Thursday, August 31, 2017

Divorce Research Summary

From Business Insider:

In 2015, the US divorce rate hit a 40-year low.

According to data from Bowling Green State University, there were 16.9 divorces for every 1,000 women that year.

To determine the factors that make divorce more likely and the effects — positive and negative — of ending your marriage, we dug into years of research on the predictors and consequences of marital dissolution. Below, we've highlighted some of the most intriguing findings.

Keep in mind that all these studies offer general takeaways about modern relationships — no one can predict with 100% accuracy what will happen to yours.

Read more here.

August 31, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Divorce in India Because Lack of Toilet is Torture

From BBC:

An Indian woman has been granted permission to divorce her husband because he would not build a toilet in their home.

The woman in her 20s had been married for five years, but had been forced to relieve herself in nearby fields.

Indian law only allows divorce in limited circumstances such as domestic violence or proven cruelty.

Read more here.

August 30, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

From the Washington Post:

We are only just beginning to grapple with what it means to cheaply and easily uncover our genetic heritage.

Over the past five years, as the price of DNA testing kits has dropped and their quality has improved, the phenomenon of “recreational genomics” has taken off. According to the International Society of Genetic Genealogy, nearly 8 million people worldwide, but mostly in the United States, have tested their DNA through kits, typically costing $99 or less, from such companies as 23andMe, and Family Tree DNA.

The most popular DNA-deciphering approach, autosomal DNA testing, looks at genetic material inherited from both parents and can be used to connect customers to others in a database who share that material. The results can let you see exactly what stuff you’re made from — as well as offer the opportunity to find previously unknown relatives.

Read more here.

August 29, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 28, 2017

The Secrets to Happy Marriage

New York Times readers share their tips for successful marriages here.

August 28, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, August 27, 2017

"America, Home of the Transactional Marriage"

From the Atlantic:

Over the last several decades, the proportion of Americans who get married has greatly diminished—a development known as well to those who lament marriage’s decline as those who take issue with it as an institution. But a development that’s much newer is that the demographic now leading the shift away from tradition is Americans without college degrees—who just a few decades ago were much more likely to be married by the age of 30 than college graduates were.

Today, though, just over half of women in their early 40s with a high-school degree or less education are married, compared to three-quarters of women with a bachelor’s degree; in the 1970s, there was barely a difference. The marriage gap for men has changed less over the years, but there the trend lines have flipped too: Twenty-five percent of men with high-school degrees or less education havenever married, compared to 23 percent of men with bachelor’s degrees and 14 percent of those with advanced degrees. Meanwhile, divorce rates have continued to rise among the less educated, while staying more or less steady for college graduates in recent decades.

Read more here.

August 27, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Instant Divorce Banned in India

From CNN:

India's Supreme Court banned the controversial Islamic divorce practice known as "triple talaq" in a landmark ruling announced Tuesday.

The practice, that stretches back over a thousand years, allows a husband to divorce his wife by simply saying the Arabic word for divorce, talaq, three times.
The five-judge bench did not unanimously ban the practice, which Balaji Srinivasan, one of the lawyers on the case, called "disappointing." Instead, three judges ruled that it was unconstitutional, while the minority issued a dissenting judgment that said it would now be up to Parliament to pass legislation officially banning the practice.
The Supreme Court had convened a special summer session to hear the much-anticipated case -- alongside others of constitutional importance -- in May, when it is normally in recess. It would otherwise take years to hear these cases, said the Chief Justice, according to local media.
Read more here.

August 26, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, August 25, 2017

El Salvador, Guatemala Ban Child Marriage

From ABC News:

El Salvador and Guatemala have joined a trend in clamping down on child marriage by passing legislation that would outlaw marriage with minors.

Legislation passed in both countries Thursday to ban such unions even in cases of parental consent or pregnancy.

Read more here.

August 25, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Divorce and the Workplace

From The Huffington Post:

Dealing with divorce is sticky in any situation but, dealing with it in the workplace comes with its own unique set of issues. Spending 40-plus hours a week at an organization creates the opportunity for your vulnerabilities and at-home issues to find their way into this environment. Whether an employee or the employer, there are some routes I invite you to look at to help both parties navigate this process as seamlessly as possible.

Read more here.

August 24, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Call for Papers

Call for Papers – Sunday September 17 Deadline

The Feminist Legal Theory Collaborative Research Network

Seeks submissions for the

Law and Society Association Annual Meeting

June 7–10, 2018 in Toronto, Canada

Submission link:

Dear friends and colleagues,

We invite you to participate in the panels sponsored by the Feminist Legal Theory Collaborative Research Network at the Law and Society Annual Meeting in Toronto in June 2018. The Feminist Legal Theory CRN brings together law and society scholars across a range of fields who share an interest in feminist legal theory. Information about the Law and Society meeting is available at

This year’s meeting invites us to explore LAW AT THE CROSSROADS/LE DROIT A LA CROISÉE DES CHEMINS.  We seek in proposals that explore the application of feminist legal theory to this rich theme, across any substantive area.

If you would like to present a paper as part of a CRN panel, submit your 500 word abstract to by the deadline of September 17, 2017. 

Our goal is to stimulate focused discussion of papers on which scholars are currently working. While you may submit papers that are closer to publication, we are particularly eager to receive proposals for works-in-progress that are at an earlier stage and will benefit from the discussion that the panels will provide.  We are also especially interested in hearing from junior scholars, and welcome submissions from scholars in VAPs, fellowship programs, non-tenure and pre-tenure positions. 

The Planning Committee will group accepted papers into panels of four, based on subject matter.   Each presentation should run roughly 10 minutes to allow ample time for discussion.  A chair or discussant will provide feedback on each paper. 

If you would like to propose a pre-formed panel of four papers with a chair and a discussant, please email us at [email protected].  Include that information in the appropriate box on the submission form for each of the papers as well.    


In addition to traditional panels, we are open to some of the other formats that the LSA allows, including Author meets Reader, Salon, or Roundtable. If you have an idea that you think would work well in one of these formats, please email us at [email protected]Please note that for roundtables, organizers must provide a 500-word summary of the topic and the contributions they expect the proposed participants to make. Please also note that LSA rules limit you to participating only once, either as a paper panelist or as a roundtable participant.

As a condition of participating as a Feminist Legal Theory CRN panelist, you must agree to also serve as a discussant or discussant/chair for another Feminist Legal Theory CRN panel
. The planning committee will assign two discussants for each panel, to provide feedback on the papers and promote discussion. One of the discussants will also serve as the panel chair.   This requirement helps us to create and sustain a supportive community of scholars.  We will take into account expertise and topic preferences to the degree possible.

Chairs organize the panel, as well as moderate.  Chairs will develop a 100-250 word description for the session and submit the session proposal to LSA before the anticipated deadline of mid-October.  This will ensure that each panelist can submit their proposal, using the panel number assigned. Each chair will also serve as discussant for two papers. 

Discussants read the two to three papers assigned to them and prepare a short commentary to offer feedback and serve as a basis for discussion among the panelist and audience members. 


Proposals due Sunday, September 17 to

While we’re always happy to hear from you, please do not send submissions to individual committee members. 

The form requires the following information:

  • The title of your proposal;
  • A 500 word abstract or summary;
  • Your name and title;
  • Number of years you have been a law teacher/scholar;
  • Your areas of interest and expertise within feminist legal theory;
  • Whether this paper is part of a group of papers submitted together as a pre-formed panel.

This information will permit us to organize panels and submit them prior to the LSA’s anticipated deadline in mid-October. In the past, we have accommodated as many panelists as possible, but have been unable to accept all proposals. If we are unable to accept your proposal for the CRN, we will notify you by early October so that you can submit your proposal independently to LSA.

We hope you will join us in Toronto to share your current scholarship and connect with this vibrant community of feminist legal theorists.


2018 LSA Feminist Legal Theory CRN Planning Committee

Daniela Kraiem (co-chair)

Seema Mohapatra (co-chair)

Eylem Umut Atilgan

Kim Pearson

Samantha Godwin

Grace Howard

Sital Kalantry

August 24, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Juvenile Justice and Direct File Laws

From NPR:

The moments inside a courtroom in Orlando in 2007 were quick and consequential for Marquis McKenzie. The 16-year-old stood handcuffed behind a lectern. A juvenile judge announced his charges, then apologized that he could no longer take up the case.

"You're being direct filed," he told McKenzie, who was accused of armed robbery over a cellphone and a wallet. "You understand what I'm saying? You're being charged as an adult now."

Read more here.

August 23, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Ultra-Orthodox Judaism and Custody

From The Washington Post:

A very interesting decision handed down Wednesday by a New York appellate court (Weisberger v. Weisberger). Note that, of course, though this case involves ultra-Orthodox Judaism, similar stories could happen in Muslim communities, and for other religions as well.

Read more here.

August 22, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Same-Sex Marriage Vote in Australia

From CNN:

Australia could legalize same-sex marriage by as early as the end of this year, after the government announced an attempt to hold a national vote on the issue.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told reporters on Tuesday he would "give all Australians a say" on whether same-sex marriage should be legal.
"I'll be voting yes, as will (my wife), I'm very open about that but the Australian people are never wrong when they vote, whether it's for governments or on matters like this, their vote will be respected," Turnbull said.
The governing Liberal National coalition failed Wednesday morning to pass legislation to hold a compulsory national vote, or plebsicite, on same-sex marriage. It had already attempted once in October 2016.
Read more here.

August 22, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 21, 2017

Lebanon Repeals Marry-Your-Rapist Law

From The New York Times:

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Lebanon on Wednesday repealed a law that allowed rapists to evade punishment by marrying their accusers, the latest in a string of countries in the region to reverse such provisions under pressure from Arab women’s groups.

Read more here.

August 21, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Scarcity of Abortion Clinics Drive Up Healthcare Costs

From Reuters Health:

(Reuters Health) - The absence of a nearby abortion clinic drives up healthcare costs, a study of California's poor has found.

Women who seek follow-up care but who don’t have a local clinic often feel compelled go to an emergency room to confirm that their pregnancy is over, a practice that typically increases the abortion bill by 76 percent.

Read more here.

August 20, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Unmarried Couples and Inheritance Rights

E. Gary Spitko (Santa Clara University School of Law) has posted on SSRN Intestate Inheritance Rights for Unmarried Committed Partners: Lessons for U.S. Law Reform from the Scottish Experience Iowa Law Review (forthcoming).  Here is the abstract:

No U.S. state affords intestate inheritance rights to the unmarried and unregistered committed partner of a decedent. This omission has become more and more problematic in recent years as cohabitation rates in the U.S. have risen and marriage rates have declined. Indeed, the phenomenon of increasing cohabitation rates and declining marriage rates is observed across the developed world. Unlike in the United States, however, a significant number of foreign jurisdictions have reformed their law to afford intestate inheritance rights to a decedent’s surviving unmarried committed partner.

This Article looks to Scottish law to inform consideration of how U.S. states might best reform their intestacy statutes so as to provide intestate inheritance rights to a surviving unmarried committed partner. Examination of Scottish law should prove especially fruitful for U.S. law reformers. The relevant Scottish statutory provisions have been in effect since 2006 and have been extensively critiqued by Scottish courts, academics, and practitioners. Indeed, the Scottish Law Commission (SLC), whose recommendations led to adoption of the current scheme, has called for repeal of these intestacy provisions, and has offered a replacement scheme.

The Article evaluates the Scottish statute with respect to three major issues of principle that should be at the center of U.S. reform discussions: fulfillment of purpose, implications for certainty and administrative convenience, and implications for marriage. The Article similarly evaluates the SLC’s proposal to replace the current statute. Finally, the Article reflects upon the Scottish statute and SLC reform proposal in considering which elements of Scottish law a U.S. state might profitably borrow or should reject in an effort to craft a more inclusive approach to the intestate inheritance rights of U.S. unmarried committed partners consistent with the principles of U.S. succession law. The jumping off point for this discussion is this author’s previously published proposal for a model statute that implements an accrual/multi-factor approach to intestate inheritance rights for unmarried committed partners. After describing the significant features of this proposal, the Article considers how one might evolve the proposed accrual/multi-factor approach to incorporate the lessons learned from the Scottish experience.

August 19, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, August 18, 2017

Divorce-Relocation Disputes

From U.S. News & World Report:

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey Supreme Court ruling reverses a decades-old law and sets a new standard in the interest of children in divorce-relocation disputes.

The court ruling Tuesday affects cases in which parents have divorced and one wants to leave New Jersey with a child against the wishes of the other parent, according to

The old law focused on whether the move would "cause harm" to the child. With the court ruling, divorced parents now must prove the move is in the child's best interest.

Read more here.

August 18, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Marriage Evolution

From U.S. News & World Report:

If you haven't read Icelandic Nobel Prize winner Halldor Laxness' book "Independent People," you need to pick it up right away and bring it with you to the beach. It is an unforgettable story about, among other things, how and why women and men live together as partners. The story revolves around a man fighting to make it on his own as a sheep farmer in the unforgiving climate of Iceland. He will accept no help or charity from anyone, except of course from his wife who is little more than a slave in his house.

Read more here.

August 17, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Oregon Expands Abortion Access

From The Washington Post:

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) on Tuesday signed into law what advocates called the nation’s most progressive reproductive health policy, expanding access to abortion and birth control at a time when the Trump administration and other states are trying to restrict them.

Called the Reproductive Health Equity Act, the measure requires health insurers to provide birth control and abortion without charging a co-pay. It also dedicates state funds to provide reproductive health care to noncitizens excluded from Medicaid.

Read more here.

August 16, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Fosters from Drug Addicted Homes

From CNN:

Dayton, Ohio (CNN) When Cyndi and Jesse Swafford were certified to become foster parents 10 years ago, they were told to expect to wait for a baby up to two or three years. Fast forward to today -- with a foster license, a new baby can be placed with them within a week.

"It blows my mind," Cyndi says. "There are babies in the hospital waiting because of this heroin epidemic for a family that will be able to take care of them."

Read more here.

August 15, 2017 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (0)

LGBT "First Lady of Bourbon" Fired

From The Washington Post:

Bulleit, a Kentucky bourbon and whiskey distiller, is a family company. Even after the brand was bought by international beverage giant Diageo, founder Tom Bulleit employed his daughter, Hollis, who worked on the brand’s sales, marketing and innovation teams, acting as a global brand ambassador and earning herself the title “The First Lady of Bourbon.” Until December, that is, when she says she was abruptly fired.

In a scathing series of Facebook posts last week, Bulleit, a lesbian, alleged she was kicked out of the family business due to homophobia.

Read more here.

August 15, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)