Monday, December 26, 2022
From the BBC:
If you are worried about how you will make Christmas special for your children during a cost of living crisis, you are not alone. After months of price rises, experts say it's normal to feel overwhelmed.
More than half of parents with children under 10 will spend less on presents, and 40% will forego their usual festive outings, according to a recent YouGov poll.
Here's some advice on how to manage children's Christmas expectations this year - and still make it a memorable one.
Read more here.
Friday, December 23, 2022
From American Songwriter:
Before we had Gwen Stefani teaching us how to spell “b-a-n-a-n-a-s” in “Hollaback Girl,” there was Tammy Wynette spelling out the pains of “D-I-V-O-R-C-E.” Though she didn’t write it, Wynette lived the lyrics of “D-I-V-O-R-C-E,” having been married several times, most famously to George Jones for six years, along with four other men before her death in 1998. Co-written by Bobby Braddock and Curly Putman, the song had a few stops and starts before it became the country classic it is today. Below, we explore the history behind Wynette’s “D-I-V-O-R-C-E.”
Read more here.
Thursday, December 22, 2022
So how can families make sure “the most wonderful time of the year” creates special and happy memories? As a lawyer who specializes family law, including divorce law, I’ve encountered a lot of parents and know what works and what doesn’t. I'll share the same things I tell my clients. Some of this advice might vary based on the children’s ages and other specifics, but here are my recommendations for co-parenting during the holidays.
Read more here.
Wednesday, December 21, 2022
The final vote on controversial proposals to make it easier for people in Scotland to change their legally recognised gender will be held later.
The Scottish Parliament had been due to vote on the legislation on Wednesday.
But with MSPs still debating proposed changes to the bill, a decision was taken to delay the vote by a day.
The reforms are still expected to be backed by a majority of MSPs when the vote does happen.
People in Scotland have already been able to change their legal gender from male to female or female to male since 2005.
But the new rules will lower the minimum age they can do so from 18 to 16.
They will also remove the requirement for a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria.
An applicant for a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) will now need to have lived in their acquired gender for just three months - or six months if they are aged 16 or 17 - rather than two years.
There will be also be a three-month "reflection period" during which they can change their minds.
It will be a criminal offence to make a false declaration or false application for a GRC, with anyone who does so potentially facing up to two years in prison.
But it will be possible to de-transition by going through the process again.
About 30 gender recognition certificates are currently granted to people in Scotland each year, although the government believes that number could increase to between 250 and 300 once the new legislation becomes law.
The reforms to the Gender Recognition Act have been one of the most controversial pieces of legislation to have gone before the Scottish Parliament, and had previously been shelved by the government.
Read more here.
Sanders: "On the Basis of Childbirth: How the Federal Clerkship's Lack of Parental Leave Fosters Gender Inequality"
Bailey Sanders recently posted to SSRN her article On the Basis of Childbirth: How the Federal Clerkship's Lack of Parental Leave Fosters Gender Inequality (UCLA Women's Law Journal, Forthcoming). Here is the abstract:
This essay argues that the lack of paid parental leave for federal law clerks enables pregnancy discrimination, restricts women’s reproductive choice, and perpetuates gender inequality within the legal profession writ large. Protections against pregnancy discrimination are hollow when clerks can be fired—or have clerkship offers rescinded—for requiring maternity leave, and the lack of leave disproportionately impacts female clerks by constraining their ability to pursue career and family simultaneously. The lack of leave also restricts (some) pregnant women’s reproductive choice by forcing them to choose between keeping their position or carrying their pregnancy to term. Such a state of affairs was intolerable in the past but has now become unconscionable in the devastating wake of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. Many clerks will be serving in vast abortion deserts, cut off from medical care and facing threats of criminal prosecution should they attempt to end their pregnancies to save their job. For all these reasons, current congressional efforts to provide greater protections to term law clerks from discrimination and workplace misconduct, while an important step forward, must be supplemented to include guaranteed parental leave for term law clerks.
Tuesday, December 20, 2022
Margaret Ryznar (IU McKinney) has recently posted to SSRN her article The Unpopularity of Cohabitation Agreements (Family Court Review, Forthcoming). Here is the abstract:
Given the predominant role in American law of cohabitation agreements in protecting cohabitants, this Article presents an informal study that measured people’s attitudes toward cohabitation agreements. The results affirm the literature that people generally are not inclined to want cohabitation agreements upon cohabitation. Further studies might explore the reasons, and this Article offers potential considerations.
Monday, December 19, 2022
Naomi Cahn (UVA) & June Carbone (Minnesota) have recently posted to SSRN their article The Blue Family Constitution (Journal of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Forthcoming). Here is the abstract:
At the time Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, it joined a series of decisions about contraception, the “legitimacy” of nonmarital children, unmarried partners’ parental status, and spousal equality that laid the foundation for a new form of family organization, geared to meet the needs of the information age. This new model, which we have labelled “blue,” rewards investment in children’s future earning capacity, and manages relationships based on reciprocity and trust rather than gendered and hierarchical family roles.
A half century later, it is clear that the new family model defines the terms of entry to the upper middle class. The ages of marriage and childbearing have risen substantially, especially for college graduates. Income inequality has grown substantially, however, and family formation aggravates the inequality, as the well-off increasingly marry each other, but the benefits of the new family model are beyond the reach of a large part of the population. The Supreme Court has retreated from its tentative support for the conditions necessary for this new “blue family system.” In so retreating, the Supreme Court reinforces the barriers that block access for a large part of the population to a stable family life. The decision in Dobbs, in attempting to freeze the Constitution in the nineteenth (if not the eighteenth century,) sets back judicial support for the new family model and threatens to increase the gulf between the thriving families of the upper middle class and everyone else.
This article compares the decisions of the early sixties and seventies with more recent Supreme Court decision in terms of their practical impact on family life. The first section sets out how the Supreme Court has approached the blue family model. The second section explores how, even as the Court gradually accepted the new system, it refused to protect the pathways into the system, reifying a dual system of family formation based on class. The final section discusses the impact of Dobbs, showing how it entrenches red family opposition and class-based family lives.
Sunday, December 18, 2022
Saturday, December 17, 2022
Christina Ricci has been a working actress since she was nine years old and her films have grossed over $1 billion altogether, according to Box Office Mojo.
And though that’s a pretty impressive dollar amount, it doesn’t mean that Ricci has seen that much money in her career.
The 42-year-old recently revealed in an interview with Sunday Times Style that she sold parts of her Chanel handbag and jewelry collections to help fund her 2020 divorce from James Heerdegen.
“There are certain things that I have collected—certain bags. I had quite a Chanel handbag collection for a while, but I sold a lot of things,” she said.
Ricci added that “certain traumas in life go along with financial traumas, extended court situations, custody situations [and] fighting restraining orders.”
Read more here.
Friday, December 16, 2022
Neoshia Roemer (Idaho) recently posted to SSRN her article The Indian Child Welfare Act as Reproductive Justice (Boston University Law Review, Forthcoming). Here is the abstract:
After decades of abuse through family regulation, Congress enacted the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (“ICWA”) to prevent the breakup of Indian families and promote tribal sovereignty. While ICWA seems like an outlier that addresses one category of children, it is not an outlier. Rather, I argue that ICWA is a tool of reproductive justice. By formulating a legal rights framework for reproductive justice in American jurisprudence, I discuss how the reproductive justice movement is grounded in U.S. law beyond the right to terminate a pregnancy that the Supreme Court abrogated in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. By looking at the history of reproductive rights in American Indian communities, I discuss how family regulation challenges reproductive rights and tribal sovereignty considering Dobbs and Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta. Indian child removals exist in the same history, context, and policy that disrupted the reproductive rights of American Indian families and tribal sovereignty in other areas. Before concluding that ICWA is still good law and good policy to disrupt family regulation and protect the reproductive rights of American Indian peoples, I consider where challenges to ICWA in Haaland v. Brackeen fit into this paradigm and the ongoing need for the protection of tribal sovereignty and reproductive rights for American Indian peoples. For nearly 400 years, the disruption of reproductive rights, including family regulation, has been at the heart of federal Indian policy. The current frame of family regulation as “saving” children means that it is often divorced from the notion of reproductive rights. As the history behind and contemporary challenges to ICWA demonstrate, it should not, and cannot, be separated from the other reproductive justice issues facing American Indian communities. To strengthen legal protections for American Indian people that disrupt these government interventions, like ICWA, is to realize reproductive rights more fully in the United States.
Thursday, December 15, 2022
From the Wall Street Journal:
A walk down the aisle can be a route to greater wealth and prosperity for couples in the U.S. Married people have higher net worths and are more likely to be homeowners than their unmarried counterparts their age are.
The mystery, though, is why cohabitating but unmarried couples struggle to build wealth in the same way. As of 2019, the median net worth for cohabiting couples age 25 to 34 was $17,372, a quarter that of the $68,210 for married couples of that same age range, according to data from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. For singles it is $7,341.
The wealth gap between partnered and married couples is larger than one might expect, said Ana Kent, a senior researcher at the St. Louis Fed. “It’s so intriguing,” she said.
Over the past two decades, Americans are moving in together at higher rates, according to data from Pew Research Center. The share of U.S. adults who are currently married steadily declined from close to 60% in the 1990s to under half in 2019, according to Pew. Over the same period, the share of adults age 18 to 44 living with a partner climbed to 59%.
Many young couples now approach marriage as a “capstone” event, said Andrew Cherlin, professor emeritus of sociology and public policy at Johns Hopkins University, who studies marriage.
“If you build an arch, the cornerstone is the first piece you put in and the capstone is the last,” he said. “What this means is people see an economic bar they need to clear before they get married. Couples wait until they have good jobs, a car that won’t break down, maybe even a house. Then, they get married.”
While there are legal and tax benefits to marriage, research suggests the financial security and long-term mind-set of those who tie the knot may also be a powerful driver of wealth. More married couples pool their money—such as sharing savings accounts and investing together—to achieve certain goals, Ms. Kent said. Cohabiting couples are less likely to combine finances and investments.
Working with two incomes and combining their investments to maximize compound interest can significantly increase a couple’s financial prospects, said Emily Garbinsky, associate professor of marketing at Cornell University, who has studied couples’ financial behavior. Simply put, married people may be more likely to be on the same page financially, she said.
Read more here.
Wednesday, December 14, 2022
From the Wall Street Journal:
Some two-income couples may owe more in taxes—solely because they get married—than they would on a combined basis if each remained single. As unromantic as this may sound, some couples planning to get married this month or next might discover that postponing the official ceremony until 2023 could result in a significant tax savings for this year. But in other cases, some couples who get married may discover they owe less on a combined basis than if they were still single.
These strange tax-law twists long have been known as the marriage penalty and the marriage bonus. They continue to exist in many cases and in widely varying degrees despite tax changes enacted in 2017 that included important relief for millions of married couples. Marriage penalties “generally occur when various tax provisions—exclusions, deductions, credits, and tax brackets—for married couples aren’t twice the comparable amounts for single filers,” say Chenxi Lu and Janet Holtzblatt on the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center website.
The penalty can be especially large for some high-income couples where each has large and roughly similar amounts of income, but it can also hit lower-income taxpayers. And many tax provisions can play a role in the size and extent of the penalty, says John Buchanan of Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting U.S. Here’s a look at some of them...
Read more here.
Tuesday, December 13, 2022
A celebratory crowd of thousands bundled up on a chilly Tuesday afternoon to watch President Joe Biden sign gay marriage legislation into law, a joyful ceremony that was tempered by the backdrop of an ongoing conservative backlash over gender issues.
“This law and the love it defends strike a blow against hate in all its forms,” Biden said on the South Lawn of the White House. “And that’s why this law matters to every single American.”
Singers Sam Smith and Cyndi Lauper performed. Vice President Kamala Harris recalled officiating at a lesbian wedding in San Francisco. And the White House played a recording of Biden’s television interview from a decade ago, when he caused a political furor by unexpectedly disclosing his support for gay marriage. Biden was vice president at the time, and President Barack Obama had not yet endorsed the idea.
“I got in trouble,” Biden joked of that moment. Three days later, Obama himself publicly endorsed gay marriage.
Lawmakers from both parties attended Tuesday’s ceremony, reflecting the growing acceptance of same-sex unions, once among the country’s most contentious issues.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., wore the same purple tie to the ceremony that he wore to his daughter Alison’s wedding. She and her wife are expecting their first child in the spring.
Read more here.
From the Atlantic:
Celebrity news doesn’t typically interest me, but a quote from the actor Scarlett Johansson recently caught my eye. The 37-year-old has been married three times, and in an interview, she gave her assessment of why so many celebrity marriages seem to fail. The reason she cited from firsthand experience wasn’t being too busy, or apart too much, or filming sex scenes with someone who isn’t your spouse. “If one person is more successful than the other,” she noted, “there may be a competitive thing.”
It’s easy to see how competition could wreck a marriage when millions of dollars and adoring fans are at stake. But the rest of us really aren’t so different. We all have individual interests that are important to us, and they can readily fester into competition in a relationship. Small things such as who unloads the dishwasher can become a contentious issue of fairness; when one partner earns more money than the other, it can stimulate rivalry even between people in love.
Read more here.
Monday, December 12, 2022
From U of Colorado School of Medicine:
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic began, anxiety disorders were one of the most common mental health concerns among children. Pre-pandemic, health care providers and caregivers could expect a third of children to meet the criteria for anxiety disorders by the time they were through adolescence.
Now, evidence is showing that the pandemic exacerbated anxiety disorders among youth, as well as depression and suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
In response to this growing crisis, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recently recommended for the first time that children 8 and older be screened for anxiety. They further recommended that children 12 and older be screened for depression.
In the announcement of these recommendations, Task Force member Martha Kubik, PhD, RN, noted, “The Task Force reviewed the evidence on screening for anxiety, depression, and suicide risk to provide primary care professionals with guidance on how they can help support the mental health of children and adolescents. Fortunately, screening older children for anxiety and depression can identify these conditions so children and teens can receive the care that they need.”
Read more here.
Sunday, December 11, 2022
By the end of The Crown Season 5, Prince Charles and Princess Diana are officially divorced, after spending years in an unhappy marriage. Episode 9 dramatizes the negotiation of their divorce settlement, and portrays the process fairly accurately.
In the series, as in real life, the couple’s path to divorce was sped up after Diana’s infamous Panorama interview with Martin Bashir (an interview that was solicited unethically, with Bashir falsifying documents to convince Diana to speak out). In that televised interview, Diana spoke about her and Charles’ infidelities, and her issues with the royal family. The interview prompted the Queen change her mind about approving Charles and Diana’s divorce — and she reportedly did write them a letter consenting to their legal split, as on the show. At that point, in 1996, scandal after scandal plagued their marriage and all parties involved agreed that it was time to dissolve the marriage.
But it was not going to be easy. On the show, the two go back and forth about a lump sum that Diana wanted to secure her future with, and about whether or not she could maintain her titles, residencies, or even custody of her children. The Crown leaves it a little unclear where the two landed exactly, but we do know some of the terms of the couple’s real divorce settlement. Here’s what’s been confirmed.
Read more here.