Family Law Prof Blog

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

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Colorado Domestic Violence Survivors and Teen Parents Have Less Hurdles for Childcare Assistance

From the Denver Post:

Under Colorado House Bill 1227, teenagers and victims of domestic violence will have one less barrier to applying for assistance for day care. The current law requires anyone requesting for assistance to pay for childcare to apply for child support within 30 days of the application. The new law exempts teenagers and victims of domestic violence from child support enforcement requirements.

Read more here.

June 1, 2016 in Child Support (establishing), Domestic Violence | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Rooming with the Parents

From the New York Times:

The empty nests are filling up: For the first time in modern history, young adults ages 18 to 34 are more likely to live with a parent than with a romantic partner, according to a new census analysis by the Pew Research Center.

Millennials, who have been slower than previous generations to marry and set up their own households, reached that milestone in 2014, when 32.1 percent lived in a parent’s home, compared with 31.6 percent who lived with a spouse or a partner, the report found.

“The really seismic change is that we have so many fewer young adults partnering, either marrying or cohabiting,” said Richard Fry, the Pew economist who wrote the report. “In 1960, that silent generation left home earlier than any generation before or after, because they married so young.”

But in recent decades, fewer people have been marrying, and those who do are marrying at older ages. In 1960, the median age for a first marriage was 20 for women and 22 for men, and just one in 10 people over 25 had never married. Now, the median ages are 27 and 29, and one in five adults older than 25 has never married. In a 2014 study, Pew projected that a quarter of this generation of young adults might never marry.

Read more here.

May 31, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 30, 2016

Happy Memorial Day

usa flag

May 30, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, May 29, 2016

4 Things Newly Single Women Should Do With Their Finances

Saving for a New You

From US News & World Report:

Over the years, I've worked with many women who find themselves newly single as a result of divorce or widowhood. Those life events can be incredibly demanding emotionally, even without the financial component adding to the shock. Women come to me with questions such as:

  • How much money do I have left?
  • What financial institutions did my spouse have accounts with?
  • How much insurance did my husband have?
  • Can I buy a car?
  • Do I need to move to a new home?
  • At what age will I be able to retire?
  • How much money can I give to my children?
  • How much money can I give to my favorite charity?
  • Will I be OK?

Read more here.

May 29, 2016 in Resources - Divorce | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, May 28, 2016

SCOVA Watch: Three Takeaways From the Court’s Recent Ruling on Same-Sex Cohabitation

3 Takeaways on Virginia's Luttrell v. Cucco

From JD Supra Business Advisor:

Last December, I previewed the case of Luttrell v. Cucco, which had, at that time, just been taken up by the Supreme Court of Virginia. The Court recently issued its ruling in the case and you can read the opinion here.

There are a few notable lessons from the Court’s ruling that are useful reminders for other cases.

1.) The Court does not like sweeping rulings. In some of the press coverage following the Court’s opinion, several outlets initially characterized the ruling broadly as one that took the logical next step following Obergefell v. Hodges, in which the Supreme Court of the United States legalized same-sex marriage throughout the country. Even the ACLU, trumpeting their victory, framed the ruling in those terms. The Court’s holding, however, is a narrow one based on the plain language of the statute at issue, Code § 20-109(A), and the opinion never discusses, or even mentions, Obergefell.

Code § 20-109(A) allows a spouse paying support to petition a court to terminate such support if “the spouse receiving support has been habitually cohabiting with another person in a relationship analogous to marriage.” In two sentences at the heart of the opinion, the Court states that Code § 20-109(A), is “gender neutral” and can thus “apply to either same-sex or opposite-sex relationships.” The Court then bolstered this finding by distinguishing prior decisions and examining the legislative history of the enactment. In case there was any doubt, the Court then expressly stated that the definition of marriage in Virginia was irrelevant to its ruling because the controlling words in Code § 20-109(A) were “a relationship analogous to marriage.”

Read more here.

May 28, 2016 in Marriage (impediments) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 27, 2016

Father bugs daughter's clothes in court battle over who she lives with

Listening Devices on Little Kids

From The Guardian:

A young girl had listening devices sewn into her school blazer and raincoat so that her father could eavesdrop on her private meetings with a social worker, a court has been told.

The discovery of the bugs during a residence dispute emerged in a judgment by Mr Justice Peter Jackson in the family division of the high court in London.

The girl, said to be in the “later stages of primary school”, was not aware she had been monitored. None of those involved have been identified.

Read more here.

May 27, 2016 in Custody (parenting plans) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Divorce in France Simplified

From the Washington Post:

The French government plans to allow divorce by mutual consent to proceed without a judge, to simplify and accelerate the process.

Details are to be discussed Tuesday in the lower house of parliament during debate on a bill to modernize the country’s justice system.

Family associations, however, have expressed fears that the best interests of children would not be protected enough.

Justice minister Jean-Jacques Urvoas said the process would cost about 50 euros ($56) at the notary office. Each spouse would be required to have a lawyer. The divorce would still need to be pronounced by a judge if a child requests to be heard by a magistrate.

Read more here.

Hat Tip: Angelique Devaux

May 27, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Thursday, May 26, 2016

2 year statute of limitations applies to set aside a paternity and child support order, even if fraud exists.

2 Year Statute of Limitations Still Applies in Fraudulent Paternity Suit

From Missouri Divorce and Family Law:

Mother and Father (T.B.) had a baby in 2000.  Mother told T.B. he was the father, and he signed an affidavit acknowledging paternity.  The Family Support Division made an administrative determination that T.B. was the legal father, and ordered T.B. to pay child support for the child in February 2001.

Sometime prior to June 2010, to clear her conscience, Mother told T.B. that he was not the biological father.  Father filed a declaration of non-paternity on August 27, 2012.  He attached a DNA test report showing he was not the biological father of the child.  T.B. sought relief under Rule 74.06(d), asserting that Mother had perpetuated fraud against him by making false statements to him that he was the biological father when she knew he wasn’t.

The trial court concluded that T.B.’s right to bring an action for extrinsic fraud was foreclosed by the statutory time limit for him to contest paternity, which had run.

T.B. appealed.

Read more here.

May 26, 2016 in Child Support Enforcement, Paternity | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Judge OKs malpractice suit over law firm's successful fight to uphold client's postnuptial agreement

Malpractice Suit on Firms Negotiated Post-nuptial Agreement Gains Traction

From the ABA Journal:

A New York trial court has OK’d a malpractice suit against Phillips Nizer, over the law firm’s handling of a divorce case that generated $1.4 million in legal fees for work done by 23 attorneys and 16 other professionals.

At issue is a 2000 postnuptial agreement that the firm helped negotiate and draft for client Elizabeth Berardi. It granted her a 49 percent interest in companies controlled by her husband, who operates bus companies. However, the pact did not specify whether she could liquidate her interest and, if so, how she could do so, reports the New York Law Journal (sub. req.).

A divorce ensued within five years, and Berardi again retained Phillips Nizer. Her husband, Eugene Berardi, challenged the postnup and she fought against its invalidation, winning the legal battle. However, unbeknownst to her, agreements made before 2000 with former shareholders and business partners in her husband’s companies limited the liquidity of her own interest, Elizabeth Berardi alleges in her complaint against the firm.

Read more here.

May 25, 2016 in Attorneys, Divorce (grounds), Resources - Divorce | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

New Poll Shows Strong Support for Paid Family Leave Programs

People say "Yes!" to Family Leave Programs

From ABC News:

Time off from work to care for a child or relative is codified in federal law. Now, an overwhelming majority of Americans 40 and older want that time away from the job to be paid.

An Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll released Friday said 72 percent support paid family leave. Democrats were more likely to back it, but Republicans also expressed strong support. Overall, support was stronger among people age 40-64 and among women.

At least 19 states are considering paid family leave laws, but only three have active programs. New York, the latest to approve it, will launch its program in 2018.

"There is a lot of interest and a lot of momentum," said Ellen Bravo, executive director of Family Values @ Work, an advocacy group. "We hope that over the next five years a critical mass of states will win these policies."

Read more here.

May 24, 2016 in Paternity | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 23, 2016

What Does “No Fault” Divorce Mean?

"No Fault," what?

From HuffPost Divorce:

In 1970, the State of California originated the concept of “no-fault” divorce. The rationale behind the law was that there was no point in forcing people to stay in a marriage when they were not happy in it, and that requiring someone to prove legal grounds to dissolve the marriage was not serving any useful purpose. Historically, in order to obtain a divorce one had to prove the existence of legal grounds such as adultery. This often required additional expenses on behalf of the aggrieved party, only serving to make the divorce process more expensive and cumbersome than it already was. In the years leading up to the enactment of “no-fault” divorce, courts often granted divorces on bases that were easier to prove, the most common being “mental cruelty.” In that situation, one spouse would testify that he or she was being subjected to mental stress as a result of the actions of the other spouse. Given that, and given that people simply did not want to be married, there seemed little reason to force them to stay in marriages when grounds could not be established. Over time, the “no-fault” movement expanded to other states, although interestingly it only reached the typically progressive state of New York in 2010.  

Read more here.

May 23, 2016 in Divorce (grounds) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, May 22, 2016

New Right for Saudi Women--A Copy of Their Prenup

From the Washington Post:

Saudi Arabian women were granted a rare legal concession Tuesday, when the country’s justice minister issued a directorate allowing them to sign and receive a copy of their prenuptial contract, a privilege previously afforded only to men in the Sunni Muslim kingdom.

The change will make it easier for women to prove the validity of their marriage in court, as well as receive inheritances in the event of their husband’s death. In addition, since a Saudi husband can indicate in a marriage contract whether his widow will be allowed to work after he dies, new brides will also be able to confirm those decisions at the time of marriage.

Read more here.

May 22, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Chinese Lesbian Couple are First Homosexual Couple to Utilize Surrogacy

From NPR Berlin:

A Chinese lesbian couple gave birth to twins last month following successful IVF. The couple travelled to Portland, Oregon for the procedure and returned to China to give birth. This is the first time that a lesbian couple has used this form of surrogacy in China. This is seen as a milestone in China because only heterosexual couples are allowed to have children or have access to reproductive services.

Read more here.

May 21, 2016 in Alternative Reproduction | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 20, 2016

Burdens Increase for Texas Women as Abortion Clinics Close Their Doors

From MSNBC:

As Texas abortion clinics close, Texan women are facing more burdens in attempting to procure safe, legal abortion services. Because abortion clinics are closing and clinics are further away, many Texan women are faced with the burdens; such as, taking off additional time from work and/or school, accounting for increased travel time, and having to pay additional money to stay at hotels. For some women who are struggling financially to make ends meet, having to pay additional money for hotel accommodations or losing money from taking off work makes the difference between being able to obtain an abortion and not. 

Read more here.

May 20, 2016 in Abortion | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Same-Sex Couples Equal in Virginia Divorce Law

From the Richmond Times Dispatch:

The Supreme Court has decided that a person may stop paying spousal support when an ex-spouse remarries in a same-sex marriage. Under Virginia law, alimony payments can be terminated when the payee remarries or has been "habitually cohabitation" with another person for a year or more.

The Virginia Supreme Court's ruling clarifies Virginia divorce law after same-sex marriage has been made legal nationwide.

Read more here.

May 19, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Ornamental Political Wife

From the National Post:

Gender norms remain a constant for political spouses despite the difference in their daily lives from the average citizen. Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, is being criticized because his wife needs the assistance of staffers to help manage the daily needs of their young children. Canadian citizens do not want to pay for additional staffers. Furthermore, some of the Canadian public see Sophie Gregoire Trudeau's role as that of a stay-at-home mother and feel that she should be able to handle her children by herself.

Read more here.

May 18, 2016 in International, Marriage (impediments) | Permalink | Comments (0)

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)