Family Law Prof Blog

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

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Thousands Sign Petition to Change Custody Law in Ohio

From: News 5 Cleveland
           Momentum continues to build for a change in Ohio's child custody law that now grants next-of-kin first preference in child custody no matter how long a child has been living in a stable foster home.

Elyria foster mother Camille Myers-Kouris has started a petition drive in support of drafting a new Ohio law that would limit blood relative first preference to just six months, and then after that, all potential caregivers would be considered on a level playing field.

 

Read more here

September 17, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thousands Sign Petition to Change Custody Law in Ohio

From: News 5 Cleveland
           Momentum continues to build for a change in Ohio's child custody law that now grants next-of-kin first preference in child custody no matter how long a child has been living in a stable foster home.

Elyria foster mother Camille Myers-Kouris has started a petition drive in support of drafting a new Ohio law that would limit blood relative first preference to just six months, and then after that, all potential caregivers would be considered on a level playing field.

 

Read more here

September 17, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

UMKC Seeks Family Law Professor

The University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law is seeking to hire for an assistant or associate tenure track position in Family Law and related fields, which will begin in Fall 2020. A J.D. or equivalent degree is required.  Previous teaching experience is strongly preferred. Applications must come through the UMKC Human Resources portal at https://info.umkc.edu/hr/careers/academic-positions/

UMKC hosts a nationally-recognized Child & Family Law program, notable for its breadth and depth.  The School of Law offers both J.D. and LL.M. students an emphasis in Child & Family Law, maintains two in-house clinics devoted exclusively to family law (one of which provides graduates state certification to practice as Guardians ad Litem) as well as numerous field placement opportunities, publishes a national family law journal (the Journal of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers), and provides an international study abroad program focused exclusively on family law. Additional information about the family law program can be found at http://umkclaw.link/familylawcourses.

UMKC is the urban law school of the University of Missouri System and is located on a beautifully landscaped campus in the Country Club Plaza area of Kansas City, Missouri. It is the only law school in a diverse and vibrant metropolitan area of more than two million people and offers courses leading to J.D. or LL.M. degrees for approximately 450 students. It benefits from its metropolitan location, a university with opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration, a dedicated faculty and staff, and strong community and alumni support.

Equal Opportunity is and shall be provided for all employees and applicants for employment on the basis of their demonstrated ability and competence without unlawful discrimination on the basis of their race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, disability, protected veteran status, or any other status protected by applicable state or federal law. This policy shall not be interpreted in such a manner as to violate the legal rights of religious organizations or the recruiting rights of military organizations associated with the Armed Forces or the Department of Homeland Security of the United States. For more information, call the Vice Chancellor - Human Resources at 816-235-1621.   Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the duties and functions of this job. If you believe you may have difficulty performing any of the duties or functions of this job, please contact the Office of Affirmative Action at (816) 235-1323.

September 17, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 16, 2019

Divorced Dad Targets California's Alimony Law

Source: L.A. Times

A Huntington Beach man is taking another shot at reforming California’s alimony law, this time by championing a ballot initiative that would restrict payments to former spouses to a maximum of five years following a divorce or legal separation.

Steve Clark, a software engineer and divorced father, said this week that, had he known 25 years ago there was a possibility he would have to pay alimony — also known as spousal support — for the rest of his life, he wouldn’t have gotten married. He said he pays his ex-wife, Cindy, $1,000 a month and is expected to do so for the rest of his life because of a judge’s orders.

 

Read more here

September 16, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Divorced Dad Targets California's Alimony Law

Source: L.A. Times

A Huntington Beach man is taking another shot at reforming California’s alimony law, this time by championing a ballot initiative that would restrict payments to former spouses to a maximum of five years following a divorce or legal separation.

Steve Clark, a software engineer and divorced father, said this week that, had he known 25 years ago there was a possibility he would have to pay alimony — also known as spousal support — for the rest of his life, he wouldn’t have gotten married. He said he pays his ex-wife, Cindy, $1,000 a month and is expected to do so for the rest of his life because of a judge’s orders.

 

Read more here

September 16, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Cahn's Review of Book

Below is a link to Prof. Naomi Cahn's book review of "Rosanna Hertz and Margaret K. Nelson, Random Families: Genetic Strangers, Sperm Donor Siblings, and the Creation of New Kin." 

https://rdcu.be/bQ4mo

September 16, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, September 15, 2019

American Woman's Divorce Battle In Saudi Arabia Is Illustrative Of The Country's Legal System

From INSIDER: 

A US nurse involved in a tortuous legal battle in Saudi Arabia, in which she claims authorities have consistently discriminated against her because she is a foreign woman, shows how the legal system can be a minefield for foreign women.

Teresa Malof, 51, says she has been mistreated in her attempts to divorce her ex-husband Mazen al-Mubarak, the father to her three children. As a result, she says, she paid for their marital home for years while he lived in it alone.

Read more here

September 15, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Activists See Failure In European Attempts At Battling Domestic Violence

From VOA:

The stories are haunting: A young woman beaten by her partner before being set on fire in front of her 7-year-old daughter. A photo of a smiling scientist whose body is stuffed into a suitcase that is dumped into a river. 
 
These are just two examples in France of so-called femicides — women killed by their partners or family members. The country's 101st case this year happened Sunday, when a 92-year-old woman was beaten to death by her husband. 

Read more here

September 14, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, September 13, 2019

Get Alimony Insurance Before Getting Married In Egypt

From OZY:

If you cannot afford divorce, don’t get married. That’s the philosophy Egypt is turning to, on the back of skyrocketing living costs and escalating divorce rates. And it’s an approach that could be adopted more widely throughout a region not traditionally known for gender rights.

The number of Egyptian divorces rose by nearly 7 percent in 2018 to 211,500, up from 198,300 in 2017, according to the state-run Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics. The divorce rate, meanwhile, has climbed since 2010 from 1.9 to 2.2 divorces for every thousand Egyptians in 2018. At the same time, the marriage rate is falling, from just over 10 per thousand in 2016 to around 9 in 2018. President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi’s government is battling to fix the problem.

Read more here

September 13, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Is Money The Root Of Divorce?

From Forbes:

For decades, the prevailing wisdom on marital satisfaction over time has been one of steady decline. Spouses begin marriage full of happiness and enthusiasm. Over time, however, the initial excitement cools and satisfaction settles into a state of subdued contentment. Researchers call this the “honeymoon-is-over” effect or, pejoratively, the “honeymoon-then-years-of-blandness” pattern.

Recent research, however, has called this perspective into question. Newer studies, for instance, have found that it is common for spouses to exhibit high levels of marital satisfaction long after tying the knot.

Read more here

September 12, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Fertility Clinic Must Hand Over Sperm Donor List

From NJ.com:

A Livingston fertility clinic was ordered by a judge to turn over a list of sperm donors after a couple claimed the facility mistakenly impregnated the wife with the sperm of someone who was not her husband.

The Verona couple, who are now divorced, say they learned of the mistake by the Institute for Reproductive Medicine and Science at Saint Barnabas after noticing their daughter was developing Asian features. The couple, who are white, took a DNA test and learned that the husband was not the daughter’s biological parent, their lawsuit said.

Read more here.

September 11, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Google Maps Directing Women Seeking Abortions to "Pro-Life Clinics"

From VICE:

There’s just one abortion clinic left in North Dakota, and it’s in Fargo. But if you’re searching for a clinic around the state’s second-largest city, Google Maps won’t tell you about it.

Instead, searching Google Maps for “Where can I get an abortion in Bismarck, North Dakota?” will bring up results not only for a facility that doesn’t offer abortion but also for North Dakota Right to Life — an organization that lobbies to end abortion.

Read more here

September 11, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

European Doctor Prescribing Abortion Pills To American Women Online Sues FDA

From NPR:

A European doctor who prescribes abortion pills to American women over the Internet is suing the Food and Drug Administration in an effort to continue providing the medications to patients in the United States.

The lawsuit being filed Monday in federal court in Idaho names several federal officials, including U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.

Read more here

September 10, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 9, 2019

Polyamory

From Women's Health:

The rules of relationships aren't so simple and finite (sorry, Elle Woods), but having a set of mutual "rules" in place—especially when your brand of romance is a polyamorous relationship—is one smart way to keep your love life a bit less complicated.

I put "rules" in quotes because, let's be real, no one wants to be held to strict expectations or standards in matters of love. These rules are more like guidelines for you and your partners to go over at the start of and throughout your relationship, and they ensure that you’ll have the necessary measures in place to set and stick to boundaries across all parties.

Read more here.

September 9, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

College Course Teaches There Are No Soul Mates

From The Atlantic:

Research shows that practically every dimension of life happiness is influenced by the quality of one’s marriage, while divorce is the second most stressful life event one can ever experience.

Yet nearly half of all married couples are likely to divorce, and many couples report feeling unhappy in their relationships. Instructors of Northwestern University’s Marriage 101 class want to change that. The goal of their course is to help students have more fulfilling love relationships during their lives. In Marriage 101 popular books such as Mating in Captivity and For Better: The Science of a Good Marriage are interspersed with meaty academic studies. Students attend one lecture a week and then meet in smaller breakout groups to discuss the weekly topics, which range from infidelity to addiction, childrearing to sexuality in long-term relationships.

At first glance this class may seem a tad too frivolous for a major research university. But the instructors say it’s not an easy A and its reputation as a meaningful, relevant, and enlightening course has grown steadily over the 14 years it’s been offered. In fact, teachers are forced to turn away eager prospective students every year. This spring, the enrollment will be capped at 100. The class is kept to a manageable size so that students can grapple at a deeply personal level with the material during their discussion sessions.

Read more here.

September 9, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Regulating Fertility Services

From Adam Wolf & Naomi Cahn, writing for USA Today:

More than 1 in 10 women of child-bearing age seek fertility-related services, resulting in 77,000 live births each year. That's nearly 2% of all children born in the United States. How is it, then, that the assisted reproductive technology (ART) industry in America has less oversight and regulation than in such places as Estonia and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates? We are allowing headline-grabbing cases of fertility center abuses to pile up month after month and taking no action though there is clearly a growing problem

One of the consequences of an unregulated industry is that we do not know how often American fertility centers fail the people they are intended to serve. In 2016, a national ratings website found that 18% to 24% of fertility patients reported damaged or destroyed samples, among a host of other errors. The lawsuits filed against ART facilities and those who operate them paint an increasingly disturbing picture.

Read more here.

 

September 8, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Marriage Decreases Dementia

A new study finds that:

All unmarried groups, including the cohabiting, divorced/separated, widowed, and never married, had significantly higher odds of developing dementia over the study period than their married counterparts; economic resources and, to a lesser degree, health-related factors accounted for only part of the marital status variation in dementia. For divorced/separated and widowed respondents, the differences in the odds of dementia relative to married respondents were greater among men than among women.

Read it here.

September 7, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, September 6, 2019

SC Most Recent to Abolish Common Law Marriage

From the Desert News:

South Carolina is the most recent state to abolish common-law marriage, with a ruling from the state Supreme Court that calls the institution outdated and paternalistic.

....

Linda McClain, professor of family law at Boston University [said] “Common-law marriage cases can be pretty messy when you have facts that are all over the place.”

“The function was historically to normalize things, to take people who are deviating from the norm and to bring them under the protective umbrella, the moral umbrella, of marriage. But that’s the ethical debate today, whether you should treat people as married if they didn’t consciously take on marriage.”

Besides Utah, states that recognize common-law marriage are Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Rhode Island, Oklahoma and Texas. The District of Columbia also does, and New Hampshire provides for a marriage to be established after the death of one partner, “an after-the-fact remedy,” McClain said.

McClain said she found the justices’ reasoning remarkable, given that South Carolina is “not exactly the most liberal state.” But the ruling is in line with prevailing legal thought, which is “marriage is a right, but there’s also the right not to have marriage imposed upon you.”

The lack of a uniform legal standard, however, results in uneven outcomes, which is why a committee comprised of legal scholars across the nation is working on a proposal for a framework all states could potentially adopt. Naomi Cahn, a professor of law at George Washington University Law School, is a member of the Economic Rights of Unmarried Cohabitants Committee, and said the panel hopes to have a proposal within two years. Members are looking into practices across America and across the world, Cahn said.

Read more here.

September 6, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, September 5, 2019

New Jersey Bill, if Passed, could Safeguard Children Against Cyberbullying

From New York Times 

The bullying started with some teasing and mean comments, but escalated significantly when Mallory Grossman, 12, a cheerleader and gymnast from New Jersey, began middle school. It spread to social media where a group of children tormented her.

They took pictures of Mallory at school, without her knowledge, posted them online and taunted her with text messages containing screenshots of the vicious comments made about her. “They called her horrible names, told her you have no friends and said, when are you going to kill yourself,” said her mother, Dianne Grossman.

Ms. Grossman frequently reported the bullying to the school, but the harassment continued. She said that by the time she found out about the full scope of the cyberbullying, it was too late. Mallory died by suicide on June 14, 2017.

“The vicious things Mallory’s peers said about her became her reality,” her mother said. “No matter how untrue they were, she started believing it. Words matter — they have the ability to cause significant harm.”

September 5, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

New York Law Removes Unnecessary Step For Children Charged with Felonies

From The Appeal 

Until late last year, New York was one of just two states in the country that automatically prosecuted 16- and 17-year-olds as adults. Then lawmakers passed sweeping legislation in 2017, designed to treat children in the criminal legal system differently.

But as a result of the legislation, known as Raise the Age, the majority of the nearly 2,000 children who have gone through the courts since its passage must return to court a second time to hear charges against them and make their pleas, creating what advocates denounce as a needless step in an already traumatic process. On Friday, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a bill that would get rid of that step. 

Under Raise the Age, children 16 and younger who are charged with a felony are processed through a separate section of adult criminal court known as the “youth part.” (On Oct. 1, 17-year-olds will be eligible for youth part hearings.) These proceedings are overseen by judges trained in family law, who are supposed to transfer the majority of cases to family court, allowing for an exception in cases in which a child uses a deadly weapon, causes “significant physical injury,” or engages in illegal sexual conduct, according to the bill text. 

 

Read more here 

September 4, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)