not surprising given that the husband and wife were living entirely separate lives by the time of the lotto winnings. Thus, while this is an interesting case to see how an Indiana court would divide lotto winnings in an estranged marriage, the result may differ in the next case depending on the facts of that marriage."

Read more here.

MR

April 28, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Divorce Financial Mistakes

From the Wall Street Journal:

Divorce can often bring about tumultuous times for a family. Sometimes they can go very smooth, and others can literally be "The War of the Roses." Either way, couples often make financial mistakes that can lead to problems down the road. The No. 1 mistake that I have seen among divorcing couples is their lack of consideration around liquidity of assets.

Read more here.

MR

Hat Tip: Naomi Cahn

April 26, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, April 25, 2014

Marriagble Men

From Naomi Cahn and June Carbone, writing for Slate:

When Lily looks around at the available men, they don’t offer what she is looking for. Lily, just like better-off men and women, believes that marriage means an unqualified commitment to the other spouse. When you marry someone, you support him in hard times. You stick with him when he disappoints you. You visit him if he ends up in jail. And you encourage him to become an important part of your children’s lives.  It’s just that Lily doesn’t believe that Carl is worth that commitment. Nor does she believe that she will meet someone who will meet her standards anytime soon, and the statistics back her up.

The economy has changed. A higher percentage of men today than 50 years ago have trouble finding steady employment, securing raises and promotions, or remaining sober and productive.

Read more here.

MR

April 25, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Paternity Leave in Academia

From Bloomberg Businessweek:

To help women in academia advance, elite universities should consider scrapping their generous paternity policies. That is the counterintuitive conclusion of a research paper published in the January issue of the Journal of Social, Evolutionary & Cultural Psychology.

The writers, Steven Rhoads of the University of Virginia and his son, Christopher Rhoads, of the University of Connecticut, studied a sample of 181 married, heterosexual, tenure-track professors all of whom had children under two and taught at schools with parental-leave policies. While 69 percent of the women in the sample took post-birth parental leave, only 12 percent of the men took advantage of the available leave—even though it was paid. They also learned that the male professors who did so performed significantly less child care relative to their spouses. Worse yet, they report that male tenure-track professors may be abusing paternity leave by using the time to complete research or publish papers, an activity that enhances their careers while putting their female colleagues at a disadvantage. One female participant quoted in the study put it this way: “If women and men are both granted parental leaves and women recover/nurse/do primary care and men do some care and finish articles, there’s a problem.”

Read more here.

MR

April 24, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Last American Adoption from Crimea

From ABC:

As the overnight train pulled up to Crimea’s new border with Ukraine, Kristine Proctor held her breath. Armed soldiers outside the window peered inside.

“Are there any foreigners?” they asked the conductor. He pointed at Proctor and her companions: the girl she was adopting from a Crimean orphanage and Inna, the Ukrainian woman who was helping them escape.

“Two Americans,” the conductor replied. The soldiers didn’t ask any more questions and moved on. Eventually the train continued on its way to Kiev, Ukraine’s capital.

Proctor exhaled. Her daughter had made it out as the last Crimean orphan adopted by Americans.

Read more here.

MR

April 23, 2014 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Utah on Adoptions

From Time:

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert has approved a measure that will require unwed mothers to tell birth fathers that they plan to give custody of their children to adoption agencies.

Read more here.

MR

April 22, 2014 in Adoption, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Grandparents & Grandchildren

A new study suggests that to stay sharp, grandparents should spend 1 day per week with grandchildren.  However, spending 5 or more days per week with grandchildren may have negative imact on the grandparents.  Read the article here.

MR

April 21, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Hiring Help

From the Atlantic:

When Lorrie Moore, acclaimed author of A Gate at The Stairs and Birds of America, released Bark, her first short story collection in 16 years, on February 25th, critics were dismayed to find that such a long wait had produced such a slim body of work. “I’ll admit that when I first saw its modest size and table of contents—eight stories? One every two years?—I felt let down,” David Gates wrote in The New York Times Book Review.  Philip Hensher at The Guardian also lamented Moore’s production rate in crafting a modest volume of stories, writing, “Eight stories since 2003 is not a great deal, especially when three of them weren't worth publishing.”

Moore herself, however, explained to The New York Times that it’s difficult to both publish and maintain her day job as a writing professor at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Moore, a divorcée and single mother, noted, “There are some men I know who are teaching and writing who are single fathers. But not many. Most of them have these great, devoted wives, some version of Vera Nabokov. Writers all need Vera.”

Twenty-three years after her death, Vera Nabokov remains a revered figure in capital “L” Literature—not necessarily for her own work, but for devoting herself fully to that of her husband, the great Vladimir Nabokov. Vera not only performed all the duties expected of a wife of her era—that is, being a free live-in cook, babysitter, laundress, and maid (albeit, she considered herself a “terrible housewife”)—but also acted as her husband’s round-the-clock editor, assistant, and secretary. In addition to teaching his classes on occasion (in which Nabokov openly referred to her as “my assistant”), Vera also famously saved Lolita, the work that would define her husband’s career, several times from incineration, according to Stacy Schiff ‘s Pulitzer Prize-winning 2000 biography, Vera (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov). With Vera by his side, Nabokov published 18 novels between 1926 and 1974 (both in Russian and English). Through 1976, the year before his death, he also published 10 short story collections and nine poetry collections along with criticism, plays, uncollected short stories, and translations.

Read more here.

MR

April 19, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, April 18, 2014

Anti-Adultery Laws

From USA Today:

The New Hampshire state Senate voted Thursday to repeal its anti-adultery law, sending the bill to Gov. Maggie Hassan, who says she's likely to sign it into law. Under the law the Legislature voted to repeal, adultery is a Class B misdemeanor and punishable by a fine of up to $1,200.

"I don't think there's any appetite in New Hampshire to use police powers to enforce a marriage," state Rep. Tim O'Flaherty, the bill's sponsor, said during a public hearing last month.

Last year, Colorado repealed its anti-adultery law.

States' anti-adultery laws are rarely enforced, a vestige of our country's Puritanical beginnings, says Naomi Cahn, a law professor at the George Washington University Law School.

"I suspect it's not something most people having non-marital relationships are thinking about," Cahn tells USA TODAY Network.

Read more here.

MR

April 18, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Lozano v. Alvarez

From Margaret Ryznar, writing for the Huffington Post:

In early March, the United States Supreme Court handed down the opinion in its most recent international abduction case, Lozano v. Alvarez. Justice Thomas wrote for the unanimous Court, holding that American courts cannot toll the one-year period for left-behind parents to file a Hague petition for a child's return -- after which time a defense to return the child can be asserted if the child is now settled in her new environment -- even when the abducting parent concealed the whereabouts of the child.

Lauren Moskowitz, partner at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, represented Ms. Alvarez pro bono. Ms. Moskowitz elaborated upon the decision in an interview for this post:

"We are grateful for the Supreme Court's unanimous decision, which makes clear that parents will not be prevented from raising the defense to return that the child is 'now settled' in the United States, a defense that specifically is provided for in the Hague Convention. The Court's decision correctly refused to displace the careful balance of interests that was memorialized in the treaty, which recognizes that in these international custody disputes, the interests of the child are paramount."

Read more here.

MR

April 17, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Adoption Case in NY

From the New York Law Journal:

A Queens man may legally adopt his husband's biological twins even though they were born to a woman under a surrogacy agreement that is illegal in New York state, a Family Court judge determined.

Judge Barbara Salinitro ruled that the best interests of the twins is the most important consideration in weighing the adoption petition of a man identified in court papers as "J.H.-W.," not that the surrogacy agreement that reulted in their birth is "void and unenforceable" under New York law.

Read more here.
MR

April 16, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

College Debt Division at Divorce

From the Wall Street Journal:

In many states, divorce courts have the discretion to divide marital property in a holistic way. That means that if the educational debt is considered marital property, they have the option of taking into account contextual issues, such as each spouse's ability to pay it off, Ms. Carbone says.

So while student loans generally will go to the person who incurred them, there may be exceptions, she says.

For example, if it seems like one spouse will have high income after a divorce and another will struggle to make debt payments, the higher earner may end up having to fork over some temporary spousal support to cover the ex's debt payments.

But debt division is complicated and can vary, depending on whether the state applies equitable-distribution, community-property or marital-property rules, Ms. Carbone says. As such, student loans in some circumstances could be split down the middle, even if one spouse has a much different financial situation than the other after divorce.

In a related issue, in a few jurisdictions such as New York, a professional degree earned during the marriage can be considered marital property, says Rachel Rebouché, an associate professor who teaches family law at Temple University Beasley School of Law.

That can lead to situations where the degree earner has to compensate a spouse for supporting his or her educational pursuits. Support for a spouse could mean time spent cooking meals, driving the degree earner to campus or even the supporter delaying his or her own educational pursuits, Ms. Rebouché says. In some cases, courts have awarded more property to the supporter to offset the value of a partner's degree, she says.

Two Steps

Those in the field say couples can take two basic steps to avoid surprises related to college debt.

First: Get a prenuptial agreement and make sure it clearly specifies how you and your partner want to allocate any student debt accrued during a marriage in a divorce, says Naomi Cahn, a professor who researches family law at George Washington University.

Second: Ask a partner about the extent of his or her debt and be honest about yours. When discussing finances, couples tend to "focus so much on the assets, but they forget that there's often a lot of debt," Ms. Cahn says.

Read more here.

MR

April 15, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Fighting Divorces

From the Washington Post:

For years, social conservatives have been fighting to prevent certain people from getting married. But they’re waging a parallel battle, too: Trying to keep married couples together.

In cooperation with the Family Research Council and the National Organization for Marriage, socially conservative politicians have been quietly trying to make it harder for couples to get divorced. In recent years, lawmakers in more than a dozen states have introduced bills imposing longer waiting periods before a divorce is granted, mandating counseling courses or limiting the reasons a couple can formally split. States such as Arizona, Louisiana and Utah have already passed such laws, while others such as Oklahoma and Alabama are moving to do so.

Read more here.

MR

Hat Tip: Naomi Cahn

April 14, 2014 in Divorce (grounds) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Taxes after Love

From Reuters:

"Conscious uncoupling" might become all the rage now that actress Gwyneth Paltrow and musician Chris Martin have announced they are separating in a cooperative and respectful way. But there is nothing touchy feely about divorce in the eyes of the Internal Revenue Service.

In fact, filing taxes after you divorce, or even separate, may be trickier than when you were together. And, as if to add insult to the emotional injury of ending a marriage, your first "uncoupled" tax bill might deliver a major financial blow.

Read more here.

MR

April 12, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, April 11, 2014

Dividing Planes, Trains & Automobiles in Divorce

From the Chicago Tribune:

Schiller, DuCanto & Fleck hosted an event last night for nearly 150 estate and financial planners, money managers, judges, lawyers, and executives to help guests learn how to better advise their clients regarding planning and dividing of luxury items including planes, trains and automobiles. The event took place at Lake Forest Sportscars, a world-class, luxury automobile dealership that boasts one of the largest indoor displays of high performance automotive fashion anywhere in the country.

"When a wealthy client is contemplating divorce, it is vital for wealth advisors, whether in financial advisory or trust or estate planning roles, to keep the future prospect of divorce in mind as they consult with their clients," said Meighan Harmon, a senior partner at Schiller, DuCanto & Fleck who focuses on complex family law cases involving the distribution of multi-million dollar estates.

Read more here.

MR

April 11, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Cohabitation Among Adults Over 40 in England & Wales

From Family Law Week:

The latest release by the Office for National Statistics from the 2011 Census shows that people aged 40 and over made up a larger proportion of the cohabiting population in 2011 (41%), up from 2001 (31%). The ONS suggests that possible reasons include the increasing number of divorced people and the social acceptability of cohabitation following divorce or instead of marriage.

The new release analyses data on marital status (legal partnership status including marriage and civil partnership) for adults (aged 16 and over) usually resident in England and Wales, noting key changes since 2001.

Read more here.

MR

April 10, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Family Planning in the Philippines

From Medical Press:

The Philippine Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a family planning law is constitutional, allowing the government to provide reproductive health care services primarily to the country's poor despite strong opposition to the law from the Roman Catholic Church.

Supporters of the law cheered as court spokesman Theodore Te announced the ruling in northern Baguio city, where it was issued.

President Benigno Aquino III signed the law in December 2012 but the court imposed a temporary restraining order while it studied petitions questioning its constitutionality.

Read more here.

MR

 

April 9, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Breakdown of English Adoptions

From Family Law Week:

The most comprehensive study ever to be carried out into adoption in England has confirmed that the rate of breakdown is lower than anticipated, but it also reveals a stark picture of the problems faced by families.

In Beyond the Adoption Order: challenges, intervention, disruption researchers from the University of Bristol analysed national data on 37,335 adoptions over a 12 year period to show that 3.2 per cent of children – around three in 100 – move out of their adoptive home prematurely, known as a 'disruption'.

Adoptions were more likely to breakdown if a child was placed once they were over the age of four. Most adoptions breakdown during the teenage years with teenagers 10 times more at risk of disruption compared with children under the age of four.

Read more here.

MR

April 8, 2014 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)