Family Law Prof Blog

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

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

New Zealand Moves to Decriminalize Abortion

From BBC News:

New Zealand's government has proposed decriminalising abortion and allowing women to choose a termination up to 20 weeks into a pregnancy.

Jacinda Ardern's government issued details of a bill which would change abortion laws in force since 1977.

As things stand, a woman may only obtain an abortion if two doctors certify continued pregnancy would endanger her mental or physical health.

Read more here.

August 6, 2019 in Abortion, Current Affairs, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 5, 2019

Hungary Offers about $33,000 to Couples if They Have Three Children

From Lifesite News:

Hungary’s pro-family government is offering married couples a 10 million-forint (about $33,000 USD) loan that won’t have to be paid back if the couple has three children. 

The measure is part of Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s plan to encourage population growth in a country with one of the lowest birth rates in Europe. So far, according to a government spokesperson, thousands of families have applied for the loans or other pro-family subsidies during the month of July. 

Read more here.

August 5, 2019 in Current Affairs, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Administration to Fast-Track Migrant Family Cases

From US News:

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Rosita Lopez said armed gang members demanded money from her and her partner at their small grocery store on the Guatemalan coast and threatened to kill them when they couldn't pay. When her partner was shot soon afterward, they sold everything and fled north.

Lopez was eight months pregnant when the couple arrived at the U.S.-Mexico border last year with their 1-year-old daughter. Just over a year later, an immigration judge in Los Angeles heard her case, denied her asylum and ordered her deported.

Read more here.

August 4, 2019 in Current Affairs, Resources - Civil Rights & Family Rights | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Polyamory: The Next Line of Sexual Revolution?

From The World:

The largest professional association of psychologists in the United States is working to normalize polyamory, an inevitable next frontier in the sexual revolution.

News reports released last week revealed that for the past year, the American Psychological Association (APA) has had an active task force dedicated to advocating for individuals practicing what it calls “consensual non-monogamy” (CNM), sometimes referred to as “ethical non-monogamy.” The task force’s website claims polyamorous individuals often face social and medical stigmatization and need more support and inclusion. One study found about 4 percent of U.S. adults fall into this category.

Read more here.

July 20, 2019 in Current Affairs, Marriage (impediments) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, July 18, 2019

New Jersey Judge Resigns Amid Lenient Handling of Rape Case Allegations

From New York Post:

The New Jersey judge who refused to try a 16-year-old boy who was accused of rape as an adult — because he comes from a “good family” — has decided to step down, according to officials.

The state Supreme Court granted Judge James Troiano’s request to resign on Wednesday and terminated his services effective immediately.

The longtime family court judge reportedly retired in 2012, but was still hearing cases on a part-time basis in Monmouth County Superior Court.

Read more here.

July 18, 2019 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Third State Set to Ban Child Marriage

From The Hill:

Pennsylvania is set to become the third state to ban child marriage, with no exceptions for the practice in the legislation.

If Pennsylvania passes the legislation currently in the state Senate, it would make it the third state to fully ban marriage for anyone under the age of 18, following New Jersey and Delaware, according to NBC News.

The bill to end child marriage, sponsored by state Rep. Jesse Topper (R), overwhelmingly passed the House this month and is expected to be signed by Gov. Tom Wolf (D) should it reach his desk, according to NBC.

Read more here.

June 26, 2019 in Child Abuse, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Proposed 'Charlie's Law' to Endorse Parental Rights of Sick Children

From The Daily Wire:

The parents of baby Charlie Gard have received critical backing for a law pushing for parental rights of sick children. Charlie’s Law was inspired by the tragic ordeal parents Connie Yates and Chris Gard went through in 2017 when courts ordered the couple to bypass possibly life-saving experimental treatment for their infant son, instead being forced to watch baby Charlie die in a London hospital.

Read more here.

June 25, 2019 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Potential Impact of Climate Change on the Family

From CNN News:

Climate change is rapidly changing the environment we live in. But how far would you be willing to go to help save the planet?

Would you skip school? Eat pig's feet? Deliberately get arrested? How about forgo having kids?
For 33-year-old British musician Blythe Pepino the latter is a reality. Her fears about climate change are so strong she has decided not to have biological children.
 
Read more here.

June 9, 2019 in Current Affairs, Marriage (impediments) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, June 7, 2019

Pennsylvania Bill Set to Ban Child Marriage

From CBS Pittsburgh News: 

 A ban on Pennsylvania marriages when either party is under 18 is moving ahead with a unanimous vote in the state House of Representatives.

State representatives voted 195-0 on Wednesday to send the proposal to the Senate.

Current state law allows those under 18 to marry if custodial parents or guardians agree, and under age 16 if a judge decides it’s in the child’s best interests.

Read more here.

June 7, 2019 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 17, 2019

Taiwan Becomes First Asian Country to Legalize Same Sex Marriage

From BBC News:

Taiwan's parliament has become the first in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage following a vote on Friday.

In 2017, the island's constitutional court ruled that same-sex couples had the right to legally marry.

Parliament was given a two-year deadline and was required to pass the changes by 24 May.

Lawmakers debated three different bills to legalise same-sex unions and the government's bill, the most progressive of the three, was passed.

Read more here.

May 17, 2019 in Current Affairs, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Women Protest US Strictest Anti- Abortion Law

From Huffpost:

People across the country are devastated after the Alabama state Senate passed the country’s strictest abortion bill.

The state Senate on Tuesday night passed the Human Life Protection Act, an extreme anti-abortion measure that bans the procedure in all cases, including rape and incest. The only exception to the legislation is if the life of a pregnant woman is at risk.

The bill passed 25 to 6. All the yes votes were made by white male senators.

Read more here.

 

May 15, 2019 in Abortion, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Proposed Law to Allow Contact between Parents and Children After Termination of Parental Rights

From New York Law Journal:

State law in New York prevents family court judges from allowing any kind of contact between a parent and their child after parental rights have been terminated, but lawmakers are renewing a push to change that in the final weeks of this year’s legislative session.

Sponsors of a bill that would allow family court judges to grant contact between children and their parents after termination are pushing their colleagues to support the legislation before they’re scheduled to leave Albany for the year in June.

Read more here.

May 14, 2019 in Current Affairs, Termination of Parental Rights | Permalink | Comments (1)

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Joe Biden and the #MeToo Generation Gap

From The Rolling Stones:

Last week, Lucy Flores, a Democractic lawmaker from Nevada, penned an op-ed for the Cutclaiming that former vice president Joe Biden had touched her inappropriately while she was campaigning for lieutenant governor. Flores wrote that Biden approached her from behind and smelled her hair before kissing her on the back of the head.

Shortly thereafter (as we have come to expect with these cases), a woman named Amy Lappos chimed in, telling the Hartford Courant that Biden had rubbed noses with her at a 2009 fundraiser.

Since then, two other women have come forward with allegations of inappropriate touching from Biden, including a 22-year-old woman who claims Biden rubbed her thigh and gave her a lingering hug after she told him about her experience as a sexual assault survivor.

To be clear, the women leveling these allegations against Biden are not accusing him of illegal or even borderline abusive behavior.

As Tessa Stuart wrote for Rolling Stone about Flores and Lappos, “neither woman is accusing him of a crime — they’re engaging prospective voters in a broader conversation about what constitutes appropriate and acceptable behavior. (In response, Biden has issued a statement saying that while he believes he is not guilty of inappropriate behavior, he will “listen respectfully” to women’s claims.)

Read more here.

 

April 13, 2019 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, April 11, 2019

The Violence Against Women Act is Turning 25

From The New York Times:

Since it was proposed in the early 1990s as a bill to protect women “on the streets and in homes,” the Violence Against Women Act has been argued over by lawmakers, the Supreme Court, civil rights groups and the National Rifle Association, among others.

The bill, which President Bill Clinton signed into law in 1994, was designed to protect victims of domestic crimes and reduce the stigma associated with domestic abuse. It must be renewed every few years by Congress, and on Thursday the House approved a bill that would reauthorize the act for a fourth time.

The act has established the National Domestic Violence Hotline, the Office on Violence Against Women within the Department of Justice, and myriad programs to train victim advocates, police officers, prosecutors and judges on gender-based violence. Since it was created, more than $7 billion in federal grants has been given to programs that prevent domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking. It has also funded shelters, community programs and studies tracking violence against women.

Read more here.

April 11, 2019 in Current Affairs, Domestic Violence | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Female Veteran Denied In Vitro Because She's Single

From CBS News:

Hundreds of military families have had access to fertility treatments in recent years but not all veterans qualify for them. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, 567 families have benefited from in vitro fertilization since the military started covering the procedures in 2016 but veterans who are single still have to pay for the roughly $12,000 treatment on their own.

Toni Hackney said she'd always planned on being a mom, but the call of duty complicated her ambitions. After serving in the United States Army for 16 years, Hackney decided to start a family in retirement. But complications meant exploring in vitro fertility treatments. When Hackney looked to Veterans Affairs, it wouldn't pay – because she isn't married.

"Whether people like it or not, as a female in the military if you're not there more than your male counterpart, the odds of you getting promoted or getting a good evaluation, it's not, it's not there," Hackney told CBS News' Michelle Miller.

Read more here.

April 9, 2019 in Alternative Reproduction, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Utah Legalizes Sex Outside Marriage

From NPR News:

Until this week, sex between unmarried people in Utah was technically illegal, a vestige of earlier times.

That changed Wednesday, when Gov. Gary Herbert signed a bill that decriminalizes sex outside of marriage in the state, spokesperson Anna Lehnardt tells NPR.

Utah's 1973 fornication law designated sex outside of marriage as a class B misdemeanor. The act carried a possible penalty of up to six months in jail or a maximum fine of $1,000.

Read more here.

April 6, 2019 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

UK Judge Says Men have a "Fundamental Human Right" to Sex with their Wives

From The Guardian:

A row has erupted after a judge spoke in court about the “fundamental human right” of a man to have sex with his wife.

The remark was made by Mr Justice Hayden, who had been asked to consider imposing a court order preventing a man from having sex with his wife of 20 years because she may no longer be able to give her consent.

The case had been brought to the court of protection, which considers cases where people lack the mental capacity to make their own decisions, by lawyers for a council’s social services after the condition of the woman, who has learning difficulties, began to deteriorate.

Read more here.

April 2, 2019 in Current Affairs, International, Marriage (impediments) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 1, 2019

US Government Extends Ban On Use of Aid to Promote or Subsidize Abortion in Foreign Nations

From The Daily Signal:

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has announced two key moves by the Trump administration that he said would “ensure that U.S. taxpayer dollars are not used to subsidize or promote abortions.” 

The United States spends about $9 billion a year on global health care programs, and President Donald Trump is determined that taxpayers’ dollars not go to foreign organizations that support or provide abortions, Pompeo told reporters Tuesday in the White House briefing room. 

In his first month in office, Trump reinstated the so-called Mexico City policy under which President Ronald Reagan in 1984 pursued the same objective.

Read more here.

 

April 1, 2019 in Abortion, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Tracking Your Spouse Can Result in a Final Restraining Order

From JD Supra/Fox Rothschild LLP:

In the recent unpublished decision of L.G. v. T.G.. the Appellate Division addresses an issue that we are dealing with more and more – tracking one’s spouse through a hidden GPS on their car.  GPS in terms of domestic violence isn’t necessarily “new” – you can read about the beginnings in Eric Solotoff’s 2011 blog. 

But this case also demonstrates that having a third party contract the private investigator services does not protect a defendant/spouse from entry of a final restraining order (“FRO”) based upon stalking and that reviewing the information/using it against the victim can also lead to the FRO based upon harassment. 

Of note, although not explicitly stated, is that the tracking/private investigation was not intended to assist the defendant’s case, such as for cohabitation, but rather the opinion reads as though the only purpose of tracking the plaintiff was to learn about and question her whereabouts.  Other important factors that we often see, and which the court considered, include that the defendant was the sole wage earner and can therefore exert financial control against the plaintiff and the defendant used his larger physical stature to instill fear in the plaintiff. 

In this very thorough decision, before addressing the merits of the appeal, the Appellate Division specifically stated that it “defer[s] to the judge’s thoughtful findings on this subject because those findings were solidly grounded on the judge’s credibility findings – he found L.G. much more credible than T.G., who was evasive – as well as other reliable evidence”.

Read more here.

March 24, 2019 in Current Affairs, Divorce (grounds), Domestic Violence | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, March 23, 2019

New Tax Provisions Significantly Impact Treatment of Trusts in Divorce

From JD Supra/Lathrop Gage:

Everyone knows about the income and estate tax changes included as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (the “Act”), but there are several overlooked provisions that may significantly affect taxation in a divorce.  Some of these provisions may cause unintended consequences if not addressed as part of the dissolution proceeding or settlement discussions.

Beginning in 2019 alimony and maintenance are no longer deductible to the person making the payment or taxable to the person receiving the payment.  Unlike many other provisions in the Act, this provision does not sunset in 2026.  In addition, Prenuptial Agreements and Postnuptial Agreements are not grandfathered under the Act (there are some efforts to change this, but it is unclear whether that will happen.).  Therefore, if a Prenuptial or Postnuptial agreement signed before 2018 includes terms providing for how alimony or maintenance will be taxed, the new tax laws under the Act prohibiting the deduction or taxation of alimony and maintenance will still apply.

There is a section of the Internal Revenue Code (Section 682) that addresses “grantor trusts”, that was repealed as part of the Act.  “Grantor” trusts are trusts where the person establishing the trust (the grantor) is taxed on the income from the trust even if such person is not the beneficiary of the trust.  Prior to the Act, Section 682 provided that after a divorce, income paid to an ex-spouse from a grantor trust would be taxed directly to the ex-spouse, not the grantor of the trust.  Section 682 was repealed as part of the Act, which means that now, after a divorce, the grantor will still pay the income tax on the trust income, even though the divorced spouse will receive that income.  If this issue is not considered, this outcome may cause significant tax consequences to the grantor spouse after the divorce.

Read more here.

 

March 23, 2019 in Current Affairs, Divorce (grounds) | Permalink | Comments (0)