Family Law Prof Blog

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

Monday, November 30, 2020

Marriage Over Politics

From South China Morning Post:

Crown Prince Fumihito, the younger brother of Emperor Naruhito, has said he “approves” of his daughter Princess Mako marrying her university boyfriend Kei Komuro, but reiterated that Komuro’s mother must solve a money dispute she is involved in first.
“I mean, I approve of them getting married. The Constitution says marriage shall be based only on the mutual consent of both sexes. If that is what they really want, then I think that is something I need to respect as a parent,” the crown prince told a press conference in Tokyo held ahead of his 55th birthday on Monday.
In a statement issued earlier this month, Princess Mako, 29, expressed strong resolve to go ahead with her marriage, which was originally scheduled in 2018 but pushed back following reports of a dispute between Komuro’s mother and her former fiancé over money, including educational expenses for her son that the man shouldered.
Read more here.

November 30, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Happy thanksgiving turkey clipart

November 26, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, November 22, 2020

West Chester, PA: Register Of Wills Office Extend Hours For Marriage License Applications

From MyChesCo:

Due to the high demand, Chester County Register of Wills and Clerk of the Orphans’ Court Michele Vaughn has announced the extension of hours for marriage license applications, as well as improvements in technology to accommodate virtual appointments and self-service scheduling.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the region in March and closed Chester County government and courts offices to all but essential employees, staff in the Register of Wills/Clerk of the Orphans’ Court established virtual services for issuing both marriage licenses and probating wills. 

From Wednesday, November 18th, office hours will be extended based on type of services provided. Office provides many services other than handling marriage licenses, including probationary process for both will and intestacy, filing and payment of inheritance taxes, adoption, etc.

Read more here.

November 22, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Pakistani Archdiocese Created Awareness on Forced Conversion and Child Marriage

From Vatican News:

Caritas Karachi and the Catholic Women’s Organization (CWO) jointly organized the seminar in Kausar Naizi Colony, a Christian neighborhood of St. Jude’s Parish. The event assumed an added urgency following the recent case of Arzoo Raja, the 13-year old Christian girl who was abducted on Oct. 13 while playing outside her home in Karachi's Railway Colony. She was forcibly converted and married to Ali Azar, a 44-year-old Muslim man. Her family is still fighting a legal battle for her custody. 

Tabassum Yousaf, a high court lawyer and counsel for Arzoo, shed light on the legal rights of minority girls as guaranteed by the constitution of Pakistan. 

The Sindh High Court on Oct. 27 upheld the marriage of Arzoo, based on a fake affidavit produced by her purported husband, Ali Azar, claiming the girl was 18 and had converted on her own. Fortunately, the ruling was reversed and the girl was rescued after this protest.

Read more here.


November 21, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, November 20, 2020

England and Wales: Financial Disclosure, Tax Issues, Wealth & Marriage in Divorce

From Bloomberg Tax:

In addition to the emotional upheaval, divorce brings a level of financial scrutiny that most high net worth individuals (HNWIs) and ultra high net worth individuals (UHNWIs) spend their lives trying to avoid. Providing full and frank disclosure is a strict requirement of the family courts in England and Wales once financial remedy proceedings are issued. 

The duty to provide full and frank disclosure is a strict obligation. Failure to comply frequently results in parties being criticized by the court (and can lead the court to draw adverse inferences against parties who fail to comply with their disclosure obligations).

Due to the complexity of their affairs, HNWIs/UHNWIs have become a particularly lucrative target in tax investigations.

Read more here.

November 20, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Joint Custody: Important Decision On Child's Education Decision

From Law Times News:

In a case involving the issue of in-person versus online education, the court held the father liable for contempt for registering the child for in-person classes in violation of an earlier court order. 

In Kaszap v. Volk, 2020 ONSC 6129, the parties lived together from 2009 to 2014 and had one nine-year-old daughter. Upon separation, the child alternated between parents on a weekly basis. The 2017 order gave them joint custody, equal parenting time, and both parties had to agree to a decision concerning the child’s education, and if they disagreed, they would go through mediation before initiating litigation.

Mother alleged father should be held in contempt when he breached the order by his act of unilaterally registering the child for in-person education in violation of the 2017 court order.

The court, after considering factors, ruled that it is the best interest of child to attend  in person and to be permitted to take the bus for transportation between her father’s house and the school. However, father is still liable for not making this decision, according to the issued order, with mother's approval, and being ordered to pay the mother’s costs associated with the motion for contempt.

Read more here.


November 19, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Holiday Season & Lockdown: Scottish Family Law Disputes

From The Scotsman:

Child arrangements for separated parents are expected to continue increasing in Holidays, especially Christmas. 

Lawyers said “There are times when one parent is simply using the Covid rules as a reason to contest the contact regime that they are otherwise unhappy about. The Scottish Government has said that the exemptions are there to allow children to move between both parents, but it is difficult for them to issue more specific guidance – they try to rely on a sensible approach, but it’s sometimes not possible.”

Hard to negotiate with ex-spouses is another issue many separated parents are facing since pandemic.

Read more here.

November 18, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

A Decade Long Crises: Australia's Family Law System

From The Guardian:

In New South Wales, a young girl who pulled apart a live lizard in childcare says she has been sexually abused by her father and grandfather; in Queensland, an overworked judge takes seven years to hand down a decision; Aboriginal children removed by authorities from the victims of family violence in Western Australia are having reunification delayed because a family court dealing with a backlog of cases will not sit in the region for months.

A federal government is again proposing reforms relating to family law amid an enormous backlog of cases. In 2018, the Morrison government announced plans to scrap the family court and merge it with the federal circuit court, which was established under Williams in 2000 as the federal magistrates court.

Labor is against the changes, believing they are part of an ideological war by the government to dismantle a court system it never supported. Judges are under the pressure of high volume of cases. Covid-19 has added further complexity. The courts, and those who work in them, agree that generally they have dealt fairly well with pushing cases through.

Read more here.


November 17, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 16, 2020

Child Born Out Of Rape: Rapist's Parental Rights

From Courier Times:

M.E. became pregnant after rape and sexual abuse, when she was 23, she got the courage to report her decades of sexual abuse story to the police. It took authorities two years to convict the man in two states. It took twice as long for M.E. to terminate her rapist's parental rights in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, the courts required women who conceive a child by rape or incest to have a replacement adoptive parent lined up first. M.E.'s four-year legal battle, which ended only after a state appeals court ruled in her favor, inspired unanimous approval in the state Legislature to close an "archaic" loophole in Pennsylvania's Adoption Act. 

Rape-related pregnancies — like the crime itself — are an underreported outcome of sexual violence, women’s rights and criminal justice experts said.  

Read more here.

November 16, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Polish Abortion Ban Seen Triggering Wider Retreat On Women's Rights

From Reuters:

Poland’s decision to ban most abortions in the face of mass protest is emboldening like-minded neighbours, campaigners say, predicting a retreat on women’s rights across eastern Europe.

“Behind these latest moves, lies a profound contempt for the rights of women… that does not limit to Poland. Other countries, including neighbouring countries, follow a similar agenda,” said Monica Costa, a senior campaigner at Amnesty International.

In October, 33 nations signed an international accord that critics say aims to restrict abortion access worldwide.

The Geneva Consensus Declaration was co-sponsored by the United States, Brazil, Uganda, Egypt, Hungary and Indonesia. In Europe, the other two signatories were Poland and Belarus.

Signatories say that there is no right to abortion, nor any international obligation for states to organise or pay for it.

Read more here.

November 15, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Stuck-At-Home Moms: The Pandemic's Devastating Toll On Women

From NPR:

In September, an eye-popping 865,000 women left the U.S. workforce — four times more than men.

The coronavirus pandemic is wreaking havoc on households, and women are bearing the brunt of it. Not only have they lost the most jobs from the beginning of the pandemic, but they are exhausted from the demands of child care and housework — and many are now seeing no path ahead but to quit working.

The pandemic's female exodus has decidedly turned back the clock by at least a generation, with the share of women in the workforce down to levels not seen since 1988.

Read more here.

November 14, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, November 13, 2020

Latin America's Children Face Major Education Setbacks From COVID-19: UNICEF

From Reuters:

Latin American children have lost four times more days of education from the coronavirus pandemic than students in the rest of the world, a UNICEF report on Monday showed, with over 137 million young people in the region still not back at school.

Latin America has been hard hit by COVID-19, with more than 11.6 million cases and over 400,000 deaths, according to a Reuters tally. The United Nations children’s agency found that the region’s children had been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

Read more here.

November 13, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Child Marriages Are Up In The Pandemic. Here's How India Tries To Stop Them

From NPR:

Desperate parents, left without a livelihood in the middle of a pandemic, are rushing to marry off their underage daughters. (In India, it is illegal for a girl under age 18 to wed. The legal age for men to marry is 21.)

Data provided to NPR by the government in the western Indian state of Maharashtra, . . . , shows that officials have stopped 208 child marriages in the 5 months from April through August. By comparison, authorities halted 116 child marriages in the 12 months between April 2019 and March 2020.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) says coronavirus restrictions may delay interventions against child marriage and cause a long-lasting economic downturn that will push more families into poverty, which is a key driver of child marriage.

Read more here.

November 12, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Nevada Becomes First State To Recognize Gay Marriage In State Constitution

From NBC News:

A question on the Nevada ballot asked voters whether they support an amendment recognizing marriage “as between couples regardless of gender.”

The “Marriage Regardless of Gender Amendment” also asked if religious organizations and clergy retained the right “to refuse to solemnize a marriage.”

The results were 62 percent in favor and 38 percent against, according to the Nevada secretary of state, with more than three-fourths of the votes counted.

Read more here.

November 11, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Supreme Court Examines When Juveniles May Be Sentenced To Life Without Parole

From NPR:

The U.S. Supreme Court seemed closely divided Tuesday as it heard oral argument in a Mississippi case that tests the constitutional limits of sentencing juveniles convicted of murder to life in prison without parole.

At issue in Monday's case was whether states may sentence a juvenile convicted of murder to life without parole, without finding that he is so incorrigible that there is no hope for his rehabilitation.

Read more here.

November 10, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 9, 2020

About Children: A Look At Adoption Since Its Adoption Month

From The Daily Record:

November is Adoption Month in the United States. There are five basic ways children become eligible for adoption.

First, there are step-parent adoptions, which are the majority. 

Second, there are children being adopted by a family member, often a grandparent.

Third, there are children being adopted privately by a person chosen by their biological parents.

Fourth, there are children whose biological parents surrender their parental rights so their child may be eligible for adoption.

Fifth, there are children who have not been appropriately parented by their biological parents and the parental rights of the parents have been terminated by court order.

Read more here.

November 9, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Religion And Co-Parenting Arrangements, Is Religious Or Secular School For The Best Interest Of Child?

From LawTimesNews:

The Ontario Superior Court recently decided in Ben-Shlomo v. Zaretsky, 2020 ONSC 5027, that a child should go to a religious school instead of to a secular school, which would require the child to attend a supplementary religious education program during weekends.

While both parents were raising their child in the Jewish faith, applicant father wanted their three-year-old child to attend a secular school, and the respondent mother wanted a private Jewish school. Father's argument focuses on the stability of returning a secular school that the child had previously attended/ Mother alleged a potential of additional cost and child's  limited time with family.

Considering the best interest of the child, court decided that father's stability argument failed because due to COVID, kid has already been travel between parents' residences which he would experience change regardless which school he attended. It is better for child not to have lesser time with his family and friends.

Read more here.

November 8, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, November 7, 2020

South Africa & International Treaty: How To Share Kids After Marital Breakdown?

From News24:

Relocation disputes have been increased due to the outflux of South Africans wishing to emigrate for a range of reasons. When spouses separate, they reconstruct their lives and relocation disputes have been frequently served before the courts.

The Children's Act 38 of 2008 governs matters regarding children in South Africa. Similar to the standard applicable in the courts, Act focuses on child's best interest and aiming for care, protection, and well-being of a child. Section 18 requires that if one parent wants to emigrate from South Africa to another country, a consent of both parents is needed.

Hague Convention is an international treaty discouraging the abduction of child from the country in which he/she normally resides, by a parent, to another country without the consent of the other parent.

Read more here.


November 7, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, November 6, 2020

Financial Impact: Credit Card Debt In Divorce

From Forbes:

The divorce laws of each state will determine who is responsible for joint credit card debt. Courts follow two rules of law, common law and community property law, to determine how debt is divided.

No matter what law the state follows, a judge might still order an individual to pay a portion of the debt that isn’t theirs. If that’s the case, the individual whose debt the name is under will technically still be liable for the debt in the eyes of the creditors.

Individuals who are worried about their finances taking a hard hit during an impending divorce can make moves to protect themselves.

    Read more here.

November 6, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, November 5, 2020

When Married Couples Are Facing Potential Family Law Disputes, Should They Decide To Mediate or Litigate?

From JD Supra:

Mediation, including online mediation, is seemingly all the buzz right now. It has become an integral part of the judicial systems in California, Florida, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York. However, to "mediate" or "litigate" is a decision from considering several factors and highly sensitive to the circumstances of domestic relationship during marriage.

Mediation can end in several ways: abruptly, after only a couple of sessions; after multiple attempts/sessions; or successfully at the conclusion of your dispute.

Choosing not to mediate does not automatically mean off to court. Attorney-negotiated settlements are certainly an alternative. 

Read more here.

November 5, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)