Family Law Prof Blog

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

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Five Myths About Marriage

From The Washington Post:

Marriage is one of the oldest social, economic, religious and legal institutions in the world, and there’s no shortage of opinions on what makes it work. But much of the conventional wisdom is not based on evidence, and some is flat-out wrong. After researching thousands of couples for more than 40 years at the Gottman Institute, these are some of the myths we’ve encountered most often.

MYTH NO. 1: Common interests keep you together.

Some dating sites, like Match.com, ask users to list their interests to help attract potential mates, and LoveFlutter matches users solely based on shared hobbies and activities. In a Pew survey, 64 percent of respondents said “having shared interests” is “very important” to their marriages — beating out having a satisfying sexual relationship and agreeing on politics.

Read more here.

 

June 5, 2018 in Marriage (impediments) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, June 4, 2018

Delaware Has Banned Marriage Under 18

From New York Times:

State lawmakers across the country are moving to raise the minimum age to marry, out of growing concern that lax marriage laws may be contributing to sex trafficking and to children being forced to marry against their will.

Delaware became the first state to ban marriage for anyone under age 18 when the governor signed the measure last week. In the other 49 states, current law allows minors to marry, generally with parental consent or judicial approval. At least 20 states have no minimum age set by statute.

But over the past two years, seven states have raised their minimum marriage age to 16 or 17, and at least seven more are considering legislation to tighten their rules.

Read more here.

June 4, 2018 in Marriage (impediments) | 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

Want A Divorce In China? Not If You Do Well On This Quiz

From The Sydney Morning Herald:

Hong Kong: It's like the American television show the Newlywed Game, but for divorce.

In some parts of China, married couples seeking to split up have been asked to take a quiz issued by the local authorities. The more they know about each other — including a spouse's birthday or favourite food — the less likely they are to have the divorce immediately approved.

The quizzes, issued in at least two provinces since last year, follow the format of a typical three-part school exam: fill-in-the-blank, short-answer questions and an essay. Questions include the mundane —"When is your anniversary?"— and the philosophical: "Have you fulfilled your responsibility to your family?"

Read more here.

June 1, 2018 in Divorce (grounds), International | Permalink | Comments (0)

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

Women in Turkey Endure Culture of Violence

From The New York Times:

Video taken moments after Handan Askin was shot is shaky, but the scene is clear: Ms. Askin is sprawled out on her back on the cobblestone street, her legs splayed. Her arms are bent upward at her elbows, and she moves her hands while her neighbor asks, “What happened?”

Nine months later in her hospital room, she recalled what happened before her husband shot her: “Emre threatened me when I told him that I wanted to separate, and he used our children to try and prevent me from submitting the documents for divorce.”

She is now paralyzed from the waist down. But to some, Ms. Askin is considered lucky — she is still alive.

Read more here.

May 31, 2018 in Domestic Violence, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

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)

Monday, May 28, 2018

Millennials Want to Date Older

From Business Insider:

Everyone's heard the rule that you can only date someone younger than you if they are "half your age plus seven."

If the results of a recent survey are anything to go by, this rule has been well and truly thrown in the garbage.

According to research from the world's largest dating app Badoo, many millennials are trying to find a partner who is significantly older than them.

A sample of 10,500 people on the Badoo database revealed that 26% of 18-24 year olds would date someone over the age of 35. Nearly a third of women have dated someone 10 years older, and 9% of men would date someone 20 years older than them.

Read more here.

May 28, 2018 | 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)

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Fifth Third Bank Offers Paternity Leave

From Fox 17 Morning News:

Giving fathers paid time off after the birth of a child is becoming more common but, while it comes with great benefits for the family, some dads may hesitate to take advantage of it.

A big concern for some new parents is how much time do you take away from work, whether it's due to pay issues, or because of what a particular job requires.

In Grand Rapids, Fifth Third Bank is now offering employees paternity leave of a month off, fully-paid.

Read more here.

May 26, 2018 in Paternity | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 25, 2018

Remarrying After Divorcing

From NPR:

Both Lillian Barnes' and Harold Holland's spouses died in 2015. Holland and Barnes saw each other soon after at a family reunion. As Holland put it, they "got to talking, and went to a graduation dinner, and then a Christmas dinner and one thing led to another. I said, 'Well, we should try this again.'"

Barnes and Holland had divorced each other 50 years earlier. This month, they're remarrying each other.

Read more here.

May 25, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

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

San Francisco Too Expensive for Divorce

From SF Gate:

A new trend among parents who separate or divorce is to continue living together. It's more economical, and if the parents can have a friendly domestic partnership, it's great for the kids.

Patrick, an Oakland resident in his 50s, is still living with his wife in their home of 13 years. But the couple has been separated for the last six of those years.

Under the same roof, they're sleeping in separate bedrooms, yet raising a 13-year-old daughter together, eating dinner around the table as a family about four times a week and sharing domestic tasks.

When the couple first agreed to split up, Patrick tells me he explored moving out, but they realized their income with him as a writer and her as a lawyer in private practice wouldn't cover two separate residences in Oakland.

Read more here.

May 24, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

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)

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Will Ireland's Abortion Laws Be Changed May 25?

From BBC News:

A referendum will take place on 25 May on whether to reform Ireland's strict abortion laws.

The vote will decide whether to repeal a constitutional amendment that effectively bans terminations.

It will be the country's sixth referendum on the issue. Currently, abortion is only allowed when a woman's life is at risk, but not in cases of rape, incest or fatal foetal abnormality.

Read more here.

May 23, 2018 in Abortion, International | Permalink | Comments (0)