Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Marriage Bonus

From CNN:

It pays to be married. According to new data from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and reported in the Wall Street Journal, the financial gap between married couples and single people aged 25-34 has widened into a chasm, with married couples worth nearly nine times as much as singles. That's a big jump from 2010, when marrieds were still worth four times as much as singles.

Some of this is just math: Households with two adults in them have more resources. They will be able to split the cost of rent and groceries and more easily qualify for a mortgage or save for a down payment on a house.
But some of it is also about the privileges the US continues to bestow on married couples, and the ways in which our workplaces, norms and expectations have not significantly shifted since the era of the patriarchal nuclear family, with a dad out earning the bread and a mom at home raising children -- even as our families and our lives have radically changed. America in 2022 is not the America of 1952, and if we want to narrow the gap between singles and marrieds -- if we want to make sure all people can thrive, whether they've tied the knot or not -- we need our government and our workplaces to leap into the 21st century and create policies and spaces that support a diversity of individuals and families.
Read more here.

August 31, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Twin Families

Identical twins that married identical twins start their families.  Listen to the NPR story here.

August 30, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 29, 2022

Marriage Penalty for Older Couples

From MarketWatch:

A devastating new critique in the Washington University Law Review has spelled out how federal law punishes older couples for being married. 

It’s not just that if you meet and fall in love during your golden years you may be much better off staying unwed than tying the knot; it’s that under current federal law if you and your long-term spouse make it into your 60s you might well be able to help your struggling finances by divorcing.

These are the implications of “Preferencing Nonmarriage In Later Years,” by law professor Richard Kaplan, the Guy Raymond Jones Chair in Law at the University of Illinois.

He highlights two key areas of elder finance where a couple is often better off unmarried than married: Social Security and nursing-home care. As these are two of the most important financial issues facing all elders, the argument about elder marriage — or elder divorce — may be more than academic.

On Social Security, Uncle Sam started taxing benefits in 1983. As Kaplan points out, the taxation system is so “bizarre” (his word) that taxes are higher on a married couple than on an unmarried couple with the exact same finances. That’s because Social Security taxes kick in at two thresholds, and in both cases, Kaplan says, “the applicable threshold for a married couple is less than twice the threshold for an unmarried person.” 

Read more here.

August 29, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Millennial Marriage

From 93.1 FM WIBC:

The millennial generation is now America’s largest, numbering 72.1 million according to 2019 Census Bureau data. Between the ages of  26 to 41,  millennials’ tendencies have changed from those of earlier generations. states only 44% of millennials are married and millennials have continued a trend of delaying marriage. The median age of a first marriage currently sits at 30.4 for men and 28.6 for women. Millennials are also more likely than previous generations to live with a partner or have children outside of marriage.

The most educated millennials are the most likely to be married: 51.5% of millennials with a bachelor’s degree or higher and 46.9% with an associate’s degree are married, while those who haven’t completed a college degree are married less than 40% of the time.

With a host of factors correlating to millennials’ marital status, marriage rates for the generation vary by geography. Researchers ranked metros by the share of millennials who are married.

Read more here.

August 28, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Marriage Equality for Disabled People

From the New York Times:

Because she qualifies for Social Security benefits through a program for adults whose medical disability started before age 22, she is considered a “disabled adult child.” The designation, known as D.A.C., applies to 1.1 million Americans, according to the Social Security Administration website.

Those who qualify generally cannot continue to receive benefits if they marry someone who is not disabled or retired. (For a brief window after same-sex marriage became federal law in 2015, marrying a person of the same gender was also a workaround to avoid losing benefits; it took a while for the Social Security Administration to change the wording of its policies from “husband and wife” to “spouse.”)

The marriage provisions, Ms. Long maintained, are lodged in outdated ideas that have marginalized the disabled. “When they wrote the Social Security laws, they weren’t thinking that young people with disabilities would ever be marriage material,” she said. “People didn’t think we might have dreams and hopes like everybody else. We do.”

Read more here.

August 27, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, August 26, 2022

24 States Support ICWA

From Iowa Capital Dispatch:

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller called for the U.S. Supreme Court to reject a challenge to the Indian Child Welfare Act, which protects Native American children from forced removal from their families and tribal communities.

Miller joined 23 other state attorneys general Monday in filing an amicus brief in Harland v. Brackeen. The lawsuit was brought in 2017 by a white Texas couple who attempted adopting a Navajo boy. The Navajo Nation objected to the request on the basis of the Indian Child Welfare Act, ICWA, as a Native family member of the child also wanted to adopt the child.

The ICWA requires preference is given to Native family and tribal members in adoption cases for native children. Lawyers for the Texas family argued that requirement meant the federal law violates the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution, by discriminating on the basis of race.

But the defense lawyers, alongside Native American rights activists and the ACLU, say the law’s protections are not on the basis of race. A person’s legal tribal affiliation is political, not racial, they argued. The attorneys general’s amicus brief backs up this argument, and asks the Supreme Court to preserve the ICWA.

Read more here.

August 26, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Hillary Clinton Gutsy to Stay in Marriage

From Yahoo!:

In her new Apple TV + series, Gutsy, which features conversations with powerful women across the U.S. alongside daughter Chelsea, Hillary discusses her “gutsiest” moment with Rev. Whittney Ijanaten. The eye-opening dialogue that was teased in the trailer may resonate with some people who have been in a similar position in their relationships. “You have a marriage that has been on public display since the beginning. You said the gutsiest thing you ever did was stay in your marriage,” Ijanaten inquires. The former Secretary of State nods her hand in agreement while adding in, “That doesn’t mean that’s right for everybody.” 

Read more here.


August 26, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

LA Provides Court Reporters Only In Felony and Juvenile Matters


Citing a staff shortage, Los Angeles County Superior Court leaders said Thursday they will shift all available court reporters to felony and juvenile matters, even after the Legislature allocated $30 million statewide last year to add reporters to family law and civil cases.

In an email to court staff Wednesday evening, Presiding Judge Eric Taylor said the court no longer has enough reporters available to staff proceedings where they are not legally mandated.

“Court leadership is acutely aware of the significant role of court reporters in the justice system and acknowledges that eliminating this service in non-mandated case types will be difficult and expensive for attorneys, clients, self-represented litigants, judicial officers, court reporters, and other staff,” Taylor wrote. “I assure you that we have done everything within [our] control to avert this change and, frankly, delay the inevitable.”

A “fact sheet” produced by the Los Angeles court said the problem is not a lack of money to hire court reporters but retirements, departures by reporters moving to the private sector, and the lack of new reporters entering the profession. The court said it offers a $2,000 signing bonus for reporters who complete their first year, and “ aggressively” recruit on job sites and directly to newly licensed reporters.

But the association representing Los Angeles reporters said court officials could have done more to hire more reporters.

Read more here.

August 26, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Definition of Marriage in Singapore

From PBS:

Singapore announced Sunday it will decriminalize sex between men by repealing a colonial-era law while protecting the city-state’s traditional norms and its definition of marriage.

During his speech at the annual National Day Rally, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said he believed it is the “right thing to do now” as most Singaporeans will now accept it.

“Private sexual behavior between consenting adults does not raise any law and order issue. There is no justification to prosecute people for it nor to make it a crime,” Lee said. “This will bring the law into line with current social mores and I hope provide some relief to gay Singaporeans.”

Lee vowed the repeal will be limited and not shake Singapore’s traditional family and societal norms including how marriage is defined, what children are taught in schools, what is shown on television and general public conduct.

Read more here.

August 25, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 22, 2022

Joint Digital Accounts Like Phone Plans and Amazon

From The Washington Post:

In some ways, creating joint accounts feels vulnerable, like erasing your own digital footprint, said Megan Fritts Cabrera, an assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. So much could go wrong: death, divorce, weird joint social media accounts. It’s a classic “prisoner’s dilemma,” she said.

That may be especially true of accounts that come with contracts, like cell plans. Some accounts, like streaming services, don’t come with scary multiyear contracts. But combining them comes with risks nonetheless.

As in all marital conflicts, opinions on cell plans and streaming accounts say something deeper, a marriage therapist said. If one partner insists on having an accessible list of family passwords, that might speak to their need for security. If the other wants separate Amazon accounts, that might be because they value privacy. When conflict arises, brainstorm how you can meet each other’s foundational needs and support each other’s visions of a happy relationship, he advised.

Read more here.

August 22, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Virginia Hospitals Help to Increase Paternity Establishment

From Sun Gazette:

Just over three-quarters of unmarried mothers who gave birth in Virginia hospitals in 2021 had the paternity of their children established, an increase from 2020 and a positive step, state officials said. 

The Virginia Paternity Establishment Program, or VPEP, offers unmarried parents the opportunity to establish paternity for newborn children. In 2021, more than 33,000 births in Virginia were to unmarried parents, and the commonwealth’s paternity-establishment rate climbed to 76 percent compared to 73.6 percent a year before.

Each year, VDSS, VPEP and Veritas HHS recognize the top 10 Virginia hospitals with the highest rates of paternity establishment. The hospital achieving the highest rate in 2021 was Bon Secours Memorial Regional Medical Center (MCRC) in Richmond, which tallied a rate of 88.31 percent.

Read more here.

August 21, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Critical Tax Issue During Divorce

From JDSupra:

Divorce will change your income tax filing status. Filing status is used in determining whether a taxpayer must file a return and the amount of the standard deduction. Filing status is also used in calculating a taxpayer’s income tax. If a divorce is not finalized by the end of the year, the divorcing couple must decide whether to file a joint tax return. Both the taxpayer and spouse must understand that when filing a joint tax return each is separately and individually liable for the tax due. 

Alimony or separate maintenance payments under a divorce or separation instrument executed after 2018 is no longer deductible by the payer. In addition, the recipient does not have to include alimony received as income. 

Generally, there is no gain or loss on property received in a divorce. However, there can be significant income tax consequences when property received in a settlement is sold. 

Read more here.


August 20, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, August 19, 2022

Modern Parenting Plans

From Divorce Magazine:

Times change, and so do habits and values. In 2022, modern parenting issues would include new considerations.

Birdnesting is a new terminology describing the situation when parents move back and forth. In separation or divorce, parents may end up living in different towns. Accordingly, birdnesting is a useful strategy when parents would let the child stay in one place allows them to more easily keep up with school and friends. This strategy is great for reducing their stress by minimizing the disruption to life.

Some children eventually ask their parents to change the way they perceive and treat them as a boy or girl. A son may want to be referred to as a daughter, or a daughter may want to be referred to as a son. The child may describe themselves with words like transgender or nonbinary in addition to, or instead of, boy or girl. It is also possible for doctors to delay hormonal puberty, giving a child extra time to choose their next steps. A child’s physical development today will contribute to how others perceive and assume their physical sex later in life. 

Since the appearance of covid in 2020, caution about infection has always been part of the family routine for people with certain illnesses and disabilities, but, for most people, covid safety has required new learning and adaptation. This is a major preoccupation for modern parenting.

Read more here.

August 19, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 18, 2022

The Intertwined Relationship of Child Support and Food Stamps

From moms:

Child support and food stamps have a very important and intertwined relationship. According to The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities near one-fifth of all SNAP households with children receive child support payments. More times than not, single parents will be including their children on the application; however, they do have the option to apply individually.It is important that parents know how the child support they are receiving or paying will affect the outcome of the decision.

For instance, when a parent receives child support, (court-ordered or not) it is considered income. Likewise, if they are not receiving the payments, it is not considered income. When a parent is paying court-ordered child support, it is deducted from their total income. If the parent pays child support not mandated by the courts, those payments will not be taken off their income.

If a parent is getting child support that is not part of a court order, they still legally need to count that towards income. The USDA states all of your answers when applying for SNAP must be complete and honest. If you knowingly give false information or intentionally fail to report required information, you may incur substantial penalties, including fines, imprisonment, and removal from the program.

Read more here.

August 18, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Child Support Obligation Affects Hunting and Fishing Privilege in Utah


Utah is seeing a surge in child support payments over the past year, a change that state officials credit in part to a new state law that withholds hunting and fishing licenses to people who fall significantly behind on payments.

The law blocks anyone from obtaining a hunting or fishing license if they are past due more than $2,500 in child support for a year.

“A lot of people talk about sending people to jail or prison instantly when they hear non-collection of child support, non-payment of child support. But in reality, if they’re going to prison or jail, they’re not working, so that’s not helping solve the problem,” said Utah Office of Recovery Services (ORS) director Liesa Stockdale, whose agency manages child support in the state. Stockdale encouraged to think about “creative incentives” that are important to the people who owe child support but that wouldn’t impact their ability to support their children.

Read more here.

August 17, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Child Custody Dispute Between Interfaith Couple

From AhmedabadMirror:

The Gujarat High Court has in an order handed over the custody of a 3.5-year-old boy to his father. The parents of the child belong to different religions. The husband filed a habeas corpus petition alleging that his in-laws had detained his wife and son and they should be produced before the court.

The man in his habeas corpus petition also alleged that his wife and son were illegally detained by his in-laws as they were against the marriage. The court observed that as the wife is an adult she is free to decide on her own and as the child seemed more comfortable with the father, he was handed custody of the minor.

Meanwhile, the court also granted visitation rights to the woman and gave her the liberty to adopt legal remedies to get custody of the child.   

Read more here.

August 16, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 15, 2022

England's Old-Fashioned Marriage Laws

From The Conversation:

In July 2022, the Law Commission published proposals for a new weddings law. The fact that the report opens with a seven-page glossary of terms is a good indication of quite how complex – and how pressing – an area of legal reform this is.

Much of the current law dates back to the Georgian era and some of it, all the way back to the Clandestine Marriages Act of 1753. Such ancient and therefore culturally specific legislation stands in stark contrast to the cross-cultural influences writ large across the globalised world in which we live.

There are multiple ways in which a couple can legally marry under the current law. For all ceremonies, preliminaries (the giving of notice, the publication of banns or the issuing of licences) have to be conducted.

Read more here.

August 15, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Singapore's Colonial-Era Rule is Calling for Reconciliation

From The Washington Post:

Section 377A of the penal code states: “Any male person who, in public or private, commits, or abets the commission of, or procures or attempts to procure the commission by any male person of, any act of gross indecency with another male person, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 2 years.” The law has not been actively enforced for over a decade, and it does not affect women who have sex with other women. Meanwhile, Singapore is trying to protect a law that prevents same-sex marriages.

Singapore’s Catholic Church said it respects the dignity of LGBTQ community, but asked for the right to maintain the position on marriage. About 19% of Singaporeans identify as Christian, while Buddhism is the largest religious group with 31%.

The local LGBTQ community has no immediate plans to mount legal challenges to redefine marriage, Leow Yangfa, executive director of rights group Oogachaga, was cited in Singapore’s Today newspaper as saying. 

Read more here.

August 14, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Ohio Court Recognizes Telephonic Marriage Ceremony of Two Bangladesh Citizens

From reason:

In Momotaz v. Sattar, the Ohio Court of Appeals found that trial court did not err in finding the marriage conducted in a telephonic marriage ceremony between two Bangladesh citizens under Bangladesh Sharia Law was valid. 

Husband and wife are both Bangladesh citizens. At the time of marriage ceremony. husband resided in the United States and wife resided in Bangladesh. Mr. Ahmed identified himself as an assistant marriage registrar also presented in Bangladesh to solemnize the marriage.

The marriage lasted until 2021 when the marriage broke down. The husband took the view that the marriage was invalid from the outset, arguing that various procedural rules required by Bangladesh law were not complied with. The court determined that the parties' marriage was valid under Bangladesh law. More specifically, the court found that the parties agreed the marriage met the essentials of a valid Mohammedan and Bangladeshi marriage and that the alleged invalidity of the registration does not render the marriage invalid.

Read more here.


August 13, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, August 12, 2022

The Study of Sexual Violence and Unintended Pregnancy Among Married Women in Zambia

From BMC Public Health:

The study in this article shows the link between sexual violence and unintended pregnancy in Zambia. One of the outcomes of sexual violence is unintended pregnancy. In Zambia, 15% of married women age 15—49 years had experienced sexual violence from their husband or partner. The prevalence of unintended pregnancies among women age 15—49 years has risen from 33% in 1992 to 38% in 2018. 

The findings suggest that sexual violence does have a role in unintended pregnancies (AOR 1.74; CI 1.38—2.19). Ever use of contraception is also a significant predictor of unintended pregnancy (AOR 1.48; CI 1.16—1.88), even when other characteristics are taken into account. Results have shown that a woman who had ever used contraception and had experienced sexual violence was more likely to have an unintended pregnancy.

Spousal sexual violence is highly associated with unintended pregnancies in Zambia. Addressing intimate partner sexual violence is among the ways to prevent unintended pregnancies. It is also important to sensitize women on reporting acts of sexual violence to relevant authorities as this will not only prevent reoccurrence of sexual violence but also reduce unintended pregnancies and associated long-term effects.

Read more here.

August 12, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)