Family Law Prof Blog

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

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Father Takes Paternity Leave: Changes His View of Parenting Stereotypes

From the Guardian:

Husband and wife decide that husband should take paternity leave from ages nine-months to one year when both of their sons were born. The husband realized that being a stay-at-home parent is not as easy as it looks and recommends other fathers to take paternity leave, if possible.

Read more here.

May 17, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 16, 2016

Seventy-year Old Woman Gives Birth with IVF Assistance

From CBS News:

Daljinder Kaur, approximately 70 years old, gave birth to a healthy son on April 19. She underwent two years of unsuccessful IVF treatments earlier in her life. She became pregnant with the help of the National Fertility and Test Tube Baby Centre in Haryana, India. Just two years ago, Rajo Devi gave birth at the age of 70, again with help from the same clinic.

The birth of Daljinder Kaur's child creates a discussion on the bioethics of IVF, maternal health, child safety, and cultural parenting norms. 

Read more here.

May 16, 2016 in International, Science | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Same-Sex Civil Unions Approved in Italy

From the Economist:

On May 11, 2016, the Italian Parliament approved a law recognizing same-sex civil unions in Italy. The law passed with 372 voting in favor, 51 voting against, and 99 abstaining. The new law grants same-sex couples many of the same rights enjoyed by heterosexual couples; such as, inheritance of their partners pensions and full property inheritance rights. 

The issue was brought to the forefront of Italian legislation when, last year, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that Italy violated the rights of respect for private and family life by not recognizing same-sex unions. Indeed, the change in the law also reflects changing attitudes about homosexuality in society, particularly Roman Catholic society. Polls show that most Italians still oppose same-sex marriage but are open to civil unions.

While this is a happy moment for homosexuals in Italy, the law still falls short of giving homosexual couples the same rights as heterosexual couples. This includes the right to adopt the children of their partners.

 

 

Read more here.

May 15, 2016 in Adoption, Marriage (impediments) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Multi-Generational Housing

A Barclays analyst discusses the new American trend--multi-generational housing.

See the video here.

May 14, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 13, 2016

Going Band-less

From the New York Times:

As for Jay Z, he and Beyoncé, who was seen at the Met Gala sans her wedding ring, have matching tattoos on their ring fingers. Never mind that she just released an album largely about infidelity.

Before Prince William married Kate Middleton in 2011, the palace issued a statement, noting that the couple had discussed it and that the prince’s decision not to wear a ring was “personal preference.” The statement continued, “He doesn’t even wear a signet ring — and decided he didn’t want to.”

Popular perception is that some men — and, yes, women too — go ringless in order to broadcast an availability that their spouses may know nothing about. And there are many who subscribe to the notion that affairs may be avoided if both sexes would simply adhere to this public signifier that they are “taken.” (Of course, this doesn’t account for those who are attracted by wedding rings precisely because they signal no possibility of a longer attachment.)

Read more here.

 

May 13, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Maryland Senate Kills Bill Aimed at Terminating Rapists' Parental Rights

From the Washington Post:

While the Rape Survivor Family Protection Act made it through the Maryland House, it died once again in the Maryland                                            Senate. For nine years, this bill has been repeatedly proposed and has always been killed by either the House or the Senate.

As the law is written today, a woman who is impregnated by the act of rape must obtain consent from her attacker if she wishes to put the baby up for adoption. Furthermore, she might also have to interface with her attacker over issues; such as, custody and visitation. The Rape Survivor Family Protection Act aimed to allow the victim to terminate any parental rights of her attacker.

Read more here.

May 12, 2016 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

A "Naked Marriage" in China

From Shanghaiist:

French girl says she doesn't need a car or apartment, marries Chinese guy for love. 

Read more here.

May 11, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Unexpected Wedding Guests

From the NY Post:

Yiru Sun was radiant in bridal white Saturday — even though she had called off her wedding at the last minute, instead turning her reception into a feast for the poor.

The pretty Manhattan insurance executive was supposed to tie the knot in a lavish Upper East Side wedding Saturday. But after balking at the proposed prenup, she turned her heartbreak — and her non-refundable $8,000 reception deposit — into something beautiful: a luncheon for 60 needy kids and their families.

“I should have been the bride. It was canceled,” Sun told her guests at the elegant Harold Pratt House at East 68th Street and Park Avenue. “Initially I felt frustrated,” said Sun, a vice president at New York Life Insurance, declining to dish about her former betrothed, not even to name him.

“I don’t want to sign things I don’t feel comfortable with,” is all she’ll reveal of the prenup dust-up.

“Three weeks later, I woke up with this idea,” Sun, herself a single mom of a 6-year-old daughter, told her guests, who were chosen with help from The Salvation Army and Inwood House.

Read more here.

May 10, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 9, 2016

Mother who tried to move family to Syria ordered to give up children

UK Mom Ordered to Give Up Children

 

From The Guardian:

Three children have been taken out of their mother’s care after a high court judge concluded she had planned to take them to an area of Syria controlled by Islamic State.

A mobile phone belonging to the woman seized after her arrest last summer at Birmingham Airport contained images of children carrying firearms and wearing balaclavas bearing the Isis emblem.

A written ruling in the case was published on Tuesday after Leicester city council had asked a judge to make one on the futures of the three children, who are aged between four and 12, at a hearing of a family court in the city.

Justice Keehan, who sits in the family division of the high court, decided that it would not be in the children’s best interests to return to their mother’s care and ruled that they should live with their maternal grandparents.

 

Read more here.

 

May 9, 2016 in Resources - Divorce | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Support for Adult Children

From the Telegraph:

An Italian court has ordered a middle-aged father to keep supporting his 28-year-old son through university, after he turned to the law to try and force his offspring to get a job. 

The case underlines the country's problem with "bamboccioni" - spoilt "big babies" who refuse to leave home and instead sponge off their parents.

The father had gone to court to argue that he should no longer be obliged to support his son, challenging one of the conditions of his divorce settlement, which had ruled that he must pay for the young man’s tertiary education.

The son completed a degree in literature, taking several years longer than expected to finish the course, and has now enrolled on a post-graduate course in experimental cinema in Bologna.

Read more here.

May 8, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Tanzanian Women Face High Rates of Abortion-Related Deaths

From The New York Times:

Unsafe abortions kill many Tanzanian women, according to a recent study, but the deaths result from several factors and women in some regions die much more often than others.

Birth control is hard to get, and public health clinics lack trained staff and vacuum aspiration kits used to perform abortions. In addition, the legality of abortion is ambiguous, forcing many women to try to do it themselves or see illegal abortion providers. Of one million unintended pregnancies in 2013, the study found, 39 percent ended in abortion.

The study, done by the Guttmacher Institute, Tanzania’s national medical research institute and the country’s leading medical school, and published in PLOS One, was based on surveys of hospitals and clinics and interviews with Tanzanian doctors.

 

Although Tanzania ratified the African Union’s 2005 Maputo Protocol on women’s rights — which endorsed abortion rights — and also recognizes colonial-era British case law permitting abortion in some circumstances, national law mandates 14-year sentences for anyone “unlawfully” performing an abortion and seven years for women who try to make themselves miscarry — but without defining “unlawfully,” said Sarah C. Keogh, a Guttmacher Institute researcher and the study’s lead author.

Women have been prosecuted under it, she said.

Read more here.

May 7, 2016 in Abortion | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 6, 2016

Marriage in England and Wales Becoming Less Popular

From Daily Mail:

Fewer people are getting married and the number of religious weddings have dropped significantly, the latest official figures revealed this morning.

The number of people tying the knot fell for the first time in four years, with civil ceremonies making up more than seven in ten marriages.

But the figures for marriages in England and Wales show that pensioners are bucking the trend, with a steady increase in the marriage rate among those aged over 65.

This trend is driven in particular by female pensioners, with the marriage rate among women aged over 65 rising by a third over the last decade.

The latest published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) covers marriages that took place in 2013.

Statisticians said the fall in the number of marriages could be due to couples choosing to postpone their marriage to avoid the number 13 – perceived as unlucky by many different cultures.

The average age at marriage increased slightly for men and women. The average age was 36.7 years for men – up from 36.5 in 2012 and for women it was 34.3 years – up from 34 in 2012.  

ONS statistician Elizabeth McLaren said: 'The fall could indicate the continuation of the long-term decline in marriages since 1972 or could be due to couples choosing to postpone their marriage to avoid the number 13 which is perceived as unlucky by many cultures.' 

She added: 'When you have the freedom to choose there are probably certain dates you might avoid, like Friday 13th and that sort of thing.

'It is going to be interesting to see whether this is part of a long-term decline or if it will change again.' 

The number of religious ceremonies fell by 14 per cent compared to 2012 - continuing the downward trend since 1990, while civil ceremonies fell by 6 per cent compared with 2012. 

Read more here.

May 6, 2016 in Marriage (impediments) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Real-World Readiness Conference

This conference will take place at Washburn University School of Law in Topeka, Kansas, from June 9-11, 2016.

The Institute for Law Teaching and Learning 2016 summer conference will address the many ways that law schools are preparing students to enter the real world of law practice. With the rising demands for "practice-ready" lawyers, this topic has taken on increased urgency in recent years. How are law schools and law professors taking on the challenge of graduating students who are ready to join the real world of practicing attorneys? Can we be doing more?

Workshops will address real-world readiness in first-year courses, upper-level courses, required courses, electives, or academic support teaching. Workshops will present innovative teaching materials, course designs, and curricular or program designs. Each workshop will also include materials that participants can use during the workshop and also when they return to their campuses.

Schedule of Events

Washburn University School of Law will host a welcome reception on the evening of Thursday, June 9, and the conference workshops will take place at the law school all day on Friday, June 10, and until the early afternoon on Saturday, June 11.

For more information, please contact any of the Institute co-directors:

Professor Emily Grant
emily.grant@washburn.edu

Associate Dean Sandra Simpson
ssimpson@lawschool.gonzaga.edu

Professor Kelly Terry
ksterry@ualr.edu

 

Download Full Schedule Here

May 5, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Georgia Governor OKs State Funds for Anti-Abortion Centers

From ABC News:

Georgia can give state money to "pregnancy resource centers" that offer medical and other services to pregnant women while discouraging them from getting abortions, under legislation signed Tuesday by Republican Gov. Nathan Deal.

The measure's sponsor, Republican state Sen. Renee Unterman of Buford, described her bill as a "positive" response to videos released this summer by abortion opponents showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing procedures for obtaining tissue from aborted fetuses for research.

A Texas grand jury later cleared the organization of wrongdoing.

Deal signed the bill in a private ceremony and didn't issue a public statement.

Georgia now joins at least 10 other states that specifically dedicate funding to anti-abortion efforts, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization that supports legal access to abortion. Elizabeth Nash, a policy analyst at the organization, said the practice began in some states decades ago.

Opponents of the grants say the centers use deceptive advertising to bring pregnant women in but won't discuss all legal options. They also argue that the state could still contribute financially toward lowering abortion numbers, through sex education or counseling programs.

"The state should be ensuring women are getting the best, most accurate and relevant information," Nash said. She added that bill Deal signed "allows state funds to go to organizations providing women with incomplete information or outright misinformation."

Emily Matson, executive director of the anti-abortion organization Georgia Life Alliance, said about 70 facilities in Georgia could qualify for the grant. About 40 of those centers are licensed to provide medical care, she said, while the rest provide other services including clothing and other supplies.

Matson said the organization hopes more funding for the centers will reduce the number of abortions. State records show about 27,500 abortions were performed in Georgia in 2013, the latest year available.

"When you're facing an abortion total of more than 27,000 babies being terminated each year, you're going to look closer at what we can do to ensure women truly are making choices and not just being caught in a for-profit business scheme," Matson said.

Read more here.

 

May 5, 2016 in Abortion | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Germany Expresses Regret Over Failure to Stop Child Abuse at Nazi Nurse's Commune

From NBC News:

Germany's foreign ministry acknowledged Tuesday that its diplomats "looked away" and failed to prevent child abuse at a commune founded by a Nazi pedophile in Chile.

Paul Schaefer — a Nazi nurse who became a preacher — set up the secretive Colonia Dignidad commune in Chile after fleeing Germany for South America in 1961.

He died in a Chilean prison in 2010 at the age of 89 while serving a 20-year sentence for child abuse, arms possession and human-rights violations.

Children who lived at the Colonia Dignidad commune testified at trials of colony leaders about being sexually abused, enslaved and separated from their parents.

On Tuesday, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier publicly expressed regret over any role his ministry had in the decades-long scandal.

"Over the course of many years, from the 60s to the 80s, German diplomats at best looked away," Steinmeier said.

He said it was "no glorious chapter" for Germany's embassy in Chile, adding that envoys "clearly did too little for the protection of their fellow citizens in this colony."

At its height in the 70s and 80s, Colonia Dignidad had some 300 Chilean and German residents. Most worked as farmers at the commune, which was guarded by barbed wire and watchtowers.

Women had to wear braided pigtails and colorful dirndls — a traditional German outfit — while men often were seen in lederhosen, the male equivalent.

The German parliament in 2008 released funds for projects supporting former commune members' reintegration into society.

Read more here.

May 4, 2016 in Child Abuse | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Abortion in Europe

From NBC News:

Graphic pictures of aborted fetuses, prayer vigils and protesters. It's no coincidence that the anti-abortion movement looks the same from London to Dublin to Warsaw.

It's mostly Gregg Cunningham. The California-based activist has been farming out his imagery and strategies to like-minded groups in Europe for more than five years.

It started with the trained lawyer building a collection of thousands of photos.

"Aborted baby pictures didn't really exist on any sort of commercial scale in the U.S. until we began to compile the archive that we use," Cunningham explained.

He won't say how or where the images were shot but takes pride in their professional lighting.

"We invented the genre of aborted baby photos that were shot by commercial photographers," Cunningham said. "We pioneered the use of that material here in the United States first."

The Republican former two-term member of Pennsylvania's House of Representatives regularly travels to Europe and shares his pictures — plus notes, advice and strategy.

Pro-abortion activists, providers and seekers in Finland, Sweden, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Ireland, England and beyond have been confronted with the same photos of dismembered fetuses as American women from Austin to Buffalo.Some have had holy water thrown on them. Others are called "murderous whores" and are filmed.

Read more here.

May 3, 2016 in Abortion | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 2, 2016

The State of Facebook and Family Law

From California Lawyer:

Facebook is ubiquitous now, right? What “You’ve Got Mail!” was to the 90s, “Like” buttons and status updates are to today’s Internet users. And while I was one of the first college students to use Facebook, and I watched it grow from a college kids’ message board to the social network, I knew it had really gone mainstream when a barely literate relative who has trouble operating a flip-phone “liked” one of my photos. If he can figure it out, all lawyers need to be able to do so as well, because Facebook’s ubiquity means it is a primary form of communication—on par with email and postal mail.

Not sold yet? What if I told you that a court had allowed service of process in a divorce case through Facebook? Or that two people recently found themselves in contempt of court for Facebooking a protected party? What if I told you a bunch of cool stories about opposing parties ruining their cases by broadcasting the finer details of their lifestyle to their online friends?

Maybe then you’d add a Facebook warning for your clients, and regular Facebook checks for opposing clients, to your typical case preparation strategy. If not, perhaps an ethics rule requiring familiarity with social media would be enough to get you on the bandwagon—Facebook isn’t new, but an ethical duty to know how to use it certainly would be.

This is a general roundup of the state of Facebook and family law: from cases on the frontier, to stalking opposing clients, to a wave of new ethics rules regarding proficiency with technology.

Read more here.

 

 

May 2, 2016 in Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, May 1, 2016

8 Steps to Rebuild Your Financial Life After Divorce

From MarketWatch:

If you’ve gone through it, you don’t need me to tell you how financially devastating divorce can be. Many people lose half (or more) of everything they’ve saved over their lives. This includes their home, retirement, business and investments. If that isn’t bad enough, divorced people often see their income wither while their expenses explode. No doubt about it, divorce is bad news financially.

Having said that, all is not lost. In fact, there are plenty of things you can do to improve your situation significantly. Specifically, if you’ve gone through divorce recently, here are eight things you can do now to help yourself get back on track as quickly as possible.

1. Do Not Panic Or Waste Energy

This is much easier said than done I realize, but you need every ounce of energy you can muster to rebuild your financial life. Don’t waste time worrying – it won’t help. Also, please know that you are not powerless. There are plenty of steps you can take that will help turn things around quickly (which I’ll share in a minute). Don’t worry. You have many choices, and as bad as it may seem, you probably aren’t going to be out in the street. Don’t waste energy worrying because it serves no purpose and saps you of the energy you need to get things back on track. (A divorce survival guide may be helpful too.)

2. Inventory Your Financial Life

You may or may not understand how finances and investments work right now, but that doesn’t matter. In time, you will improve your knowledge.

At this moment, it’s time to account for where you are and that means putting together an inventory of your financial life; income, expenses, assets and liabilities. I suggest you create a little spreadsheet or loose leaf binder. Make a separate sheet for income, another for expenses, another for assets and the last sheet for liabilities.

On each sheet, make a line item entry with the type of account, amount, who owns the account, what the rate is and the contact information at each institution.

It’s astonishing how empowering it is just to have one place to go to in order to get an overview of your finances. Knowledge is power, friend — take advantage of it.

Read more here.

May 1, 2016 in Divorce (grounds) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Minnesota's 5-Day Wait For Marriage License Could End

From MPRNews:

Minnesota's five-day wait for a marriage license, a law which dates back to the Great Depression, could soon be a thing of the past.

The state is only one of two that make couples wait so long between applying for a license and receiving one. The only way to avoid the wait in Minnesota is to get a judge to sign a waiver.

Hennepin County auditor and treasurer Mark Chapin said the law first appeared in Minnesota in 1931, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported.

"During the Great Depression, there was a lot of concern about whether people could support each other and support their children," Chapin said. The wait may have given the engaged enough pause to confirm that support.

Supporters of the change contend the five-day wait is inconvenient for couples, counties and the judiciary. They point out that it doesn't take counties five days to prepare the license, and that the waiting period means couples either return to the licensing office five days later to pick up their marriage license or have it mailed to them, which requires extra staff time.

"We believe the waiting period is burdensome," Chapin told state senators in late March.

Most couples asking for a waiver in Hennepin County did not know about the wait or did not want to wait, Chapin said. The judges always sign off on the waiver.

Read more here.

April 30, 2016 in Marriage (impediments) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, April 29, 2016

Breger: "Healing Sex-Trafficked Children: A Domestic Family Law Approach to an International Epidemic"

Melissa L. Breger has recently posted to SSRN her article Healing Sex-Trafficked Children: A Domestic Family Law Approach to an International Epidemic, 118 W. Va. L. Rev. 1131 (2016).   Here is the abstract:

Children who have been trafficked into and within the United States for commercial sexual exploitation endure significant psychological and physical trauma. Because there is a salient nexus between the inherent violence of trafficking and that of family violence and childhood sexual abuse, this Article explores how the United States might assist victimized children by utilizing governmental systems that are already in existence. Specifically, the therapeutic foster care (“TFC”) model is an established model of care that is flexible enough to meet the numerous and complicated issues associated with the reintegration and treatment needs of child sex-trafficking survivors. This Article recommends that TFC be adapted and expanded to heal sex-trafficked children in a safe, nurturing, and culturally competent manner. Particularly in tandem with specialized programs or non-governmental organizations (“NGOs”), the TFC model may be another avenue in healing the sex-trafficked children within our borders.

April 29, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)