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, July 7, 2014

New Dating App

From Washington Post:

The headlines read like a synopsis for Spike Jonze’s next romantic drama: In the approximate future — in a strangely pastel L.A. — romantic loss will simply cease to exist! That’s because Match.com is rolling out facial recognition technology that can find you a clone of your ex. An exact lookalike. A twin. For $5,000, in short, you never have to move on.

Read more here.

MR

July 7, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, July 5, 2014

1 Year Post-Windsor

From Washington Post:

Now that their marriages are recognized by the federal government, same-sex couples have acquired a simpler tax filing process, broader family protections and other federal spousal benefits.  But a year after the "United States vs. Windsor" decision, some of the basic rights granted to opposite-sex married couples are still pretty complicated for same-sex couples. "The good news is there’s been a lot of progress -- the administration has done [a lot] over a short period of time," says William Moran, an adviser with Merrill Lynch Wealth Management. "But there are still things that need to be addressed."

Read more here.

MR

Hat Tip: Naomi Cahn

July 5, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy Fourth of July!

uncle sam

July 4, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Kutty: "Islamic Law and Adoptions"

Faisal Kutty (Valparaiso University Law School) has posted "Islamic Law and Adoptions," forthcoming in Robert L. Ballard et al., The Intercountry Adoption Debate: Dialogues Across Disciplines (Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014).  Here is the abstract:

Throughout history, adoption has held a contentious and ambiguous role in the social imagination of many cultures. Adoption is a complex social, legal, and economic phenomenon that has existed in one form or another in most societies since ancient history. Religion has served to both advance and restrict adoption and similar childcare arrangements. Some religions have encouraged adoptions, others have initially been interpreted to restrict them, and yet others continue to restrict or advocate alternative arrangements. 

The belief that closed adoption, as practiced in the West, is the only acceptable form of permanent childcare is a significant obstacle to its acceptance among many Muslims. Adoption rights activists—and prospective adopters—have struggled to find ways around the difficulties this simple binary view causes for the millions of children around the world who could benefit from a loving home. With increasing numbers of abandoned and orphaned children and a growing number of hurdles, there is now an added urgency to tackle this issue. It is beyond the scope of this chapter to grapple with all of the nuances and issues raised by adoption in Islam. The goal of this chapter is more modest. It is to contribute to a better understanding of Islamic views on adoptions, provide insights into some of the tensions and points of convergence, lay groundwork to help in bridging the gap, and fill the existing void in properly caring for orphans, abandoned children, and children of unknown parentage consistent with contemporary notions of child welfare and the spirit of the Sharia. Part I provides a basic background on Islamic law, its sources, principles and methodology for development and evolution. Part II sets out a description of adoption and alternatives under classical Islamic law as understood and accepted by the orthodox Sunni community. Part III explores and highlights the areas of tension and convergence with modern western conceptions of adoption and child welfare. The chapter then concludes with some parting thoughts.

The chapter demonstrates that there is sufficient basis in Islamic jurisprudence to argue for qualified support of international adoptions. It is undeniable that taking care of orphans and foundlings is a religious obligation. Arguably one of the best ways to take care of these children is to place them in loving homes, provided that a child’s lineage is not intentionally negated or concealed. A reformed model of Islamic adoptions will enable Muslims to fulfill this religious obligation while ensuring that the most vulnerable do not fall through technical cracks and will not be negatively impacted by formal rules that no longer serve their intended purposes.

Read more here.

MR

July 3, 2014 in Scholarship, Family Law | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Gray Divorce

From New York Times:

The divorce rate in the United States among people 50 or older has doubled since 1990, according to a study by the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. And as the American population steadily ages, gray divorces will keep rising: By 2030, it is estimated that 800,000 will occur annually.

Besides causing depression and dashing dreams, these divorces can sabotage retirement plans as assets are cut in half and expenses as a divorced single rise. For some older people, emerging from divorce with retirement plans intact can be challenging.

Read more here.

MR

Hat Tip: Naomi Cahn

July 3, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

No Trophy Wives

From Huffington Post:

Whether you judge her, respect her, want to marry her, or want to be her - you think you know her. Turns out you don't. A university of Notre-Dame sociologist, Elizabeth McClintock, has shown that the 'trophy wife' is largely a myth.

Read more here.

MR

 

July 3, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Male Obesity Linked to Parents' Divorce

From CBS Local:

Researchers in Norway looked at 3,000 third graders. Boys were 63 percent more likely to be obese if their parents were divorced, when compared to those whose parents were married.

Read more here.

NR

July 2, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Leave from Work

From the Atlantic:

For most American women beyond the age of high school gym class, “I’ve got my period” isn’t considered much of an excuse for anything. We’re meant to pop an Advil and get on with things, Red Devil be damned. But in several, mostly East Asian, countries, so-called “menstrual leave” is a legally enshrined right for female workers.

However, as these countries attempt to move toward greater gender equality in the workplace, menstrual leave has come under debate. Do these policies simply further the notion that women are weak, hormonally-addled creatures controlled by their uteri? Or do they encourage more equality by accommodating female workers’ biological demands, much as maternity leave does?

Read more here.

MR

July 1, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | 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)

Friday, June 27, 2014

Immunization of Kids

From the New York Times:

In a case weighing the government’s ability to require vaccination against the individual right to refuse it, a federal judge has upheld a New York City policy that bars unimmunized children from public school when another student has a vaccine-preventable disease.

Citing a 109-year-old Supreme Court ruling that gives states broad power in public health matters, Judge William F. Kuntz II of Federal District Court in Brooklyn ruled against three families who claimed that their right to free exercise of religion was violated when their children were kept from school, sometimes for a month at a time, because of the city’s immunization policies.

The Supreme Court, Judge Kuntz wrote in his ruling, has “strongly suggested that religious objectors are not constitutionally exempt from vaccinations.”

The lawyer for the plaintiffs, Patricia Finn, said she plans to appeal the decision, announced this month. On Thursday, Ms. Finn asked the district court to rehear the case.

Read more here.

MR

June 27, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Review of Carbone & Cahn's "Marriage Markets"

From the Wall Street Journal,

Forget the gender gap. The fundamental divide in the United States today runs along the lines of class and marriage. College-educated Americans and their children reap the benefits of comparatively stable, happy marriages, while less-educated Americans—especially the poor and the working-class—are more likely to struggle with family lives marked by discord and marital instability. This two-tiered story, articulated powerfully by Charles Murray in his recent book, "Coming Apart," is also the one told by June Carbone and Naomi Cahn in "Marriage Markets: How Inequality Is Remaking the American Family.

Read more here.

MR

June 26, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

IN Same-Sex Marriage Ban Struck Down

From USA Today:

INDIANAPOLIS — A federal district judge struck down Indiana's ban on same-sex marriage Wednesday, saying the law violates the equal protection clause of the Constitution.

Judge Richard Young did not issue a stay on his ruling, so couples were able to marry immediately.

"These couples, when gender and sexual orientation are taken away, are in all respects like the family down the street," he wrote. "The Constitution demands that we treat them as such."

Read more here.

MR

June 25, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

10th Circuit Strikes Down Same-Sex Marriage Ban

From the Salt Lake Tribune:

By upholding a Utah judge’s decision, a three-member panel of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver became the first appeals court in the nation to rule on the issue, setting a historic precedent that voter-approved bans on same-sex marriage violate the Fourteenth Amendment rights of same-sex couples to equal protection and due process.

But the court immediatley stayed the implementation of its decision, pending an anticipated appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Utah attorney general’s office said Wednesday it will initiate that appeal.

Read more here and read the opinion here.

MR

June 25, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

OH family law case

Professor Marianna Brown Bettman analyzes a recent case from the Supreme Court of Ohio deciding a child in a disputed post decree custody/visitation hearing has no right to attend or be a party here.

MR

June 24, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, June 23, 2014

Social Media in Prenups

From Fox News:

Prenuptial agreements are evolving to include new language called a "social media clause" that protects married couples - and exes - from a digital public relations disaster.

"When they have this social media clause, each party will agree not to post, tweet, or otherwise share via social media, positive, negative, insulting, embarrassing, or flattering images or content of the other," said New York-based attorney Ann-Margaret Carrozza.

Each party can customize the prenup, but Carrozza recommends keeping it as broad as possible, to the point of including online postings that could be considered positive.

Read more here.

MR

Hat Tip: Naomi Cahn

June 23, 2014 | 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)