Family Law Prof Blog

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

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

"Facebook Parenting"

From CNN:

Today's 30-somethings are the first generation whose children are coming of age alongside the social Web.

Technology is making an indelible imprint on modern parenting, and there is a sense that our data, our personal information, are no longer within our control. But new research findings indicate that openness and information sharing are a way of life for many adults, and personal privacy is readily compromised, along with personal information about one's children.

Read more here.


June 12, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Creative Proposal



June 11, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Marriage Structure in Work Place

From the Harvard Business Review Blog:

The new millennium has not brought much progress for women seeking top leadership roles in the workplace. Although female graduates continue to pour out of colleges and professional schools, the percentages of women running large companies, or serving as managing partners of their law firms, or sitting on corporate boards have barely budged in the past decade.

Why has progress stalled? A recent study suggests the unlikeliest of reasons: the marriage structure of men in the workplace.

A group of researchers from several universities recently published a report on the attitudes and beliefs of employed men, which shows that those with wives who did not work outside the home or who worked part-time were more likely than those with wives who worked to: (1) have an unfavorable view about women in the workplace; (2)think workplaces run less smoothly with more women; (3) view workplaces with female leaders as less desirable; and (4) conside female candidates for promotion to be less qualified than comparable male colleagues.

The researchers also found that the men who exhibited resistance to women's advancement were "more likely to populate the upper echelons of organizations and thus, occupy more powerful positions."

Read more here.


Hat Tip: Sarah Helfinstein

June 9, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Suicides in Arranged-Marriage Societies

From the NYT:

“I tried to kill myself,” she said. “I didn’t want to get married. I was forced to get engaged.”

In this desolate and tradition-bound community in the northwest corner of Iraq, at the foot of a mountain range bordering Syria, Ms. Merza’s reaction to the ancient custom of arranged marriage is becoming more common. Officials are alarmed by what they describe as a worsening epidemic of suicides, particularly among young women tormented by being forced to marry too young, to someone they do not love.

While reliable statistics on anything are hard to come by in Iraq, officials say there have been as many as 50 suicides this year in this city of 350,000 — at least double the rate in the United States — compared with 80 all of last year. The most common methods among women are self-immolation and gunshots.

Among the many explanations given, like poverty and madness, one is offered most frequently: access to the Internet and to satellite television, which came after the start of the war. This has given young women glimpses of a better life, unencumbered by the traditions that have constricted women for centuries to a life of obedience and child-rearing, one devoid of romance.

Read more here.


Hat Tip: Naomi Cahn

June 8, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

Hirshman: "Victory: The Triumphant Gay Revolution"

Linda Hirshman has published a new book, "Victory: The Triumphant Gay Revolution."  The book's description is here:

Supreme Court lawyer and political pundit Linda Hirshman details the stunning story of how a resourceful and dedicated minority transformed the notion of American marriage equality and forged a campaign for cultural change that will serve as a model for all future political movements. In the vein of Taylor Branch’s classic Parting of the Waters, Hirshman’s groundbreaking Victory: The Triumphant Gay Revolution is the powerful story of a massive shift in American culture. Hirshman offers an insider’s view of the crucial struggle that is leading to change, incorporating her unique experiences and insights and drawing upon new interviews—with movement titans such as Frank Kameny and Phyllis Lyon, with next-generation activists such as Evan Wolfson of Freedom to Marry, and with allies including the likes of New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand—to create a comprehensive, inspiring history of change in our time.



June 8, 2012 in Current Affairs, Scholarship, Family Law | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Final Call for Papers: Cultural Sociology of Divorce: An Encyclopedia

We are inviting academic editorial contributors to Cultural Sociology of Divorce: An Encyclopedia, a 3-volume library reference to be published in 2013 by SAGE Publications.

While the formal definition of divorce may be fairly concise and straightforward (the legal termination of a marital union, dissolving the bonds of matrimony between parties), the effects are anything but, particularly when children and other family members are involved. The Americans for Divorce Reform estimates that “probably, 40 or possibly even 50 percent of marriages will end in divorce if current trends continue." And outside the United States, there are markedly increased divorce rates across developed countries—divorce and its effects are a significant social factor in our culture and others. In fact, it might be said that a whole “divorce industry” has been constructed, with divorce lawyers and mediators, family counselors, support groups, etc. As King Henry VIII’s divorces showed, divorce has not always been easy or accepted. In some countries, divorce is not permitted and even in Europe, countries such as Spain, Italy, Portugal, and the Republic of Ireland only legalized divorce in the latter quarter of the twentieth century. This multi-disciplinary encyclopedia covers curricular subjects around the world ranging from marriage and the family to anthropology, social and legal history, developmental and clinical psychology, and religion.  Three volumes, including over 500 articles, illuminate what has become a culture of divorce and its impact on society.  

This comprehensive project will be marketed to academic and public libraries as a print and digital product available to students via the library’s electronic services.  Each article, ranging from 900 to 4000 words, is signed by the contributor. The General Editor of the encyclopedia is Robert E. Emery, Ph.D., University of Virginia, who will review all the articles for editorial content and academic consistency.

If you are interested in contributing to the encyclopedia, it can be a notable publication addition to your CV/resume and broaden your publishing credits. Payment for the articles are honoraria that range from a $50 book credit from Sage Publications for article submissions up to 1,000 words up to a free copy of the encyclopedia for contributions totaling greater than 10,000 words. More than this, your involvement can help assure that credible and detailed data, descriptions, and analysis are available to students of divorce issues.

At this time the project is completely assigned with the exception of two entries:

1.  Sole Custody of Children (2200 words)

2.  Palimony (1200 words)

The final deadline for submissions for these entries is June 25, 2012. 

If you would like to contribute to building a truly outstanding reference with Cultural Sociology of Divorce: An Encyclopedia, please contact me by the e-mail information below. I will provide you with submission guidelines and a sample article for your review. 

Lisbeth Rogers

Author Manager

Golson Media

June 7, 2012 in Scholarship, Family Law | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Supreme Court on Same-Sex Marriage?

From the New York Times:

The likelihood that the Supreme Court will weigh in on same-sex marriage in the coming year grew markedly on Tuesday when a federal appeals court rejected a request to review its own recent ruling throwing out a voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage in California.

The decision came less than a week after a federal appeals court in Boston also granted a victory to same-sex marriage supporters. That ruling asserted that a federal law declaring marriage to be a union solely between a man and a woman discriminated against married same-sex couples by denying them benefits afforded to heterosexual couples.

Read more here.


Hat Tip: Naomi Cahn

June 7, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Reasons for the Gay Marriage Controversy

From the Huffington Post:

Barack Obama's decision to support gay marriage has led to a debate about how it may influence the presidential election and the future of gay marriage in the United States. But the underlying reasons why gay marriage is so controversial in America are being overlooked. While there is generally no consensus for or against gay marriage in other Western nations, the issue has far more political importance in America, where it is the object of an exceptionally intense debate.

Read why here.


Hat Tip: Naomi Cahn

June 6, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Follow Up on Murphy Brown

A follow-up on last week's Washington Post article on Murphy Brown:

In the Post last week, a Brookings Institution economist resurrected Murphy and recommenced the finger-wagging over her, declaring that "it turns out Dan Quayle was right about Murphy Brown and unmarried moms.”

No, he was't: Murphy Brown wasn’t in any way “mocking the importance of fathers,” and the “lifestyle choice” in question was one conservatives applaud. The pretend baby was fathered by the character’s fictional ex-husband, and when he flaked out on her, surely Quayle wasn’t saying she should have had an abortion or given up her child.

Just as unexpected as this blast from the past, though, is the moving and intensely personal new book from Bay Buchanan, whose “Bay and Her Boys” makes precisely the opposite point — and challenges her fellow conservatives to see the self-fulfilling aspects of the drumbeat that single parents and their progeny are pretty much doomed to fail.

Buchanan was traditional, true-believing and devastated, she says, when her husband walked out on her while she was pregnant with their third child. But was she supposed to just give up at that point, and accept the “wisdom” that her children would be forever hobbled by having grown up without a father on the premises?

Read more here.


Hat Tip: Naomi Cahn

June 5, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Jennifer Smith's Interesting Infographic on Neighborhood Crime

June 4, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Cohabitation Agreements Rising in Popularity

From Mail Online:

According to the 2008 book Once You’re Lucky, Twice You’re Good, Priscilla Chan made Mark Zuckerberg sign a a document that stated they enjoy at least one date night and 100 minutes away from his apartment or office every week.

Now it seems they are not alone, as lawyers in the U.S. are reporting rising demand for 'pre-prenups'; agreements that see unmarried couples addressing their relationship expectations in print.

A survey from the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers revealed that there had been a 39per cent increase in request for cohabitation agreements from live-in couples over the past five years.

Read more here.  Another story on this topic is here.

June 4, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Online Accounts after a Death

From Rock Center:

The Stassen family is one of a growing number of families battling online companies to gain access to a deceased loved one’s digital assets. 

Digital assets include email, social media accounts, digital photos and online banking accounts and records.  The Stassens think Benjamin’s online life might provide a clue into their son’s last days and as the heirs of his estate, they feel they have a right to get access to his accounts.

Read more here.


Hat Tip: Naomi Cahn

June 2, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Changes in IN Child Support Laws


Effective July 1, the obligation for non-custodial parents to pay child support in Indiana will end with their offspring's 19th birthday.

While support payers have long had the right to have a child in their late teens or early 20s declared emancipated, the presumptive age for the end of support payments has been the child's 21st birthday.


Under the revised law, "children" who are college-bound will retain the ability to seek court-ordered financial assistance with those expenses from their parents -- provided the parents aren't married to one another.

In Indiana, the children of married parents have no such right to seek court-ordered support for their education expenses.

Read more here.


June 2, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, June 1, 2012


From the New York Times:

BOSTON (AP) — A battle over a federal law that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman appears headed for the Supreme Court after an appeals court ruled Thursday that denying benefits to married gay couples is unconstitutional.

Read more here.


Hat Tip: Naomi Cahn

June 1, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Weddings & Divorces Post-IPO

From's Tech Hub:

“A lot of people who work at Facebook are in their 20s and 30s,” says Sophie Lai, a wedding planner based in Sunnyvale. “I hope, at the IPO, people get cash and start thinking ‘it’s time to settle down and get married’.”

Jean Marks, a wedding planner in Palo Alto, said the budgets people have been willing to set for weddings have been going up, particularly among technology entrepreneurs who sell their start-ups.

“We have had a bubble of fairly extravagant weddings in last five years,” she says.

At the high end, Ms Marks has worked on weddings costing between $300,000 and $500,000, with one financier hosting a $1m reception. The average wedding costs between $65,000 and $75,000 for 150 people, she says.

At the same time that a windfall can make couples feel ready to tie the knot, it can also give unhappy couples the confidence and financial stability to split. Or, as newly minted millionaires wrestle with the responsibility that money brings, some get frazzled and difficult to be around, while others develop a sense of entitlement that leaves them discontent in their relationship.

Read more here.


Hat Tip: Gus Hurwitz

June 1, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)