Family Law Prof Blog

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

Monday, October 10, 2016

Call for Papers--Children’s Legal Rights Journal


Children’s Legal Rights Journal

Submission Details.

We invite you to submit articles that address any of the prominent and current issues that impact children. Articles should be received by December 1, 2016. Submissions should be previously unpublished pieces based on original work. All submissions should be between 15 and 60 pages (double­spaced) and in Bluebook format.

About the CLRJ. The Children’s Legal Rights Journal is a national journal sponsored by Loyola University Chicago School of Law in cooperation with the National Association of Counsel for Children. We publish articles on a variety of children’s legal issues and we are the only journal in the country specifically addressing legal needs of children.

Contact Information. All submissions and questions can be sent directly to CHILDLRJ@LUC.EDU. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions. You can also contact CLRJ via mail and facsimile: Erika C. Weaver Solicitations Editor 25 E. Pearson, 11th Floor Chicago, IL 60611 Phone:312.915.6481 Fax: 312.915.6485. Stay tuned for future call outs! The CLRJ will publish one additional issue by the end of the academic year and we will be soliciting articles for that publication early next year. We look forward to reading your submissions!

October 10, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Exonerated inmate's $20M settlement is marital property in divorce, appeals court says

From the ABA Journal:

An exonerated inmate who married his wife while he was in prison can’t exclude his $20 million wrongful conviction settlement from marital property, an Illinois appeals court has ruled.

The Illinois Court of Appeals ruled in the case of Juan Rivera and Melissa Sanders-Rivera, the Chicago Tribune reports. Rivera had been imprisoned since his arrest in the 1992 murder of 11-year-old Holly Staker; he was cleared by DNA evidence and released from prison in January 2012.

Rivera was married on Halloween in 2000; he filed for divorce in May 2014. His settlement payout, after taxes and attorney fees, was about $11.4 million, according to court records cited by the Tribune.

Rivera had argued that the settlement was not marital property because it stemmed from conduct that occurred in 1992. Sanders-Rivera said the settlement is marital property because it stemmed from a lawsuit filed as a result of Rivera’s overturned conviction in 2011.

The appeals court sided with Sanders-Rivera in a Sept. 30 decision.

Read more here.

October 9, 2016 in Divorce (grounds), Property Division | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Actions Upon Divorce & Remarriage

From Naomi Cahn, writing on

While a divorce ends the marriage, it doesn’t end the legal entanglements—nor does remarriage necessarily grant all the rights you might assume.  As a law professor who teaches family law and estate planning, I remind my students that during both the challenges of divorce and the joys of remarriage, people need to keep track of some pretty nonromantic realities.   

There are many (admittedly boring) legal actions that you should think about adding to your to-do list, in divorce and in remarriage.    

Read about them here.

October 8, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, October 7, 2016

Trigger Warnings in Family Law

A fellow family law professor asks the blogosphere for advice--

Does anyone use trigger warning when teaching family law?  Should family law professors consider trigger warnings, particularly when covering material pertaining to domestic violence?

Please post your thoughts in the comments section.


October 7, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Formative Assessment in Large Classes



Institute for Law Teaching & Learning and Emory University School of Law

Spring Conference 2017


“Compliance with ABA Standard 314: Formative Assessment in Large Classes” is a one-day conference for law teachers and administrators who want to learn how to design, implement, and evaluate formative assessment plans.  The conference will be interactive workshops during which attendees will learn about formative assessment techniques from games to crafting multiple choice questions to team-based learning.  Participants will also learn ways to coordinate assessment across the curriculum.   The conference workshop sessions will take place on Saturday, March 25, 2017, at Emory University School of Law.

Conference Content:  Sessions will address the following topics:

Why Assess: Empirical Data on How it Helps Students Learn

Games as Formative Assessments in the Classroom

Formative Assessment with Team-Based Learning

Creating Multiple Choice Questions and Ways to Using Them as Formative Assessment

Coordinating Formative Assessment Across the Curriculum

Conference Faculty:  Workshops will be taught by experienced faculty: Andrea Curcio (GSU Law), Lindsey Gustafson (UALR Bowen), Michael Hunter-Schwartz (UALR Bowen), Heidi Holland (Gonzaga) and Sandra Simpson (Gonzaga)


Who Should Attend:  This conference is for all law faculty and administrators.  By the end of the conference, attendees will have concrete and practical knowledge about formative assessment and complying with Standard 314 to take back to their colleagues and institutions. Details about the conference will be available on the websites of the Institute for Law Teaching & Learning and Emory University School of Law. 

Registration Information:  The registration fee is $225 for the first registrant from each law school.  We are offering a discounted fee of $200 for each subsequent registrant from the same school, so that schools may be able to send multiple attendees.  Details regarding the registration process will be provided in future announcements.

Accommodations:  A block of hotel rooms for conference attendees has been reserved at the Emory Conference Center Hotel for $159/night; at the Courtyard by Marriott in downtown, Decatur for $99/night; and at the Decatur Holiday Inn for $159/night.  Reservation phone numbers are : Emory Conference Center Hotel: 1-800-933-6679; Courtyard by Marriott Downtown Decatur: or 1-404-371-0204; Holiday Inn Hotel Decatur 1-888-HOLIDAY.

October 6, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 3, 2016

American Role in International Surrogacy

From June Carbone, writing for Concurring Opinions:

At the beginning of September, I attended a conference on international surrogacy at the University of Hong Kong.  It confirmed my growing recognition of the importance of globalization of fertility treatments.   It also reinforced my sense of an extremely dynamic area of medical practice, with cutting edge new medical procedures increasingly taking place outside of the United States while the U.S. regulatory environment contributes to the systemization of controversial practices such as surrogacy and sex selection.

As part of my preparation for the conference, I started with a review of fertility clinic on-line sites.  The first time I did such a review more than a decade ago, I discovered that clinics were advertising the availability of preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) to increase success rates.  I later spoke to a woman who gave birth to healthy twins after years of failed treatments and attributed it all to PGD and the ability to select the genetically healthy from the petri dish.  The doctor congratulated her, saying “you see, the problem wasn’t with you, it was with your embryos.”  The next time I checked, the clinics were offering sex selections services.  If you use PGD, after all, you can choose which embryos to implant, and sex is often the most obvious characteristic to consider in making the choice among healthy embryos.   My most recent internet survey found the globalization of fertility practice, recruiting the wealthy of the world to come to the United States and helping Americans find more affordable treatments abroad.

Read more here.

October 3, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Bypassing Divorce Courts

From Jane C. Murphy and Jana Singer, writing for Concurring Opinions:

The recent announcement that Angelina Jolie has filed for divorce from Brad Pitt and is seeking sole physical custody of their six children has triggered tabloid speculation about the ugly fight to come. But as family law teachers and scholars, we doubt that there will be a grisly courtroom showdown and we think its absence is a good thing.

That’s because families with money can now largely bypass the court system when it comes to divorce. The options for private dispute resolution have expanded significantly over the past two decades, particularly for divorces involving children. As we explain in our 2015 book, Divorced from Reality: Rethinking Family Dispute Resolution (NYU Press), there has been a dramatic shift in the legal system’s approach to child custody cases that began in the 1970’s. In part, this “paradigm shift” was driven by changes in substantive legal doctrine, particularly the shift from fault to no-fault divorce and the legal system’s embrace of joint custody. The elimination of fault as a prerequisite to divorce both reduced the role of judges and undermined the utility of traditional adversary procedures. With fault requisites to divorce removed, it was no longer necessary for a judge to determine whether a spouse had engaged in blameworthy conduct or which spouse was responsible for the breakdown of a marriage. Instead, the main job of the legal system in a no-fault regime is to determine the financial and parenting consequences of the marital dissolution – forward looking tasks for which court-based adversary procedures are, at best unwarranted.

Read more here.


October 2, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Alabama Judge Suspended Over Same-Sex Marriage Stance

From the New York Times:

Nine months after instructing Alabama’s probate judges to defy federal court orders on same-sex marriage, Roy S. Moore, the chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, was suspended on Friday for the remainder of his term for violating the state’s canon of judicial ethics.

It was the second time in his contentious career that Judge Moore, an outspoken conservative, was removed as chief justice, and it followed his most recent star turn in the nation’s culture wars.

The suspension was imposed by the state’s Court of the Judiciary, a nine-member body of selected judges, lawyers and others, which found Judge Moore guilty on six charges. While the court did not take him off the bench entirely, as it did in 2003 after he defied orders to remove a giant Ten Commandments monument from the state judicial building, it effectively ended his state judicial career. His term ends in 2019, and Judge Moore, 69, will be barred by law from running for a judicial position again because of his age.

The court said in its decision that most, but not all, of its members had supported fully removing Judge Moore from the bench, but removal requires a unanimous vote. The decision to suspend him, the court said, was unanimous.

Read more here.

October 1, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Court of Appeals finds parents unfit, affirms termination of parental rights

From The Indiana Lawyer:

The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Monday a decision to terminate parental rights after both parents failed to show evidence that allowing them to maintain their rights would be in the best interest of the children.

T.B. was born to the mother and father in 2009, then the mother gave birth to a second child, R.K., who had a different father who is now deceased, in 2010. After being convicted of multiple drug charges, the mother was incarcerated in 2013 and has not seen the children since. T.B. and R.K. were placed in the father’s care shortly thereafter.

After father reached out to the Department of Child Services for help in 2014, the department filed a children in need of services petition on behalf of T.B. and R.K. — as well as the father’s two older children — and the court found that the children could remain in the father’s care as long as a safety plan was developed.

A well-child check in May 2014 found R.K. with second-degree burns on his feet, which prompted his and T.B.’s removal from the home and placement in foster care. The children were subsequently adjudicated CHINS, and the father was ordered to participate in visitation, Fatherhood Engagement and individual therapy.

However, father was often vocal about his distrust of DCS and refused to participate in the department’s services. The mother was limited in her ability to participate in DCS services due to her incarceration.

In February 2016, the Tippecanoe Superior Court entered an order terminating the mother’ s parental rights to T.B. and R.K. and the father’s parental rights to T.B., prompting both parents to appeal.

Read more here.

October 1, 2016 in Child Abuse, Custody (parenting plans), Termination of Parental Rights | Permalink | Comments (0)