Family Law Prof Blog

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

Friday, May 31, 2013

One-Day Divorce Program

From the Wall Street Journal:

Thanks to law students, it now takes “seconds” for Sacramento County couples who filed for divorce to dissolve their marriages.

Student volunteers are the backbone behind the county’s new one-day divorce program. 

Read more here.


May 31, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

IN Child Support for Child on Campus

From the Indiana Lawyer:

The Indiana Court of Appeals was presented with an issue for the first time: whether a child support order should be reduced for the time a child is living on campus when a court has found that the child has repudiated the non-custodial parent, and on that basis refused to enter an educational support order.

Read more here.


May 30, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Presumed Shared Parenting in NC

From PR Web:

On April 2, 2013, North Carolina State Senator Clodfelter filed Senate Bill 610 entitled “An Act to Amend the Laws Pertaining to Child Custody to Incorporate a Presumed Shared Parenting Standard”. Family law attorneys throughout the state, including those at Miller Bowles Law, have had strong reactions to and differing opinions regarding this proposed law and how it will affect their clients.

Read more here.


May 29, 2013 in Current Affairs, Custody (parenting plans) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

PA Family Law


My colleague Aaron Weems has already reported that late last month the Pennsylvania Supreme Court put an end to what was a five year experiment with court appointed ombudsmen tasked to decide minor custody disputes where the need to have a prompt resolution outweighed an assessment of how a particular custody issue affected a child’s best interests.

Read more here.


May 28, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, May 27, 2013

Happy Memorial Day

May 27, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Child Abuse

From Dawn Post, writing for City Limits:

April was child abuse awareness month, dedicated to increasing public awareness of the need to ensure the safety and welfare of children. As a result, child abuse and neglect awareness activities were promoted across the country. Many people wear blue ribbons each April in memory of those who have died as a result of child abuse and in support of efforts to prevent abuse. Horrific fatality cases are often recounted in the media.

However, there is a group of children who are also pervasively impacted yet remain unseen. The abuse and neglect they suffer is far more insidious and widespread than most people are aware, yet little to no attention is given to these children, who are the subjects in high-conflict custody and visitation cases.

Read more here.



May 25, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, May 24, 2013

Guest Post: Family law-definition and working

Family law is that branch of law which has to deal with the family related issues and also domestic relationships. These relations can be between two people, unions, partners etc. The domain of family law works with:

  • Civil unions, domestic partnership and marriage
  • Surrogacy as well as adoption
  • Child Abduction and Child abuse
  • Termination of ancillary issues and relationships which include annulment, alimony, divorce, property settlement, visitation, child custody, etc.
  • Adjudication of juvenile
  • Paternity frauds and paternity tests

These issues are not exhaustive and vary on the basis of the jurisdiction. Many a times, in jurisdictions especially of the foreign countries like the USA, the Family court look at the most, crowded Dockets. The system contains all the representatives of litigation for all economic as well as social classes.

In India, the family law is very unique, since it requires being to the point in accordance to the religions followed here. The law considers the beliefs, tenets and customer of all the religions like Hinduism which appeals the Hindu law, Islamism which approaches the Muslim Law, Zoroastrianism which follow the Parsi law, and Christianity which follows the Christian law.

Marriage which is also known as matrimony can be defined as a Social union between two people. It can also be called a legal contract between two people who come to be known as spouses. Marriage creates rights as well as obligations amongst the spouses, the parents and their children, between spouses and there in laws, etc. Marriage has been defined in different ways in different cultures. But basically it is an institution which defines the relationships interpersonal, which are intimate. In a broader spectrum, marriage can be considered as a cultural universal. Most of the cultures govern a marriage being defined by a ceremony wedding. For recognition in the eyes of the law, the states sovereign and jurisdictions restrict marriage between opposite sex people or two people who belong to opposite genders according to the gender binary. Polygamy, forced marriages, child marriages, etc are permitted by very few of them. Today many countries and jurisdictions have allowed and made legal the marriages between the same sex and have given recognition to same sex marriage, interracial marriage, inter faith marriage, etc. In most of the cultures, marriage is compulsory before conducting any kind of sexual activity.

Apart from marriage, family law relates to a number of other issues like kinship, siblings, cousins, friends, sexual partners, etc.

Any kind of family disputes can be resolved in the family court. The family law binds people with some rules and regulations which they are ought to follow.


Author Bio:

Kathryn is the author for Chrisalexcorp. She writes for that sells designer jewelry at a reasonable cost.

May 24, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Pimentel: "Criminal Child Neglect and the 'Free Range Kid': Is Overprotective Parenting the New Standard of Care?"

David Pimentel (Ohio Northern University - Ohio Northern University College of Law; Florida Coastal School of Law) has posted his article Criminal Child Neglect and the 'Free Range Kid': Is Overprotective Parenting the New Standard of Care?, Utah Law Review, Vol. 2012, No. 947, 2012  on SSRN.  Here is the abstract:

In the last generation, American parenting norms have shifted strongly in favor of Intensive Parenting, placing particular emphasis on protecting children from risks of harm. Recently, a backlash to this trend has emerged. “Free Range” parenting is based on the concern that coddling children through overprotection inhibits the development of their independence and responsibility. Indeed, a growing body of literature suggests that parental overreaction to remote and even illusory risks of physical harm is exposing children to far more serious risks to their well-being and development. But the powerful influence of media has sensationalized the risks to children, skewing popular perceptions of the genuine risks children face and of what constitutes a reasonable or appropriate response to such risks. Consequently, individuals who do not buy into Intensive Parenting norms, including those from different cultural and socio-economic backgrounds, may be subjecting themselves to criminal prosecution for child neglect and endangerment. The criminal statutes are, for the most part, very vague, leaving these prosecutions — which amount to little more than one person’s second-guessing the parenting choices of another — in the discretion of prosecutors, who bring the charges, and of juries, who render verdicts. If prosecutors and jurors share the media-fed misperceptions of risk, overprotective parenting becomes the de facto legal standard of care. To counter this possibility, it is necessary to define criminal child neglect with far greater specificity and to allow defendants to introduce expert testimony to put the actual risks to children, as well as the downside risk of the precautions themselves, in perspective. Absent such changes, fear of prosecution may effectively force parents to conform to the overprotective parenting norm, to the detriment of society, families, and the children themselves.


May 23, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Rich Despite Divorce

From Forbes:

In December of last year, pharma kingpin Steward Rahr  and his wife Carol announced that they would be divorcing after 43 years of marriage. The process was to be an amicable one, Rahr told me. Today, the NEew York Post's Page Six reports that proceedings have come to an end and that Carol will receive $250 million of Rahr’s fortune, which Forbes estimated at $1.6 billion as of March.

The author argues this is a good result for a billionaire divorce.  Read more here.


May 22, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

On Marriage

Monday, May 20, 2013

Windsor v. United States

From Angelique Devaux, writing for I-CONnect:

To marry or tax me. This could be the modern Shakespeare quote heard in the oral arguments last March 27th at the US Supreme Court in the pending case Windsor v. United States. But it is more about a story that happened in several jurisdictions around the world facing the same controversial legal and constitutional issue: whether your government should define marriage as an opposite-sex couple only, or not …?

This post explains for readers how the case came to be, and it situates its significance within a larger comparative context.

Read more here.


May 20, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Movie Review

From Time:

When Ahmad (Ali Mosaffa) clears customs at de Gaulle Airport, his estranged wife Marie (Bèrénice Bejo) speaks to him urgently on the other side of a glass partition. They communicate with sign language and words the audience can’t hear.

If The Past (Le Passé) continued in that fashion for the next two hours, it might be an elaborate tribute to Bejo’s performance in The Artist, the virtually silent comedy that swept the Oscars in 2012. But this is the new drama from Ashgar Farhadi, the Iranian writer-director of A Separation, winner of last year’s other big Academy Award: Best Foreign-Language Feature. It’s very much a reprise of that film’s themes: grownups who tear their marriages apart, and the children who suffer in their wake.

Read more here.


May 18, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, May 17, 2013

Jones "Judges, Family Law, Cultural Sociology of Divorce: An Encyclopedia"

Elizabeth N. Jones (Western State College of Law) has posted her article Judges, Family Law, Cultural Sociology of Divorce: An Encyclopedia, pp. 626-629, Robert E. Emery, ed., 2013, on SSRN.  Here is the abstract:

This is a chapter in an encyclopedia put forth by Sage Publications. I am the sole author of this particular chapter; there are several hundred contributing authors to the encyclopedia as a whole. It is a multi-disciplinary work which details subjects related to divorce: legal, social, anthropological, religious, psychological, and historical. 

In this chapter, I describe the role of the family law judge in divorce proceedings. 

The role of the family law judge is a varied one. At its core, the position is one of authority. The lawyers, parties, and court staff all give the judge great deference in the courtroom, referring to the judge as “your honor.” This is further affirmed in the judge’s raised bench overlooking the entire courtroom, in the judge’s traditional gavel used to silence the courtroom and maintain order, and in the judge’s distinct formal clothing, usually consisting of long judicial robes. These formalities are designed to instill respect for the legal institution as a whole.


May 17, 2013 in Scholarship, Family Law | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

No-Fault Divorce

From the Washington Times:

No one can be happy with the high divorce rate in the United States, not even a family law attorney like me. Iowa legislators think making divorce more difficult by becoming the first state to prohibit no-fault divorce in cases with children would be a good first step.

Iowa House File 338 would require one of five conditions for a divorce to proceed in a marriage involving children: adultery, physical or sexual abuse, imprisonment, if one spouse is missing more than a year or if the couple has lived apart for more than two years.

Read more here.


May 16, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Same-Sex Marriage in Foreign Jurisdictions

From Angelique Devaux, writing for the Jurist:

In a time when France has lost its fame for crusading for human rights, "marriage for all" has been the popular name given to same-sex marriage by the French Socialists' impetus in the pursuit of equality—France has waited 13 years after the Netherlands to address an issue in line with contemporary social reality. On April 23, 2013, President François Hollande signed the bill that legalizes same-sex marriage after the issue was previously reviewed by the Constitutional Council and approved by France's Parliament.

As in the story of Windsor v. United States, same-sex marriages performed in foreign jurisdictions often create difficulties in travel which include passport and short-term visa issues, as well as total refusal of entry into certain countries where same sex marriage is prohibited and even criminalized. In anticipation of potential traveling problems, French lawmakers have included language in the new bill which states that marriage performed in a foreign jurisdiction satisfy the legal requirements of marriage in France. It is the statutory confirmation of the rule locus regit actum. An example of this legal theory can be found when one acknowledges how a wedding performed in Canada between a Frenchman and a Canadian is valid in France if all the Canadian legal requirements have been fulfilled.

Read more here.


May 15, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Same-Sex Marriage in Minnesota

From the Chicago Tribune:

MINNEAPOLIS (Reuters) - Governor Mark Dayton on Tuesday made Minnesota the nation's 12th state to allow same-sex couples to marry and only the second in the Midwest, signing a bill on the steps of the state Capitol before thousands of supporters.

The Democratic governor's signature came a day after state senators approved the bill, which made Minnesota the third state this month to approve same-sex nuptials after Rhode Island and Delaware.

Read more here.


May 14, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Guest Post by Christine Maddox: 5 Ways Family Law Attorneys Use Social Media in Court

Have you ever heard the saying, "What goes on the Internet, stays on the Internet?" In today's world, no words have ever been truly spoken. It's this persistent nature that has lawyers and law enforcement perusing social media websites in order to prove an individual's guilt or innocence. All too often, those trying to defraud the system don't take into consideration that information shared on sites such as Facebook, MySpace, or YouTube can wind up becoming incriminating evidence.

1. Mindset - The content of your posts on social media sites can be informative when determining your mindset during the time in question. Much like how psychologists are trained to read emotions of underlying meanings, this cyber-evaluation can be quite accurate in determining a person's motivations. Language, whether spoken or written, has tell-tale signs that can determine a person's frame of mind. This task is much easier to perform if a person blatantly posts information on social media sites pertaining to his or her actions, which happens quite often.

2. Time and Place - Establishing time and place is important in any alibi. If there is contrary evidence posted online, it could be easily condemning of your actions. It doesn't take a high-tech CSI investigation team to read the posted time and dates listed on nearly any piece of content you submit online. Some features of online activity can even stamp the very location you were in by use of GPS within a few meters. While this feature has great possibilities for other innovations down the line, it can also point a finger right at you in terms of determining your location at any given moment.

3. Personal Interaction - The very nature of social media sites is personal interaction with others. If you are trying to convince a court that you didn't or did have communication with an individual, your social messages could relate a different story. Twitter messages have incriminated a great amount of people from those committing criminal acts to those posting embarrassing statements that were created in the heat of the moment.

4. Actions - All too often, people will admit to committing particular actions without thinking of the ramifications of doing so. As cameras of some kind are prevalent in the pockets of four billion people around the planet, it is all too easy to simply upload a short video to YouTube and share it with everyone you know. In a matter of minutes, your actions can be seen by thousands of people. While you may appreciate the popularity this could bring you, it is also a great way to incriminate yourself.

5. Changing Laws - Precedents have been established that will allow a court to obtain usernames and passwords of those involved in order to establish grounds for cases. If there is probably cause that content within an individual's private account on a social media site can be used to base guilt or innocence, the court can order that information to be accessed by counsel. One such case of this happening was in 2011 as Stephen and Courtney Gallion was ordered to "swap" passwords and usernames of all social media sites they used to opposing legal counsel. 

If you post personal information on the Internet in any form, it is safe to assume that it will be there until the end of time. Never post information about yourself if you don't want everyone to read what it is your doing. Those fun and embarrassing stories and photos will follow you around for as long as you live.

Author Bio:

This post is contributed by Christine Maddox. Currently she is pursuing her Master’s degree from University of Texas as well as blogging for She loves to write anything related to parenting, kids, nanny care etc. She can be reached via email at: christine.4nannies @


May 13, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

May 12, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Wedding Planning with Divorced Parents

From the New York Times:

For some couples, deciding where to seat narcoleptic Uncle Reginald is the least of their wedding planning worries. Those with divorced parents are assured of having quite a few more hours of anxiety as they engage in additional negotiations with them.

“There are all kinds of minefields, from where does everyone sit to the receiving line,” said the etiquette expert Peggy Post, a director of the Emily Post Institute. “It’s particularly tricky when estranged parents do not want to be in the vicinity of each other.”

Read more here.


May 11, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, May 10, 2013

Same-Sex in Delaware

From Jurist:

Delaware Governor Jack Markell signed a same-sex marriage bill into law on Tuesday, making Delaware the eleventh US state to legalize same-sex marriage, and the second to do so in the past week.

Read more here.


Hat Tip: Angelique Devaux

May 10, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)