Family Law Prof Blog

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

A Member of the Law Professor Blogs Network

Friday, July 24, 2015

Social Media Fueling Rise in China's Divorce Rate

From Forbes:

China’s opening up in the post-Mao era has been one of the most important trends in the global economy in the past 30 years. Yet with prosperity has come social problems. The divorce rate in the world’s most populous nation has risen along with the country’s new wealth. The government reported last month that China’s divorce rate climbed by 3.9% to 3.6 million cases in 2014. That was the 12th consecutive annual increase, according to a report in the Beijing Youth Daily. For every four couples that married in China last year, there was one divorce. Embodying the trend, sports hero Liu Xiang said last month he would divorce his wife of only nine months, Ge Tian.

What is it about modern life that’s driving the increase? To learn more, I exchanged with Liu Lin, a divorce lawyer at Beijing Shuangli Law Firm.  One big factor, he said, is the growing use of social media such as Alibaba-backed Weibo and Tencent’s WeChat. “Social media is a catalyst for divorce,” Liu said. A deeper underlying cause for the increase, however, is that Chinese couples often don’t communicate well with each other.

Read more here.

July 24, 2015 in Divorce (grounds) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 13, 2015

Iran Makes Divorce By Mutual Consent Harder to Obtain

From Times of Oman:

Iran has changed a law to make divorce by mutual consent invalid unless couples have first undergone state-run counseling, the country's latest move to tackle a rise in broken marriages.

The measures, reported by media at the weekend, are contained in a new family law that a top official said would be implemented by Iran's judiciary.

"A decree of divorce by mutual consent, without counseling, is forbidden," Parnian Ghavam, head of the judiciary's social work and counseling office, was quoted as saying by Tasnim news agency.

All Iranians filing for divorce would be obliged to go to a counsellor, she said. "From now on, without this it will not be possible to register divorces of mutual consent."

Read more here.

July 13, 2015 in Divorce (grounds) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Collaborative Divorce Saves Time and Money

From Philly.com:

While many associate the word divorce with painful and messy, a new emphasis on conflict resolution has led to a specialty known as "collaborative divorce." Gaining traction in Pennsylvania as well as being part of an international movement, collaborative divorce is saving clients time, heartache, and often thousands of dollars.

Under collaborative law, both parties retain separate, specially trained lawyers whose only job is to help them settle the dispute. All parties agree to work in good faith, combining legal representation with the strength of mediation. 

In January, a draft of the Pennsylvania Uniform Collaborative Law Act (UCLA) gained unanimous approval of the Family Law Section of the Pennsylvania Bar Association. Last month, a resolution supporting the proposal was approved by the full board and the House of Delegates of the Pennsylvania Bar Association. A bill is expected to be introduced in the legislature later this year.

Read more here.

July 7, 2015 in Divorce (grounds) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 6, 2015

Country's First Gay Divorce Firm Opens

From CBS Philly:

A Philadelphia attorney has opened what he says is the first LGBTQ divorce firm.

Philadelphia lawyer Conor Corcoran, who bills himself as the nation’s first gay divorce attorney, says he is ready to serve gays and lesbians that will need divorces following the Supreme Court’s ruling last week legalizing same-sex marriage across the country.

Corcoran says he celebrated the Supreme Court decision to have marriage equality throughout the United States, but he quickly realized it was unlikely all of the new marriages would end in bliss.

He says that is why he launched a new division entirely devoted to LGBT divorce.

Read more here.

July 6, 2015 in Divorce (grounds) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Divorce for Same-Sex Couples

From The Tampa Tribune:

A year after being denied by a judge, a lesbian couple in Tampa will be allowed to divorce, the 2nd District Court of Appeal ruled Friday.

Although Attorney General Pam Bondi asked the appellate court to wait until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on same-sex marriage, the court instead issued a terse opinion reversing an order by a Hillsborough Circuit judge who refused to grant a divorce to Keiba Lynn Shaw and Mariama Changamire Shaw.

“For the reasons expressed in this court’s recent opinion in Brandon-Thomas v. Brandon-Thomas ... we reverse and remand for further proceedings,” the order stated.

The Shaws, who were married in Massachusetts, agreed to their divorce and settled all issues through a process known as collaborative divorce, asking the courts only to issue a legal declaration dissolving their marriage.

Read more here.

June 11, 2015 in Divorce (grounds) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 30, 2014

Divorce Parties...In Iran?

From the BBC:

The parties sometimes require extravagant preparations, complete with black roses and huge cakes, the conservative Jomhuri-ye Eslami newspaper reports. "You go to a florist to order a bouquet of black roses. Next you come to us to order invitation cards," one card shop owner tells the paper.

"I don't miss you at all," says one invitation, quoting the lyrics of a Persian pop hit.

Read more here.

MR

May 30, 2014 in Divorce (grounds) | Permalink | Comments (0) | 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)

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)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Fault vs. No-Fault Divorce

From Huffington Post:

"He slept with his secretary." "Except for spending all of my money, she never did a thing for the kids or our marriage." "I'm taking everything, including the kitchen sink!" Emotional reactions like these are extremely common during a divorce. However, they have no place in the divorce proceedings where the need to prove fault has been eliminated, and the conduct of the other party is not a factor considered by the court when granting a divorce, dividing property or entering support orders.

Read more here.

MR

May 8, 2013 in Divorce (grounds) | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Second Marriages More Successful?

From the Marriage Foundation:

Second Marriages: Triumph of decision over hope?  It is often assumed that second marriages are riskier than first marriages - “The triumph of hope over experience” as popularised by Samuel Johnson in 1791. A new analysis of data commissioned from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) challenges this assumption. In fact, second marriages overall do consistently better than first marriages. Where one or both spouses are marrying for the second time, couples marrying today face an estimated 31% risk of divorce during their lifetime, compared to an estimated 45% risk of divorce amongst couples where both spouses are marrying for the first time.

Read more here.

MR

May 1, 2013 in Divorce (grounds) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Divorce Causes

From the Huffington Post:

A growing number of Brits are citing alcohol as a contributing factor in their divorces -- and it's the wives who have the drinking problem in the majority of the cases, according to one divorce attorney.

Read more here.

MR

April 12, 2013 in Divorce (grounds) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Dual Citizenship & Divorce

Forbes contributor Jeff Landers discusses the complex problems individuals face in divorces involving dual citizenship.  More importantly, these divorces can become extremely complicated and messy if children are involved, especially if the two divorcing individuals can't agree on a single country to reside.  Landers answers questions relating to divorce and dual citizenship.

Read more here.

MR

February 13, 2013 in Current Affairs, Divorce (grounds) | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Basic Divorce Overview

From the State Bar of Wisconisn:

July 5, 2012 – Although Wisconsin has consistently stayed below the national divorce rate, 16,635 couples were divorced last year. One in every 1.8 marriages ends in divorce.

So it was not surprising that a healthy number of young lawyers turned out for a recent CLE seminar, “Handling a Basic Divorce,” which revealed that divorces aren’t so basic.

However, several seasoned family law practitioners presented a wealth of information that lawyers can use to start or build a divorce law practice, including practical advice. This article highlights some of the major issues, including practical tips, to handle a basic divorce.

Read more here.

MR

August 15, 2012 in Divorce (grounds) | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, June 29, 2012

Adultery & Divorce

From Reuters:

A spouse's adultery, once discovered, can lead to arguments, resentment, and even divorce. But do courts look less favorably upon an adulterer in a divorce case?

Generally, no -- thanks to the concept of "no-fault" divorce, now available in all 50 states. In a "no-fault" divorce, either spouse can seek a divorce for any reason, and it doesn't matter who's at fault.

But some states still allow the option to pursue a "fault" divorce, in which adultery may play a role.

Read more here.

MR

June 29, 2012 in Divorce (grounds) | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

More Female Payors of Alimony

From the Chicago Tribube:

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Tables have turned in U.S. divorce courts with more women paying their former husbands alimony and child support than ever before, according to U.S. lawyers.

As women climb higher up the career ladder and outpace their exes in salary, when love goes wrong and marriages break up they are being compelled to contribute to the livelihood of their former spouses.

And some are not happy about it.

More than half, 56 percent, of divorce lawyers across the United States have seen an increase in mothers paying child support in the last three years and 47 percent have noted a hike in the number of women paying alimony, according to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.

Read more here.

MR

June 21, 2012 in Current Affairs, Divorce (grounds) | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Ryznar & Stępień-Sporek: "The Harmonization of Matrimonial Property Regimes"

Margaret Ryznar (Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law) and Anna Stępień-Sporek (University of Gdańsk School of Law) have posted The Harmonization of Matrimonial Property Regimes on SSRN.  Here is the abstract:

Although family law often differs by jurisdiction, harmonization efforts would make such state laws uniform. In the United States, the major obstacle to the harmonization of family law is the federal system. In the European Union, on the other hand, efforts to harmonize the family laws of member states are increasingly successful. This significant experiment in harmonization offers lessons into the roles of jurisdictional autonomy, cultural relativism, and legal absolutes in society, all of growing importance in an increasingly mobile society and in light of the European Union Commission’s pending proposal for harmonization of matrimonial property regimes.

MR

 

June 17, 2012 in Divorce (grounds), Marriage (impediments), Property Division, Scholarship, Family Law | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, May 31, 2012

NY Divorce Laws

From the Wall Street Journal:

A state commission tasked with reviewing a contentious aspect of New York's divorce reform laws is four months behind in delivering an expected report, raising concerns that lawmakers will have little time to address recommendations before their session ends in June.

The independent Law Revision Commission now expects to submit its report May 31. Though the commission's suggestions aren't binding, several legislators have said they are waiting for the report before proposing amendments.

The law was one of a package of 2010 reforms that made New York the last state in the country to adopt no-fault divorce. It set a strict formula for awarding temporary alimony, the money one spouse gives the other during the divorce process.

Since its passage, the statute has come under criticism from many lawyers in the state, who say that the formula may work well for lower-income spouses with few assets but frequently produces lopsided awards for wealthier couples with more complex financial situations.

Read more here.

MR

May 31, 2012 in Current Affairs, Divorce (grounds) | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Separation & Divorce Statistics

From USA Today:

SAN FRANCISCO — About 79% of married couples who separate end up getting divorced, suggest new estimates of the incidence and length of separations.

"Separation is very common and is more common than immediate divorce," said researcher Dmitry Tumin of Ohio State University at a presentation at the annual meeting of the Population Association of America, which ended Sunday. "Most separations last one year or less, but a few drag on a decade or more before ending in divorce. Other separations stay unresolved."

"The decision to separate is driven by time spent in the first marriage, and for women, by the presence of young children," Tumin said. He co-authored the research with sociologist Zhenchao Qian, also of Ohio State.

Read more here.

MR

May 23, 2012 in Divorce (grounds) | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Happy Newlyweds Ultimately Unhappy Divorcees

From the Huffington Post:

In recent years, there have been several studies that suggest that some happy and satisfied newlyweds were still getting divorced. Paul Amato and Bryndl Hohmann-Marriott's 2007 research is one such example; they found that there was a surprising number low-distress couples that were splitting up.

Read more here.

MR

March 22, 2012 in Divorce (grounds) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Religious Divorce

From the NYT:

CHICAGO — Before a packed house of 350 men and women at a Jewish educational center, Beverly Siegel suggested three questions that religious Jewish women should ask before divorcing: “Do I get a get? Do I not get a get? Hmm, what kind of get should I get?”

Ms. Siegel, a Chicago filmmaker, was screening her 2011 documentary, “Women Unchained,” about Jewish women whose husbands refuse to give a religious divorce known as a get. Less religious Jews divorce with no thought to the get. But in traditional Judaism, the husband may withhold the divorce. The women are considered agunot, or “chained wives.” A recent survey found that between 2005 and 2010, there were 462 cases of agunot in North America.

Even if she has obtained a civil divorce, a chained wife, or agunah, cannot remarry within the faith. If she does, children from her new marriage carry a stigma forever. In exchange for a get, husbands often demand reduced alimony, favorable child-custody arrangements, even cash payouts.

Read more here.

MR

March 20, 2012 in Divorce (grounds) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)