Family Law Prof Blog

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

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Single People Treat Dating Like Fantasy Football

From Market Watch:

Veronica Ryan, a single 26-year-old marketing executive based in Dallas, Texas, said she swipes right on potential matches on Bumble based on a combination of personality, looks, and job. In many cases she will take someone with a sense of humor over someone who is more good looking, she said, and career plays a lesser but still significant role in matching.

“I definitely swipe on people out of my league for the hell of it,” she said. “It’s kind of a game when it comes to those picks — if they swipe back, it’s a surge of fun.”

Confidence is key when dating, but is it possible to take your self-assurance too far? Most online daters are swiping right on people who are out of their league, a study carried out by University of Michigan researchers and published on this week by the American Association for the Advancement of Science found.

Read more here.

August 19, 2018 in Cohabitation (live-ins), Current Affairs, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Texas Opens Investigation of Child's Death After Leaving ICE Custody

From ABC News:

Texas state officials are investigating allegations that a child died after being detained in unsanitary conditions at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement family facility, the state's child welfare agency announced.

The incident was publicly reported earlier this month and drew the attention of the media and state legislators, but no case was opened because authorities did not know the identity of the child, officials said.

Texas Department of Family and Protective Services said it formally opened the investigation Thursday after receiving the name of the child.

Read more here.

August 18, 2018 in Child Abuse, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, August 17, 2018

Traditional Estate Planning is Dead

From Forbes:

Estate planning is dead. Gone are the days of creating legal structures to hold your assets, pass your fortune on to the next generation and, of course, avoid paying estate taxes. Gone are the days of planning for your death. It’s time to plan for your life.

We have evolved as a society, and if there is one thing we know now it is that money does not buy happiness. That is not to say that money is not part of the happiness equation. For sure, having enough money to meet basics living needs, so that essential survival is not a concern, is key to happiness. In addition, how you apply your money—that is, what you put it towards—can certainly impact your happiness. But money alone, assets alone, do not a happy person make. Most of us (some still linger behind) have moved beyond just wanting money. We want fulfilling experiences. We want purpose. We want to live a meaningful life and to make our small dent in the universe. We want, in some form or fashion, to change the world.

The reason traditional estate planning is dead is that it has nothing to do with happiness or helping you live a fulfilled life. Estate planning simply addresses what happens when your die. It only plans for the two inevitable certainties of life: death and taxes. What about planning for all of the uncertainties in life, the choices you make and ultimately control? What about planning to build the life you will ultimately leave behind when you die?

Read more here.

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

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Reunited Migrant Families Share Experiences

From USA Today:

At a sparkling mid-century office building in the heart of Phoenix's financial district, an unusual scene continues to play out.

A van pulls up multiple times each day and out climb several pairs of parents and children, each clutching their belongings in duffel bags or clear plastics bags stamped with the words Department of Homeland Security on the side.

Their arrival at the office building marks the last agonizing chapter as well as the start of an uncertain future for hundreds of asylum-seeking families separated at the border and now being quietly reunited in Phoenix before a fast-approaching, court-ordered deadline. 

Read more here.

August 11, 2018 in Child Abuse, Current Affairs, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Breastfeeding Laws: Know Your Rights

From USA Today:

August is National Breastfeeding Month. To spread awareness, All the Moms compiled a list of breastfeeding rights that nursing mothers should absolutely know.

Turns out, MANY mamas aren't aware of the protections put in place for them. 

And in 2015, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said about 83 percent of U.S. mothers tried breastfeeding at least once. 

So when the majority of mothers try breastfeeding but don't know their rights, it's time to lay out the laws. 

First off: You can breastfeed anywhere, anytime

Breastfeeding in public is legal in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. That happened recently when Utah and Idaho finally legalized it.  

Read more here.

August 8, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Supreme Court Decision Gives Local Dads New Hope on Fighting for Paternal Rights

From WPTV (West Palm Beach):

Local fathers have been fighting a Florida law for years, and now they have the Supreme Court on their side.

A judge decided a Florida law can no longer keep biological fathers from trying to establish paternal rights in cases where the child was born to a mother married to another man. 

Christopher Farrell got to hold his son once months after he was born.

"It gets emotional; it hurts at times trying to think how far he’s progressing, what's his speech like? Is he saying different words? What's his favorite animal?" said Farrell.

Three years ago, he found out his then-girlfriend was pregnant, and he put together a nursery at his Loxahatchee home for his soon to be son. During her pregnancy, Farrell said she got back with her husband and cut off all ties with him. 

Read more here.

August 5, 2018 in Current Affairs, Paternity | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Migrant Children Face Threat of International Adoption

From The Intercept:

WHEN NEWS REPORTS first began to emerge that 81 of the migrant children recently separated from their parents had been sent into the care of one of the largest adoption agencies in the country, the response was swift alarm. Was the government planning on creating “social orphans” out of the children, then offering them up for adoption?

Horrified observers had already drawn parallels between the separation crisis and the blatantly assimilationist treatment of Native American children, starting with their mass removal to boarding schools in the late 19th Century and continuing through the Indian Adoption Project, which from the late 1950s to early 1970s removed 25 to 35 percent of all Native American children from their families. Or how U.S. slavery systematically broke apart families, selling children away from their parents. A number pointed out that the forcible transfer of children from one group of people to another fits the United Nations definition of genocide.

To adoption reform advocates, who monitor unethical and abusive practices in child welfare, it looked like any number of adoption crises in the past, like the airlifts out of Haiti in the wake of its cataclysmic 2010 earthquake. Then, masses of unaccompanied children were suddenly labeled orphans and became the focus of a deafening campaign in the U.S. to rescue them through inter-country adoption, even as Haitian adults were being warned not to try to come themselves.

Read more here.

August 4, 2018 in Adoption, Current Affairs, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, August 3, 2018

Married Lesbian Couple Rejected From Senior Home

From The Advocate:

When Mary Walsh, 72, and Bev Nance, 68 applied to be residents at Friendship Village, a senior living community in St. Louis, they were rejected because they were married, reports theSt. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The couple, who had been together for nearly four decades, repeatedly visited the village and even dropped a $2,000 deposit. Their plans to move were cut short when an administrator sent them a letter that said, “Your request to share a single unit does not fall within the categories permitted by the long-standing policy of Friendship Village Sunset Hills.” 

In response, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and American Civil Liberties Union is representing the women in a federal court case that alleges the community discriminated against them based on their sexual orientation.

Read more here.

August 3, 2018 in Cohabitation (live-ins), Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 30, 2018

Courts for Addicted Parents Work, So Why Strip Funding?

From The Guardian:

The national unit that supports the family drug and alcohol court(FDAC), an initiative that aims to help addicted parents and their children, will close in September because of a lack of support from local authorities and funding from central government.

The unit, hailed by Sir James Munby, president of the family division of the high court of England and Wales, as one of the most important developments in family justice in the last 40 years, needs £250,000 a year to survive.

FDAC offers an alternative and, research suggests, a cheaper and more successful form of care proceedings for children at risk of significant harm by parents suffering substance misuse. Alongside a team of social workers, psychiatrists, substance misuse specialists and domestic violence experts, the court uses a problem-solving approach that works to enable parents to keep their children. Families involved are seen by the same judge every two weeks to monitor their progress.

Read more here.

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

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Buzz Aldrin Sues His Family

From Florida Today:

Buzz Aldrin's children, Andy Aldrin and Jan Aldrin, on June 23 released the following statement about their father's lawsuit:

"We are deeply disappointed and saddened by the unjustified lawsuit that has been brought against us individually and against the foundation that we have built together as a family to carry on Dad’s legacy for generations to come. When we established the current structure several years ago, it was done so at Buzz’s request and with his full support. If nothing else, our family is resilient and our ability to work together to solve problems and accomplish great things is strong. We love and respect our father very much and remain hopeful that we can rise above this situation and recover the strong relationship that built this foundation in the first place. We will not be commenting further on the lawsuit and ask your understanding and respect for our family privacy at this extremely difficult time.”

Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin has launched a legal battle against his children and family foundation, accusing them of abusing his trust and finances nearly 50 years after his historic moon landing.

Read more here.

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

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Couple Challenges New Rule for Families that Homeschool in Franklin County, VA

From The Martinsville Bulletin:

A Franklin County couple has filed a complaint against the local school board challenging its authority to ask for documents beyond what the state requires of families that wish to home-school their children.

Kirk and Kristen Sosebee, represented by an attorney with the Home School Legal Defense Association, filed the complaint for declaratory judgment and injunctive relief in Franklin County Circuit Court in May. It argues that a policy adopted by the Franklin County School Board “alters state law by adding to the requirements of the home instruction statute.”

The Code of Virginia requires that parents who intend to home-school their children notify the division superintendent each year by Aug. 15. They must also provide a description of the curriculum and evidence of having met one of four criteria for providing home instruction.

Read more here.

July 28, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 23, 2018

Religious Adoption Agencies in Philadelphia Can't Exclude Gay Couples

From Metro Weekly:

Last week, a federal judge ruled that religiously-affiliated child placement agencies do not have a right to refuse to place children with same-sex couples by citing religious beliefs.

Judge Petrese B. Tucker of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania ruled that the city of Philadelphia can keep in place its policy requiring all the foster and adoption agencies with which it contracts to abide by the city’s nondiscrimination policies, which prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Tucker found that because CSS refuses to place children with same-sex couples or LGBTQ individuals, they had violated the city’s nondiscrimination law, and are therefore not entitled to continue to receive taxpayer dollars. Currently, the organization has a $19.4 million contract with the Philadelphia Department of Human Services, reports NBC News.

Read more here.

July 23, 2018 in Adoption, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Desperate Couple Considering Divorce to Afford Health Care

From People Magazine:

An Army veteran and his wife of nine years say they’re considering divorce in order to qualify for health care assistance for their disabled daughter.

Jake and Maria Grey of Sanger, Texas, opened up in a Today report about the cost of caring for their daughter Brighton, who has a rare chromosomal disorder called Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome.

At age 6, Brighton has the developmental abilities of a newborn and requires round-the-clock care. Ailments include vision and hearing impairment, heart and kidney problems, seizures, and more, according to WFAA News.

Read more here.

July 22, 2018 in Current Affairs, Divorce (grounds) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 20, 2018

London Protests Against Trump for Women's Rights, Refugees, Climate Change

From Reuters:

With colorful banners, loud chants and pots and pans banging, tens of thousands of people marched through central London to protest U.S. President Donald Trump’s stance on climate change, refugee policies, and treatment of women.

Organizers estimated more than 80,000 people demonstrated in London against Trump’s first official visit to Britain as president, and other protests were expected in major cities around the country.

“Trump represents everything I hate: racism, bigot, misogynist, xenophobe. As a mother of daughters I want to show that he can’t treat women like he does,” said Diana Yates, 67, as demonstrators cheered and drivers honked horns in support.

Read more here.

July 20, 2018 in Abortion, Child Abuse, Current Affairs, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Serbian Government Allows Children with Disabilities Attend School

From Human Rights Watch:

As children across Serbia enjoy their summer break, for some children the next school year can’t start soon enough. It may be their first chance to get an education. The Serbian government formally pledged in June that all children with disabilities will be able to go to school.

This is no small step. Thousands of children with disabilities in Serbia are not enrolled in school. Now we are told that they will finally have a chance at an education, and an inclusive one at that, to learn side by side with their peers with and without disabilities, as well as to enjoy school trips and after-school activities.

In a June 8 letter to Human Rights Watch, education minister Mladen Sarcevic promised to ensure “access, inclusion and participation of every child, student, and adult in quality and inclusive education.”

Read more here.

July 19, 2018 in Current Affairs, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 16, 2018

States May Scrap Marriage Licenses As Counties Resist Same-Sex Marriage

From ABA Journal:

Alabama resident Gary Wright II was among the gay rights activists who waged a hard-fought campaign for the right to marry in the state.

The 46-year-old Navy veteran was part of a class of plaintiffs who obtained an injunction from Senior U.S. District Judge Callie V.S. Granade in Mobile, who ruled in early 2015 that the state’s refusal to allow same-sex couples to marry violated the constitution. In June of that year, the Supreme Court ruled on Obergefell v. Hodges, which invalidated all state bans on same-sex marriages on constitutional grounds.

But the battle in Alabama didn’t end with that decision. Instead, probate judges in at least seven of the deeply conservative state’s 67 counties are simply refusing to issue marriage licenses to any couples, same-sex or heterosexual. Instead, those judges tell people who want to get married to go to other counties.

Read more here.

July 16, 2018 in Current Affairs, Marriage (impediments) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, July 14, 2018

The Rise of the Millennial Prenup

From The New York Times:

First comes love, then comes … prenup? If you’re a millennial, maybe.

Prenuptial agreements, commonly known as prenups, are legal documents that outline how engaged couples will divide their assets if they divorce. And, in recent years, more millennials have been requesting them, according to a survey of matrimonial lawyers.

One likely reason: Millennials are marrying later than previous generations, with years to build up assets and debt on their own. “I got married at 23, so we put nothing and nothing together,” said Louis Cannataro, partner and founder of Cannataro Park Avenue Financial, where he has advised dozens of millennial clients on their prenups. “But when someone’s getting married in their 30s, there’s a different approach.”

Read more here.

July 14, 2018 in Current Affairs, Marriage (impediments), Property Division | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 13, 2018

Countries That Guarantee Paid Paternity Leave


From NPR:

What do China, India, South Sudan and the United States have in common?

They are among the 92 countries where there is no national policy that allow dads to take paid time off work to care for their newborns.

According to a data analysis released on Thursday by UNICEF, the U.N. children's agency, almost two-thirds of the world's children under age 1 — nearly 90 million — live in countries where dads are not entitled by law to take paid paternity leave. In these countries, this policy is typically decided by employers.

The data, mapped in an interactive chart produced by World Policy Analysis Center at UCLA's Fielding School of Public Health, allows users to scroll over a country to see its policy on paid paternity leave: no paid leave, less than three weeks (for most countries, that means one week or less), three to 13 weeks or 14 weeks or more. Users can also compare this data with paid maternity leave around the world. According to the center, 185 countries guarantee paid leave for mothers, with at least 14 weeks of leave in 106 countries.

Read more here.


July 13, 2018 in Current Affairs, International, Paternity, Termination of Parental Rights | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, July 12, 2018

India Named Most Dangerous Place for Women

From Ghana Broadcasting Corporation:

India is the most dangerous country in the world to be a woman because of the high risk of sexual violence and slave labor, a new survey of experts shows.

The Thomson Reuters Foundation released its results Tuesday of a survey of 550 experts on women's issues, finding India to be the most dangerous nation for sexual violence against women, as well as human trafficking for domestic work, forced labor, forced marriage and sexual slavery, among other reasons.

It was also the most dangerous country in the world for cultural traditions that impact women, the survey found, citing acid attacks, female genital mutilation, child marriage and physical abuse.

Read more here.

July 12, 2018 in Current Affairs, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Ohio Bill Would Require Teachers to Out Transgender Students to Parents

From USA Today:

Teachers would be required to "out" transgender kids to their parents under a new GOP bill introduced in the Ohio state legislature.

House Bill 658 requires any government agent (which includes teachers) immediately report to all parents or guardians if a child "demonstrates a desire to be treated in a manner opposite the child's biological sex" or exhibits symptoms of gender dysphoria, which is when someone identifies with a gender other than the one they were assigned at birth.

Under the proposed law, it would also be a fourth-degree felony for aschool or any "government entity" to provide gender dysphoria treatment without consent from each parent or guardian. Treatment includes "educational materials, classes, or programs, and medical, psychological, social, or other professional treatment, therapy, counseling, or other services." 

Read more here.

July 12, 2018 in Child Abuse, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)