Family Law Prof Blog

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

Monday, November 13, 2017

Tech Helps Late Pregnancies

From NBC Philadelphia:

NBC10's Katy Zachry is in King of Prussia with Art Castelbaum, the Medical Director for the IVF Program and an RMA at Jefferson, to talk about the new technology for women to have safe pregnancies later in life.

See the video here.

November 13, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Pakistani Bride Kills 17 to Escape Arranged Marriage

From The Washington Post:

Arranged marriages are a standard practice in Pakistan, and there’s no shortage of stories about the extreme steps some Pakistani women will take to escape them and marry men of their choosing.

But few go as far as Aasia Bibi is alleged to have gone. According to Pakistani authorities, the 21-year-old woman tried to slip poison into her new husband’s milk and inadvertently killed 17 of his family members in the process.

Read more here.

November 12, 2017 in International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Grandmother Fights Without Lawyer For Custody of Grandchild

From BuzzFeedNews:

A grandmother who wanted to care for her grandchild had to fight a local authority with no lawyer after a social worker recommended that the baby be put up for adoption.

As the parents were unable to look after the baby, the paternal grandmother – who cannot be named to protect the child’s identity – put herself forward to be the special guardian, similar to a foster carer.

The case, heard in Gloucester’s family court last month, could not be reported until now because Gloucestershire County Council was demanding anonymity. After this was challenged by BuzzFeed News, The Guardian and the BBC, a judge ruled on Monday that they should be named and that the grandmother’s account of her experience should be made public.

Read more here.

November 11, 2017 in Adoption, Custody (parenting plans) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, November 10, 2017

New India Law Protects Child Brides From Sex

From The New York Times:

NEW DELHI — India’s Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down a part of the country’s legal code that had permitted men to have sex with their underage wives — a decision that human rights groups said was an important step forward for the rights of girls.

Indian law sets 18 as the age for marriage and consent to sex for a young woman. But another provision of the law was inconsistent, saying a man could have sex with a girl as young as 15, as long as she was his wife.

Advocates argued to the court that this exception encouraged child marriage, which is prevalent throughout rural India and has imperiled many development goals, like improving education, ending poverty and reducing family size.

Read more here.

November 10, 2017 in International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Japan Could Lead in Women's Empowerment

From The Japan Times:

Japan could lead the global drive for greater gender equality but the country needs to step up its reforms, according to female world leaders who gathered at a symposium on women’s empowerment in Tokyo Wednesday.

“It would not be the first time in history when Japan would come from behind to overcome everybody,” Bulgarian Kristalina Georgieva, the World Bank’s first ever chief executive officer, said in her keynote speech at the fourth World Assembly for Women in Tokyo.

She was referring to Japan’s economic growth in recent decades and its path to becoming the world’s third-largest economy.

“Bringing women in Japan to full participation would mean a 9 percent bigger GDP, in other words, a richer Japan,” Georgieva said.

She said that empowering women would be crucial to reduce the global financial gender gap estimated at between $5 trillion and $7 trillion.

Read more here.


November 9, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

5 Factors Predicting Divorce

From CNN:

Like the break-ups themselves, divorce rates are a complicated subject to study.

Questions abound: Should we really want divorce rates to go down? Is it true that about half of American marriages end in splitsville? And why are so many baby boomers ending things all of a sudden?

Read more here.

November 8, 2017 in Maintenance (alimony) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Abuse Found in Florida Juvenile Detention Center

From PBS:

A Miami Herald probe into Florida’s juvenile justice system reveals that guards were provoking incarcerated adolescents to be violent. A recent series by the newspaper, called "Fight Club," shows them beating the teenagers and forcing or bribing them to fight one another. Carol Marbin Miller, a senior investigative reporter for the Miami Herald who co-authored the series, joins Hari Sreenivasan to discuss.

Read more here.

November 7, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Non-Deductibility of Alimony

From Business Insider:

The Republican tax plan hasn't met the expectations of advocates for "family-friendly" tax reform. Its child-credit provision is disappointingly small, in the eyes of Sen. Marco Rubio, and it abolishes the adoption tax credit altogether.

But there is one provision that could be construed as "pro-family": a tax penalty for divorce.

The tax bill released Thursday would change the tax treatment of alimony. Currently, alimony is tax-deductible for the paying spouse and taxable to the receiving spouse. But if you get divorced after the plan is enacted, that would change: Alimony would be paid out of after-tax dollars and would be tax-free to the recipient.

This change would tend to increase the total amount of tax paid by divorced couples, since the ex-spouse who pays alimony is typically the one with the higher income and who faces a higher tax bracket.

Read more here.

Hat Tip: CR

November 7, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 6, 2017

Women Turn to Black Market for Fertility Drugs

From WPTV5:

TULSA -- Women looking to conceive are turning to the black market to buy fertility drugs. 

One in ten women struggles with getting pregnant and turn to doctors for help. 

KJRH spoke to an Oklahoma woman, who asked to remain anonymous, who sells her leftover fertility drugs. 

When asked if she thought she was doing something dangerous in any way she said no. 

"I know I have good intentions and I know that I want to help someone else and do everything I can," the woman said. 

She posted her leftovers to an online marketplace. She listed her Follistim for $375, Menopur for $175 and Ganirelix for $65. Compare that to the price those drugs are sold in the pharmacy and the savings run into the thousands. 

"You're maxing out your credit card and financing and everything," the woman said. "It's just you would do anything to have [a baby], but you're just hemorrhaging money." 

Read more here

November 6, 2017 in Alternative Reproduction | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Proposal to Eliminate Remarriage Waiting Period

From Wisconsin State Journal:

Divorced people could remarry as soon as their divorce is finalized under a proposed bill in the state Legislature that would eliminate a six-month remarriage waiting period.

While supporters of the proposal say it’s not the state’s responsibility to say when someone is ready to marry, opponents say that they fear eliminating the waiting period could lead to more divorces because couples rush into new marriages.

Wisconsin is among six states that have a remarriage waiting period, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. It’s unclear why Wisconsin enacted the law in the first place.

Read more here. 

November 5, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Domestic Violence App

From FOX 10:

- It's what many experts call "The Quiet Epidemic." 

The fact that about one-third of American women have experienced domestic violence in their lives, with many of them having those first experiences in college.

"Of women who've experienced domestic violence in their lifetimes, almost half have had their experiences between the ages of 18 and 34," Jill Messing said.

Read more here.

November 4, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Marriage Penalty

From Slate:

Our tax system is a relic of 1948, when the system of joint filing for married couples began. It benefits an ideal of the family that was rarer than we think even back then: the (straight) breadwinner-homemaker nuclear married family. A 1947 study on the congressional record predicted that “only about one in ten families would benefit from joint filing.” Researchers suggest Congress agreed to joint filing less out of a desire to save couples money and more because, “After World War II, Congress wanted women to relinquish their jobs so those jobs could be filled by soldiers returning home.” Unlike in 1948 when this system was created, there is now nearly double the number of dual-income to single-earner marriages.

For most economists, the marriage penalty describes the effect of joint filing on low-income couples who get bumped into a higher tax bracket and lose important low-income benefits (this is also true but less devastating for high-income and equal-earning couples). But married women up and down the income ladder are unknowingly dealing with yet another tax specter when they get married: secondary earner bias.

Read more here.

November 4, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

A Stiff Sentence

From the Cut:

A judge in Hawaii recently sentenced a man to a cruel-and-unusual punishment: He has to write 144 compliments about his ex-girlfriend.

Read more here.

November 4, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, November 3, 2017

Pennsylvania's New Adoption Law

Under a law that goes into effect Friday, adoptees over age 18 can apply for their birth records for the first time in 33 years. The law allows them to get their birth records — just like non-adopted people.

Who's affected?

Adoptees — people who were adopted as children — who are at least 18 years old and have finished high school may now apply to the state Department of Health for a copy of their birth certificate. Before this law was passed, adoptees could petition the courts for their birth certificate, but a judge could deny the request. Since 1984, adoption records in Pennsylvania have been sealed.

Why was the law proposed?

Read more here.

November 3, 2017 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (0)

Women's Careers

From the Harvard Business Review:

I was at a dinner with eight highly successful professional women recently, ranging in age from 35 to 74. Their stories were typical of research I have been conducting on dual-career couples. One had just been given a huge promotion opportunity in another country, but had struggled for several months to get her spouse to agree to join her. Another had decided that to save her marriage, she would take a yearlong sabbatical and go back to school, giving the family some balance and a breather from two high-powered jobs. A third had tried to work part-time for her law firm but quickly realized she was being professionally sidelined. She opted for a doctorate instead. Her husband continued his career.

This experience underlines the conclusion I’ve drawn from years of research and experience: Professionally ambitious women really only have two options when it comes to their personal partners — a super-supportive partner or no partner at all. Anything in between ends up being a morale- and career-sapping morass.

This is the reality of the half-baked transition we are in when it comes to women in the workplace. The 20th century saw the rise of women. The 21st century will see the adaptation (or not) of men to the consequences of that rise. The reality is that the transition is not smooth and the backlashes will be regular, but the benefits are potentially huge.

Read more here.

November 3, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Surrogate Unknowingly Gives Away Own Child

From the Washington Post:

Jessica Allen was already the mother of two boys when she decided to become a surrogate.


Last December, Allen gave birth to both babies by C-section at a hospital in Riverside, Calif. She claimed she was not allowed to see the newborns or spend an hour with them, as her contract with Omega Family Global had outlined — leaving her heartbroken days after the delivery. She had only briefly seen a cellphone picture of the babies and remarked that they looked different.

Only later would she realize how accurate her observation had been.

On Jan. 10, nearly a month after the babies were born, Allen said she received a message from “Mrs. Liu” with another picture of the twins.

“They are not the same, right?” the message read, according to the New York Post. “Have you thought about why they are different?”

A DNA test would soon reveal the truth: One of the “twins” was actually Allen and Jasper’s biological son. Despite using condoms, they had apparently conceived the child after becoming pregnant with the Lius’ baby, in what is believed to be an extremely rare case of superfetation.

Read more here.

November 2, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Divorce Rate in China

From South China Morning Post:

Unlike older generations who may have settled for an unhappy marriage, divorce is no longer socially taboo in China.

Couples can either register a divorce with the civil affairs authority, indicating they have agreed to go their separate ways, or they can sue for divorce through the courts, which can rule on custody of children and how to dispose of any assets.

In the first six months of this year, 1.85 million couples registered for divorce with the civil affairs authority alone, an increase of more than 10 per cent compared with the same period last year.

Three decades ago, in 1986, 460,000 couples registered their divorces with the civil affairs authority – the most common route taken. By 2016, that annual number had risen to 4.15 million.

The average age at which people in China get married is 26, according to a 2015 survey by the All-China Women’s Federation.

Many relationship experts and lawyers put the rising divorce rate down to higher expectations and growing financial independence, especially among women.

But buried in the sharply climbing statistics lies a darker truth: domestic violence and extramarital affairs together are the leading causes of divorce in China.

Read more here.

November 1, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Interim Disbursements in Canada

Family law cases can be complex.

Many provinces have legislation requiring a separating couple to value their assets and debts at the date of marriage and the date of separation or trial and “equalize” the difference. All provinces have laws in place which set out the way in which a spouse’s income must be calculated when determining child and spousal support.

While determining the value of some assets, such as publicly traded shares or cash investments, is relatively straightforward, many assets or debts are not nearly so easy to value.

Sophisticated legal assistance and expert valuation advice may be required. Chartered business valuators, accountants and actuaries are frequently called upon to assist the lawyer, the client and the court on issues which can range from valuing shares held by a spouse in a private company, to whether the value of a debt owed to a party should be discounted because it may not be collectable. If a spouse is not a T-4’d employee, determining income for support purposes can be similarly difficult.

But what happens when the parties are not in an equal financial position? As contingency fees are not available in family law, how can a spouse with few assets or little income retain the professionals required to allow the moneyed spouse’s experts to be “tested,” or even hire counsel to argue the matter in court?


Read more here.

November 1, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)