Tuesday, May 28, 2013
PA Family Law
My colleague Aaron Weems has already reported that late last month the Pennsylvania Supreme Court put an end to what was a five year experiment with court appointed ombudsmen tasked to decide minor custody disputes where the need to have a prompt resolution outweighed an assessment of how a particular custody issue affected a child’s best interests.
Read more here.
Monday, May 27, 2013
Happy Memorial Day
Saturday, May 25, 2013
From Dawn Post, writing for City Limits:
April was child abuse awareness month, dedicated to increasing public awareness of the need to ensure the safety and welfare of children. As a result, child abuse and neglect awareness activities were promoted across the country. Many people wear blue ribbons each April in memory of those who have died as a result of child abuse and in support of efforts to prevent abuse. Horrific fatality cases are often recounted in the media.
However, there is a group of children who are also pervasively impacted yet remain unseen. The abuse and neglect they suffer is far more insidious and widespread than most people are aware, yet little to no attention is given to these children, who are the subjects in high-conflict custody and visitation cases.
Read more here.
Friday, May 24, 2013
Guest Post: Family law-definition and working
Family law is that branch of law which has to deal with the family related issues and also domestic relationships. These relations can be between two people, unions, partners etc. The domain of family law works with:
- Civil unions, domestic partnership and marriage
- Surrogacy as well as adoption
- Child Abduction and Child abuse
- Termination of ancillary issues and relationships which include annulment, alimony, divorce, property settlement, visitation, child custody, etc.
- Adjudication of juvenile
- Paternity frauds and paternity tests
These issues are not exhaustive and vary on the basis of the jurisdiction. Many a times, in jurisdictions especially of the foreign countries like the USA, the Family court look at the most, crowded Dockets. The system contains all the representatives of litigation for all economic as well as social classes.
In India, the family law is very unique, since it requires being to the point in accordance to the religions followed here. The law considers the beliefs, tenets and customer of all the religions like Hinduism which appeals the Hindu law, Islamism which approaches the Muslim Law, Zoroastrianism which follow the Parsi law, and Christianity which follows the Christian law.
Marriage which is also known as matrimony can be defined as a Social union between two people. It can also be called a legal contract between two people who come to be known as spouses. Marriage creates rights as well as obligations amongst the spouses, the parents and their children, between spouses and there in laws, etc. Marriage has been defined in different ways in different cultures. But basically it is an institution which defines the relationships interpersonal, which are intimate. In a broader spectrum, marriage can be considered as a cultural universal. Most of the cultures govern a marriage being defined by a ceremony wedding. For recognition in the eyes of the law, the states sovereign and jurisdictions restrict marriage between opposite sex people or two people who belong to opposite genders according to the gender binary. Polygamy, forced marriages, child marriages, etc are permitted by very few of them. Today many countries and jurisdictions have allowed and made legal the marriages between the same sex and have given recognition to same sex marriage, interracial marriage, inter faith marriage, etc. In most of the cultures, marriage is compulsory before conducting any kind of sexual activity.
Apart from marriage, family law relates to a number of other issues like kinship, siblings, cousins, friends, sexual partners, etc.
Any kind of family disputes can be resolved in the family court. The family law binds people with some rules and regulations which they are ought to follow.
Thursday, May 23, 2013
Pimentel: "Criminal Child Neglect and the 'Free Range Kid': Is Overprotective Parenting the New Standard of Care?"
David Pimentel (Ohio Northern University - Ohio Northern University College of Law; Florida Coastal School of Law) has posted his article Criminal Child Neglect and the 'Free Range Kid': Is Overprotective Parenting the New Standard of Care?, Utah Law Review, Vol. 2012, No. 947, 2012 on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
In the last generation, American parenting norms have shifted strongly in favor of Intensive Parenting, placing particular emphasis on protecting children from risks of harm. Recently, a backlash to this trend has emerged. “Free Range” parenting is based on the concern that coddling children through overprotection inhibits the development of their independence and responsibility. Indeed, a growing body of literature suggests that parental overreaction to remote and even illusory risks of physical harm is exposing children to far more serious risks to their well-being and development. But the powerful influence of media has sensationalized the risks to children, skewing popular perceptions of the genuine risks children face and of what constitutes a reasonable or appropriate response to such risks. Consequently, individuals who do not buy into Intensive Parenting norms, including those from different cultural and socio-economic backgrounds, may be subjecting themselves to criminal prosecution for child neglect and endangerment. The criminal statutes are, for the most part, very vague, leaving these prosecutions — which amount to little more than one person’s second-guessing the parenting choices of another — in the discretion of prosecutors, who bring the charges, and of juries, who render verdicts. If prosecutors and jurors share the media-fed misperceptions of risk, overprotective parenting becomes the de facto legal standard of care. To counter this possibility, it is necessary to define criminal child neglect with far greater specificity and to allow defendants to introduce expert testimony to put the actual risks to children, as well as the downside risk of the precautions themselves, in perspective. Absent such changes, fear of prosecution may effectively force parents to conform to the overprotective parenting norm, to the detriment of society, families, and the children themselves.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Rich Despite Divorce
In December of last year, pharma kingpin Steward Rahr and his wife Carol announced that they would be divorcing after 43 years of marriage. The process was to be an amicable one, Rahr told me. Today, the NEew York Post's Page Six reports that proceedings have come to an end and that Carol will receive $250 million of Rahr’s fortune, which Forbes estimated at $1.6 billion as of March.
The author argues this is a good result for a billionaire divorce. Read more here.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Monday, May 20, 2013
Windsor v. United States
From Angelique Devaux, writing for I-CONnect:
To marry or tax me. This could be the modern Shakespeare quote heard in the oral arguments last March 27th at the US Supreme Court in the pending case Windsor v. United States. But it is more about a story that happened in several jurisdictions around the world facing the same controversial legal and constitutional issue: whether your government should define marriage as an opposite-sex couple only, or not …?
This post explains for readers how the case came to be, and it situates its significance within a larger comparative context.
Read more here.
Saturday, May 18, 2013
When Ahmad (Ali Mosaffa) clears customs at de Gaulle Airport, his estranged wife Marie (Bèrénice Bejo) speaks to him urgently on the other side of a glass partition. They communicate with sign language and words the audience can’t hear.
If The Past (Le Passé) continued in that fashion for the next two hours, it might be an elaborate tribute to Bejo’s performance in The Artist, the virtually silent comedy that swept the Oscars in 2012. But this is the new drama from Ashgar Farhadi, the Iranian writer-director of A Separation, winner of last year’s other big Academy Award: Best Foreign-Language Feature. It’s very much a reprise of that film’s themes: grownups who tear their marriages apart, and the children who suffer in their wake.
Read more here.
Friday, May 17, 2013
Jones "Judges, Family Law, Cultural Sociology of Divorce: An Encyclopedia"
Elizabeth N. Jones (Western State College of Law) has posted her article Judges, Family Law, Cultural Sociology of Divorce: An Encyclopedia, pp. 626-629, Robert E. Emery, ed., 2013, on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
This is a chapter in an encyclopedia put forth by Sage Publications. I am the sole author of this particular chapter; there are several hundred contributing authors to the encyclopedia as a whole. It is a multi-disciplinary work which details subjects related to divorce: legal, social, anthropological, religious, psychological, and historical.
In this chapter, I describe the role of the family law judge in divorce proceedings.
The role of the family law judge is a varied one. At its core, the position is one of authority. The lawyers, parties, and court staff all give the judge great deference in the courtroom, referring to the judge as “your honor.” This is further affirmed in the judge’s raised bench overlooking the entire courtroom, in the judge’s traditional gavel used to silence the courtroom and maintain order, and in the judge’s distinct formal clothing, usually consisting of long judicial robes. These formalities are designed to instill respect for the legal institution as a whole.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
From the Washington Times:
No one can be happy with the high divorce rate in the United States, not even a family law attorney like me. Iowa legislators think making divorce more difficult by becoming the first state to prohibit no-fault divorce in cases with children would be a good first step.
Iowa House File 338 would require one of five conditions for a divorce to proceed in a marriage involving children: adultery, physical or sexual abuse, imprisonment, if one spouse is missing more than a year or if the couple has lived apart for more than two years.
Read more here.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Same-Sex Marriage in Foreign Jurisdictions
From Angelique Devaux, writing for the Jurist:
In a time when France has lost its fame for crusading for human rights, "marriage for all" has been the popular name given to same-sex marriage by the French Socialists' impetus in the pursuit of equality—France has waited 13 years after the Netherlands to address an issue in line with contemporary social reality. On April 23, 2013, President François Hollande signed the bill that legalizes same-sex marriage after the issue was previously reviewed by the Constitutional Council and approved by France's Parliament.
As in the story of Windsor v. United States, same-sex marriages performed in foreign jurisdictions often create difficulties in travel which include passport and short-term visa issues, as well as total refusal of entry into certain countries where same sex marriage is prohibited and even criminalized. In anticipation of potential traveling problems, French lawmakers have included language in the new bill which states that marriage performed in a foreign jurisdiction satisfy the legal requirements of marriage in France. It is the statutory confirmation of the rule locus regit actum. An example of this legal theory can be found when one acknowledges how a wedding performed in Canada between a Frenchman and a Canadian is valid in France if all the Canadian legal requirements have been fulfilled.
Read more here.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Same-Sex Marriage in Minnesota
From the Chicago Tribune:
MINNEAPOLIS (Reuters) - Governor Mark Dayton on Tuesday made Minnesota
the nation's 12th state to allow same-sex couples to marry and only the
second in the Midwest, signing a bill on the steps of the state Capitol
before thousands of supporters.
The Democratic governor's signature came a day after state senators approved the bill, which made Minnesota the third state this month to approve same-sex nuptials after Rhode Island and Delaware.
Read more here.
Monday, May 13, 2013
Guest Post by Christine Maddox: 5 Ways Family Law Attorneys Use Social Media in Court
Have you ever heard the saying, "What goes on the Internet, stays on the Internet?" In today's world, no words have ever been truly spoken. It's this persistent nature that has lawyers and law enforcement perusing social media websites in order to prove an individual's guilt or innocence. All too often, those trying to defraud the system don't take into consideration that information shared on sites such as Facebook, MySpace, or YouTube can wind up becoming incriminating evidence.
1. Mindset - The content of your posts on social media sites can be informative when determining your mindset during the time in question. Much like how psychologists are trained to read emotions of underlying meanings, this cyber-evaluation can be quite accurate in determining a person's motivations. Language, whether spoken or written, has tell-tale signs that can determine a person's frame of mind. This task is much easier to perform if a person blatantly posts information on social media sites pertaining to his or her actions, which happens quite often.
2. Time and Place - Establishing time and place is important in any alibi. If there is contrary evidence posted online, it could be easily condemning of your actions. It doesn't take a high-tech CSI investigation team to read the posted time and dates listed on nearly any piece of content you submit online. Some features of online activity can even stamp the very location you were in by use of GPS within a few meters. While this feature has great possibilities for other innovations down the line, it can also point a finger right at you in terms of determining your location at any given moment.
3. Personal Interaction - The very nature of social media sites is personal interaction with others. If you are trying to convince a court that you didn't or did have communication with an individual, your social messages could relate a different story. Twitter messages have incriminated a great amount of people from those committing criminal acts to those posting embarrassing statements that were created in the heat of the moment.
4. Actions - All too often, people will admit to committing particular actions without thinking of the ramifications of doing so. As cameras of some kind are prevalent in the pockets of four billion people around the planet, it is all too easy to simply upload a short video to YouTube and share it with everyone you know. In a matter of minutes, your actions can be seen by thousands of people. While you may appreciate the popularity this could bring you, it is also a great way to incriminate yourself.
5. Changing Laws - Precedents have been established that will allow a court to obtain usernames and passwords of those involved in order to establish grounds for cases. If there is probably cause that content within an individual's private account on a social media site can be used to base guilt or innocence, the court can order that information to be accessed by counsel. One such case of this happening was in 2011 as Stephen and Courtney Gallion was ordered to "swap" passwords and usernames of all social media sites they used to opposing legal counsel.
If you post personal information on the Internet in any form, it is safe to assume that it will be there until the end of time. Never post information about yourself if you don't want everyone to read what it is your doing. Those fun and embarrassing stories and photos will follow you around for as long as you live.
This post is contributed by Christine Maddox. Currently she is pursuing her Master’s degree from University of Texas as well as blogging for www.4nannies.com. She loves to write anything related to parenting, kids, nanny care etc. She can be reached via email at: christine.4nannies @ gmail.com.
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Saturday, May 11, 2013
Wedding Planning with Divorced Parents
From the New York Times:
For some couples, deciding where to seat narcoleptic Uncle Reginald is the least of their wedding planning worries. Those with divorced parents are assured of having quite a few more hours of anxiety as they engage in additional negotiations with them.
“There are all kinds of minefields, from where does everyone sit to the receiving line,” said the etiquette expert Peggy Post, a director of the Emily Post Institute. “It’s particularly tricky when estranged parents do not want to be in the vicinity of each other.”
Read more here.
Friday, May 10, 2013
Same-Sex in Delaware
Delaware Governor Jack Markell signed a same-sex marriage bill into law on Tuesday, making Delaware the eleventh US state to legalize same-sex marriage, and the second to do so in the past week.
Read more here.
Hat Tip: Angelique Devaux
Thursday, May 9, 2013
Persad: "What Marriage Law Can Learn from Citizenship Law (and Vice Versa)"
Govind Persad (University of Pennsylvania) posted "What Marriage Law Can Learn from Citizenship Law (and Vice Versa)," 22 Law & Sexuality (2013), on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
Citizenship and marriage are legal statuses that generate numerous privileges and responsibilities. Legal doctrine and argument have analogized these statuses in passing: consider, for example, Ted Olson’s statement in the Hollingsworth v. Perry oral argument that denying the label “marriage” to gay unions “is like you were to say you can vote, you can travel, but you may not be a citizen.” However, the parallel between citizenship and marriage has rarely been investigated in depth. This paper investigates the marriage-citizenship parallel with a particular focus on three questions prompted by recent developments in law and policy:
1) Should we provide second-best statuses? Some couples — in particular gay and lesbian couples—have been offered permanent statuses, like civil unions, that bear legal privileges but fall short of full marriage equality. In contrast, similar differentiations within citizenship are generally resisted. The history of citizenship may presage the increasing unacceptability of differentiations within status in the gay marriage context. Meanwhile, the history of marriage equality efforts may help present-day citizenship advocates choose legal strategies.
2) Should statuses be a gateway to rights? Some early gay rights advocates unsuccessfully argued that advocates should challenge the primacy of marriage, rather than seek access to the institution. Advocates attempting to expand the rights of current noncitizens face similar choices: should they seek to give current noncitizens greater access to citizenship, or challenge the reservation of important rights to citizens?
3) Can status relationships be plural? Many critics of dual and multiple citizenship argued that allegiance to multiple states was immoral, unadministrable, or both. More recently, polygamous marriage has become a topic of legal and political discourse, first as a foil in anti-gay marriage arguments and later as a political possibility in its own right. I will consider whether polygamous marriage advocates can profitably draw on arguments for multiple citizenship, and how multiple-citizenship advocates should responsibly respond to the analogy with polygamy.
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.
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Divorce in China
Long queues of happy couples waiting to get married might be a common sight in Las Vegas. But lines of happily married couples waiting to get divorced? Only in China.
In major cities across the country last month, thousands of couples rushed to their local divorce registry office to dissolve their marriages in order to benefit from fast-expiring tax breaks on property investments for unmarried individuals. Local media reported long waits at registries in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and elsewhere as savvy investors sought to buy or sell a second home before the government introduced strict new regulations that would force married homeowners to pay hefty taxes on the sale of second properties.
Read more here.