Family Law Prof Blog

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

Sunday, November 18, 2018

DC Schools to Give Families "Non-Binary" Option

From The Washington Post:

The District’s public school system is slated to become among the first in the nation to let families select “non-binary” — rather than male or female — when indicating the gender of their child on enrollment forms.

The option is scheduled to go into effect for the next school year, and school system leaders said it is part of a broader effort to ensure that transgender and non-binary students feel welcome in classrooms in the nation’s capital.

“We value the whole child at [D.C. Public Schools], and have worked diligently to ensure our schools are safe and inclusive for all students, staff, and families,” interim chancellor Amanda Alexander said in a statement. “Whether through policies, programs, affinity groups, or our enrollment forms, [D.C. Public Schools] is proud to be a leader in affirming, supporting and welcoming LGBTQ students.”

Read more here.

November 18, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Britain's Supreme Court ruling on Bakery's refusal to bake Gay-marriage cake

 

From The New York Times:

Britain’s Supreme Court supported on Wednesday the right of a Belfast bakery to refuse to bake a cake with a message supporting same-sex marriage, finding that its Christian owners could not be compelled to reproduce a message contrary to their beliefs.

Although the person who requested the cake was gay, a five-judge panel found that the bakery owners’ refusal was based not on his sexual orientation, but on their Protestant faith’s opposition to gay marriage.

“There was no discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation,” said the judgment, which overturned the rulings of two lower courts.

Read more here

November 6, 2018 in Current Affairs, International, Marriage (impediments) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Legal Battle Over Missouri Clinic Could Foretell Abortion Fights in Other States

From NPR:

When Angela Huntington arrived at work on a Wednesday morning in early October, she had to do something she dreaded: turn patients away.

Huntington is the manager at the Columbia Health Center in Columbia, Mo., a Planned Parenthood site that recently had to halt its abortion services in the midst of a highly publicized legal fight in the state.

Since another Missouri law requires a 72-hour waiting period between counseling about abortion and having the actual procedure, Huntington needed to call every patient on the day's schedule. She told them they could come to her clinic for the counseling but would have to go elsewhere for the abortion.

The only other place in the state that they could turn to for an abortion was in St. Louis, a two-hour-drive away.

Read more here.

October 27, 2018 in Abortion, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

India Supreme Court Decriminalizes Adultery

From NPR:

India's Supreme Court has struck down a colonial-era law that made adultery illegal, calling it arbitrary and saying it is unconstitutional because it "treats a husband as the master."

Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code makes it a crime for a man to have intercourse with another man's wife "without the consent or connivance of that man."

The law gives a husband exclusive right to prosecute his wife's lover — and does not grant a wife power to do the same. It does not penalize the woman, nor any married man who has sex with an unmarried woman.

Read more here.

October 24, 2018 in Current Affairs, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Why Prince Harry and Meghan Won't Have Full Custody

From Country Living:

Juggling the complicated protocol of the royal family is always going to be difficult. As Meghan Markle has learned since she first began dating Prince Harry, there’s rules and expectations for all aspects of life. But if you thought that the leg crossing and wardrobe choices were confusing enough, just wait until you hear how things work when it comes to having children-especially now that Meghan Markle is expecting their first child next spring.

According to reports, the royal family operates with a strange custody agreement when its couples have their own children, which states that, actually, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has full legal custody over the young royals. Royal expert Marlene Koenig explained to news outlets: “The sovereign has legal custody of the minor grandchildren.”

Confused? It’s a seriously backdated regulation, as Koenig continued: “This goes back to King George I [who ruled in the early 1700s], and the law’s never been changed. He did it because he had a very poor relationship with his son, the future King George II, so they had this law passed that meant the King was the guardian of his grandchildren.”

Read more here.

 

October 23, 2018 in Current Affairs, Custody (parenting plans), International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 22, 2018

Catholic Church Sex Abuse in Pennsylvania

From Time.com:

The U.S. Justice Department has opened an investigation of child sexual abuse inside the Roman Catholic Church in Pennsylvania, using subpoenas to demand confidential files and testimony from church leaders, according to two people familiar with the probe.

The subpoenas, served last week, follow a scathing state grand jury report over the summer that found that 301 “predator priests” in Pennsylvania had molested more than 1,000 children over several decades and that church leaders had covered up for the offenders.

Now federal prosecutors are bringing the Justice Department’s resources to bear, according to two people who were not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

Read more here.

October 22, 2018 in Child Abuse, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Proposed narrow definition of 'Gender' threatens Transgender people.

From The New York Times:

The Trump administration is considering narrowly defining gender as a biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth, the most drastic move yet in a government wide effort to roll back recognition and protections of transgender people under federal civil rights law.

A series of decisions by the Obama administration loosened the legal concept of gender in federal programs, including in education and health care, recognizing gender largely as an individual’s choice and not determined by the sex assigned at birth. The policy prompted fights over bathrooms, dormitories, single-sex programs and other arenas where gender was once seen as a simple concept. Conservatives, especially evangelical Christians, were incensed.

Now the Department of Health and Human Services is spearheading an effort to establish a legal definition of sex under Title IX, the federal civil rights law that bans gender discrimination in education programs that receive government financial assistance, according to a memo obtained by The New York Times.

Read more here

October 21, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Child Abduction

From The Guardian:

Three men and a woman have been accused of helping parents abduct their own children across Australia in contravention of family law orders.

Detectives say as part of a two-year investigation 10 missing children have been located with a parent who had abducted them.

“Five of these are believed to be linked to this group of people,” federal police assistant commissioner Debbie Platz said in a statement on Thursday.

Read more here

October 18, 2018 in Current Affairs, Custody (parenting plans), International, Resources - Children & the Law | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

UK Supreme court rules on right of unmarried mother to Widow's allowance

From The Guardian:

Denying the unmarried mother of four children a widowed parent’s allowance is illegal, the supreme court has ruled, in a decision that significantly extends the rights of unmarried couples.

By a majority of four to one, the court’s justices declared the government’s refusal to pay up to £117 a week in benefits breached the family’s human rights. It will put pressure on ministers to consider making urgent changes to the law.

The judgment follows a hearing earlier this year in Belfast where the court was told that withholding the allowance from Siobhan McLaughlin amounted to discrimination against all children born out of wedlock.

Read more here

 

October 16, 2018 in Cohabitation (live-ins), Current Affairs, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Canada's 'Use-It-Or-Lose-It' Parental Leave Comes Three Months Early

From iPolitics:

Soon-to-be-parents will be able to access extra weeks of leave three months earlier than expected.

This year’s federal budget announced additional weeks of “use-it-or-lose-it” leave for non-birthing parents.

The federal government initially set June 2019 as the start date — but now the Liberals say parents can become eligible for the extra weeks in mid-March.

Only parents whose children are born or adopted after March 17 will be able to take advantage of the additional weeks.

Read more here.

October 6, 2018 in Current Affairs, International, Paternity | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, October 5, 2018

California Pets with Divorcing Owners Score Legal Win

From The San Diego Union-Tribune:

Who gets the family pet in a divorce?

It depends on many factors, including what state the owners live in, but California just began a new era for how dogs, cats and other pets with a new law that will take affect in 2019. Passed on Thursday, it makes sure pets are seen as more than just property when it come time to split up assets in a divorce.

Assembly Bill 2274, written by Assemblyman Bill Quirk, D-Hayward, will ensure care of a pet is taken into consideration both while divorce proceedings are underway and after they’re made official.

With the new law, a person can petition the court for sole or joint ownership based on care of the pet, which is defined to include “prevention of acts of harm or cruelty” and “the provision of food, water, veterinary care and safe and protected shelter.”

Read more here.

 

October 5, 2018 in Current Affairs, Divorce (grounds) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

U.S. Has Highest Maternal Mortality Rate in Industrialized World

From Refinery 29:

The U.S. has the highest maternal mortality rate in the industrialized world, and most of the deaths are completely preventable. On top of that, Black women die at up to four times the rate of white women due to racism in the healthcare industry.

This week, Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Kamala Harris introduced a pair of bills aimed at preventing negligence in hospitals that results in deaths and medical complications, and fixing the tragic racial disparity in how many women die before, during, and after childbirth. The bills, called Modernizing Obstetric Medicine Standards (MOMS) and Maternal Care Access and Reducing Emergencies (CARE), are meant to complement each other.

"Hospitals have struggled under a lack of funding for a long time and the MOMS Act helps them because it would provide funding and get the data so we can understand the depth of the problem," Sen. Gillibrand told Refinery29 in an interview.

Read more here.

October 2, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 1, 2018

Alabama Leads Nation in Infant Mortality

From WRBL.com:

Alabama leads the nation when it comes to infant mortality, and the governor's office is committing one million dollars in the month of October, aiming to reduce the infant mortality rate in the state.

The most recent data on infant mortality available from the CDC looks at the year of 2016. The data  shows that 537 babies died in Alabama in 2016 before their first birthday. 

This sight is often too familiar to families, especially mothers who've dealt with the loss of a baby after a live birth.

"Keep God first, because if you don't have God you don't have nothing," said Lequita Williams. 

It's their strong faith, the Williams family is leaning on after the death of their precious baby boy.  

"I didn't know that he had a birth defect until they told me. His heart tube didn't develop all the way," said Lequita Williams. 

Read more here.

October 1, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Indian Supreme Court takes a stand against Honour crimes

From the Indian Jurist:

The Supreme Court has rendered a landmark judgment in the case of Shakti Vahini v Union of India and others on March 27, 2018 whereby it held that the right of adult individuals to choose their life partners was above class honour and that it was illegal for khap panchayats to summon and punish couples for this. The Apex Court categorically ruled that any attempt by khap panchayats or any other assembly to scuttle or prevent two consenting adults from marrying is absolutely “illegal”. It also ordered that such activities of khap panchayats “are to be stopped in entirety” and called upon Parliament to come up with a suitable legislation. It also laid down “preventive, remedial and punitive” measures.

Read more here

September 29, 2018 in Current Affairs, International, Marriage (impediments) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, September 27, 2018

India nullifies Adultery Law

From CNN:

India's top court has abolished a colonial-era law criminalizing extramarital sex, in a landmark ruling campaigners have hailed as a victory for women's rights.

Under the 158-year-old adultery law, known as Section 497, a man could be imprisoned for up to five years for engaging in sexual relations with a married woman without the consent of her husband.
The Supreme Court struck down the law Thursday, ruling it retrograde and discriminatory toward women.
 
Read more here

 

September 27, 2018 in Current Affairs, International, Marriage (impediments) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Bill Cosby sentenced to 3 to 10 years in prison for 2004 Sexual assault

From CNN:

Bill Cosby, once known as "America's Dad," was sentenced Tuesday to three to 10 years in a state prison for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his home 14 years ago.

Cosby's bail was revoked and he was escorted from the courthouse in handcuffs.
"This was a serious crime," Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, Judge Steven O'Neill said. "Mr. Cosby, this has all circled back to you. The day has come, the time has come."
 
Read more here

September 26, 2018 in Child Abuse, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 24, 2018

Incest Clan

From The Mirror:

A woman with four inbred children was found living with her brother after police tracked her down and arrested her, a court has heard.

Martha Colt is a member of an infamous Australian family accused of revolting crimes including four generations of incest on a squalid farm.

She was still living with her brother Charlie Colt, 45 - whom she reportedly once slept with in a 'marital bed' - when she was arrested in April.

Read more here

September 24, 2018 in Current Affairs, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Are "Swipe Left" Dating Apps Bad For Our Mental Health?

From BBC News:

Dating apps have taken the world by storm, but has the trend for swiping right or left to like or reject potential matches contributed to many people's unhappiness and low self-esteem?

Following the end of her last relationship, Kirsty Finlayson, 28, did what many people do - she turned to dating apps to find love.

But the incessant swiping and the stream of small-talk conversations that soon fizzle out left her feeling dejected.

Read more here.

September 12, 2018 in Current Affairs, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Oklahoma School Shuts Down After Parents Threaten Transgender 7th Grader

From Time:

A school district in southern Oklahoma was forced to shut down for two days after parents used a Facebook group to threaten violence against a transgender seventh-grade student.

Superintendent Rick Beene closed Achille Public Schools on Monday and Tuesday after parents posted claims on a Facebook group “Achille ISD Parents Group” that the student, who identifies as a girl, was looking over the stalls in the girls’ bathroom.

“Heads up parents of 5th through 7th grade,” parent Jamie Crenshaw said in a now-deleted post. “The transgender is already using the girls bathroom. We have been told how the school has gone above and beyond to make sure he has his own restroom yet he is still using the girls. REALLY… Looks like its going to be a long year.”

Read more here.

September 11, 2018 in Child Abuse, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Sexism Furore

From BBC News:

The head of South Africa's civil engineering institution (Saice) has been sacked after he wrote that few women take up the profession because they are "more predisposed to caring".

Manglin Pillay said that women preferred to "raise children than to be at the beck and call of shareholders".

He later apologised but Saice said it had terminated his contract due concern from its members.

Read more here

September 8, 2018 in Current Affairs, International | Permalink | Comments (0)