Family Law Prof Blog

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

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Honduran Man Kills Himself After Threat of Separation from Family at US Border

From The New York Times:

A Honduran man who was told he would be separated from his family after he had crossed the United States border into Texas with them last month strangled himself in his holding cell, according to Customs and Border Protection officials, public records and media reports.

The man, Marco Antonio Muñoz, crossed the Rio Grande with his wife and 3-year-old son in mid-May near Granjeno, Tex., The Washington Post reported.

In a statement, a Customs and Border Protection spokesman said Mr. Muñoz was apprehended by Border Patrol agents on May 11 for “attempting illegal entry into the United States” and taken to the Rio Grande Valley central processing center.

Read more here.

June 17, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, June 16, 2018

California Bans Travel to Oklahoma Based on its Discriminatory LBGT Adoption Law

From USA Today:

Add Oklahoma to the list of states to which California is banning state-funded and state-sponsored travel.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced Friday that as a result of "discriminatory legislation" that became Oklahoma law last month, the western state will prohibit travel to its midwestern counterpart.

A 2017 California law requires that its attorney general keeps a list of states subject to a state travel ban because of "laws that authorize or require discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression," Becerra's office said in a statement.

Read more here.

June 16, 2018 in Adoption, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, June 11, 2018

Supreme Court Rules for Colorado Baker in Same-Sex Wedding Cake Case

From CNN:

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to bake a cake to celebrate the marriage of a same sex couple because of a religious objection.

The ruling was 7-2.

The court held that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission showed hostility toward the baker based on his religious beliefs. The ruling is a win for baker Jack Phillips, who cited his beliefs as a Christian, but leaves unsettled broader constitutional questions on religious liberty.

Read more here.

June 11, 2018 in Current Affairs, Marriage (impediments) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Act Passes Senate

From Senator Susan Collins:

Today, U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging Chairman Susan Collins (R-ME) and Ranking Member Bob Casey (D-PA) celebrated the U.S. Senate’s passage of the Supporting Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Act (S. 1091), which would create a federal task force charged with supporting grandparents raising grandchildren as the opioid epidemic increases their numbers. The U.S. House of Representatives must pass the legislation before it becomes law. The bill is cosponsored by a bipartisan group of 15 senators and supported by a wide array of child welfare and aging organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics and AARP.

Approximately 2.6 million children are being raised by their grandparents and experts say this number is rising as the opioid epidemic devastates communities across the country. Senators Collins and Casey, who are both members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, introduced the Supporting Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Act last year after an Aging Committee hearing during which witnesses testified about the need for grandparents to have easy access to information about resources available to assist them.

Read more here.

June 10, 2018 in Adoption, Child Abuse, Current Affairs, Custody (parenting plans) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Fear of Deportation Keeping Immigrants From Reporting Domestic Violence

From The New York Times:

For years, she slept with a gun under her pillow, living in fear of a boyfriend who beat her, controlled her life and threatened to kill her and her children. Domenica, who came to this country illegally from Mexico in 1995 and became part of the booming immigrant community in Houston, said her partner was a United States citizen, and often reminded her that she could be deported if she went to the police.

“He told me nobody would help me, because I don’t have papers,” said Domenica, 38, who has a son and daughter with her boyfriend, and asked that her last name not be used in order to protect them. “I was with him like that for a pretty long time. I felt like there was no help for me.”

In August of last year, fearing for the safety of her children, Domenica decided to flee. She never called the police. She said she would rather go into hiding than appear in court and risk being separated from her children, or sent home to Mexico.

Read more here.

June 9, 2018 in Current Affairs, Domestic Violence | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Parents of Disabled Children End Protest in Poland

From The Washington Post:

A group of parents who occupied part of the Polish parliament with their disabled children abandoned their protest of state assistance payments Sunday after more than a month.

One of the mothers, Iwona Hartwich, said the demonstrators felt cut off from the world and worried about their children’s health from living in a corridor of the parliament building 40 days. The protesters also said that security guards had made life difficult, limiting them to one bathroom.

Cheering crowds greeted the parents as they pushed their grown children in wheelchairs away from the complex Sunday. One supporter, a woman who fought with the Polish resistance during World War II, bent down and kissed a person in a wheelchair.

Read more here.

June 6, 2018 in Current Affairs, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Sante Fe Victim's Family Sues Suspect's Parents

From ABC News:

The parents of a 17-year-old boy gunned down in the Santa Fe High School shooting are suing the parents of the suspected teen shooter, alleging the suspect's mother and father were grossly negligent for failing to properly secure their guns and keep them out of the hands of a "monstrous murderer."

Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17, allegedly burst into the Texas school May 18 with a shotgun and a .38-caliber revolver, both of which are legally owned by his father, where he "coldly and calculating shot and brutally murdered Christopher Jake Stone and numerous other innocent victims," according to the lawsuit filed by Stone's parents, Christopher Stone and Rosie Yanas.

Christopher Jake Stone and the nine others killed had the "innocent but terrible misfortune to be in the same school at the same time as the monstrous murderer who rampaged among them," according to the lawsuit, filed Thursday in Galveston County, Texas. "As each bullet ripped home, gone in an instant were lives not fulfilled, marriages not happening, children not born, the ripple effect of so many good people touching the lives of others stilled forever."

Read more here.

June 3, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, June 2, 2018

More Women Paying Alimony

From Market Watch:

It’s another breakthrough for women, but probably not one that they’re relishing.

A growing number of women are paying alimony and child support when their marriages break up, according to a recent survey of 1,650 lawyers by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Some 54% of the attorneys surveyed have seen an increase in mothers paying child support in the last three years, and 45% noticed an uptick in women paying alimony, AAML found.

The trend could be seen as a sign of women’s growing earning power in the face of America’s persistent gender wage gap, but it can be a bitter pill to swallow who those who experience it firsthand, said AAML president Madeline Marzano-Lesnevich, a family law attorney based in Hackensack, New Jersey.

Read more here.

June 2, 2018 in Current Affairs, Maintenance (alimony) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, June 1, 2018

Abortion Law Reform for Ireland

From Reuters:

Irish people paid homage on Sunday to an Indian immigrant woman whose death inspired a historic vote to repeal Ireland’s strict abortion laws while the Catholic Church rued the outcome saying it showed indifference to its teachings.

In a referendum on Friday, the once deeply Catholic nation voted to scrap a prohibition on abortion by a margin of two-to-one, a landslide victory that astonished campaigners as citizens of every age and background demanded the change they had spent decades fighting for.

The vote overturns a law which, for decades, has forced over 3,000 women to travel to Britain each year for terminations that they could not legally have in their own country. “Yes” campaigners had argued that with pills now being bought illegally online abortion was already a reality in Ireland.

Read more here.

June 1, 2018 in Abortion, Current Affairs, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Refugee Office Loses 1500 Kids

From the Huffington Post:

The government program meant to place unaccompanied children taken from the U.S.-Mexico border into the care of a parent or sponsor admitted last month it lost nearly 1,500 of them.

And it said it isn’t responsible for finding them either.

Senate testimony that was released last month but came to light more recently details how the Office of Refugee Resettlement ― part of the Department of Health and Human Services ― “was unable to determine with certainty the whereabouts of 1,475 [children].” That was according to Steve Wagner, acting assistant secretary with the Administration for Children and Families.

Read more here.

May 31, 2018 in Child Abuse, Current Affairs, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

She Married Three Brothers in Family Torn by War

From New York Times:

Khadija is 18 now, just a year older than the Afghan war itself, and she has already been married three times — to three brothers.

One was a Taliban insurgent, killed fighting the United States Marines. One was a policeman, killed fighting the Taliban. One was an interpreter for the Marines who is now hunted by the Taliban, who have threatened to kill him and his infant son.

The story of Khadija and the three brothers she married is an account of war and tradition that is tragically Afghan. It encompasses the bitter arc of the Afghan war in its most violent place, Helmand Province in the south, the Taliban stronghold where many families have been torn apart by loyalties divided between the government and the insurgents.

Read more here.

May 30, 2018 in Current Affairs, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Apps Used to Stalk Endanger Domestic Violence Victims

From ABA Journal:

There are hundreds of cell phone apps that can be used for stalking a current or former romantic partner—and they may be hard to access by attorneys who work with victims.

The New York Times reported Saturday on research that showed more than 200 apps available through Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store for monitoring someone’s location and activities. Many are ostensibly for finding a lost phone or keeping tabs on a child, the Times says—but are marketed for catching a cheating partner.

The research the Times reported on, from NYU, Cornell, Hunter College and Technion, also found apps that are overtly marketed for spying on a partner. Researchers called nine companies and asked about using their apps to track a husband; only one—TeenSafe—turned them down.

Read more here.

May 30, 2018 in Current Affairs, Domestic Violence, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

When Living Your Truth Can Mean Losing Your Children

From New York Times:

The questioning went on for days. Did she allow her children to watch a Christmas video? Did she include plastic Easter eggs as part of her celebration of the Jewish holiday of Purim? Did she use English nicknames for them, instead of their Hebrew names?

This grilling of Chavie Weisberger, 35, took place not in front of a rabbi or a religious court, but in State Supreme Court in Brooklyn, during a custody battle with her ultra-Orthodox Jewish ex-husband after she came out as lesbian and decided to leave the ultra-Orthodox fold. The stakes could not have been higher. In fact, the judge, Eric I. Prus, eventually ruled that she should lose custody of her children, largely because she had lapsed in raising them according to Hasidic customs.

Ms. Weisberger’s case, which was reversed on appeal in August, is still reverberating through New York courts that handle divorce and custody matters for the state’s hundreds of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews.

Read more here.

May 29, 2018 in Current Affairs, Custody (parenting plans) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Judge Orders Man Out of His Parents' Home

From the ABA Journal:

A judge in upstate New York has ordered a 30-year-old man to leave his parents’ home, even as he praised his legal research.

Supreme Court Justice Donald Greenwood, a trial-level judge, said Michael Rotondo has to leave the home in Camillus, New York, and he isn’t entitled to six months’ notice. Publications with coverage include Syracuse.com, ABC, the Washington Post and NPR.

Greenwood also ordered adult protective services to investigate the parents’ well-being. Their lawyer said they want the option to sell their home and move to a smaller place.

During a 30-minute hearing, Rotondo argued he was entitled to stay an additional six months and cited a case that supported the proposition in cases of family members facing eviction. Greenwood praised the research, but pointed to an appellate ruling that overrode Rotondo’s case and favored the parents.

Read more here.

May 29, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Eating Fast Food Linked to Infertility

From Reuters:

Women who eat a lot of fast food may take longer to become pregnant and be more likely to experience infertility than their counterparts who rarely if ever eat these types of meals, a recent study suggests.

Compared to women who generally avoided fast food, women who indulged four or more times a week before they conceived took almost a month longer to become pregnant, the study of 5,598 first-time mothers in Australia, New Zealand and the UK found.

Overall, 2,204 women, or 39 percent, conceived within one month of when they began having sex with their partner without contraception and 468, or 8 percent, experienced infertility and failed to conceive after 12 months of trying.

Read more here.

May 27, 2018 in Alternative Reproduction, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 25, 2018

Connecticut Encourages LGBT Families to Adopt

From The Hill:

Connecticut is working to actively recruit LGBT families to adopt and foster children, even as other states pass laws allowing agencies to ban them.

The Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF) has launched an outreach campaign and will begin working with LGBT organizations and community centers to encourage people to apply to become adoptive or foster parents, according to The Associated Press.

Similar efforts are also underway in New York City and San Francisco.

Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) said that he wants Connecticut to be known as a state that welcomes the LGBT community, adding that more than 4,000 children are in state care and about half of them likely won't return to their biological parents.

Read more here.

 

May 25, 2018 in Adoption, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Former Playmate Kills Self, Son, in Custody Battle

From The New York Post:

A former Playboy Playmate killed herself and her 7-year-old son in a murder-suicide leap from a Midtown hotel penthouse Friday amid a bitter custody battle with her estranged husband, sources told The Post.

The bodies of Stephanie Adams and her son, Vincent, were found on a second-floor balcony area by a guest at the Gotham Hotel, police said.

Adams, 47, had been battling with her husband, Manhattan chiropractor Charles Nicolai, in court, and the dispute had heated up Tuesday when he filed a motion for sole custody of the boy, said his lawyer, William Beslow.

Read more here.

May 24, 2018 in Child Abuse, Current Affairs, Custody (parenting plans), Divorce (grounds), Domestic Violence | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The Odds That Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Marriage Will Last

From Business Insider:

When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle ascend to the altar Saturday, the whole world will be watching. And in the years that follow, any hint of marital discord or unfaithfulness between them will be pounced upon as juicy gossip.

That is to say: There's a lot of pressure on these two to make it work. Will they?

Before we get into any predictions, it's important to note that no one can say with absolute certainty whether an individual couple will have a successful marriage, or whether they'll get divorced. The findings and observations below apply to couples in general.

Read more here.

May 22, 2018 in Current Affairs, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 21, 2018

The Changing Profile of Unmarried Parents

From Pew Research Center:

One-in-four parents living with a child in the United States today are unmarried. Driven by declines in marriage overall, as well as increases in births outside of marriage, this marks a dramatic change from a half-century ago, when fewer than one-in-ten parents living with their children were unmarried (7%).

At the same time, the profile of unmarried parents has shifted markedly, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data.1 Solo mothers – those who are raising at least one child with no spouse or partner in the home – no longer dominate the ranks of unmarried parents as they once did. In 1968, 88% of unmarried parents fell into this category. By 1997 that share had dropped to 68%, and in 2017 the share of unmarried parents who were solo mothers declined to 53%. These declines in solo mothers have been entirely offset by increases in cohabitating parents: Now 35% of all unmarried parents are living with a partner.2 Meanwhile, the share of unmarried parents who are solo fathers has held steady at 12%.

Read more here.

May 21, 2018 in Cohabitation (live-ins), Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Flint School Children To Be Tested For Effects Of Lead

From Reuters:

School children in Flint, Michigan, will receive screening and in-depth health assessments to measure the effects of lead-tainted drinking water on their ability to learn, under a more than $4 million legal agreement reached on Monday.

The agreement partially settled a federal lawsuit related to a water crisis in Flint that drew international attention and prompted dozens of other civil lawsuits and criminal charges against former government officials.

Attorney Greg Little of the Education Law Center, one of the groups representing Flint students in the lawsuit, said in a statement that the deal was “a major milestone on the road to addressing the needs of children affected by the Flint water crisis.”

Read more here.

April 22, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)