Family Law Prof Blog

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

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Why it’s important to disclose your true financial position in family law proceedings

From Lexology

The Full Court of the Family Court recently dismissed an appeal, finding that both parties in Long & Peng (2020) FLC 93-948 failed to disclose their true financial position in respect of certain funds that the wife submitted should be available for distribution between the parties.

The case demonstrates that if parties fail to disclose their true financial position and do not provide documentation to the court, certain assets will not be included in the asset pool and consequentially will not be available for distribution between the parties.

Read more here 

 

April 30, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Grandparents Receiving More Love

From Deseret News:

survey commissioned by Medicare Advantage, a health insurance company, recently found that 40% of grandparents said they had been communicating more frequently with their children and grandchildren during the pandemic. And 18% said they’d used FaceTime for the first time, and 13% started texting their children and grandchildren.

Because people over the age of 60 are at highest risk of dying from COVID-19, the pandemic has also resulted in neighborhoods being more solicitous of older residents, volunteering to buy groceries and other supplies for them, and even serenading them with concerts (at safe distances).

...

Naomi Cahn, a professor at the George Washington University Law School who specializes in elder and family law, said social distancing has made people more appreciative of simple gestures, such as the ability to hug a grandparent or to drop off a meal without worrying about passing along a deadly virus.

“Certainly in the short term, and I’m hoping in the long term, the importance of connection will stay with us. I think this has made people far more conscious of the importance of maintaining links, to family members generally, but certainly to older people and older neighbors,” Cahn said.

Read more here.

April 30, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 27, 2020

This 2-year-old boy was adopted over Zoom after coronavirus pandemic canceled court hearings

From CNN

Kimberly Wieneke says she knew she loved 2-year-old Jaden the minute he came into her family's life.Wieneke and her husband have been foster parents for over a year and Jaden has been with them since last May, according to CNN affiliate KNWA."In my heart, I already knew I wanted him," Wieneke, who lives in Fort Smith, Arkansas, said.

Read more here 

April 27, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Kentucky Democratic governor vetoes abortion bill

From CNN

Democratic Kentucky Gov. Andrew Beshear vetoed a bill on Friday that would have allowed the Republican attorney general to potentially restrict abortion access during the coronavirus outbreak as well as requiring doctors to try to preserve the life of any infant born alive following an attempted abortion.

Beshear said in a veto message that he had done so "because existing Kentucky law already fully protects children from being denied life-saving medical care and treatment when they are born," pointing to similar bills that "have been struck down as unconstitutional in the majority of states in America when challenged."

Read more here 

April 26, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Counseling 'Panicked and Desperate Clients': Practicing Family Law in a Pandemic

From New York Law Journal 

Two weeks after the New York state court system moved to an essential-functions-only mode, lawyers in all areas are still adjusting to the change and trying to determine how the ongoing coronavirus pandemic will affect their firms. In family law, most filings have stopped, though lawyers can still seek emergency applications for clients facing domestic violence or a short list of other issues.

Read more here 

April 25, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, April 24, 2020

How support has changed in the age of COVID-19

From Wisconsin Law Journal 

Although I’m normally not one to bemoan the “good old days” gone by, there are instances in which I do. And given the unprecedented and unusual circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak as it affects the legal system, one such instance comes to mind.

Back in the olden days, when a support payer (back then it was almost always men) lost his job, he could wait until he had a new one before seeking relief in court if his former spouse was unwilling to agree. At that time, the court could make a determination if the loss of employment had been involuntary and then adjust, not just future support, but forgive any or all arrears which had accrued in the interim.

Read more here

April 24, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 20, 2020

Poland debates abortion bill amid coronavirus lockdown

From CNN

The Polish parliament debated a controversial bill on Wednesday aimed at heavily limiting access to abortion.

The bill calls to strike fetal impairment from the slim list of legal reasons for abortion in the country. Polish law currently only allows abortion in cases of rape, danger to the mother's health or life, or severe damage to the fetus.
As the abortion bill was being introduced, Kaja Godek, a prominent anti-abortion figure in Poland and head of the Life and Family Foundation described it as a form of protection for disabled children. She had spearheaded a similar bill in 2018, but was met with nationwide protests.
Rights activists accused lawmakers of trying to take advantage of the coronavirus lockdown to try to the pass highly controversial legislation.
Read more here 
 

 

April 20, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Divorce Itch in NY

From the New York Post:

Cooped-up New Yorkers are flooding lawyer phone lines with divorce inquiries — with an avalanche of filings expected once the courts re-open.

“People are realizing that they can’t stand each other,” said Manhattan lawyer Suzanne Kimberly Bracker, who like many in her field has already seen a coronavirus divorce uptick.

“In the middle of the night I got a call from a client who now realizes she has nothing in common with her husband but the children — and how he knows nothing about the children,” Bracker said of a marketing executive she repps.

“And she’ll be damned if she spends the rest of her life with him.”

Already-balky spouses are cracking under the strain of quarantine, lawyers say — including one Manhattan hedge-funder who suddenly finds himself imprisoned in his Hamptons mansion with the wife, the kids, and a failing marriage.

“He’s called me up again and said, ‘Are we able to start the process yet?” matrimonial lawyer Paul Talbert says of the morose moneyman.

“He tells me, ‘The wife doesn’t understand now that I’m home 24/7, why can’t I carve out more time for the family,’” Talbert said.

“I’ve had to tell him we can’t file a divorce right now.”

...

“One of the main stresses that cause divorces — more than infidelity — is monetary stresses,’ said Manhattan divorce lawyer Steven J. Mandel.

“Along with people being confined in one place, people have lost 30 percent of their net worth, or people have lost their jobs,’ said Mandel.

“So that is putting people into a pressure cooker.”

Read more here.

April 20, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Men Forced to be Stay-At-Home Dads During Pandemic

From CNN:

Globally, more than 1.3 billion children are out of school because of the coronavirus pandemic. Parents are frazzled. Children are antsy. And the whole thing is proving a major shock to society.

Four economists have a hypothesis for how this shock could play out on a massive scale. In a new research paper, Matthias Doepke and Jane Olmstead-Rumsey of Northwestern University, Titan Alon of the University of California San Diego and Michèle Tertilt of the University of Mannheim predict two big outcomes for gender equality.
 
First, the bad news: Over the short run, they predict, working moms will shoulder a higher burden than dads when it comes to providing childcare in the pandemic.
 
But there's also good news: Millions of dads have suddenly been forced to stay home with their kids. This historic moment could forever shift dynamics in both firms and families, leading to greater gender equality down the road.
 
Read more here.

April 19, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Cahn Reviews Widiss

Naomi Cahn's review of Deborah Widiss’s The Hidden Gender of Gender-Neutral Paid Parental Leave: Examining Recently-Enacted Laws in the United States and Australia was recently published in Jotwell: The Journal of Things We Like (Lots).
 
You can read the review at https://jotwell.com. To learn more about Jotwell, The mission statement is here: https://jotwell.com/mission-statement/.

April 18, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, April 17, 2020

Forget Marriage & Divorce in NYC Amid Coronavirus

From Bloomberg:

New York courts stopped taking non-essential filings on March 23, and Lucian Chalfen, a court spokesman, said Friday that category definitely included divorce filings. Chalfen said a person could attempt to ask a judge to consider an emergency divorce filing but said that would likely be “a bit of a stretch.”

The city’s marriage bureau, which issues licenses, has been closed since March 20.

Read more here.

April 17, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Digital Dating

From MarketWatch:

As COVID-19 has spread across the globe, online daters are having longer conversations and adopting an option that has previously not been popular: video dates.

Match Group Inc. MTCH, +2.42% and rival Bumble are seeing a boost in the number of messages exchanged between daters on their platforms as well as a growing interest in built-in tools that allow users to hold video calls without exchanging contact information. Match Group owns a variety of dating properties including Tinder, Hinge and Match.com, while Bumble is known for its namesake service launched by a Tinder co-founder.

“Whether it’s for work or for fun, everything has become digital and distant,” said Nick Kallail, an alumni-network and marketing manager in Kansas who recently did a video date with a woman he met on Bumble during the coronavirus outbreak.

By connecting over video chat, Kallail was able to chat with his date, who lives nearby in Kansas City but has been hunkering down with her parents in Washington state due to the virus. Kallail experienced some first-date firsts, including when his date’s mother stopped in to chat during their conversation and when both parties agreed that it was fine to wear comfortable clothes for their digital meeting.

Read more here.

April 16, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Can I get divorced during the COVID-19 pandemic and more burning family law questions

From Financial Post 

While lock-down measures imposed in Canada are not as strict as those in China, there are still undoubtedly many couples feeling the strain of spending additional time together. Some may even be wondering if they can jump-start the divorce process before social distancing measures end.

Read more here 

April 15, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Can I get divorced during the COVID-19 pandemic and more burning family law questions

From Financial Post 

While lock-down measures imposed in Canada are not as strict as those in China, there are still undoubtedly many couples feeling the strain of spending additional time together. Some may even be wondering if they can jump-start the divorce process before social distancing measures end.

Read more here 

April 15, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

ER Doctor Temporarily Loses Child Custody

From CNN:

An emergency room doctor in Miami has temporarily lost custody of her 4-year-old daughter while she treats patients during the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr. Theresa Greene told CNN's "New Day" that she was appealing the emergency order that granted her ex-husband full custody of their daughter.
 
"I think it's not fair, it's cruel to ask me to choose between my child and the oath I took as a physician," Greene said. "I won't abandon my team at work or the patients who will increasingly look to me to save their lives in the coming weeks, but it's torture."
 
Read more here.

April 15, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Virginia passes law to extend discrimination protections to LGBT community

From The Christian Post 

Virginia has passed a law that extends anti-discrimination protections to include sexual orientation and gender identity, reportedly the first southern state to do so.
Governor Ralph Northam signed the Virginia Values Act, also known as Senate Bill 868, into law on Saturday after it was passed by a Democrat-controlled legislature.

In a statement released last Saturday, Northam said that the new law “sends a strong, clear message” that “Virginia is a place where all people are welcome to live, work, visit, and raise a family.”
“We are building an inclusive Commonwealth where there is opportunity for everyone, and everyone is treated fairly,” he said. “No longer will LGBTQ Virginians have to fear being fired, evicted, or denied service in public places because of who they are.”

Read more here 

April 14, 2020 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Arkansas Sued Over Abortion Restrictions

From CNN:

Arkansas abortion providers sued state officials on Monday for limiting abortion access during the coronavirus pandemic, joining a growing list of challenges to similar orders from various states.

Because the state limit on abortion "imposes a ban on abortion prior to viability -- and poses significant burdens on women seeking abortion in Arkansas with minimal or no medical or safety benefit -- the Ban violates... Plaintiffs' patients' right to privacy guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution," lawyers for the Little Rock Family Planning Services clinic, clinic doctor Thomas Tvedten and the American Civil Liberties Union, wrote in court documents Monday.
 
The challenge stems from an Arkansas Department of Health order dictating that procedures "that can be safely postponed shall be rescheduled to an appropriate future date" except for instances to prevent the death, permanent physical damage or disease advancement of a patient.
 
Read more here.
 

April 14, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 13, 2020

Virgina Governor Signs Abortion Protections into Law

From CNN

Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam signed bills on Friday rolling back multiple abortion restrictions in the state, including some that had been in place for decades.

The new laws make Virginia the first state to codify new abortion protections in 2020, according to Elizabeth Nash, the senior state issues manager at the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive health think tank.
The legislation removes longstanding regulations requiring abortion seekers to undergo an ultrasound at least 24 hours prior to receiving an abortion and to get counseling on alternatives to abortion. It also strikes the requirement that facilities providing more than five abortions per year be designated as hospitals.
Read more here

April 13, 2020 in Abortion | Permalink | Comments (0)

McClain: "Who's the Bigot: Learning from Conflicts over Marriage and Civil Rights Law"

Professor Linda C. McClain (BU) has recently published her book Who's the Bigot: Learning from Conflicts over Marriage and Civil Rights Law.  The book:

  • Shows similarities and differences in moral and constitutional controversies over interfaith, interracial, and same-sex marriage
  • Uses many historical sources (e.g., sermons, official statements by religious denominations, political speeches, legislative testimony, arguments in legal briefs) to illustrate different, but recurring, ways people have used the language of bigotry in defending or opposing racial desegregation (after Brown v. Board (1954) and then in supporting or opposing what became the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • Shows how both the theology of segregation and the theology of integration appealed to scripture, conscience, science, and American political and constitutional ideals
  • Examines the role that the scientific study of prejudice played in grounding civil rights laws, since one premise of that study was law ("stateways") could and should change "folkways" (patterns of prejudice and discrimination)

It is available at Oxford University Press here and Amazon here.

April 13, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Happy Easter

Happy Easter

April 12, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)