Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Fathers' Rights in Scotland

From Professor Elaine E Sutherland, writing for the Journal:

The familiar bones of contention – the recognition of non-marital (unmarried) fathers, the allocation of parental responsibilities and parental rights, and sanctions for parents who obstruct the other parent’s involvement in their child’s life – are back in the spotlight again in Scotland.  

A Public Petition, the mechanism by which members of the Scottish public can seek to influence legislative change in country, has been lodged by a fathers’ rights campaigner calling for reform of the law on these matters. 

Read more here.

MR

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

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Mormon Church Leaving Adoption Role

From the Salt Lake Tribune:

LDS Family Services still will work with couples who want to adopt and with pregnant women — but as professional counselors, not adoption brokers.

"As a traditional adoption agency, it’s not working out for us," said David M. McConkie, manager of services for children at LDS Family Services.

At the heart of the decision is a trend that forced LDS Family Services to reassess how it can best serve Mormons: the fact that few unwed mothers give up their babies for adoption anymore.

Thirty years ago, 15 percent of single pregnant teenagers and young women chose adoption. Today, it’s 1 percent nationally and perhaps slightly higher in Utah, McConkie said.

Read more here.

MR

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

Friday, July 11, 2014

Work-Life Balance

Are peoples stressed more at home or work?  See results here.

MR

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

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Marriage Frozen

From the Guardian:

A man posting on a Japanese marriage advice forum has said the reason for his wife divorcing him was that he didn't enjoy the Disney film Frozen. 

He writes that his wife became obsessed with Frozen after a friend introduced her to it, prompting her to see it at the cinema numerous times. He was eventually cajoled into going along with her, but afterwards said that it was only "OK", and he "didn't really care for it personally". 

Perhaps inspired by the self-empowerment message in the film's central anthem Let It Go, the woman then said: "If you can't understand what makes this movie great, there's something wrong with you as a human being!" before saying that she wanted a divorce. He says she now won't talk to him directly, but mediates through their parents.

Read more here.

MR

 

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

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Marriage "Masters"

From the Atlantic:

Every day in June, the most popular wedding month of the year, about 13,000 American couples will say “I do,” committing to a lifelong relationship that will be full of friendship, joy, and love that will carry them forward to their final days on this earth.

Except, of course, it doesn’t work out that way for most people. The majority of marriages fail, either ending in divorce and separation or devolving into bitterness and dysfunction. Of all the people who get married, only three in ten remain in healthy, happy marriages, as psychologist Ty Tashiro points out in his book The Science of Happily Ever After, which was published earlier this year.

Social scientists first started studying marriages by observing them in action in the 1970s in response to a crisis: Married couples were divorcing at unprecedented rates. Worried about the impact these divorces would have on the children of the broken marriages, psychologists decided to cast their scientific net on couples, bringing them into the lab to observe them and determine what the ingredients of a healthy, lasting relationship were. Was each unhappy family unhappy in its own way, as Tolstoy claimed, or did the miserable marriages all share something toxic in common?

Psychologist John Gottman was one of those researchers. For the past four decades, he has studied thousands of couples in a quest to figure out what makes relationships work. I recently had the chance to interview Gottman and his wife Julie, also a psychologist, in New York City. Together, the renowned experts on marital stability run The Gottman Institute, which is devoted to helping couples build and maintain loving, healthy relationships based on scientific studies.

John Gottman began gathering his most critical findings in 1986, when he set up “The Love Lab” with his colleague Robert Levenson at the University of Washington. Gottman and Levenson brought newlyweds into the lab and watched them interact with each other. With a team of researchers, they hooked the couples up to electrodes and asked the couples to speak about their relationship, like how they met, a major conflict they were facing together, and a positive memory they had. As they spoke, the electrodes measured the subjects' blood flow, heart rates, and how much they sweat they produced. Then the researchers sent the couples home and followed up with them six years later to see if they were still together.

From the data they gathered, Gottman separated the couples into two major groups: the masters and the disasters. The masters were still happily together after six years. The disasters had either broken up or were chronically unhappy in their marriages. When the researchers analyzed the data they gathered on the couples, they saw clear differences between the masters and disasters. The disasters looked calm during the interviews, but their physiology, measured by the electrodes, told a different story. Their heart rates were quick, their sweat glands were active, and their blood flow was fast. Following thousands of couples longitudinally, Gottman found that the more physiologically active the couples were in the lab, the quicker their relationships deteriorated over time.

Read more here.

MR

July 8, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, June 30, 2014

Taping Divorces

From the Salt Lake Tribune:

It gave Johnson an idea: Why not broadcast divorce court proceedings?

"I said, ‘This is fantastic!’ " Johnson told The Tribune. "Our courts are public, and the public should know more about the courts."

The Salt Lake City-based family law attorney said his intention has always been to educate and inform — a goal, he said, that falls in line with the stated purpose of the rule allowing cameras in courtrooms.

But court administrators, judges and commissioners have questioned the lawyer’s motives and denied his requests. They also propose to change a rule.

Rather than the onus being on judges to justify why cameras should be banned from a particular court proceeding, the proposed rule states that the person applying to record a family law proceeding must prove to the judge why they ought to be allowed in.

Read more here.

MR

June 30, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, June 28, 2014

NJ Court Upholds Permanent Alimony

A NJ appellate court upholds a permanent alimony award here.

MR

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

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Prenup Joke

A funny story on prenups from the satircal Onion is here.

MR

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

Friday, June 20, 2014

Time with Kids

From the Guardian:

Dads may deserve that card to mark Fathers' Day as research shows they spend seven times as much time interacting with their children than their own fathers did with them 40 years ago.

While the time focused on their offspring still comes in at a fairly low average of 35 minutes a day for working fathers, it is far higher than the five minutes registered in 1974. Mothers' quality time with their kids has also risen over the same period, from 15 minutes a day to an hour.

Read more here.

MR

June 20, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Fining Parents in England For...

From the Guardian:

Teachers should confront "bad parents" and heads should be given powers to fine mothers and fathers who fail to support their children's education, the chief inspector of schools has said.

Sir Michael Wilshaw called for headteachers to be given the authority to impose financial penalties on parents who allow homework to be left undone, miss parents' evenings or fail to read with their children.

The head of the schools watchdog, Ofsted, also said that poverty was too often used as an excuse for educational failure among white working-class families, whose children were often outperformed by those from immigrant communities.

Read more here.

MR

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

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

CA's Court-Aided 1-Day Divorce

From the New York Times:

MARISSA YORK, a real estate broker in Manhattan, used a $50 online do-it-yourself divorce kit when she and her husband of more than nine years decided to part ways. Their breakup was relatively amicable, she said, so she figured they could save money by avoiding lawyers. “We didn’t want to drag it out over months or years,” she said.

But after the courthouse clerk rejected her filing because the document formatting was incorrect, she had the paperwork reviewed by a lawyer, who informed her that if she waited six more months to file, she would be entitled to a portion of her husband’s pension benefits. She ended up paying about $10,000 in legal fees, which was worth it because she received part of the pension, she said. “If I had to do it over, I would hire an attorney immediately,” she said.

Read more here.

MR

Hat Tip: Naomi Cahn

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

Thursday, May 29, 2014

British Parents Must Agree on Child Support or Pay Fee

From BBC:

Thousands of letters are to be sent to single parents in Britain informing them of changes to their child maintenance arrangements.

The government wants parents to agree their child maintenance agreements "amicably" or face a charge.

It said the changes were necessary as the old set-up was costly for taxpayers.

Read more here.

MR

May 29, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, May 26, 2014

Corporal Punishment in France

From the Local:

France seems no nearer to banning the spanking of children, known as la fessée, after a planned debate in parliament to discuss a proposed bill was halted.

Members of France’s Greens group had put forward an amendment to a new Family Law bill that would have seen an end to la fessée. 

"Legal guardians cannot use corporal punishment or physical violence against children," read the text of the proposal penned by French Greens deputee François-Michel Lambert.

"Violence is never obligatory to assert parental authority," Lambert said, before expressing his confusion over the fact that if "a father slaps his son", in the street people find it "almost normal", but not if it is a woman who is struck.

Lambert said the law would bring France in line with 18 other European countries.

Read more here.

MR

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

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Oregon's Same-Sex Ban Struck Down

From the Washington Post:

A U.S. District Court judge struck down Oregon’s ban on same-sex marriage Monday, the seventh ruling that a state’s ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional in the wake of last year’s Supreme Court decision invalidating sections of the Defense of Marriage Act.

The decision came after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a bid by the National Organization for Marriage to stay the ruling. The Oregon judge, Michael McShane, had denied NOM’s effort to intervene in the case.

“Because Oregon’s marriage laws discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation without a rational relationship to any legitimate government interest,” McShane wrote, ”the laws violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.”

“I believe that if we can look for a moment past gender and sexuality, we can see in these plaintiffs nothing more or less than our own families,” he wrote. “Families who we would expect our constitution to protect, if not exalt, in equal measure.”

Read more here.

MR

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

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Barred from Having More Kids

From the Washington Post:

An Ohio appeals court upheld an order barring a father from having more kids until he pays child support for the ones he already has.

Read more here.

MR

 

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

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Wedding Videos

From the New York Times:

Kiko Zeng and Eric Cheng’s courtship plays out like something out of a storybook. It is love at first sight. Their first touch is a shy, slow-motion handshake, with neither wanting to let go, until friends pull them apart.

Soon they are chatting online, Ms. Zeng while on a pink bedspread typing on a Hello Kitty laptop, Mr. Cheng in a minimalist bedroom. Chinese characters flash across the screen: Will she come on a date? She agrees. He throws his laptop to the side and pumps his hands in a victory gesture.

Fast-forward to an evening in front of a carousel. Mr. Cheng takes a small box from his pocket and hands it to her. She opens it, perplexed, then disappointed: just a red plastic ring. But then he brings out a second box and kneels before her. Inside is a real engagement ring. Will she marry him? She nods enthusiastically, beaming. Their friends suddenly appear, holding up signs that spell out M-A-R-R-Y M-E.

At least that’s how it looks in their wedding video. Who knows how it really happened? At Paris Wedding Center, a company with three locations in the Chinatowns of Manhattan and Flushing, Queens, the lines between reality and fairy tale are blurred.

Not only are photos and videos often taken months before the ceremony, they also don’t necessarily document actual events.

Read more here.

MR

May 8, 2014 in Current Affairs | 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)