Family Law Prof Blog

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

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Anthem Indiana Joins Indiana Legal Services to Provide Medicaid Consumers Access to Free Legal Services

From The Associated Press:

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Indiana (Anthem) today announced the launch of a new medical-legal partnership pilot with Indiana Legal Services to improve the health and quality of life of Medicaid consumers in Central Indiana through free legal assistance. This first-of-its-kind partnership will offer legal counseling for issues with housing and utilities, income support, education and employment and family law, including guardianship, child support, child welfare and custody.

The program will be available to all Central Indiana Medicaid consumers, including those in the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP), Hoosier Healthwise, Hoosier Care Connect and traditional Fee-For-Service.

“This program exemplifies Anthem’s commitment to not only providing healthcare services but also looking for innovative programs that help address other issues that impact health and quality of life,” said Dr. Kimberly Roop, Medicaid plan president at Anthem Indiana. “We know Medicaid consumers have a broad range of civil legal needs and providing access to attorney services will help remove a social barrier to their overall well-being.”

Read more here.

March 21, 2019 in Child Support (establishing), Child Support Enforcement, Current Affairs, Custody (parenting plans), Paternity, Property Division | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Pregnancy and Divorce

From (Gerard F. Miles):

Couples going through a divorce are amid one of life’s most stressful episodes. When there is a pregnancy involved, the emotions and tension are amplified. When a baby is on the way, an already difficult situation becomes even more complicated. During a typical divorce, emotions run high as each decision and agreement are legally formalized. It can be dizzying for anyone trying to prepare themselves for the next phase of their life; one without their spouse. When a pregnancy is involved, a child brings the concerns for an additional person into the mix.

Working Together to Be Apart
Divorcing couples may benefit from an intermediary who can help to fairly divide their marital assets. Beyond that, a counselor may be able to help both divorcing parents remain focused on the future needs of the baby, who will surely benefit most from a peaceful and well-considered parental breakup.

Parental Planning
Parents want the best for their children, and children fare much better in life when their parents work together to address their needs. Often, these needs are best assessed even before the baby arrives. Typically, parents planning for a baby discuss all aspects of preparations. This is crucial in instances where co-parents will be living separately. In these cases, it is worthwhile to come up with a parenting plan.

Read more here.

March 20, 2019 in Child Support (establishing), Child Support Enforcement, Current Affairs, Custody (parenting plans), Divorce (grounds), Paternity | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

No Due Process Right to Perform Abortions

From The ABA Journal:

An en banc federal appeals court has upheld an Ohio law that bans the state from providing health funds to abortion providers.

In an 11-6 decisionissued Tuesday, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at Cincinnati turned down a challenge by two Planned Parenthood affiliates. They had argued that the funding ban imposes an unconstitutional condition on public funding.

The Planned Parenthood affiliates “are correct that the Ohio law imposes a condition on the continued receipt of state funds,” Judge Jeffrey Sutton wrote for the majority. “But that condition does not violate the Constitution because the affiliates do not have a due process right to perform abortions.”

Four judges in the majority were appointed by President Donald Trump, Politico reports.

Read more here.

March 19, 2019 in Abortion, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 18, 2019

Judge Blocks Kentucky Fetal Heartbeat Law

From The New York Times:

A federal judge on Friday temporarily blocked a Kentucky law that prohibits abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which typically happens around six weeks into pregnancy, before many women know they are pregnant.

The measure, which was signed into law on Friday by the state’s Republican governor, Matt Bevin, and was set to take effect immediately, was poised to become one of the strictest anti-abortion laws in the country.

But late on Friday, the judge, David J. Hale of the Western District of Kentucky, ruled the law was potentially unconstitutional. He halted enforcement for at least 14 days to “prevent irreparable harm” until he could hold a hearing.

Read more here.

March 18, 2019 in Abortion, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Australian High Court to Determine Legal Parentage of a Child Born via Sperm Donation

From The Conversation:

The family courts have historically treated legal parentage as a question of who has “begotten or borne” a child. But increasingly complex family situations created as a result of donor conception, surrogacy, IVF and DNA testing are sorely testing this biblical-sounding definition.

In 2019, the Australian High Court will be hearing the appeal concerning the legal parentage of a child born via sperm donation. This is a crucial opportunity for the court to reconsider the “begotten or borne” definition, and the emphasis currently placed on biology and how someone was conceived.

Read more here.


March 17, 2019 in Alternative Reproduction, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Lawmakers Call For Overhaul of China's Family Planning Policy

From Reuters:

Delegates to China’s parliament are urging the overhaul or even scrapping of controversial family planning rules and say radical steps are needed to “liberate fertility” and reverse a decline in births and a rapidly shrinking workforce.

With its population ageing as a result of longer lifespans and a dwindling number of children, the world’s most populous nation decided in 2016 to allow all couples to have a second child, relaxing a tough one-child policy in place since 1978.

But birth rates plummeted for the second consecutive year last year. Policymakers now fret about the impact a long-term decline in births will have on the economy and its strained health and social services.

Read more here.

March 16, 2019 in Current Affairs, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, March 15, 2019

Call for Papers

The Section on Family & Juvenile Law is pleased to announce a Call for Papers for its Pedagogy session on Using  Formative and Summative Assessments in Family Law.  
The Section will use the Call for Papers to select additional presenters for the Section’s program to be held during the AALS  Annual Meeting in Washington DC in early January 2020. The goal of  the session is to address – and share -- the development of various types of assessments in family law.  The panel will show how family law professors are integrating formative assessment into their courses by, in the words of ABA  Standard 314, Interpretation 314-1, “provid[ing] meaningful feedback to improve student learning” and also discuss alternative means of summative assessments.   Presenters will be asked to prepare a short handout for the meeting that  explains their approach.
If you are interested in participating, please send a 400-600 word description of what you'd like to discuss.  Submissions should be sent to Professors Naomi Cahn,, and Jessica Dixon Weaver,    The due date for submissions is July 1,  2019, and the author[s] of the selected paper(s) will be notified by August 1, 2019.  
The Call for Paper presenters will be responsible for paying their registration fee  and hotel  and travel expenses.  
Submission review:  Papers will be selected after review by  a Committee appointed by the Section Co-Chairs. Any inquiries about the Call for Papers should be submitted to Naomi Cahn & Jessica Dixon Weaver.

March 15, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

New Massachusetts Bill Redefines Pregnancy To Exclude "Mother" and "Unborn Child"

From Life


A Massachusetts bill would hide the truth about abortion by stripping the terms “mother” and “unborn child” from the legal definition of pregnancy.

The state Remove Obstacles and Expand Abortion Access Act (ROE Act) is similar to a radical new pro-abortion law in New York that legalized abortion for basically any reason up to birth. The Massachusetts bill would expand late-term abortions after 24 weeks for any loosely defined “health” reason, and repeal the state law requiring parental consent for minors. It also would end the state law that requires basic medical care for infants born alive from botched abortions.

Read more here.

March 15, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Testicular Bill of Rights

From CNN:

A Georgia lawmaker is proposing a law that would make it an "aggravated assault" for men to have sex without a condom, and would require men to obtain permission from their sexual partner before seeking a prescription for Viagra or similar erectile dysfunction drugs.

Democratic minority whip Dar'shun Kendrick announced her "testicular bill of rights" in a tweet on Monday, noting she'd instructed an aide to draft a bill.
Among her other proposals are requirements for DNA testing at the sixth week of pregnancy to determine paternity, as well as requirements for the father to make immediate child support payments. It would also ban vasectomy procedures in the state.
Finally, her bill would also introduce a 24-hour waiting period for men to buy any porn or sex toys in Georgia.
Read more here.

March 14, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Manitoba Introduces New Family Law System

From Global News:

The province wants to make it easier on Manitobans going through divorces and separations.

Justice Minister Cliff Cullen introduced a bill modernizing family law Tuesday, calling the legislation the first of its kind in Canada.

The Family Law Modernization Act includes changes that will make it possible to resolve issues like child custody, support and property matters without going to court.

Read more here.

March 13, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Cousins in Love Petition to Get Married in Utah

From CBS News: 

Two cousins who say they are in love with each other have created an online petition calling for the state of Utah to allow them to get legally married. "My first cousin and I have been in love with each other our whole lives but we are prohibited from marrying in the state of Utah where we live," Angela Peang writes in the petition. "We believe that the law is outdated and it needs to be changed so that we can socially legitimize our love."

The couple's goal is to get 1,000 signatures; as of Wednesday morning, about 75 have signed on. Peang told CBS News she's loved her cousin, Michael Lee, since she was in second grade. Peang's father is the oldest of 12 children; his sister, the fifth child in that family, is Lee's mother. 

Read more here.

March 12, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 11, 2019

Alabama Court Recognizes Aborted Fetus as Person With Rights

From Washington Post:

An Alabama judge has recognized the legal rights of an aborted fetus, allowing a man whose girlfriend ended her pregnancy at six weeks to sue the manufacturer of the pill she used and the clinic that gave it to her.

The decree, issued by Madison County Probate Judge Frank Barger, explicitly states “Baby Roe” is a person and allows plaintiff Ryan Magers to name the fetus as a co-plaintiff in the suit for “wrongful death.” Magers said in court filings that when his then-girlfriend discovered she was pregnant in early 2017, he “repeatedly pleaded” with her to carry the pregnancy to term and give birth, but she wanted to have an abortion.

Read more here.

March 11, 2019 in Abortion, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, March 10, 2019

British Man Ordered To Pay £20k in Child Support For Daughter He Didn't Know Existed

From The Sun:

AN OIL rig worker has been ordered to pay £20,000 in child support for a 13-year-old “daughter” he never knew existed.

Ross Mclaughlan, 55, from Stockton-on-Tees, was shocked when he received a letter from the Child Maintenance Service informing him he was dad to a teenage girl, for whom he was financially responsible.

Ross, who has never married, insists he has no recollection of the woman who claimed to be the mum of his daughter.

Read more here.

March 10, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, March 9, 2019

The Post-Abortion Debate Phase of The Abortion Debate

From The Atlantic:

We are in the postabortion-debate phase of the abortion debate. Earlier this week, Senator Ben Sasse’s Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act was debated on the Senate floor, and failed to receive the 60 votes necessary for cloture. The bill was supported by all present Republicans and three Democrats: Senators Bob Casey, Doug Jones, and Joe Manchin. All other Senate Democrats opposed the legislation.

In the most literal sense, the debate is now postabortion because Sasse’s bill addresses what happens in the rare instances when the medical procedure is unsuccessful and a child is born alive. Additionally, Sasse and some Republican allies claimed vehemently that the bill had nothing to do with restricting abortion, and therefore should have been an easier sell for pro-choice Democrats. But, of course, this postabortion phase of the abortion debate is still very much about abortion, and it lays bare the distrust, offense, and callousness bred by abortion politics in the United States over the past 50 years.

Read more here.

March 9, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, March 8, 2019

Cardinal George Pell of Australia Remanded Into Custody For Child Sex Offenses

From Yahoo! Finance:

Australia's Cardinal George Pell, a former top adviser to Pope Francis, was remanded into custody on Wednesday after a sentence plea hearing on his conviction for sexually abusing two choir boys more than two decades ago.

Pell will be formally sentenced on March 13.

Pell faces a maximum of 10 years in jail for each of five child sex offences, which included indecent assault and one charge of sexual penetration.

His lawyers have lodged an appeal against his conviction.

Read more here.

March 8, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Thousands of Migrant Children Reported Sexual Abuse While In U.S. Custody

From NPR:

In each of the past four years, 1,000 or more immigrant children who arrived at the southern U.S. border without their parents have reported being sexually abused while in government custody, according to federal records released Tuesday.

The data from the Department of Health and Human Services was made public by Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., before a congressional hearing on the Trump administration's policy of separating migrant families.

Read more here

March 7, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

What 2019 Tax Laws Could Do to Alimony and Other Things

From The National Law Review:

Towards the end of 2018, all talk was about the 2018 Tax Cuts & Jobs Act and its changes to the treatment of alimony. The deductibility of alimony for payors (and the inclusion of alimony in income for the recipients) ended in 2018. There were rushes to the courthouse in order to complete divorces. Attorneys were burning the midnight oil to finish settlement agreements, and judges were staying late, often forgoing planned vacations in order to accommodate litigants who settled prior to the New Year.

Now that 2018 is over, it is time to focus on the other changes to the tax code which significantly impact family law cases. These were sometimes overlooked as the focus of the last 12 months was alimony. But the other changes in the law have equally, and in some cases more, important repercussions for families.

Read more here.

March 6, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Canadian Court Rules Parents Cannot Prevent Teen From Taking Transgender Hormones

From The Federalist:

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court of British Columbia, Canada ordered that a 14-year-old girl receive testosterone injections without parental consent. The court also declared that if either of her parents referred to her using female pronouns or addressed her by her birth name, they would be considered guilty of family violence.

As previously reported, Maxine* was encouraged by her school counselor in BC’s Delta School District to identify as a boy while in seventh grade. When Maxine was 13 years old, Dr. Brenden Hursh and his colleagues at BC Children’s Hospital decided that Maxine should begin taking testosterone injections in order to develop a more masculine appearance.

Read more here.

March 5, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 4, 2019

Democratic Lawmakers Threaten Wider Legal Probe Over Family Separations

From The Washington Post:

At separate hearings on Capitol Hill, Democratic lawmakers hammered the Trump administration Tuesday over the “zero tolerance” prosecution policy that split thousands of migrant children from their parents last year and devolved into a political fiasco for the White House.

Several Trump officials acknowledged to the House Judiciary Committee that they did not speak up to supervisors or attempt to stop the implementation of the family separations at the border, despite warnings it probably would traumatize children.

Read more here.

March 4, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Man Sues Judge Who Ruins Wedding Day

From The Pocono Record:

A man who says he was unlawfully detained on his wedding day by a Pennsylvania judge who wrongly suspected he was in the United States illegally filed a federal lawsuit Thursday, alleging violations of his constitutional rights.

Alexander Parker sued Camp Hill-based District Judge Elizabeth S. Beckley, two court entities and an unidentified court officer who, Parker says, told him he was not free to leave.

The federal lawsuit claims Guatemala-born Parker and his fiancee went to Beckley’s court office to get married in May 2017, but Beckley’s suspicions prompted her to call U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Read more here.

March 3, 2019 in Adoption, Current Affairs, Marriage (impediments) | Permalink | Comments (0)