Thursday, May 22, 2014

Commentary on Jason P v. Danielle S

From Naomi Cahn, writing for the American Fertility Association:

Last week, the California Court of Appeal for Los Angeles County issued its opinion in Jason P v. Danielle S.  In this highly publicized decision, the court allowed a known sperm donor to try to prove his paternity, and the case has sent ripples throughout the world of people who have used – or are thinking about using – known donors to build their families.

As most of us know, Jason P. is the actor Jason Patric, and Danielle S. is Danielle Schreiber. As has been reported in multiple news outlets, Patric and Schreiber were involved romantically for a number of years, and the two of them tried for a pregnancy via sexual intercourse as well as through intrauterine insemination procedures. None of their attempts were successful and ultimately, Schreiber moved out of Patric’s house, tried to become pregnant with an anonymous sperm donor, and informed Patric that she was going to become a single mother.  Patric reportedly then gave Schreiber a letter stating that, although he was not ready to be a father, he would provide his sperm to her if she kept the arrangement confidential and did not let anyone else know about his “gift.”   Around that time, Schreiber decided to try In Vitro Fertilization.  Both Schreiber and Patric signed informed consent forms provided by the clinic and Schreiber allegedly filled in both her name and Patric’s name where the form asked for the “Intended Parent.’”[1] Using Patric’s sperm, Schreiber then became pregnant with Gus.  
The Jason Patric case does not mean that all known donors suddenly become fathers or mothers in the eyes of the law.  In this case, the wrinkle added by Patric's claim to paternity occurred, because the court decided to look at events which happened after Gus was born.  

Read more here.


May 22, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Unmarried Fathers in Scotland

From QuantumValeat:

There has been some interesting news filtering out from Scotland over the past few days. On Tuesday this week (6th May 2014),  The Public Petitions Committee heard evidence on a petition calling for equal rights for unmarried fathersThe petition has been raised by Ron Park, an unmarried father of a young son  whom he does not see because the child’s mother does not allow it. “There is no protection issue, no order to remove me, she simply felt like she wanted rid of me,” writes Mr Park on his blog.

I have previously blogged about the issues faced by unmarried fathers who do not have Parental Rights and Responsibilities – The continuing disadvantage of unmarried fathers - without PRR; which an unmarried father can only acquire by virtue of the relationship with the mother, in that the mother has to agree to have the father’s name on the birth certificate – or via a lengthy, time-consuming and expensive legal process.  The case of Principal Reporter v K [2010] highlights this lengthy procedure. 

Read more here.


May 21, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Pennsylvania's Same-Sex Marriage Ban Struck Down

From Yahoo! News:

Pennsylvania's ban on gay marriage was overturned by a federal judge Tuesday in a decision that legalized same-sex unions throughout the Northeast and sent couples racing to pick up licenses.

U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III called the plaintiffs — a widow, 11 couples and one couple's teenage daughters — courageous for challenging the constitutionality of the ban passed by lawmakers in 1996.

"We are a better people than what these laws represent, and it is time to discard them into the ash heap of history," the judge wrote.

Read more here.


May 21, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Oregon's Same-Sex Ban Struck Down

From the Washington Post:

A U.S. District Court judge struck down Oregon’s ban on same-sex marriage Monday, the seventh ruling that a state’s ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional in the wake of last year’s Supreme Court decision invalidating sections of the Defense of Marriage Act.

The decision came after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a bid by the National Organization for Marriage to stay the ruling. The Oregon judge, Michael McShane, had denied NOM’s effort to intervene in the case.

“Because Oregon’s marriage laws discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation without a rational relationship to any legitimate government interest,” McShane wrote, ”the laws violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.”

“I believe that if we can look for a moment past gender and sexuality, we can see in these plaintiffs nothing more or less than our own families,” he wrote. “Families who we would expect our constitution to protect, if not exalt, in equal measure.”

Read more here.


May 21, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

What is a Father?

From WPTV:

A ruling in actor Jason Patric's custody battle could have repercussions for an unexpected population - women who use fertility treatments.

Legal experts say an appellate court ruling issued Wednesday in favor of Patric's fight to regain visitation with his son could lead to changes in cases like his, in which a man donates sperm to a woman he knows and then maintains a relationship with the child.

Read more here.



May 20, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, May 19, 2014

Child Support Case in Nebraska

From 10TV:

The Nebraska Supreme Court says a judge was wrong to reverse a Minnesota man's order to pay child support because a DNA test says he wasn't the father.

The Lincoln Journal-Star ( ) reports a majority of the split court says in Friday's ruling that the district court overstepped authority by turning a motion to modify child support payments into a paternity challenge.

Read more here.


May 19, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Child Support in RI

From WPRI:

If you’re waiting on a child support payment in Rhode Island, you’re not alone. Eyewitness News has learned Rhode Island ranks towards the bottom of the pack when it comes to tracking down past due and missing child support payments.

Read more here.


May 17, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, May 16, 2014

Alimony Tax Discrepancies

A Press Release from theTreasury Inspector General for Tax Administration:

A report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) publicly released today identifies a $2.3 billion gap between the amount of alimony deductions claimed by taxpayers in 2010 and corresponding income reported.

Individuals who pay alimony can deduct the amount paid from income on their tax return to reduce the amount of tax an individual must pay. Alimony recipients must, in turn, claim the amount received as income on their tax return. An alimony income reporting discrepancy occurs either when individuals claim deductions for alimony which they did not pay or individuals do not report alimony income they received.

TIGTA initiated this audit to evaluate whether there is an alimony reporting gap and to assess controls the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has in place to promote alimony reporting compliance.

Read more here.


Hat Tip: TaxProf Blog

May 16, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Barred from Having More Kids

From the Washington Post:

An Ohio appeals court upheld an order barring a father from having more kids until he pays child support for the ones he already has.

Read more here.



May 15, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Taxing Alimony

From Forbes:

When money flows from one ex-spouse to another it will generally be one of three things – alimony, child support or property division.  Alimony has tax consequences.  It reduces the adjusted gross income of the paying ex-spouse and increases the income of the receiving ex-spouse.  If this is news to you and you are of the plotting sort, you probably immediately leaped to a conclusion.  As long as the paying spouse is in a higher bracket than the receiving spouse, let’s call it alimony and we’ll figure out how to share the savings.  Much as we might hate one another, we hate paying taxes more.

If that is how your thinking went, you just ran afoul of Reilly’s Second Law of Tax Planning - Any clever idea that is fairly obvious runs into rules that make it hard. The rules in this case are in the Internal Revenue Code Section 71.  They are designed to not allow alimony treatment to payments that are in substance child support or property division.  If a payment meets all the requirements of alimony, the agreement can still state that it is not to be treated as alimony for tax purposes.

Read more here.


May 14, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Adoption Tradition

Read and hear an audio here about the only known family in the United Kingdom with 3 generations of adopting.

May 13, 2014 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, May 12, 2014

Same-Sex Adoption Case in France

From the Guardian:

A married French woman has been told she cannot adopt the child she and her partner had by IVF treatment carried out abroad.

In a surprise ruling, a court in Versailles said the same-sex couple defrauded the French law which bars homosexuals from medically assisted procreation by undergoing the procedure in neighbouring Belgium.

Read more here.


May 12, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day

free red rose flower clip art

May 11, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Establishing Paternity

An interesting case from Indiana came down yesterday: can the state order genetic testing to establish paternity when there is no claim for support or custody because the baby was born stillborn?  Read the opinion here.


Hat Tip: Susan DeMaine

May 10, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, May 9, 2014

What is a Father?

From the New York Times:

He is a movie star who shot to fame on a motorcycle in “The Lost Boys.” She is a California massage therapist from a prominent East Coast family. Four years ago, with his sperm, her eggs and the wonder of in vitro fertilization, they produced a child.

From there, the tale gets very, very messy.

For the last two years, Jason Patric and Danielle Schreiber have been waging what has become one of the highest-profile custody fights in the country — one that scrambles a gender stereotype, raises the question of who should be considered a legal parent and challenges state laws that try to bring order to the Wild West of nonanonymous sperm donations.

Played out on cable news, dueling “Today” show appearances, YouTube videos and radio call-in talk shows, this rancorous dispute, which heads back into a California courtroom next Thursday, serves as cautionary tale for any man considering donating sperm to a friend and any woman considering accepting it from one, experts say.

“The resonance here is enormous because of the increasing number of families being formed today outside of traditional marriage,” said Naomi R. Cahn, a family law professor at George Washington University and the author of “Test Tube Families.” “Single heterosexual women, lesbian couples, men who donate sperm expecting to be part of a child’s life — they had better be paying attention.”

Read more here.


May 9, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Child Support in WI

From Fox6:

Nearly half of all children in Milwaukee County rely – in one way or another – on child support.  When parents don’t pay up, the consequences may be more far-reaching than you think.  Now, there is a program in Milwaukee County that’s cracking down on deadbeat parents.

“Go out and knock on the door.  A simple knock on the door,” Maureen Atwell said.

Atwell says this program is a game-changer.

“We’re not looking for people who failed to pay their child support because they were too poor to pay or just lost their job.  We’re looking for people who really have the resources and ability to pay child support and they just choose not to,” Atwell said.

Read more here.


May 9, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Wedding Videos

From the New York Times:

Kiko Zeng and Eric Cheng’s courtship plays out like something out of a storybook. It is love at first sight. Their first touch is a shy, slow-motion handshake, with neither wanting to let go, until friends pull them apart.

Soon they are chatting online, Ms. Zeng while on a pink bedspread typing on a Hello Kitty laptop, Mr. Cheng in a minimalist bedroom. Chinese characters flash across the screen: Will she come on a date? She agrees. He throws his laptop to the side and pumps his hands in a victory gesture.

Fast-forward to an evening in front of a carousel. Mr. Cheng takes a small box from his pocket and hands it to her. She opens it, perplexed, then disappointed: just a red plastic ring. But then he brings out a second box and kneels before her. Inside is a real engagement ring. Will she marry him? She nods enthusiastically, beaming. Their friends suddenly appear, holding up signs that spell out M-A-R-R-Y M-E.

At least that’s how it looks in their wedding video. Who knows how it really happened? At Paris Wedding Center, a company with three locations in the Chinatowns of Manhattan and Flushing, Queens, the lines between reality and fairy tale are blurred.

Not only are photos and videos often taken months before the ceremony, they also don’t necessarily document actual events.

Read more here.


May 8, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Pre-Divorce Counseling

From Channel NewsAsia:

SINGAPORE: Couples seeking divorce may be asked to attend counselling even before they file for court proceedings, under a move to put their children's needs first.

The Law and Social and Family Development Ministries are considering what is described as "pre-filing" programmes, under a review of the Family Justice System.

Read more here.


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

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Collaborative Divorce

From CNBC:

Divorce will never be a walk in the park, but it doesn't have to be a traumatic process, either.

So say practitioners of collaborative divorce, a relatively new approach that avoids the court system and puts negotiations and decisions directly in the hands of the spouses—with help from specially trained attorneys and neutral support professionals.

Read more here.


May 6, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, May 5, 2014

China Smog Causes Divorce

From the International Business Times:

A man in China filed for divorce after his wife escaped the notorious smog of Beijing and went to a tropical island province along with their son. The man said that their marriage was thereafter destroyed as it became a long-distance relationship.

Read more here.


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