Family Law Prof Blog

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

Friday, August 31, 2018

California Mom Wins Fight for Family Court Reform

From abc10.com: 

For the past year, Ana Estevez has been increasing her advocacy work, meeting with members of Congress and California lawmakers, pushing for a resolution named after her son, who was murdered by his own father.
 
Ana Estevez stood up in tears watching from the balcony when Assemblywoman Blanca Rubio, D-Baldwin Park, pointed her out from the floor of the Assembly. Piqui’s resolution had just passed with 69 cosponsors.

August 31, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Royals Do Not Retain Custody of Own Children

From Elle: 

While it's none of our business if and when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle decide to have a baby, it's worth noting that if they do, they won't actually have full custody of their children.

According to reports, the Royal Family have a somewhat bizarre custody agreement with Queen Elizabeth II.

According to royal expert Marlene Koenig, Her Majesty has full legal custody over some of the minor royals.

'The sovereign has legal custody of the minor grandchildren,' Koenig said.

'This goes back to King George I [who ruled in the early 1700s], and the law’s never been changed.

'He did it because he had a very poor relationship with his son, the future King George II, so they had this law passed that meant the King was the guardian of his grandchildren.'

Read more here

 

August 30, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Ryznar: "Robot Love"

Margaret Ryznar (IU McKinney) has posted to SSRN Robot Love, Seton Hall Law Review (forthcoming 2019).  Here is the abstract:

Researchers have been developing a sophisticated humanoid robot that people in the future may want to marry. A human-robot marriage would pose all kinds of challenges for lawmakers—from the question of whether robots could be granted custody of children or access family bank accounts, to the basic question of free will. Any growing relationship between humans and robots, however, may pose challenges to the current understanding of family law. For skeptics of such a future, this remains an interesting thought experiment nonetheless.

August 29, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Philadelphia County Judge Facing Criticism After Granting Child Custody to Murdering Father

From Bucks County Courier Times: 

Judge Jeffrey Trauger is facing criticism for granting custody to Kayden Mancuso’s father, who killed her and himself during a court-ordered visit earlier this month.

The Bucks County judge facing unrelenting criticism for his handling of the custody battle involving a 7-year-old Lower Makefield girl murdered earlier this month during a court-ordered visit with her father hopes the public will soon get a chance to access court records that are normally kept confidential. 

“Normally, these proceedings are not released as they include very personal, confidential and sensitive information about the parents and children,” Judge Jeffrey Trauger wrote in an Aug. 22 letter to the Pennsylvania Judicial Conduct Board and Gov. Tom Wolf. “However, this case now demands a departure from that past practice as it now comes before your review.”

Read more here

August 29, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Most Cited Family Law Professors

Balkinization has released the most cited female professors in American Legal Scholarship, many of whom are family law professors.  The list is here:

 

Name

School

Citations

Age in 2018

1

Reva Siegel

Yale University

1340

62

2

Michelle Alexander

Union Theological Seminary

1030

50

3

Judith Resnik

Yale University

1000

68

4

Deborah Rhode

Stanford University

980

66

5

Martha Nussbaum

University of Chicago

930

71

6

Lee Epstein

Washington University, St. Louis

840

60

7

Martha Minow

Harvard University

820

63

8

Jody Freeman

Harvard University

800

54

9

Catharine MacKinnon

University of Michigan

780

71

10

Rachel Barkow

New York University

775

47

11

Kimberle Crenshaw

Columbia University

710

59

12

Pamela Karlan

Stanford University

670

59

13

Oona Hathaway

Yale University

660

45

14

Heather Gerken

Yale University

650

49

15-T

Pamela Samuelson

University of California-Berkeley

640

69

15-T

Rochelle Dreyfuss

New York University

640

71

15-T

Carol Rose

Yale University/Arizona

640

78

18

Jill Fisch

 

University of Pennsylvania

625

58

19

Julie Cohen

Georgetown University

620

54

20-T

Lisa Bressman

Vanderbilt University

615

52

20-T

Gillian Metzger

Columbia University

615

53

22-T

Roberta Romano

Yale University

580

66

22-T

Abbe Gluck

Yale University

580

43

22-T

Dorothy Roberts

University of Pennsylvania

580

62

25

Christine Jolls

Yale University

560

51

26-T

Danielle Keats Citron

University of Maryland

550

49

26-T

Rebecca Tushnet

Harvard University

550

45

28

Carol Steiker

Harvard University

530

60

29-T

Robin West

Georgetown University

520

64

29-T

Elizabeth Scott

Columbia University

520

73

29-T

Martha Fineman

Emory University

520

68

32

Naomi Cahn

George Washington University

500

60

August 29, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Ireland Repository Refuses Release of 70,000 Adoption Records

From BreakingNews.ie:

Tusla has refused repeated requests from the Adoption Authority of Ireland (AAI) for access to certain adoption records it holds.

Tusla is the largest repository of adoption records in the country, holding around 70,000 records from former adoption societies. A further 30,000 are held by the AAI, and some 50,000 are held by accredited agencies.

As the regulatory body for adoption in Ireland, the AAI has the power to inspect and copy all records held by bodies accredited under the Adoption Act 2010.

However, despite holding almost 50% of all adoption records in existence, Tusla is not an accredited body under the act and the AAI has no power over how it holds these records.

Read more here

August 28, 2018 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 27, 2018

Alabama Lifts Ban on D&E Abortion Method

From American Civil Liberties Union: 

This week, a federal appeals court struck down Alabama’s ban on a safe, medically proven abortion method. The decision shows just how high the stakes are ahead of next month’s Senate confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court. 

In recent years, anti-abortion politicians across the country have enacted hundreds of dangerous restrictions aimed at preventing women from obtaining abortions. Alabama has been at the forefront of this coordinated national campaign, with politicians there enacting a multitude of restrictions designed to make it impossible for a woman to get the medical care she needs.

Read more here.

 

August 27, 2018 in Abortion | Permalink | Comments (0)

Renting a Family

From the New Yorker:

Two years ago, Kazushige Nishida, a Tokyo salaryman in his sixties, started renting a part-time wife and daughter. His real wife had recently died. Six months before that, their daughter, who was twenty-two, had left home after an argument and never returned.

“I thought I was a strong person,” Nishida told me, when we met one night in February, at a restaurant near a train station in the suburbs. “But when you end up alone you feel very lonely.” Tall and slightly stooped, Nishida was wearing a suit and a gray tie. He had a deep voice and a gentle, self-deprecating demeanor.

Of course, he said, he still went to work every day, in the sales division of a manufacturing company, and he had friends with whom he could go out for drinks or play golf. But at night he was completely alone. He thought he would feel better over time. Instead, he felt worse. He tried going to hostess clubs. Talking to the ladies was fun, but at the end of the night you were alone again, feeling stupid for having spent so much money.

Then he remembered a television program he had seen, about a company called Family Romance, one of a number of agencies in Japan that rent out replacement relatives. One client, an elderly woman, had spoken enthusiastically about going shopping with her rental grandchild. “The grandchild was just a rental, but the woman was still really happy,” Nishida recalled.

Nishida contacted Family Romance and placed an order for a wife and a daughter to join him for dinner. On the order form, he noted his daughter’s age, and his wife’s physique: five feet tall and a little plump. The cost was forty thousand yen, about three hundred and seventy dollars. The first meeting took place at a café. The rental daughter was more fashionable than Nishida’s real daughter—he used the English word “sharp”—but the wife immediately impressed him as “an ordinary, generic middle-aged woman.” He added, “Unlike, for example, Ms. Matsumoto”—he nodded toward my interpreter, Chie Matsumoto—“who might look like a career woman.” Chie, a journalist, teacher, and activist, who has spiky salt-and-pepper hair and wears plastic-framed glasses, laughed as she translated this qualification.

Read more here.

August 27, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Parenting

From the New Yorker:

Jaxsen, is it? Fine. Whatever. Look here, PAL, I’ve got something to say. I, TOO, was a sixteen-year-old boy once. I’m not an idiot. I know how this works. I’m glad that you and Raina are having fun together. But listen up, buddy, and LISTEN GOOD—it’s 2018, and if you do ANYTHING to hurt my daughter, I swear to GOD, I will be concerned and disappointed but ultimately step back and let her navigate her own emotional GROWTH.

Here’s the goddam deal, JAXSEN—by all means, nervously come over to our house with weird flowers, pick Raina up, and show her a nice time. But KNOW THIS: at every moment, I AM WATCHING myself and actively resisting my ingrained urge to INFANTILIZE MY DAUGHTER and deny her a NORMAL AND HEALTHY EVOLUTION INTO MATURE ADULTHOOD. GOT IT? Good.

So, every time you two lovebirds go out for frozen yogurt and a movie, I want you to remember THIS: I will be sitting on the front porch with my “REVOLVER” CD playing, because I really LOVE that WONDERFUL ALBUM. And you bet your scrawny ass I’ll be READY AND WAITING to hear about WHICH FILM YOU GUYS SAW and WHETHER YOU LIKED IT.

See, CHAMP, if I ever—EVER—learn that you made my daughter cry, or caused her any kind of distress, I swear on my goddam LIFE that I will hunt you down a NICE CARD so that you can write her a proper apology, because we all mess up from time to time, especially as young people, and, FURTHERMORE, I need to accept that I don’t have the ABILITY to shield her from ALL PAIN, which is an inevitable part of LIFE, and, even if I DID, I would only be hindering her development of COPING STRATEGIES. YOU GOT THAT, CHIEF???

Read more here.

August 26, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Societal Expectations

From CBS Chicago:

Walking a dog alone is a right of passage for many kids, but the simple task got one north suburban family in a lot of trouble, even leading to an investigation by the Department of Children and Family Services.

...

The little girl at the center of the controversy just recently started walking her dog around the block in the upscale North Shore suburb.

But one of those walks caught the eye of a neighbor, who called police and set off a legal nightmare for the family.

“I think it’s a crazy waste of resources,” the girl’s mother, Corey Widen, said.

While police never pursued charges, DCFS launched an investigation after someone saw Widen’s daughter, Wendy, on her solo walk.

Read more here.

August 26, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Rising Costs for Moms

From the New York Times:

An economic mystery of the last few decades has been why more women aren’t working. A new paper offers one answer: Most plan to, but are increasingly caught off guard by the time and effort it takes to raise children.

The share of women in the United States labor force has leveled off since the 1990s, after steadily climbing for half a century. Today, the share of women age 25 to 54 who work is about the same as it was in 1995, even though in the intervening decades, women have been earning more college degrees than men, entering jobs previously closed to them and delaying marriage and childbirth.

The new analysis suggests something else also began happening during the 1990s: Motherhood became more demanding. Parents now spend more time and money on child care. They feel more pressure to breast-feed, to do enriching activities with their children and to provide close supervision.

A result is that women underestimate the costs of motherhood. The mismatch is biggest for those with college degrees, who invest in an education and expect to maintain a career, wrote the authors, Ilyana Kuziemko and Jenny Shen of Princeton, Jessica Pan of the National University of Singapore and Ebonya Washington of Yale.

Read more here.

August 26, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Preparing for a 100

From CNN:

What's the secret to living to 100? Some say it's ensuring plenty of exercise; others point to the benefits of a mild climate. There are even some who suggest that a healthy sex life has plenty do with it.

The number of people who live to 100 may be relatively small, but it's becoming more common -- particularly in countries like Japan, which has the highest proportion of centenarians in the world.
Data from Japan's Ministry of Health estimate that there were 67,824 Japanese people 100 or older as of 2017. In 1965, when the country began recording statistics on its senior citizens, there were just 153 centenarians.

Read more here.

August 26, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

New LGTB Retirement Home in Spain

From the Local ES:

A project to open an LGTB friendly retirement home has been given the green light by authorities in Madrid with plans to open it by the end of the year.

A building in the Villaverde district in the south of Madrid has been earmarked to house the retirement home, which will be funded by public money from Madrid's regional government.

The new centre will be home to 66 permanent residents  and will have a day centre for a further 30 people.

Federico Armenteros has been working for almost a decade to set up a specialized residence for elderly gay people through the December 26th Foundation - named after the date in 1979 when the law used during Gen Franco's dictatorship to imprison homosexuals - was repealed.

Read more here.

 

 

 

August 26, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Boso: Rural Resentment and LGBTQ Equality

Luke A. Boso (University of San Francisco) has posted to SSRN his article Rural Resentment and LGBTQ Equality, 70 Florida Law Review (forthcoming, 2019). Here is the abstract:

In 2015, the Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges settled a decades-long national debate over the legality of same-sex marriage. Since Obergefell, however, local and state legislatures in conservative and mostly rural states have proposed and passed hundreds of anti-LGBTQ bills. Obergefell may have ended the legal debate over marriage, but it did not resolve the cultural divide. Many rural Americans feel that they are under attack. Judicial opinions and legislation protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination are serious threats to rural dwellers because they conflict with several core tenets of rural identity: community solidarity, individual self-reliance, and compliance with religiously informed gender and sexual norms. This conflict is amplified by the relative invisibility of gay and transgender people who live in rural areas, and the predominately urban media representations of gay and transgender people. In several respects, the conflict is merely perceived and not real. It is at these junctures of perceived conflict that we can draw important lessons for bridging the cultural divide, thereby protecting LGBTQ people across geographic spaces. 

This Article examines the sources and modern manifestations of rural LGBTQ resentment to provide foundational insights for the ongoing fight to protect all vulnerable minorities. Pro-LGBTQ legislation and judicial opinions symbolize a changing America in which rural inhabitants see their identities disappearing, devalued, and disrespected. The left, popularly represented in rural America as urban elites, characterizes anti-LGBTQ views as bigoted, and many people in small towns feel victimized by this criticism. Drawing on a robust body of social science research, this Article suggests that these feelings of victimization lead to resentment when outside forces like federal judges and state and big-city legislators tell rural Americans how to act, think and feel. Rural Americans resent “undeserving” minorities who have earned rights and recognition in contrast to the identities of and at the perceived expense of white, straight, working-class prestige. They resent that liberal, largely urban outsiders are telling them that they must change who they are to accommodate people whom they perceive as unlike them. Opposing LGBTQ rights is thus one mechanism to protect and assert rural identity. It is important to unearth and pay attention to rural anti-LGBTQ resentment in the post-Obergefell era because it is part of a larger force animating conservative politics across the United States.

August 26, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Mandatory Paternity Leave for Hongkongers A Mistake

From South China Morning Post:

A pro-establishment lawmaker representing catering sector employers continued to oppose a Hong Kong government proposal to increase statutory paternity leave from three days to five, claiming the benefit itself should not even exist, as demands for more would be “never-ending”.

Tommy Cheung Yu-yan, an executive councillor and chairman of the business-friendly Liberal Party, said on Thursday that the granting of paternity leave should be left to the employer’s discretion rather than being a statutory right, as the city had a “severe shortage of workers”.

“Every year, it’s like this. When the government proposes to add two days, labour unions and lawmakers demand more meat on the bone,” he said on a radio programme. “Some will want seven days, others will call for 10.”

Read more here.

August 26, 2018 in International, Paternity | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Indiana Judge to Hear Appeal for Proposed Abortion Clinic

From U.S. News:

A federal judge will hold a two-day hearing this week on a Texas-based group's appeal of Indiana officials' rejection of its application to open an abortion clinic in South Bend.

The South Bend Tribune reports that Indianapolis judge Clare Deitchman will determine Wednesday and Thursday whether to grant Whole Woman's Health Alliance's appeal after the state Department of Health denied the group's application for an abortion clinic license in January.

The nonprofit is challenging the Health Department's conclusion that it failed to meet requirements of having "reputable and responsible character" and didn't disclose necessary information on its application.

If the appeal is granted, the group would open the clinic to offer medication-induced abortions to women up to 10 weeks pregnant. Nonprofit founder Amy Hagstrom Miller was not available for comment.

Read more here.

August 25, 2018 in Abortion, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, August 24, 2018

Australia Revokes Ban on Adoption of Children from India

From Sputnik International:

India's Ministry of Women and Child Development confirmed on Tuesday that Australia has revoked a ban it imposed eight years ago on the adoption of children from India over trafficking concerns.

Earlier on Monday, Australia's Assistant Minister for Children and Families David Gillespie said that India had "improved its processes" to comply with The Hague Convention on Adoption and could rejoin the 13 countries still on Australia's approved adoption list. 

Indian law mandates that adoption shall be finalized by a court order within a period of two months from the date of filing of the application. To address a delay in the adoption process, the Ministry of Women and Child Development has proposed empowering local level administration (District Magistrates), instead of "Courts" for issuing orders under adoption proceedings.

Read more here.

August 24, 2018 in Adoption, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Colorado Family Struggled With Debt Before Murders

From CNN:

Chris and Shanann Watts detailed their life on social media. They shared photos of beach vacations to San Diego and screengrabs of lovey-dovey text messages. They gushed about their daughters and posted photos of the little girls' gap-toothed grins and funny dances.

"Happy Husband Appreciation Day! I couldn't imagine a better man for us," Shanann Watts wrote next to their photo in April.

"You spoil us with love an(d) attention! You put up with 3 impatient, demanding women in the house," she continued. "You work so hard everyday to provide for us. I love you so much."

Four months after Shanann Watts posted that photo, her husband sits in a jail in Colorado, suspected of killing her, along with their daughters, Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3.

Read more here.

August 23, 2018 in Bankruptcy, Current Affairs, Domestic Violence | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Family Phone Addictions

From the Associated Press:

NEW YORK (AP) — Parents lament their teenagers’ noses constantly in their phones, but they might want to take stock of their own screen time habits.

A study out Wednesday from the Pew Research Center found that two-thirds of parents are concerned about the amount of time their teenage children spend in front of screens, while more than a third expressed concern about their own screen time.

Read more here.

August 22, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Rise in Deathbed Weddings Prompts Call to Protect Cohabiting Couples

From The Guardian:

The government is being urged to provide legal protection to millions of cohabiting couples as evidence emerges of an increase in the number of civil partnerships and deathbed weddings.

In a letter to the Guardian on the third Saturday in August – the busiest day for marriages this year – a coalition of legal organisations and family charities has called on ministers to update legislation and tackle the myth of common-law marriage rights in England and Wales.

“Today is the busiest day of the year for weddings, yet marriage numbers are declining,” the letter says. “Currently one in eight adults in England and Wales are cohabiting, a trend steadily increasing since 2002.”

Couples mistakenly believe they have the same legal and financial rights and protections as married couples, say the organisations, which include the Bar Council, the Law Society, Resolution, Relate, Rights of Women, OnlyMums and OnlyDads.

Read more here.

August 22, 2018 in Cohabitation (live-ins), International | Permalink | Comments (0)