Family Law Prof Blog

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

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Divorce Jeans?

From the New York Times:

You’d like to know how Ms. Abedin is doing a week and a half after appearing in divorce court? Look at her jeans.

Ms. Abedin seems to be taking the path of the divorce makeover, a fairly common ritual in the painful breakup process. Going for a new look allows you to take the white-hot glare off a difficult part of your life and focus on something else. It can signal who you’d like to become.


Some spend ridiculous amounts of money on their makeovers: Amanda Sanders, a makeover artist in New York, told The New York Post in May that she charges $250 an hour to revamp newly single women.

For Geneen Wright, 42, of West Hollywood, Calif., her look completely changed from the businesslike gray-and-black minimalist uniform she often wore during her marriage to Daniel Humm, the head chef and co-owner of the Manhattan restaurant Eleven Madison Park.

“During a marriage there’s a lot you can’t control,” Ms. Wright said. “But my clothing was the one thing I could control to be perfect. I could be perfectly put together.”

Read more here.

October 15, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, October 14, 2017

What To Do With Old Wedding Band

From Today:

Jordana Horn was cleaning out her desk recently when she found a surprise buried in the back of a drawer: her wedding band from a previous marriage.

Horn, a TODAY Parents contributor, divorced her first husband nearly a decade ago and has since remarried, so she hadn’t thought about this old ring for a while. Still, the platinum band represented an important chapter in her life and she didn’t want to just leave it collecting dust.


When it comes to etiquette, there are no established rules for dealing with rings following a split, says etiquette guru Lizzie Post, a spokesperson for the Emily Post Institute and host of the Awesome Etiquette podcast.

However, some common decency should apply when it comes to heirloom jewelry, Post says.

Read more and see the video here.

October 14, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, October 13, 2017

Rich People More Happily Married

From Bloomberg:

 [I]t turns out there’s a 17-point gap between the happiness in lower- and upper-class marriages. 


There are positive reasons why wealthy people might be happier in marriage, Cohen said. They’re typically less stressed than the rest of the population. They can afford to take vacations and to buy their spouses gifts.

But it’s worrying that people in the working and lower classes are so much less happy than the general population. Other research also shows poorer Americans having a tougher time getting and staying married. A reportissued this week by the American Enterprise Institute noted the wide gap in marriage rates by income. About a quarter of “poor” adults aged 18 to 55 are currently married, while 39 percent of working-class adults and 56 percent of middle- and upper-class adults are married.  

Americans’ economic worries may be bleeding into family life in toxic ways. People with insecure jobs often say they’re resigned to that insecurity, according to research by University of Virginia sociologist Allison Pugh. But such people act differently from those in more secure financial situations, she found. They have higher—and more rigid—expectations of their partners, for example. 

Read more here.

October 13, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Gay Dads Without Paternity Leave

From The Chicago Tribune:

When his first daughter was born in 2009, Brent Wright, like many parents, did not have paid paternity leave.

Unlike many parents, he and his spouse faced some unique challenges. Because both are men, neither parent had access to a paid maternity leave policy. Because they adopted, their time away from the office began with travel to a nearby city to meet the birth mother.

Read more here.

October 12, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Anglican Church Faces Sanctions Over Same-Sex Marriages

From The Guardian:

Leaders of the global Anglican communion, meeting for five days in Canterbury, are expected to impose “consequences” on the Scottish Episcopal church along the lines of the punitive measures dished out to the US Episcopal church last year for its embrace of LGBTI equality.

The measures include a bar on membership of representational bodies and an exclusion from decisions on policy.

Read more here.

October 11, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Civil Partnerships on the Rise

From Family Law News:

The increase in civil partnerships, for the first time since the introduction of same sex marriages, demonstrates how modern families are changing. It’s important that the law keeps up.

These figures will be of interest to policymakers and anyone monitoring the debate about extending civil partnerships to heterosexual couples - who may also wish to choose this way of marking their commitment to each other over marriage.

Read more here.

October 10, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 9, 2017

OJ's Spousal Abuse Case Not Considered

From The New York Post:

CARSON CITY, Nev. — Nevada’s parole board didn’t consider O.J. Simpson’s 1989 conviction for misdemeanor spousal abuse when it granted him parole in July because the case wasn’t listed in the national clearinghouse of FBI crime data, an official said Tuesday.

David Smith, the board’s hearing officer, said the panel requested a second report from the FBI’s National Crime Information Center on July 31 to determine whether an error had been made.

Read more here.

October 9, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Paternity Leave Key to Family

From The Chicago Tribune:

When my parents were born, neither of their fathers was in the delivery room. Just like virtually every other father in those days, they sat outside, waiting for someone to come out and tell them whether they had a new baby boy or girl and then passed out cigars to the other men. At least, this is how I picture it. It’s a distant past, one far removed from my own reality.

Read more here.

October 8, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Domestic Violence in L.A.

From Al Jazeera News:

Los Angeles, USA - Kalanie* and her boyfriend got into an argument one day when she wasn't at work. Her boyfriend was drunk - as he often was when he got angry, she said. She wanted to avoid a confrontation, so she went into the bathroom, locked the door and started to shower.

Then, she heard a noise. Her boyfriend had gone downstairs to get his toolbox, and was taking the door off its hinges. "He's not stupid, he's not going to kick down the door," she said. "And then he drug me out of the shower, got me out of the shower naked, and started hitting me."

Kalanie called the police, but by the time the cops arrived, her boyfriend had already put the door back on its hinges.

"And I was like, 'He really took the door off', and he was like, 'Oh, you know, women, they're just so crazy. Does it look like I took the door down?'"

The police officer left.

Months later, after another incident, Kalanie said an officer told her she was "too dark-skinned" to tell if her boyfriend had given her a black eye. Her eye was swollen, Kalanie said. "You could tell."

Read more here.

October 7, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Friday, October 6, 2017

Marriage Privilege

From The New York Times:

Marriage, which used to be the default way to form a family in the United States, regardless of income or education, has become yet another part of American life reserved for those who are most privileged.

Fewer Americans are marrying over all, and whether they do so is more tied to socioeconomic status than ever before. In recent years, marriage has sharply declined among people without college degrees, while staying steady among college graduates with higher incomes.

Read more here.

October 6, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Posting Votes for Marriage Equality in Australia

From The New Yorker:

The Australian national postal service is currently busier than usual: it is in the middle of delivering ballots for the Australian Marriage Law Survey to the postboxes of sixteen million eligible voters. On each form is a single question: “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?” Recipients are instructed to tick Yes or No and mail back the form by the November 7th deadline. Though sending things by mail is often considered a dying mode of communication, it’s the method that the conservative Australian government chose, amid much controversy, to carry out this nonbinding, voluntary opinion poll, the results of which will be used to justify the government’s decision whether to hold a parliamentary vote on same-sex marriage later this year.

Read more here.

October 5, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Jail for Lack of Child's Vaccination

From the Washington Post:

A Michigan woman will spend seven days in jail after she defied a judge’s order to have her 9-year-old son vaccinated.

Rebecca Bredow was sentenced for contempt of court Wednesday, nearly a year after an Oakland County judge ordered her to have her son vaccinated. Bredow had been given until Wednesday to get her son the medically allowed amount of vaccination, which would be up to eight vaccines. But the Detroit area mother, citing her religious beliefs, had refused to do so.

“I’m a passionate mother who cares deeply about my children, their health and their well-being. . . . If my child was forced to be vaccinated, I couldn’t bring myself to do it,” Bredow said during a court hearing, according to the Associated Press.

The jail sentence is the latest in an ongoing custody battle with her ex-husband, James Horne, who wants their son vaccinated and shares joint custody of the child.

Read more here.

October 4, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Fellowship Program Seeks Applications

 If/When/How is now accepting applications for the 2018-19 Reproductive Justice Fellowships Program (RJFP), which places newly graduated lawyers at nonprofits for a one-year, policy-focused fellowship in reproductive health, rights, and justice work. The RJFP now includes Federal, State, and HIV fellowships, with placement locations in Atlanta, GA; Oakland, CA; Pittsburgh, PA; Seattle, WA; and Washington, D.C.

For more information and instructions for how to apply, download the application here.

The deadline for applications is November 1, 2017.

October 4, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Mass. Supreme Court Rules on Fidelity Exec Alimony

From Business Insider:

BOSTON (Reuters) - The highest court in Massachusetts on Monday said a senior executive at Fidelity Investments will not have to pay a percentage of his future income to his former wife in a closely watched decision that dealt a setback to variable alimony awards in the state.

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled in favor of Derek Young, president of Fidelity's global asset allocation division, whose annual gross income has topped $7 million in recent years. The court concluded that Young's former wife, Joy, was not entitled to 33 percent of his future income, according to an opinion released on Monday.

Read more here.

October 4, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Saudi Arabia Ends Ban on Female Drivers

From NPR:

Saudi Arabia has reversed its long-standing and widely criticized ban against women driving.

Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud issued an order on Tuesday that paves the way for women to obtain driver's licenses, according to Saudi state media.

Read more here.

October 3, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

First Same-Sex Wedding in Germany

From the New York Times:

BERLIN — Cheers rang out in the City Hall of Berlin’s Schöneberg district on Sunday as two men, who met 38 years ago, when the German capital was a divided city, became the country’s first same-sex couple to legally marry.


In June, Germany became the 15th European country to grant same-sex couples the right to marry, after a swift vote in Parliament that followed a brief but emotional debate. A previous German law had allowed civil unions between same-sex couples since 2001, but those unions did not offer couples the same legal rights and were considered by many to be a second-class form of marriage.

Across the country, city halls that are normally closed on the weekend opened their doors to allow marriages on the first day the law took effect. Dozens of couples were expected to exchange vows in Berlin, as well as in Cologne, Hamburg, Hanover and Kiel on Sunday and the days beyond.

Read more here.

October 3, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Mississippi Law Headed to U.S. Supreme Court?

From the New Civil Rights Movement:

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has turned down a request to allow the full court to review a Mississippi state law that will allow nearly anyone – including individuals, businesses, and even government officials – to claim their "sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction" mandates they refuse to serve LGBT people, same-sex couples, anyone who has had sex out of the bonds of man-woman marriage, or an abortion. It also bars the state from taking action against anyone who discriminated based on their religious belief that that "male" and "female" refer to someone's "immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy and genetics at time of birth."


A three-judge panel on Friday rejected the Campaign for Southern Equality's request for an en banc hearing, by the full Fifth Circuit. The LGBT rights organization says they are appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Read more here.

October 3, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 2, 2017

Child Abuse Effects Later in Life

From The Independent:

More than half of child abuse victims experience domestic abuse in later life, new analysis shows, as reports of child abuse soar in the UK.

Thirty-four per cent of adults who witnessed domestic abuse in their home as a child have experienced abuse by a partner in later life, compared with 11 per cent of those who did not.

Read more here.

October 2, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Divorce by Occupation

From Flowingdata:

As people are marrying later and staying single longer, divorce continues to be common in the United States. It’s not the mythical “half of marriages end in divorce” common, but the percentages are up there.

Divorce rates vary a lot by group though. Rates are higher for the unemployed than employed. Divorce among Asians tends to be much lower than other races. Rates change a lot by education level.

So, let’s look at divorce rates by occupation. Using data from the 2015 American Community Survey, for each occupation, I calculated the percentage of people who divorced out of those who married at least once.

Read more here.

October 1, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Child Marriage

From Frontline:

Heather decided she didn’t need a new pair of shoes for her wedding. The silver heels she wore to a friend’s prom at the beginning of summer would do. They would match the purple dress she picked out with her dad. Her blonde hair would be twisted and pinned back, held in place with a tiara.

On Saturday, Aug. 15, 2015, she packed her clothes and crammed into the back of a van next to her boyfriend, Aaron. Her dad, stepmom and grandmother filled the other seats alongside Aaron’s parents.

It was the morning of her 15th birthday, but she wasn’t in the mood to celebrate. Heather was in her first trimester. Her belly felt bloated and queasy. She often craved soggy nachos and hard-boiled eggs.

In some ways, she was looking forward to becoming a mom. Heather said she liked the idea of raising a child, of having a purpose she couldn’t easily abandon. But she was also scared.

The pregnancy meant trouble for Aaron. He was 24 years old. In Idaho, where they met, it’s a felony — statutory rape — for an adult to have sex with anyone younger than 16. The maximum punishment is life in prison.

Read more here.

September 30, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)