Thursday, November 30, 2017

No Alimony Deduction Under New Tax Bill

From Pennsylvania Family Law:

Any American with a pulse knows that 2017 was to be the first overhaul of U.S. Tax Law since 1986.  Until this week, what was circulating through Washington was an 18 page executive summary.  That changed yesterday when the House Republican Tax Policy Committee circulated a draft bill that specified exactly what changes were being proposed.

The draft bill summary merits some review because parts of it will affect most of us.  But the divorce bar was shocked to see that among those tax “loopholes” on the chopping block is the alimony deduction.

Read more here.

November 30, 2017 in Maintenance (alimony) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Contact With Parents Not Always Best

From The Guardian:

Children brought up by extended family members should not always have contact with their parents as it could harm their mental health, according to new research.

Interviews carried out for the charity Grandparents Plus examined the effects of parental contact on the increasing number of children being cared for by relatives other than their parents .

It is estimated that more than 180,000 children in the UK are being raised by a family member – often referred to as kinship caring. More than half of the children (51%) live with a grandparent, 23% with an older sibling, and the rest with other relatives.

Read more here.

November 29, 2017 in Custody (parenting plans) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Robot Divorce Lawyers

From Ohio Family Law Blog:

We live in a world that is dominated by cutting-edge technology. By the time that the latest and greatest technology is released, manufacturers are already beginning their search to find the next best thing. Nowadays, the easier we can make it to accomplish things, the better. For many, this means making things more accessible online and limiting the amount of human interaction that a person must have: whether it be ordering a pizza online, scheduling and cancelling doctor’s appointments, or even ordering groceries to be picked up at your local Kroger. By completing these tasks on the internet, we are cutting out the middlemen: the receptionist that answers the phone, the employees who take phone orders, and the assistants that schedule appointments.

Machines have taken over jobs in assembly lines, production lines, and coal mines. Robots and machines are more cost efficient because employers don’t have to pay several employees to do a job that a single robot or machine can do on its own. They are also more efficient and can get jobs done in bulk, allowing them to complete a task much quicker than a human employee.

What’s next…Robolawyers?

Read more here.

November 28, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 27, 2017

Australians Vote Yes to Gay Marriage

From NPR:

Australians have given same-sex marriage a resounding "yes," in a historic nationwide poll, with nearly 62 percent of registered voters approving the measure.

Although the mail-in poll is non-binding, it nonetheless ensures that Parliament will consider ensconcing the popular sentiment as law — a bill to do just that was introduced in the Senate late Wednesday after the results of the poll became known.

Australians "have spoken in their millions and they have voted overwhelmingly yes for marriage equality," Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said following the announcement of results. "They voted yes for fairness, yes for commitment, yes for love."

Read more here.

November 27, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Mothers' Names On Marriage Certificates

From The Guardian:

Mothers’ names could be added to marriage certificates for the first time if a cross-party group of MPs succeed in changing the wording on the documents, which campaigners say are no longer fit for modern times.

Marriage certificates only list the fathers of the people getting married, which the government has previously resisted changing on cost grounds.

Read more here.


November 26, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, November 25, 2017

A Ten Year Fight

From The Globe and Mail:

An Indigenous woman who had three of her children taken out of her care a decade ago by child-welfare workers has mounted a social media campaign aimed at getting the youngest two back, but has been warned she could face fines or jail time for sharing information about them online.

The woman, a member of Manitoba's Ebb and Flow First Nation currently living in Ontario's Serpent River First Nation, says she has never stopped trying to regain custody of her children since they were apprehended – and won't stop now. Her lawyer filed a court application last week seeking the children's return.

Read more here.

November 25, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, November 24, 2017

Turning Survivors of Domestic Violence Into Entrepreneurs

From The Guardian:

month ago Christine and her children were living in a shelter for survivors of domestic violence.

Now she lives in her own apartment and runs a business selling aromatherapy products on the side while working as an admin assistant.

She credits that transition to a not-for-profit called FreeFrom, which helps women who have left abusive partners launch businesses and become financially independent so they can build new lives for themselves and their children.

Read more here.

November 24, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Family Values

From the New York Times:

As we watch Roy Moore thumping his Bible to defend himself from accusations of child molestation, let me toss out a verbal hand grenade: To some degree, liberals practice the values that conservatives preach.

Read more here.

November 24, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Global Marriage Trends

From The Economist:

MARRIAGE idealises permanence, and yet it is changing more rapidly than at any time in its history. Almost everywhere it is becoming freer, more equal and more satisfying. As our special report this week explains, wedlock has become so good that it is causing trouble.

The most benign changes are taking place in poor and middle-income countries (where most people live). Child marriage, once rife, is ebbing. So is cousin marriage, with its attendant risk of genetic defects, though it is still fairly common in the Middle East and parts of Asia. Relations between husbands and wives have become more equal (though not equal enough). As women earn more and the stigma of divorce fades, more men are finding that they cannot treat their wives as servants (or, worse, punchbags), because women can credibly threaten to walk away.

Read more here.

November 23, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Happy Thanksgiving


November 23, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

NY Family Court's Jurisdiction Over Permanency Hearings

From New York Law Journal:

ALBANY—The state’s highest court overruled a lower court’s ruling Monday as to whether Family Court has jurisdiction to conduct a permanency hearing once an underlying neglect petition has been dismissed for failure to prove neglect.

The opinion by Associate Judge Rowan Wilson reversing the Appellate Division, Fourth Department, Matter of Jamie J., 2016 NY Slip Op 07424, asks whether the Family Court Act Article 10-a provides continuing jurisdiction if the underlying Article 10 neglect petition is dismissed.

The decision stems from a request from the Wayne County Department of Social Services to temporarily remove the 1-week-old child of a woman identified as Michelle E.C. In November 2014, the department placed the child, referred to as Jamie J., in foster care and a neglect proceeding against Michelle began under the Family Court Act Article 10, which alleged that the child was at imminent risk of harm because of the mother’s inability to provide adequate care for her child.

Read more here.

November 22, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Man Ordered To Pay Late Child Support

From Bangor Daily News:

A father of five children in three states was ordered Monday in U.S. District Court in Portland to pay more than $57,500 in back child support for his three children living in Maine, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

Daniel Shertzer, 30, of Fitchburg, Massachusetts was sentenced to five years of probation in order to allow him time to pay the restitution.

Shertzer pleaded guilty in August to three counts of failure to pay child support for his Maine children, according to court documents. The Maine children are aged 9, 7 and 5.

Read more here.

November 21, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 20, 2017

British Muslim Women Are Missing Out On Marriage Rights

From The Guardian:

Six in 10 women in the UK who have had a traditional Muslim wedding ceremony are not in legally recognised marriages, depriving them of rights and protection, according to a survey.

It found that nearly all married Muslim women have had a nikah, a religious marriage ceremony, but 61% had not gone through a separate civil ceremony which would make the marriage legal under UK law.

If the marriage breaks down, women who have only had a nikah are unable to go to the family court to seek a division of assets, such as the family home and spouse’s pension.

Read more here.


November 20, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Child Marriage--in the U.S.

From the Independent:

More than 200,000 children were married in the US over the past 15 years, new figures have revealed.

Three 10-year-old girls and an 11-year-old boy were among the youngest to wed, under legal loopholes which allow minors to marry in certain circumstances.

The minimum age for marriage across most of the US is 18, but every state has exemptions – such as parental consent or pregnancy – which allow younger children to tie the knot.

In May, the high-profile Republican governor for New Jersey declined to sign into law a measure that would have made his state the first to ban child marriage without exception. Chris Christie claimed it would conflict with religious customs. 

Read more here.

November 20, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Adopted Kids and School Exclusion

From BBC News:

Faye says since he was excluded from secondary school, Joe's behaviour has deteriorated, with a devastating knock-on effect for the rest of the family.

But this family's experience is not unusual, according to a report by the charity Adoption UK.

Its research estimates adopted children can be up to 20 times more likely to be permanently excluded than their peers.

Read more here.

November 19, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, November 18, 2017

GOP Tax Plan and Divorce

From Bloomberg:

President Donald Trump knows first-hand that a divorce -- or in his case, two -- can be messy and expensive.

But if Republican lawmakers get their way, untying the knot could get even more costly for affluent Americans.

To help pay for sweeping tax cuts, the GOP’s “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” includes a controversial provision that would scrap the break divorcees get for paying alimony. If section 1309 of the tax bill becomes law, financial planners and divorce lawyers say the result could hurt all but the uber-wealthy.

Read more here.

November 18, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, November 17, 2017

Future of Abortion Rights

From The New York Times:

Sheriff Joe Arpaio used to require pregnant inmates in the Arizona jails he controlled to get a court order before being allowed out of their cells to obtain a desired abortion. Needless to say, he was sued, and needless to say, he lost. (The sheriff appealed to the Supreme Court, which refused to hear the case.) So he switched tactics to require any inmate who wanted an abortion to prepay the transportation and security costs, something not required for any other off-site medical procedure. The American Civil Liberties Union took the sheriff back to court and won again.

That seemed to be that. Following President Trump’s pardon of Mr. Arpaio three months ago for an unrelated contempt of court conviction, the 85-year-old former sheriff, a right-wing hero for his years of abusing immigrants, seemed finally about to fade from the scene.

But guess what? It turns out that we’re all living in Sheriff Joe country now.

Read more here.

November 17, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Call for Papers

The Return of Sanctuary Cities: The Muslim Ban, Hurricane Maria, and Everything in Between

The University of Detroit Mercy Law Review is pleased to announce its annual academic
Symposium to be held on March 23, 2018 at University of Detroit Mercy School of Law.

This Symposium will contemplate a broad range of issues associated with Sanctuary Cities –
presentations may focus on a specific era – past, present, or future – or may discuss a subject
through the past, present and propose future solutions. Presentation topics could include, but are
not limited to:

• The potential consequences of Trump’s immigration policies (including the Muslim Ban);
• The ability or inability of Trump and ICE to carry out these immigration policies;
• The constitutionality of Trump’s and ICE’s policies and actions;
• The efficacy of Program 287(g) and the potential consequences thereof;
• The impact of the Countering Violent Extremism (“CVE”) program;
• The efficacy of states’ Sanctuary legislation, like (pro) California and (anti) Texas;
• The ability or inability of cities and states to provide protection to undocumented citizens;
• The rights that undocumented citizens, particularly youth, should enjoy;
• Strategies and policies that cities and states can adopt to protect their undocumented citizens;
• The potential benefits or consequences for cities and states who adopt Sanctuary laws;
• The consequences for the changes made to the DACA program and possible solutions; and
• The position that SCOTUS would take on these issues, including existing legislation & DACA.

The Law Review invites interested individuals to submit an abstract for an opportunity to present
at the Symposium. Those interested should send an abstract of 300-400 words that details their
proposed topic and presentation. Included with the abstract should be the presenter’s name, contact
information, and a copy of their resume/curriculum vitae. Since the above list of topics is nonexhaustive,
the Detroit Mercy Law Review encourages all interested parties to develop their own
topic to present at the Symposium. In addition, while submitting an article for publication is not
required to present at the Symposium, the Law Review encourages all speakers who are selected
to submit a piece for publication in the 2018-2019 edition of the Law Review.

The deadline for abstract submissions is December 3, 2017. Individuals selected to present at the
Symposium will be contacted by December 10, 2017. Law Review editorial staff will contact
those selected for publication in 2018 regarding details and deadlines for full-length publication.

The submissions, and any questions regarding the Symposium or the abstract process, should be
directed to Law Review Symposium Director, Jessica Gnitt at [email protected]. Please cc the
Detroit Mercy Law Review Editor-in-Chief, Matthew Tapia, at [email protected].

November 16, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Hiring a Fake Family in Japan

From the Atlantic:

Money may not be able to buy love, but here in Japan, it can certainly buy the appearance of love—and appearance, as the dapper Ishii Yuichi insists, is everything. As a man whose business involves becoming other people, Yuichi would know. The handsome and charming 36-year-old is on call to be your best friend, your husband, your father, or even a mourner at your funeral.

His 8-year-old company, Family Romance, provides professional actors to fill any role in the personal lives of clients. With a burgeoning staff of 800 or so actors, ranging from infants to the elderly, the organization prides itself on being able to provide a surrogate for almost any conceivable situation.

Yuichi believes that Family Romance helps people cope with unbearable absences or perceived deficiencies in their lives. In an increasingly isolated and entitled society, the CEO predicts the exponential growth of his business and others like it, as à la carte human interaction becomes the new norm.

Read more here.

November 15, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Forget Fake News--Now There's Fake Weddings

From the New York Times:

On a Saturday night in Buenos Aires, hundreds of guests turned out for what might have been the wedding of the season. The bride and groom were all decked out. So were the witnesses, family and friends.


November 14, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (1)