Family Law Prof Blog

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

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Pakistan on track to sign Hague Child Abduction Convention

From International Family Law:

A source of relief to both Pakistani and foreigner parents, the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction will make it easier for families to bring their children to Pakistan, or to relocate their children to a foreign domicile, is nearly ready to be presented to the Cabinet for approval.

After the hectic efforts of ministers of law, finance and information, as well as the Foreign Office and the bureaucracies of the provinces, the convention has received approval almost unanimously.

The only words of reluctance for it have been, predictably, from the Council of Islamic Ideology.

As with the Women’s Protection Act, and the honour crimes bills, the necessity is to continue on the right path, despite the whimpering and protests of an archaic CII.

Read more here.

August 27, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Unusual Wedding Guests

From Yahoo:

As fate would have it, there was a llama convention happening at the same hotel where the newlyweds were staying the weekend of their wedding in Flat Rock, North Carolina. The couple didn’t know about the event coinciding with the most magical day of their lives until they called the hotel to try to block off more rooms for their guests, to no avail.

"We called and asked, 'Can we block off more rooms?' and they said there was a llama convention and they’ve already blocked off the rest of the rooms," Alexis’ husband, Drew Kluger, said.

Read more here.



Meanwhile, at another wedding...

From Yahoo:

Giving the term “the old ball and chain” a whole new meaning, a Reddit user shared the above photo of a bride looking very surprised to see two people in bondage gear at her wedding venue.

The photo was posted with the caption: “Sometimes the hotel holding your wedding also has a fetish ball booked.”

Reddit commenters weren’t going to let this go with just a few “LOL” responses. After a user wondered if the wedding planner knew about the other booking, no one could resist making jokes.

“The wedding planner probably whipped up an excuse real quick,” wrote ArlemofTourhut.

badgerpapa wrote, “The booking process probably kept her tied up for hours.”

Others couldn’t help notice the bride looked a little bit awkward.

Read more here.


August 25, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Donating $7 Million Divorce Settlement to Charity

From USA Today:

Amber Heard is donating the entirety of her settlement money from Johnny Depp to charity, the actress said in a statement on Thursday.

"As described in the restraining order and divorce settlement, money played no role for me personally and never has, except to the extent that I could donate it to charity and, in doing so, hopefully help those less able to defend themselves," says Heard in a statement sent to USA TODAY.

Heard, 30, reached settlement terms with Depp, 52, on Tuesday, ending an acrimonious summer spent with the couple's lawyers battling each other —  both in court and in the media. In the end, Heard received $7 million from Depp, ending their marriage of roughly 15 months.

"As reported in the media, the amount received in the divorce was $7 million and $7 million is being donated. This is over and above any funds that I have given away in the past and will continue to give away in the future," says Heard, who will split the money equally between the ACLU "with a particular focus to stop violence against women," she says, and the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles.

Read more here.

August 24, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Alabama Law Hiring Announcement

THE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA SCHOOL OF LAW seeks to fill entry-level/junior-lateral tenure-track positions for the 2017-2018 academic year. Candidates must have outstanding academic credentials, including a J.D. from an accredited law school or an equivalent degree (such as a Ph.D. in a related field). Entry-level candidates should demonstrate potential for strong teaching and scholarship; junior-lateral candidates should have an established record of excellent teaching and distinguished scholarship. Although positions are not necessarily limited by subject, applications from those who study and teach commercial law (including contracts and sales) or torts (including products liability) are especially welcome; business law, family law, and insurance law are also areas of interest. We welcome applications from candidates who approach scholarship from a variety of perspectives and methods (including quantitative or qualitative empiricism, formal mode ling, or historical or philosophical analysis). The University of Alabama embraces diversity in its faculty, students, and staff, and we welcome applications from those who would add to the diversity of our academic community. Salary, benefits, and research support will be nationally competitive. All applications are confidential to the extent permitted by state and federal law, and interested applicants should apply at; the positions remain open until filled. Questions should be directed to Professor Heather Elliott, Chair of the Faculty Appointments Committee ( The University of Alabama is an Equal Employment/Equal Educational Opportunity Institution. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, genetic information, disability, or protected veteran status, and will not be discriminated against because of their protected status. Applicants to and employees of this institution are protected under federal law from discrimination on several bases. Follow this link to find out more: “EEO is the Law”

August 23, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 22, 2016

NY Divorces from 100 Years Ago

From the New York Post:

David Ackerman was a terrible husband. During his volatile marriage to wife Julia, he tried to throw her down a flight of stairs. He also told his long-suffering spouse she should support him by turning tricks.

So she filed for divorce.

This might have made the news in 1915 — women filing for divorce in the early 1900s were rare — except divorce records are sealed in New York state . . . for an astounding 100 years.


Only one other state, Alaska, automatically seals matrimonial cases, and that’s for 50 years.

What was it like to get divorced 100 years ago? The Post combed through recently unsealed Manhattan filings, including the Ackermans’, and discovered they were easily as headline-grabbing as their modern-day counterparts.

Read more here.

August 22, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Same-Sex Family Law Matters

From HG Legal Resources:

Many New Jersey LGBTQ couples consider 2013 to be a landmark year. In that year, a key part of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was overturned, and New Jersey recognized the right for same-sex couples to marry.

Since then, thousands of same-sex couples have been married in our state. Although every marriage starts out with great hopes and optimism, the truth is that unfortunately many will not stand the test of time.

Same-sex couples and families face the same difficult personal issues as heterosexual couples: starting a family, infidelity, and the threat of growing apart. Furthermore, same-sex couples face additional challenges, and the law governing same-sex divorce in New Jersey is still developing and provides unique legal challenges. For heterosexual couples, the process of divorce has been made relatively straightforward and predictable thanks to years of legislative and judicial accommodation. However, LGBTQ couples face a great deal of uncertainty and ambiguity in family law issues due to the relatively recent acknowledgement of same-sex unions.
Read more here.

August 21, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, August 20, 2016

George Carlin, ‘Dirty Words’ and the Loss of Custody

From The Huffington Post:

In 1972, George Carlin performed a monologue about the “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television.” Those words were considered offensive language, and the monologue itself gave rise to a lawsuit that made its way to the United Stated Supreme Court after a complaint was lodged by a member of a conservative organization known as “Morality in Media”. The complaint was that the radio broadcast, heard by a 15 year old boy who was driving with his father, was inappropriate for the time of day. The Supreme Court was ultimately called upon to rule as to whether an order issued by the Federal Communications Commission against the broadcaster was a violation of the First or Fifth Amendments to the United States Constitution. The Supreme Court decided that it was not. And at one point, George Carlin himself was arrested for disturbing the peace when he performed the monologue at a festival in Wisconsin. Apparently George isn’t the only one to suffer consequences from the use of such language.

The California Family Code provides that if a court makes a finding that a party has “perpetrated domestic violence” against the other party seeking custody of a child, there is a rebuttable presumption that awarding joint or sole legal or physical custody is detrimental to the best interests of the child.

Read more here.

August 20, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, August 19, 2016

Palimony in New Jersey after the Latest Challenge

From HG Legal Resources:

A July 22, 2016 decision in New Jersey Superior Court, Lee v. Kim (Bergen County FM-02-1745-16), upholds the constitutionality of New Jersey’s 2010 law requiring cohabitation agreements, also known as “palimony” agreements, to be in writing. The case also stands as a good example of exactly why written agreements are necessary.

In the case, plaintiff Sook Hee Lee claimed that Dr. Jonathan Kim made oral promises of financial support over the course of their casual two-year dating relationship. Had she not challenged the constitutionality of New Jersey’s “palimony law,” Ms. Lee’s case could have been summarily dismissed due to the lack of a written agreement. Instead, as noted by Superior Court Judge Terry Bottinelli, she managed to waste both the court’s time and Dr. Kim’s time and money during two years of frivolous litigation.

The New Jersey Palimony Law Requires Agreements to be Writing.

Why such harsh words for Ms. Lee?
Read more here.

August 19, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Lowest U.S. Fertility in History

From the Atlantic:

According to a CDC report today, the number of babies born per female in the U.S. is the lowest ever.

That rate is known as the national fertility rate (even though it measures reproduction, not the capacity for reproduction—fertility as it’s used colloquially). It has been tracked since 1909, and it has dropped more than 10 percent since 2007.

Read more here.

August 18, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Mormon Matchmaking

From the Wall Street Journal:

For 50 years, the scattered singles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Europe’s north have gathered most summers for Festinord. Equal parts spiritual summer camp and singles mixer, the five-day conference has become an essential part of the region’s LDS dating game.


Until the late 2000s, Festinord, which rotates each year among Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland, was a small Nordic-only enterprise, with a few hundred participants. Social-media-fueled connections and a decline in travel costs have transformed it into an international congress of eternal-companion-seekers from as far as New Zealand.

This year, 821 singles from 31 countries attended, and for the first time the Scandinavians were in the minority. This Wall Street Journal reporter, a participant in last year’s Festinord, covered this year’s event as a journalist.

In keeping with the church’s prohibitions, alcohol is forbidden, as are sexual relations.

Read more here.

August 17, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Same-Sex Couples Sue for Fertility Treatments

From the New York Times:

Despite her doctor’s assurances that insurance would pay for fertility treatment, Ms. Krupa’s provider, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, denied coverage. The company cited a state insurance mandate from 2001 that required most women under 35 — no matter their sexual orientation — to demonstrate their infertility through “two years of unprotected sexual intercourse.”

Now the Krupas, along with two other women, are suing the commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance, claiming the mandate discriminates against their sexual orientation — essentially forcing infertile homosexual women to pay for costly procedures to try to become pregnant.

“These women are already going through what can be a difficult experience, and they have the added stress of affording it financially and the added insult of being treated like a second-class citizen,” said Grace Cretcher, a lawyer for the plaintiffs.

The state mandate requires most major insurance companies to cover medically necessary treatments for infertile clients. It defines infertility as the inability to impregnate another person, the inability to carry a pregnancy to live birth or the inability to conceive after one or two years of unprotected sex, depending on the woman’s age.

That language, Ms. Cretcher said, violates the constitutional rights of nonheterosexual women.

Read more here.

August 16, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 15, 2016

Opioid Use Increases Third-Party Custody Cases

From The Indiana Lawyer:

As opioid use in Indiana sky-rockets, family law practitioners are seeing an increase in third-party custody proceedings. Usually families prefer to keep the child with a third-party family member rather than in the foster care system when the parent involved with opioid use.

Read more here.

August 15, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Custody Issues are Complex When Dealing with Special-Needs Children

From The Indiana Lawyer:

Parents of special-needs children divorce at a higher rate than normative parents. However, custody issues involving special-needs children are often more complex and involves issues; such as, medical care, special-needs schooling, and even transportation of the child. Parents and lawyers must work together to find a solution to this very complex problem.

Read more here.

August 14, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Must Attorneys Report Child Abuse Learned of During Representation?

From The Indiana Lawyer:

Mandatory child abuse reporting laws may stand in contrast to attorney-client privilege when the client discloses child abuse to the attorney. The rules of professional ethics for lawyers requires that an attorney maintain privilege when a client discloses the information; however, the rules of confidentiality and privilege are not the same. The line between the two is often blurry; however, some lean toward accepting that attorneys are generally not required to report child abuse.

Read more here.

August 13, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, August 12, 2016

Shielding Assets

From Patricia Cohen, writing for the New York Times:

Steven J. Oshins, a Nevada lawyer who specializes in estate planning, has never met the wealthy software entrepreneur Dan Kloiber, but he is nonetheless intensely interested in Mr. Kloiber’s contentious divorce.

“I have had a Google news alert on that for a couple years,” Mr. Oshins said as he discussed the case from his office in a squat pink complex about a 20-minute drive from the Las Vegas Strip. What animates Mr. Oshins is not the juicy marital feud, but the legal arcana governing a trust in Delaware where the Kloiber family parked assets worth hundreds of million of dollars, sheltered from estate taxes.

Mr. Oshins, with a gleeful grin spreading across his face, relished the thought of the no-longer-beloved Mrs. Kloiber busting through the trust and exposing a potential chink in the formidable trust protection armor promised by Delaware — which just happens to fiercely compete with Nevada for the lucrative business of shielding assets owned by the superrich.

Read more here.

August 12, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Call for Papers--Feminist Legal Theory

Call for Papers – Friday September 16th Deadline

The Feminist Legal Theory Collaborative Research Network

Seeks submissions for the

Law and Society Association Annual Meeting

Mexico City, Mexico, at the Sheraton Maria Isabel, June 20 – 23, 2017

Dear friends and colleagues,

We invite you to participate in the panels sponsored by the Feminist Legal Theory Collaborative Research Network at the Law and Society Annual Meeting in 2017. The Feminist Legal Theory CRN seeks to bring together law and society scholars across a range of fields who are interested in feminist legal theory. Information about the Law and Society meeting is available at

This year’s meeting is unique in that it brings us to the Global South, and invites us to explore the theme Walls, Borders, and Bridges: Law and Society in an Inter-Connected World. We are especially interested in proposals that explore the application of feminist legal theory to this theme, broadly construed. This might include papers that explore feminist legal theory in comparative or transnational contexts, as well as in relation to the impacts of globalism and other intersections within particular locations, relationships, institutions, and identities. We are also interested in papers that will permit us to collaborate with other CRNs, such as the Critical Research on Race and the Law CRN, and welcome multidisciplinary proposals.

Our goal is to stimulate focused discussion of papers on which scholars are currently working. Thus, while you may submit papers that are closer to publication, we are particularly eager to receive proposals for works-in-progress that are at an earlier stage and will benefit from the discussion that the panels will provide.

The Planning Committee will assign individual papers to panels based on subject. Panels will use the LSA format, which requires four papers. We will also assign a chair, and one or two commentators/discussants for each panel, to provide feedback on the papers and promote discussion. For panels with two commentators/discussants, one may be asked to also chair.

As a condition of participating as a panelist, you must also agree to serve as a chair and/or commentator/discussant for another panel or participant. We will of course take into account expertise and topic preferences to the degree possible.

The duties of chairs are to organize the panel logistically; including registering it online with the LSA, and moderating the panel. Chairs will develop a 100-250 word description for the session and submit the session proposal to LSA before their anticipated deadline of October 19. This will ensure that each panelist can submit their proposal, using the panel number assigned.

The duties of commentator/discussants are to read the papers assigned to them and to prepare a short commentary about the papers that discusses them individually and (to the extent relevant) collectively, identifying ways that they relate to one another.

August 11, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Adoption Misconceptions During Olympics

From USA Today:

Ron is not only Simone's maternal grandfather but also her father – legally, practically and emotionally. He and his wife Nellie adopted Simone and her sister Adria when Simone was six, after their biological mother, Shanon Biles, experienced drug and alcohol issues and the children went through various foster homes.

With Simone’s team event victory likely to precede a swath of additional gold medals in the individual competition, the 19-year-old is on a fast track to becoming one of America’s best known and most popular athletes. On Wednesday, she sent out a social media message to celebrate that reached 1 million Instagram followers. More are surely on the way.

Ron is a quiet man and he and his wife remained that way even after NBC commentator Al Trautwig sparked controversy by referring to them on air as Simone’s grandfather and his wife, then getting into a social media dispute with a commenter and claiming they were “NOT her real parents.” Trautwig later apologized.

Ron said he hopes that the attention from the brouhaha will have a positive effect on American society and encouraged prospective parents to consider adopting or fostering a child. Child welfare group Children’s Rights estimated that on any given day there are around 415,000 children in foster care in the United States.

“It is a wonderful thing,” he told USA TODAY Sports, when asked what advice he would have for people considering fostering or adoption. “It gives you the opportunity to enrich the life of yourself and the child, and enrich everyone who is involved in your life.

“Raising kids is just a wonderful thing. You get to see them grow and be a part of that and I can’t think of anything more satisfying. It is an important issue and I could only say good things about it.”

According to Dr. Suan Stapatyanon, who runs the Our Small World foster agency in Orange, Calif., the emergence of a high-profile adopted athlete such as Biles could provide a boost to a stretched system.

Read more here.

August 11, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Delaware County Indiana Gets Funding for Domestic Violence Prosecutor Team

From Fox59:

With an increase of domestic violence in the county, Delaware County, Indiana will receive funding for a prosecutor team specifically created to deal with domestic violence crimes. 

The grant will likely aid the team in ensuring that domestic violence cases are heard quickly, and this will help the victim to stay out of the situation where the violence occurred.

Read more here.

August 10, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Buy a Slurpee, Pay Your Child Support

From The Detroit Free Press:

For just $1.99, you can buy goods and pay your child support payments at 7-Eleven and Family Dollar stores. The Michigan child support office has implemented the law to make it easier on parents to pay their child support obligations.

Read more here.

August 9, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, August 8, 2016

New York Law Requires Child Abuse Hotline to be Posted in Schools

From News10:

New York is now requiring that every public and charter school posts the phone number the the state's child abuse hotline. The post must be in a place where students can see the sign. The law requiring such action has resulted in calls from children "around the clock every day."

Read more here.

August 8, 2016 in Child Abuse | Permalink | Comments (1)