Family Law Prof Blog

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

Friday, May 23, 2008

Child Protection to Appeal Texas Ruling

"Child Protective Services has notified the Texas Supreme Court that the state plans to appeal a ruling that it had no right to seize hundreds of children from a polygamous religious sect, a court spokesman said today.

"As I understand it, CPS called and said they were giving advance notice they'd be filing something today," said spokesman Osler McCarthy. He said the call came this morning.

CPS spokesmen didn't immediately return telephone calls today.

Thursday's decision by the 3rd Court of Appeals in Austin halted custody hearings in San Angelo and raised the possibility of family reunions.

The 3rd Court ruled a San Angelo judge exceeded her authority in ordering into foster care every child residing at the Yearning for Zion Ranch, not just the teen girls who Texas Child Protective Services said were at risk of being married to older men.

"The department (CPS) did not present any evidence of danger to the physical health or safety of any male children or any female children who had not reached puberty," the order by a three-judge panel of the appeals court said in part. About half of the more than 460 children placed in protective custody were babies or toddlers."

By Terri Langford & Lisa Sandberg, Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News Link to Article (last visited 5-23-08 NVS)

May 23, 2008 in Child Abuse | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Texas court of Appeals rules in Polygamy case

The Texas appeals court had said that authorities had no right to seize more than 440 children in a raid on the splinter group's ranch last month. The court held the state failed to show the youngsters were in any immediate danger, the only grounds in Texas law for taking children from their parents without court action.

In re Sara Sneed (Tex. Ct. App. May 22, 2008)

Read the New York Times story (last visited May 22, 2008 bgf)

May 22, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

California Supreme Court Issues Decision on Same-Sex Marriage

"In the present case, it is readily apparent that extending the designation of
marriage to same-sex couples clearly is more consistent with the probable
legislative intent than withholding that designation from both opposite-sex couples
and same-sex couples in favor of some other, uniform designation. In view of the
lengthy history of the use of the term “marriage” to describe the family
relationship here at issue, and the importance that both the supporters of the 1977
amendment to the marriage statutes and the electors who voted in favor of
Proposition 22 unquestionably attached to the designation of marriage, there can
be no doubt that extending the designation of marriage to same-sex couples, rather
than denying it to all couples, is the equal protection remedy that is most
consistent with our state’s general legislative policy and preference." California Supreme Court decision in In Re Marriage Cases Link to decision (last visited 5-15-08 NVS)

May 15, 2008 in Marriage (impediments) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (3)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Remember Stepmothers on Mother's Day

"Mother's Day and motherhood sometimes aren't all they're cracked up to be - especially for stepmothers, the unsung heroes of blended families.

Parenting always is a challenge, especially in the face of resentment by children who assume that the new woman in their father's life is trying to replace their mother.

Some fortunate women are readily accepted as the caring stepparents they strive to be, but rarely is that the case.Even though a stepmother has no intention of trying to supplant a birth mother, children may misinterpret whatever she does as trying to pretend she is family or, even worse, replace their "real" mother.

On the other hand, a stepmother will be resented as "not caring" if she is not perceived as trying to establish a wholesome family atmosphere." By Dennis O'Brien Warrenton Journal Link to Article

(Last visited 5-08-08 NVS)

May 8, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Post-divorce Parenting

"For children of divorce, what happens after their parents split up may be just as important to their long-term well-being as the divorce itself.

A new study found that children who lived in unstable family situations after their parents divorced fared much worse as adults on a variety of measures compared to children who had stable post-divorce family situations.

“For many children with divorced parents, particularly young ones, the divorce does not mark the end of family structure changes – it marks the beginning,” said Yongmin Sun, co-author of the study and associate professor of sociology at Ohio State University’s Mansfield campus.

“A stable family situation after divorce does not erase the negative effects of a divorce, but children in this situation fare much better than do those who experience chronic instability”

The study appears in a recent issue of the Journal of Marriage and Family. Sun conducted the study with Yuanzhang Li of the Allied Technology Group." by Newswise, Ohio State University 

Link to Article (last visited 5-8-08 NVS)

May 8, 2008 in Custody (parenting plans) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Mildred Loving Dies

The New York Times has a lovely story today about Mildred Loving - of Loving v. Virginia fame - who passed away May 2 at age 68. 

Read the story (last visited May 6, 2008) bgf

May 6, 2008 in Marriage (impediments) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (2)