Family Law Prof Blog

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

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Solutions to Child Abuse in NC

From WRLA News:

— Child abuse and neglect leads to long-term social, emotional and health consequences, according to leaders of a North Carolina organization looking to stop abuse.

Prevent Child Abuse NC said that a lifetime of estimated costs associated with just one year of confirmed cases of child maltreatment is $2 billion in North Carolina alone. That's only part of the reason why the group wants to help more children avoid these problems.

Read more here.

July 19, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Indiana Appeals Federal Abortion Ruling

From IndyStar:

The state of Indiana will appeal a federal ruling blocking an abortion law that would make it more difficult for minors to get an abortion without their parents' consent, according to court documents filed Friday. 

The Indiana attorney general's office filed the notice of appeal Friday, just over two weeks after a federal judge blocked parts of Senate Enrolled Act 404, which would have gone into effect July 1.

In a Friday statement about the appeal, the office of Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill repeated its June 29 criticism of the injunction that called any challenge to the new law "an attempt to give courts rather than parents the legal guardianship of children."

Read more here.

July 18, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 17, 2017

Las Vegas Weddings Down

From Bloomberg:

Roland August has officiated at thousands of weddings in Las Vegas, the self-proclaimed capital of “I do.”

But these days August—who often presides dressed as Elvis Presley—has a rare vantage point from which to observe the nation’s long shift toward “I don’t.”

Nevada’s marriage rate has plummeted in recent decades, an extreme version of a pullback happening across the U.S. The forces that have reshaped the nation’s economic life since the 1970s have helped make marriage an institution increasingly reserved for the well-educated and more affluent. A spate of recent research suggests America’s marriage gap is cementing disadvantage.

Read more here.

July 17, 2017 in Games | Permalink | Comments (1)

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Divorce Rate and Moral Acceptability

From Gallup:

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- As the national divorce rate has fallen to its lowest point in decades, 73% of U.S. adults say divorce is "morally acceptable," a new high by one percentage point. Since 2001, there has been a 14-point rise in the percentage of Americans who find divorce morally acceptable, even as the national divorce rate has declined.

These findings come from Gallup's annual Values and Beliefs poll, conducted May 3-7.

A wide swath of the U.S. public since 2001 has consistently viewed divorce as morally acceptable, according to Gallup's trend. But in earlier decades, divorce generated a fair amount of public discord. In 1954, Gallup found that a slight majority of Americans (53%) said they "believe" in divorce, while 43% said they did not.

Read more here.

July 16, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, July 15, 2017

9th Circuit On Unaccompanied Immigrant Children

From The New York Times:

SAN FRANCISCO — Immigrant children who cross the border without their parents have the right to a court hearing to challenge any decision to detain them instead of turning them over to family in the U.S., a federal appeals court said Wednesday.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said two laws passed by Congress did not end the right to a bond hearing for unaccompanied immigrant children who are detained by federal authorities.

Read more here.

July 15, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 14, 2017

Families Prepare Custody Paperwork In Fear of Deportation

From Marketplace:

On a recent Sunday in spring, 50 families sat down with law students and volunteer attorneys in a Catholic school basement in Camden, New Jersey. Together, they filled out forms designating friends or family members to take care of the children if U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement removes their parents.

Some immigrants who are living in the United States illegally are feeling more anxious since the election of President Trump. Parents, in particular, are starting to confront the possibility they could be separated from their children if they’re detained or deported, and many are making plans for their families and financial assets in case that happens.

“After the election, it was just boom, the requests started pouring in,” said Joanne Gottesman, who runs the immigration clinic at Rutgers Law School. “Every school, church in Camden, they have been reaching out to us to try to schedule events like this.”

Read more here.

July 14, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Washington Guarantees Paid Family Leave

From The Seattle Times:

This week, Washington joined four other states in promising to cover workers’ income during childbirth, and coming up with a way to pay for it. While similar in intent, the five existing state laws mandating paid family medical leave have important differences.

Washington’s is among the most generous of the bunch, covering at least three months of leave and, for low-wage workers, higher rates of pay.

Read more here.

July 13, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Americans Split on Abortion, Research Shows

From Pew Research Center:

Abortion has long been a contentious issue in American politics and one that splits deeply along partisan, ideological and religious lines. Today, a 57% majority of Americans say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while 40% think it should be illegal in all or most cases. These views are little changed from a year ago, though the share saying abortion should be legal in all or most cases is now higher than it was in the fall of 2015, when Congress battled over funding for Planned Parenthood (51% legal, 43% illegal).

The latest Pew Research Center political survey finds deep disagreement between – and within – the parties over abortion. In fact, the partisan divide on abortion remains far more polarized than it was two decades ago.

Read more here.

July 12, 2017 in Abortion | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Baby Assigned No Gender At Birth

From CNN:

A Canadian baby has been issued a health document that doesn't specify male or female, in what campaigners are claiming is a possible "world first."

Searyl Atli Doty was born in British Columbia, "outside the medical system," and did not undergo a genital inspection after birth, campaign group Gender Free I.D. Coalition said in a statement. The group's vision, stated on its website, is "to remove all gender/sex designations from identity documents."
Parent Kori Doty wants to avoid assigning gender to the child. Doty identifies as non-binary trans: According to GLAAD, non-binary is a term to describe people whose gender identity falls outside the categories of man and woman. Trans, short for transgender, describes people whose gender identity doesn't match the sex or gender they were assigned at birth.

Read more here.

July 11, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 10, 2017

Interracial Marriages Since Loving

From the New York Times:

More than two million marriages take place each year in the United States and, increasingly, they are uniting people of different races and ethnicities. Today, according to the Pew Research Center, one in six newlyweds in the United States is involved in a mixed marriage.

That is a fivefold increase from 1967, when the Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling in Loving v. Virginia, the decision that made interracial marriage legal across the nation.

Read more here.

July 10, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

New Study Shows No Link Between Infertility and Divorce

From Medical News Today:

A new study conducted on tens of thousands of couples has disproven claims that fertility treatments lead to higher divorce rates. In vitro fertilization procedures may be stressful, say researchers, but may ultimately lead to a consolidated relationship, not a breakup.

In 2014, researchers from the Danish Cancer Society Research Center in Copenhagen published a study in Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavia, claiming that couples who faced fertility issues were exposed to severe stress. It was considered that the outcome of this exposure might ultimately be divorce.

 Read more here.

July 10, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Evangelicals Less Opposed to Marriage

From Reuters:

U.S. groups who traditionally have opposed same-sex marriage, including Republicans and white evangelical Christians, have become much less steadfast in their objections, according to a new Pew Research Center poll.

Sixty-two percent of U.S. respondents now approve of same-sex marriage, up from 57 percent when the Supreme Court legalized it in all 50 states two years ago and from 37 percent in 2007, according to the survey, which was released on Monday.

Read more here.

July 9, 2017 in Marriage (impediments) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, July 8, 2017

UN and Australia's Forced Divorce Law

From Buzzfeed News:

State governments are being forced to grapple with a law that requires transgender people to divorce before changing their birth certificates, following a landmark UN ruling revealed by BuzzFeed News last week.

The United Nations Human Rights Committee published a decision on June 15 declaring Australia's transgender "forced divorce" laws are in violation of international human rights law.

The committee found in favour of a married transgender woman from New South Wales, identified only as G, who had tried unsuccessfully on multiple occasions to change the sex on her birth certificate.

Read more here.

July 8, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 7, 2017

Iranian Families Kept Apart with Travel Ban

From The Washington Post:

IRVINE, Calif. — Weddings have been moved and family visits delayed.

The Trump administration’s travel ban, while a shadow of its original self, has dealt a harsh blow to the Iranian-American community, where family ties run strong and friends and loved ones regularly shuttle between Los Angeles and Tehran.

But it isn’t the only immigration hurdle facing the community. Iranians allowed to seek visas to visit family in the United States may still have a hard time getting them with a screening process that can take months or longer, immigration lawyers said.

In the meantime, families are being kept apart. Iranian-American homemaker Mina Thrani, 38, had hoped to invite her aunt to visit her in Irvine over the Christmas holiday but can’t because of the ban.

Read more here.

July 7, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Oregon House Passes Bill Requiring Free Abortions

From the Washington Times:

An Oregon bill requiring health insurers to provide their customers with free abortions — including illegal immigrants — has advanced to the state Senate after winning approval in the state House with no Republican votes.

House Democrats pushed through the Reproductive Health Equity Act after a nearly two-hour debate over the bill, which would allocate $10.2 million for services related to contraception, sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy, including vasectomies and abortions, in the 2017-19 budget period.

About $500,000 would be earmarked for the Oregon Health Plan, the state’s Medicaid program, for the estimated 22,873 women who would be eligible “except for their immigration status.”

Read more here.

July 6, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Nigeria Engages with Parents on Child Abuse Issues

From the Nigerian Tribune:

Over 300 parents were at the weekend engaged on key issues relating to child protection and prevention in furtherance of Lagos State governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode’s directives to ensure that child’s rights are upheld and child abuse is eradicated from the state.

Coordinator of State Domestic and s3xual Violence Response Team (DSVRT), Mrs Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi, disclosed this in a statement made available to newsmen at the end of the first Lagos State 1-day Parents/ Teachers Association (PTA) Conference on Child Abuse, organised by the Agency.

Participants at the conference were drawn from both public and private institutions, consisting of members of various PTAs from over 100 schools located in Education District Six within the state.

Read more here.

July 5, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Tennessee to Launch Juvenile Justice Program

From WKRN News:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Davidson County’s District Attorney and Juvenile Court Judge plan to have a restorative justice non-profit partner by September 1.

The non-profit partner is one of the final steps in launching the diversion pilot program that will focus on cutting juvenile crime and the number of repeat offenders.

“In Nashville, a number of non-profit organizations have been working on restorative justice in different ways,” Davidson County District Attorney Glenn Funk said.

He continued, “Some programs are in the schools, some organizations have been advocating for restorative justice in other ways.”

Restorative Justice is a criminal justice model that emphasizes the rehabilitation of offenders through reconciliation with victims and the community at large.

Read more here.

July 4, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 3, 2017

German Parliament Oks Same Sex Marriage

From The New York Times:

BERLIN — When Sarah Kermer proposed to her girlfriend in March, she knew she was in love, but she did not know when, if ever, Germany would allow them to marry.

The answer came early Friday morning, when the lower house of the German Parliament voted to legalize same-sex marriage after a brisk but emotional debate, prompting Ms. Kermer and scores of other gay and lesbian Germans to celebrate in the streets.

“I was at work, and I just started crying,” Ms. Kermer, 25, said as she and her fiancée left a spontaneous gathering at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. “I was watching the decision on live-stream, and I cried — a lot. This has all happened just so fast.”

The historic decision came with a swiftness rare in Germany’s usually staid politics, just five days after Chancellor Angela Merkel unexpectedly relaxed her party’s opposition to same-sex marriage and allowed lawmakers to vote on the issue according to their consciences.

Read more here.

July 3, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Family Law in Muslim Sri Lanka

From The Economist:

TO AVOID being married at 17 to a stranger, the Muslim schoolgirl from Sri Lanka’s north-west tried to commit suicide by swallowing a bottle of her mother’s diabetes pills. While she was recovering in hospital, her parents went ahead and registered the marriage. The union took place under the version of Sri Lanka’s family law that applies only to Muslims. It does not require the bride’s consent and does not specify a minimum age for marriage. Instead, it merely stipulates that children under 12 can only be married with the approval of a quazi, or Muslim family judge. The penal code, helpfully, exempts Muslims from prosecution for statutory rape providing the victim is married to the perpetrator and is 12 or older.

Read more here.

July 2, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Debt Forgiveness as Incentive to Pay Child Support


Officials in Westchester County, N.Y., want to help low-income fathers who are behind in their child support payments.

"These guys aren’t deadbeats," says Kevin McGuire, the county's social services commissioner. "They’re dead broke."

In a 2006 study of nine states, 70 percent of late child support payments were owed by parents who made no more than $10,000 a year. For these parents, the average child support obligation equaled about 83 percent of their reported income, according to the Urban Institute.

Once child support debt piles up, interest can be added to it every month it goes unpaid. For some, the punishment is jail, which further limits their ability to pay. Nationally, about a third of child support isn't paid each year, and only 15 percent of related debt and interest gets collected.

Read more here.

July 1, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)