Monday, May 31, 2021

Cryptocurrency is Not Traditional Investment in Divorce Settlement

From CNBC:

Cryptocurrency has increasingly become a factor in divorce settlements as bitcoin, dogecoin and other types gain mainstream acceptance and values spike. 

More than 20 million Americans may own cryptocurrency. Splitting digital currency may be more complex than traditional investments, such as stocks, bonds, or mutual funds.

One of the tricky aspects of splitting up cryptocurrency is nailing down the value. Taxes are another aspect to consider during the divorce negotiations. After signing their divorce paperwork, couples may have a new challenge: transferring cryptocurrency from one spouse to another. 

Read more here.

May 31, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, May 30, 2021

U.S. Changes Policy That Denied Citizenship To The Children of Same-Sex Couples

From CBS News:

The U.S. State Department has revoked a policy that made it difficult for the children of same-sex parents to recognized as U.S. citizens at birth. The previous policy stated that the U.S. citizen parent had to be biologically related to the child in order for them to have U.S. citizenship at birth. So, if one person in a couple was not a U.S. citizen, and that person was the biological parent of their child, the child was also not a citizen.

The department insisted a married U.S. citizen must have a biological connection to their child to pass on birthright citizenship, according to Immigration Equality, an LGBTQ immigration rights organization. However, under the Immigration and Nationality Act, there is no requirement for a biological relationship for married parents, according to Immigration Equality. Every federal court that heard the issue decided the State Department's policy was inconsistent with the statute. 

So, as of Tuesday, the State Department's policy has changed. "Children born abroad to parents, at least one of whom is a U.S. citizen and who are married to each other at the time of the birth, will be U.S. citizens from birth if they have a genetic or gestational tie to at least one of their parents and meet the INA's other requirements," the department said.

In a statement to CBS News, the State Department said the "updated interpretation and application of the INA takes into account the realities of modern families and advances in assisted reproductive technology (ART) unforeseen when the Act was enacted in 1952."

Read more here.

May 30, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, May 29, 2021

The Governor Of Texas Has Signed A Law That Bans Abortion As Early As 6 Weeks

From NPR:

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday signed into law a bill that bans abortion the moment a fetal heartbeat has been detected, a move that makes Texas the largest state in the nation to outlaw abortion so early in a pregnancy.

The Texas law effectively prohibits any abortion after around six weeks of pregnancy — before many women are even aware they are pregnant.

The bill, which takes effect in September, makes no exception for pregnancies that are the result of rape or incest but does include a rare provision that allows individual citizens to sue anyone they believe may have been involved in helping a pregnant individual violate the ban. The provision cannot be used against pregnant people, but reproductive rights advocates warn it can be used to target abortion providers and abortion-rights activists.

The new law adds Texas to a growing list of states with conservative leaders that have passed increasingly restrictive abortion laws as part of an effort to challenge the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision and other U.S. Supreme Court precedent guaranteeing the right to an abortion.

Read more here.

May 29, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 28, 2021

Afghanistan: Unravelling of Women and Girls’ Rights Looms As Peace Talks Falter

From Amnesty International:

As international troops continue to leave the country ahead of a full withdrawal on 11 September, and with talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban at an impasse, the prospects for Afghanistan’s women and girls are at a critical juncture. A new date for a high-level round of peace talks in Istanbul, postponed since April, is yet to be confirmed.

Under Taliban rule from 1996-2001, Afghan women were subjected to severe restrictions including being banned from working outside the home and appearing in public without a close male relative. Women and girls were further denied access to education and had limited access to healthcare. These restrictions still invariably apply to women in areas currently controlled by the Taliban.

While much work remains to be done, women’s rights have improved significantly since 2001. There are now 3.3 million girls in education, and women more actively participate in the political, economic and social life of the country. Despite ongoing conflict, Afghan women have become lawyers, doctors, judges, teachers, engineers, athletes, activists, politicians, journalists, bureaucrats, business owners, police officers, and members of the military.

However, Afghan women still face major obstacles to the full realization of their rights. Violence against women is rife, the participation of women at all levels of government remains limited and, according to UNICEF, 2.2 million Afghan girls still do not attend school.

Read more here.

May 28, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Biden Administration Allocates $200 Million to Support Survivors of Domestic Violence

From CNN:

The Biden administration announced on Monday it is allocating $200 million from the American Rescue Plan to support services for survivors of domestic violence following a rise in cases during pandemic lockdowns.

The money, awarded by the US Department of Health and Human Services, will provide support through the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act program, which is the primary federal funding stream dedicated to supporting emergency shelter and other related assistance for victims of domestic violence and their children.
It will also provide 296 supplemental grant awards to fund domestic violence services in every state and territory, and will provide supplementary funding for tribes, state domestic violence coalitions, national resource centers, specialized services for abused parents, children grantees and national domestic violence hotlines.
Read more here

May 27, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

In China, 80,000 Children Were 'snatched' in 2019 By Parents Fighting For Custody, Report Says

From CNN:

Nearly 80,000 children in China are estimated to have been abducted and hidden in divorce cases in 2019, according to a report by Zhang Jing, deputy director of a Beijing law firm and professor at the China University of Political Science and Law. The abductions mostly involved sons under six years old.

Though the 80,000 estimate is based on 2019 divorce figures, legal experts say it reflects a consistent trend seen each year -- and the real figure may be much higher, since many cases might not be publicly available or settled out of court.
A new law aims to put an end to this practice: in October last year, the country's legislative body passed an amendment to the child protection law with dozens of new articles -- one of which declared it illegal for parents to "snatch and hide" their children to win custody battles.
The amendments, which go into effect on June 1, were praised by some as a crucial step in protecting children and mothers. But years of loose regulations and a hands-off approach by Chinese authorities have sowed doubts as to whether a new law will change anything, say experts on family law and parental abduction.
Read more here

May 26, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Status of Pregnancies Outside Marriage Still Unclear in UAE After Law Change

From Reuters:

Seven months after the UAE decriminalized premarital sex, the legal change is not always reflected in how pregnancies outside marriage are treated, according to government guidance, lawyers and hospital staff.

While women are no longer jailed for premarital sex, new births require the parents' marriage certificate, health insurers do not offer maternity cover to unmarried women and in private online chatrooms unmarried women remain wary of seeking medical help for pregnancy issues.

[I]n late September, Article 356 of the UAE Penal Code was amended to decriminalize "indecent assault with mutual consent", a phrase used for decades to penalize sex outside marriage, co-habitation, extra-marital relationships and same-sex relations.

The change is beginning to make its way through the courts.

Local media reported that appeal courts in Dubai and Sharjah this year acquitted people from verdicts made previously under Article 356 for consensual premarital sex.

Read more here.


May 25, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 24, 2021

Mississippi’s ‘Pink House’ Becomes Ground Zero in U.S. Abortion Battle

From Reuters:

The [Supreme Court] on Monday agreed to review Mississippi’s bid to ban most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, a Republican-backed measure enacted in direct challenge to the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion nationwide.

The court's new 6-3 conservative majority, which is not expected to rule on the case until next year, could decide to weaken or overturn that ruling, which established a woman's right to terminate a pregnancy before the fetus is viable, usually between 24 and 28 weeks.

The Jackson Women's Health Organization, known locally as the "Pink House" because of its bubble gum-colored paint, is named in the case.

Mississippi is one of six states with a single abortion clinic. It is also one of about 10 states with “trigger laws” that would effectively ban abortion outright without Roe v. Wade, according to the Guttmacher Institute, which supports abortion rights.

Three others border Mississippi - Arkansas, Louisiana and Tennessee - meaning an overturn of Roe could eliminate legal abortion access for millions of women in the U.S. South.

Read more here.


May 24, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Child Tax Credit: Families Will Start Receiving Monthly Advance Payments July 15

From USA Today:

The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service will begin sending monthly advance payments of $250 or $300 to low- and moderate-income families under the newly expanded Child Tax Credit starting July 15.

Monthly advance payments under the Child Tax Credit are the result of President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion coronavirus-relief package that Congress passed in March. The law extended the tax credit, boosted the amount that eligible families could receive and provided for half of the money to be made available in monthly installments through December.

Under the new law, families claiming the credit will receive up to $3,000 per qualifying children between ages 6-17 or $3,600 for each child younger than 6. Previously, the tax credit was up to $2,000 per qualifying child under age 17.

The credit will begin to phase out for individuals earning more than $75,000 a year, $112,500 for heads of household or $150,000 for those married and filing jointly.

Read more here

May 20, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Egyptian Bill Hurts Women's Status

From Financial Times:

Opponents complain the draft bill, which seeks to consolidate disparate pieces of family legislation passed over the years, retains provisions treating women as legal minors, whose authority over their children and in some cases, their own lives, remains under male control. They argue these clauses are disconnected from women’s daily problems, especially following divorce, making their lives Kafkaesque.

“The logic of family laws in Egypt has always been that women are under guardianship,” said Hoda Elsadda, chair of Women and Memory, the civil society group that started the social media movement. “Women have to refer to [the man] in many situations for their lives to function normally. This is the key issue that has not been addressed in the new law.” 

Read more here.

May 19, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Adoptions Gone Wrong

From BBC:

Claire and Ed adopted their sons 13 years ago. When the brothers found their biological family on social media aged 15 and 16, it took just three months for them to cut off all contact with their adoptive parents.

Claire and Ed say their children were sent "intrusive" messages from their birth family and withdrew from their parents. Both children no longer attend school and there have been reports the older boy is involved in drug dealing.

"For us, it's just been devastating to have our family broken," Ed tells BBC Radio 4's Today programme. "But the big tragedy and the big, human cost is theirs. Because they've just been manipulated."

Adoption UK says such complete breakdowns of relationships are rare - but unsupervised contact is becoming more common.

The charity's research suggests nearly a quarter of adopted children make direct contact with their birth family - often via social media - before they gain the right to access information about their origins at the age of 18.

Former High Court family law judge Sir Mark Hedley says there are no legal means of preventing young people from using social media to get in touch with their biological family, and banning their relatives from responding could be counter-productive.

Read more here.

May 18, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 17, 2021

Summer Feminist Series

Summer Feminist Legal Theory Series
The U.S. Feminist Judgments Project, together with the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University, the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, The Feminism and Legal Theory Project, The Vulnerability and the Human Condition Initiative, the Institute for Feminist Legal Studies at Osgoode, and the AALS Section on Women in Legal Education will host a Summer Feminist Legal Theory Series.

The series is coordinated by Bridget J. Crawford (Pace) and Kathy Stanchi (UNLV). It will meet online via Zoom on Wednesdays from 2:00pm-3:00 Eastern/11am-12:00pm Pacific, starting June 2, 2021 and running for six sessions.
Jun 2, 2021 02:00 PM
Jun 16, 2021 02:00 PM
Jun 30, 2021 02:00 PM
Jul 7, 2021 02:00 PM
Jul 21, 2021 02:00 PM
Aug 4, 2021 02:00 PM
Eastern Time
Register here.

May 17, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

AALS Call for Papers--Pedagogy Penal on Centering Race and Class In Family Law Teaching

CFP:  Centering Race and Class in Family Law Teaching  

The AALS Section on Family & Juvenile Law is pleased to announce a Call for Papers for its Pedagogy Penal on Centering Race and Class In Family Law Teaching. The Pedagogy Panel is co-sponsored by the Section on Teaching Methods. 

The Pedagogy Panel will be held during the AALS  Annual Meeting in early January 2022 in New York City. The goal of the session is to discuss and share various approaches to integrating issues of race and class into what we teach, how we teach, and how we assess in the family and juvenile law curriculum. Race and class are intertwined in many distinct areas of family law, and we welcome any paper that explores this intersection. Presentations that solely address race or class are also welcome, as the two subject matters may not be conflated. 

Participants are encouraged to demonstrate, model, and discuss their holistic inclusive approaches to the courses as well as to provide examples of how they handle discrete cases or topics.  Presenters will be expected to share relevant and replicable materials in advance of the Annual Meeting.  

If you are interested in participating, please send a 400-600 word description of what you'd like to discuss.  Submissions should be sent to  Professor Naomi Cahn, [email protected].   The due date for submissions is June 22, 2021, and  decisions will be made by the Pedagogy subcommittee, which also includes Jamie Abrams (Louisville), Jeffrey Dodge (Penn State Dickinson Law), Hannah Haksgaard (South Dakota) , and Jessica Dixon Weaver (SMU).  We will notify the selected presenters  by mid-July, 2021.

In addition, the Family Law Quarterly is dedicating its Spring 2022 volume to race and family law, and there is the possibility of publication with the journal. Jessica Dixon Weaver (SMU) will be editing the volume.  Please let us know if you are interested in that option on your submission.  Article length is expected to be approximately 11,000 words. 

May 17, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Family Law Bills

From NCSL:

Eighty-two child support and family law bills were enacted in 27 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico in 2020. These bills addressed a multitude of issues, including custody and visitation, economic stability, family violence, child support guidelines and orders, administrative requirements, marriage and other family law matters, parentage and health care coverage.

NCSL maintains a database of all introduced child support and family law legislation. A summary of laws enacted by states in 2020 follows.

Read more here.

May 17, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Pandemic Unemployment Hits Many Families

From CNN:

The pandemic devastated the once strong US labor market — that much we already knew from various economic data. On Wednesday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics added a bit more detail.

Nearly 10% of US families — 9.8% to be precise — included at least one unemployed family member last year. That was double the number from 2019, when 4.9% of families confronted unemployment.
In all, 8.1 million families — which the Labor Department defines as a group of two or more people who live together and are related by birth, marriage or adoption — experienced a job loss last year.
But the economic hardship from the pandemic isn't spread evenly across the population.
White families were the least likely to have an unemployed family member, at 9%, while Hispanic families were the most likely at 14.3%.
This was a big change from the prior year when Asian families were the least likely to have a jobless member and Black families were the most likely.

Read more here.

May 16, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Maldonado Reviews Cahn

Professor Maldonado reviews Professor Naomi Cahn's What’s Wrong About the Elective Share “Right”?, 53 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 2087 (2020):

I have long been perplexed by the inconsistency between the rights of divorcing spouses which are governed by family law rules and the rights of surviving spouses which are governed by trusts and estates law. While the rules governing the distribution of property at divorce and the elective share right both claim to reflect a partnership theory of marriage, Naomi Cahn’s article, What’s Wrong About the Elective Share “Right”?, demonstrates that the elective share does not further a partnership theory, at least not in cases involving subsequent marriages, and further fails to recognize and adequately balance the interests of multiple families.

Cahn analyzed all of the elective share cases from January 2014 though January 2019 available on Westlaw and Lexis. Although the number of cases was relatively small (71 cases), the results are illuminating. First, they suggest that the overwhelming majority of surviving spouses who seek an elective share are women. Seventy-eight percent (56/71) of the claimants in Cahn’s study were women. This is not surprising because, as Cahn explains, women tend to live longer than men and to marry men who are older than they, especially in subsequent marriages (marriages other than first marriages). I was, however, intrigued by Cahn’s findings that the typical elective share case pits a stepmother against her stepchildren, or, more precisely, against her former stepchildren. Eighty percent of the cases in Cahn’s study involve subsequent spouses who challenged a will that left most of the property to the decedent’s children from a prior relationship.

In addition to its empirical findings, the article reveals the problems with including non-marital property—which is not available for distribution at divorce in the majority of states—is the augmented estate used to calculate to the elective share. Cahn demonstrates that by including non-marital property in the augmented estate, trusts and estates law strays from the conception of marriage as a partnership. After all, if decedent acquired particular property before the marriage and the surviving spouse never had the opportunity to make any contributions to its acquisition or maintenance, then the property is not the result of marital efforts—it is not the result of a partnership. Thus, the rationale for the elective share would appear to depend on its original purpose—to provide support for needy wives—rather than the partnership rationale.

Cahn’s conclusions are nuanced. She acknowledges that in first marriages, especially those of long duration, the elective share likely reflects and furthers the notion of marriage as a partnership. She explains that in those marriages, especially if the couple raised children together, each spouse might have assumed a different role in the marriage which impacted their earnings during the marriage as well as their earning capacity. The surviving spouse in those cases, who is typically a woman and has fewer assets for retirement, is the traditional claimant that many, if not most, would agree should benefit from the elective share.

In contrast, Cahn demonstrates, these justifications for the elective share are less likely to be present in subsequent marriages, especially in later-in-life marriages where there are no young children that need caretaking, and where the spouses bring with them economic and human capital that they may have built in an earlier marriage with another partner. Although Cahn does not put it quite so bluntly, I quickly came to the conclusion that the subsequent spouse who is seeking an elective share may stand to benefit from the investments and sacrifices made by the decedent’s prior spouse(s) to the detriment of decedent’s children from a prior family. Thus, the elective share may result in a windfall to the subsequent spouse.

Read more here.

May 15, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

K-12 Remote Learning Uneven

From USC News:

While many K-12 students have adapted to online learning, a USC study finds that some families have had trouble accessing devices or reliable internet connections, especially Hispanics who primarily speak Spanish.

Access to devices, broadband connectivity and parental engagement are the strongest predictors of online learning success for K-12 students, with varied results along family income and demographic lines.

Those are the conclusions of the latest round of results from the 2021 Statewide Survey on Broadband Adoption by USC and the California Emerging Technology Fund.

The survey of 575 parents with K-12 age children showed the transition to online learning has been difficult for many, including Hispanic families whose primary language is Spanish.

Read more here.

May 15, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 14, 2021

Last Names in Divorce

From Bloomberg:

May 14, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Families Divided by Politics

From NPR:

Renee Ekwoge can't remember the last conversation she had with her father. They stopped talking regularly months ago, after she moved nearly 1,000 miles away for a new job last summer.

"The last time I saw my dad, he was painting my house," Ekwoge says. "He came and helped paint all weekend. It was nice when we lived closer and had ways to hang out that didn't include nonsense videos."

Those "nonsense videos" are about conspiracy theories. They've become a major focus for her father — on topics like COVID-19 and Sept. 11, 2001. He watches them on YouTube.

Ekwoge's dad is one of billions of people who visit YouTube every month. YouTube, with its massive reach, has a history of being unable to keep disinformation off of its site. That disinformation distorts reality, and it changes how some people see the world. Then it changes them — and their relationships.

That's what happened to Ekwoge and her father.

Read more here.

May 14, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Domestic Violence Ignored

From NBC News: "Parents Say Family Courts Too Often Ignore Allegations Of Violence In Custody Disputes."

See the video here.

May 13, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)