Family Law Prof Blog

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

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Abortion Bans Proposed in Colorado, Indiana, and Texas

From Rewire News:

Lawmakers in Colorado, Indiana, and Texas want to criminalize abortion, a lawmaker in Oklahoma is trying to prohibit abortion when the sex of the fetus is known, and transgender students are being targeted again in Indiana and South Dakota.

Colorado

Last Monday, lawmakers in the state house of representatives introduced the “Protect Human Life at Conception Act,” a fetal homicide bill that would prohibit terminating or causing the termination of a pregnancy, beginning at the moment of conception.

Read more here.

February 3, 2019 in Abortion, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Louisiana's Abortion Law

From CNN:

Justice Samuel Alito late Friday temporarily blocked a Louisiana abortion law from going into effect as scheduled on Monday.

Alito said in a brief order that the justices needed more time to review the filings in the case. As such he put the law on hold until February 7. He noted that the order "does not reflect any view regarding the merits" of the case.
 
Louisiana's Unsafe Abortion Protection Act has been blocked since its enactment in 2014, it requires a doctor to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the facility where the abortion is performed.
 
The state argues that the law is necessary to provide a higher level of physician competence, but critics say there is no medical justification for the law and it amounts to a veiled attempt to unlawfully restrict abortion.
 
Read more here.

February 2, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, February 1, 2019

Parents' Protest against Teaching about LGBT Rights in UK School

From BBC News:

Some parents at Parkfield Community School in Birmingham claim the teachings contradict the Islamic faith.

Mariam Ahmed, whose daughter attends the school, has organised a petition against the "No Outsiders" project.

The school said it aimed to educate children so they were able to accept differences in society.

Ms Ahmed said: "Sorry at this age it's totally wrong. Children at this age don't even know if they are coming or going, let alone knowing what sexual orientation they will become."

Asma and Mohammed Jdaitawi added: "It's good to teach children about respect and values but the sexual orientation aspect is against our principles."

Read more here.

February 1, 2019 in Current Affairs, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Separation of Families Existed Before Family Separation Policy

From The Guardian:

The Trump administration may have separated thousands of migrant children from their parents at the border for up to a year before family separation was a publicly known practice, according to a stunning government review of the health department’s role in family separation.

A report by the health department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) published on Thursday said officials at the health department estimated “thousands of separated children” were put in health department care before a court order in June 2018 ordered the reunification of 2,600 other children.

“The total number of children separated from a parent or guardian by immigration authorities is unknown,” the report said.

Read more here.

January 31, 2019 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The Potential Effect of the Change in Definition of Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault on Women Rights

From The Independent News:

Donald Trump’s decision to change definitions of domestic violence and sexual assault has rolled back women’s rights by half a century, campaigners have warned.

The Trump administration quietly changed the definition of both domestic violence and sexual assault back in April but the move has only just surfaced.  

The change could have significant repercussions for millions of victims of gender-based violence.

Read more here.

 

January 30, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Alexa: Will We Divorce?

From Vox:

As technology has evolved and become further integrated into our private lives, so too has the amount of personal data we’ve made available to Big Tech, which has inevitably resulted in researchers getting more and more creative about studying our sex lives. A 2018 report from eHarmony in conjunction with the Imperial College Business School in London, for instance, found that smart home assistants that use voice recognition technology, such as Google Home and Alexa, could one day be used to predict breakups or even provide relationship counseling by listening to our conversations.

As study co-author Aparna K. Sasidharan recently explained, this insight was based largely on 2017 research that used speech recognition technology to analyze 134 couples’ conversations during marital therapy over the course of two years. The researchers analyzed data such as changes in pitch or how often someone would switch from “you” to “I” or “me,” and they developed an algorithm that was able to predict whether a couple would break up with 79 percent accuracy.

To be clear, eHarmony’s report does not state that companies like Google and Amazon are actually doing this, nor is there any substantial evidence that smart home assistants are listening to our conversations without consent. That said, Amazon recently filed a patentsuggesting it may at least have interest in doing this. (In a statement sent to Vox, an Amazon spokesperson said: “We take privacy seriously and have built multiple layers of privacy into our devices. Like many companies, we file a number of forward-looking patent applications that explore the full possibilities of new technology. Patents take multiple years to receive and do not necessarily reflect current developments to products and services.”)

Sasidharan’s point is more that companies like Amazon and Google could do this if they wanted to. “We have a model that can predict the fate of a relationship fairly accurately, but no one has operationalized it or incorporated it into a device or a dating app and said, ‘Okay, use this,’” she says. “But if people are accepting of it, it can be done very soon.”

Read more here.

January 29, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

New Abortion Law in Ireland Confronts Old Barriers

From The New York Times:

DUBLIN — The abortion clinic’s website pops up at the top of a Google search for “free ultrasound,” its content and color scheme mimicking the government’s new support service for unplanned pregnancy.

“Looking for abortion advice?” “How far along am I?” The bright orange speech bubbles attached to stock images of smiling medical experts purport to inform women about abortion options that became legally available in Ireland on Jan. 1.

The brick-and-mortar version of the Dublin clinic, however, is less inviting. Hanging out front, like a graphic warning on a cigarette pack, is a giant poster of a 15-year-old girl who died after receiving an abortion in London, and inside sits an ultrasound machine in a small, narrow room that has the air of a back alley medical facility.

Read more here.

January 29, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 28, 2019

Ryznar & Dutton: "Lighting A Fire: The Power of Intrinsic Motivation in Online Teaching"

Margaret Ryznar & Yvonne Dutton have posted to SSRN their recent article Lighting A Fire: The Power of Intrinsic Motivation in Online TeachingHere is the abstract:

Motivation is important to success in many endeavors, and the field of education is no exception. The literature establishes that students who are motivated to learn enjoy more success in their courses and master course content and skills better than students who lack such motivation. But what causes one student to be more motivated than another? This Article addresses this question in the context of law students, focusing in particular on how teachers can increase student “intrinsic” motivation through interesting and engaging course content, as well as regular and consistent formative assessments and feedback. It surveys the literature on motivating students to learn, contributing original empirical data from student surveys and focus groups. Analysis of that data supports the literature on intrinsic motivation, showing that interesting and engaging course content and regular assessments and feedback motivate students to learn and master course content and skills. Indeed, our data collected from over 300 law students shows that students want professors to provide them with intrinsic motivators in their courses. Specifically, student comments evidence that students crave interesting and engaging course content, as well as opportunities for assessment and feedback. We share those comments and suggest techniques to help law professors design online courses that will motivate students and ensure they are engaged and learning course content.

January 28, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Online Divorce

From The Guardian:

Thirteen people applied online to divorce their partners on Christmas Day, according to government figures.

During the period between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day, 455 applications were lodged in England and Wales, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) said.

The figures have been recorded for the first time as part of statistics showing 150,000 people accessed digital justice platforms in the past year. More than 300,000 people have registered with online justice services since 2015.

Read more here.

 

January 28, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Haitian Women Struggle With Child Support For Children Fathered by U.N. Troops

From Reuters:

BOGOTA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The United Nations is failing to give Haitian mothers who say their children were fathered by peacekeepers the help it promised in their legal battle for financial support, human rights groups helping the women have said.

The Haiti-based Bureau des Avocats Internationaux and the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) filed a lawsuit against the U.N. in Haiti in 2017 on behalf of 10 mothers seeking child support.

Read more here

January 27, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Indiana Court of Appeals Included Child Support Garnishment in Man's Medicaid Liability

From The Indiana Lawyer:

A man who previously won his argument that the money garnished for his child support should not be included in determining his Medicaid liability was reversed Wednesday, when an appellate panel determined the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration’s interpretation of Medicaid statutes and regulations were reasonable.

Lance Patterson lives in a Middletown nursing home as a result of his chronic heart failure, diabetes, and various other medical issues. Due to his failure to pay child support while his adult daughter was a minor, Patterson accumulated a child support arrearage of more than $56,000, for which he was issued a garnishment order.

Read more here.

January 26, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Friday, January 25, 2019

New 2019 Tax Rules for Spousal Support

From Business Insider:

January is unofficially known as "divorce month," and 2019 brings new tax rules for couples who separate this year.

The GOP tax law was passed in December 2017, but it has taken some time for certain laws to come into play. One such law changes the way spousal support, or alimony, payments are taxed and deducted.

Spousal support is an allowance paid from the higher-earning spouse to the lower-earning spouse during a legal separation and/or divorce. The amount and duration of the payments depends on a variety of factors, including the length of the marriage, age of spouses, and degrees earned.

Read more here.

January 25, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Co-Parenting App Helps Divorcing Parents Stop Custody Battles and Save Money

From Fast Company:

Parenting is challenging, even in the best of circumstances. Guiding the emotional and physical development of another human being is a massive responsibility. Throw a separation or divorce into the mix, and it’s easy to see how much more fraught the landscape can be.

Yet this is a common problem. Research from Penn State emeritus professor of family sociology and demography Paul Amato indicates that between 42% and 45% of marriages in the U.S. will end in divorce, resulting in approximately 50% of children experiencing divorce in their lifetimes. As this data doesn’t include parents who are separated or never married, the number of families impacted is likely much higher.

Read more here

January 24, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Trump Administration Considering Speeding Up Deportation of Migrant Children

From NBC News:

WASHINGTON — Trump administration officials weighed speeding up the deportation of migrant children by denying them their legal right to asylum hearings after separating them from their parents, according to comments on a late 2017 draft of what became the administration's family separation policy obtained by NBC News.

The draft also shows officials wanted to specifically target parents in migrant families for increased prosecutions, contradicting the administration's previous statements. In June, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said the administration did "not have a policy of separating families at the border" but was simply enforcing existing law.

Read more here.

January 23, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

The Irony of Self-Representation in Family Law Litigation

From Financial Post:

There is no doubt the costs of family law litigation are simultaneously emotional and financial.

One of those financial costs, the need to engage a lawyer, may cause parties to be inclined to represent themselves.

While self-representation is the only option for many people due to their financial resources (a broader discussion of access to justice is beyond the scope of this article), for those with resources, the decision to self-represent may be quite costly in the end.

Read more here

January 22, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 21, 2019

Restrictive UK Surrogacy Laws Push Couples Abroad

From CNN:

"Nobody could tell us why we couldn't have children, but we've been trying at this point for about 12 years," said Elizabeth Prior, 49, of Buckinghamshire.

She and her husband tried in-vitro fertilization and adoption for several months but were advised against taking any of the children they met. They looked into fostering too, but Prior felt that nothing worked, "so we went down the surrogacy route."
 
They are among an increasing number of British couples who chose to pursue surrogacy, when one woman carries a child for another.
 
But UK law has many restrictive elements, which in addition to high cost and a shortage of surrogates in the UK makes many couples feel that going abroad is the only option.
 
Read more here

January 21, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, January 20, 2019

What 'Surviving R. Kelly' Tells Us About Race and Sexual Abuse

From The Washington Post:

For many who watched the six-part documentary “Surviving R. Kelly,” hearing directly from several women who described sexual abuse at the hands of the R&B star prompted a troubling question: Has Kelly remained popular and largely not faced criminal consequences because his accusers are black?

Rebecca Epstein, a researcher at Georgetown University, thinks so. She co-authored a 2017 study that found black girls are viewed by adults as more sexually mature than white girls in the same peer group. As a result, when black girls are victims of sexual assault, they are less likely to be believed by those who see them as older than they actually are.

“What our research indicates is that black girls face even greater skepticism by the figures that wield such authority over their lives than other victims of sexual violence,” said Epstein, executive director at the law school’s Center on Poverty and Inequality.

Read more here.

January 20, 2019 in Annulment, Child Abuse, Divorce (grounds), Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Jayme Closs Found Alive, Escapes Captor

From USA Today:

Nearly three months after her parents were shot dead in their Wisconsin home and a nationwide search began to locate the missing 13-year-old girl, Jayme Closs has been found alive

The girl described by friends as a "sweet and shy" middle schooler was found in a neighborhood in northwestern Wisconsin about an hour's drive from her home in Barron, Wisconsin. 

The girl described by friends as a "sweet and shy" middle schooler was found in a neighborhood in northwestern Wisconsin about an hour's drive from her home in Barron, Wisconsin. 

The Barron County Sheriff's Department said that 21-year-old suspect Jake Patterson was arrested Thursday in Jayme's disappearance. 

Read more here.

January 19, 2019 in Child Abuse, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, January 18, 2019

Ohio Bans Common Abortion Procedure

From CNN:

A bill that would ban the most common abortion method used in the second trimester of pregnancy was signed into law Friday by Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

Senate Bill 145 prohibits the dilation and evacuation (D&E) procedure, in which the cervix is dilated and the contents of the uterus extracted. Though there is no exception in the law in cases of rape or incest, there is one if the mother's life is at risk.

Any abortion provider who defies this law could face fourth-degree felony charges, including prison time and fines.

The Republican governor's decision to sign off on this legislation sparked immediate backlash from abortion rights advocates.

Read more here.

January 18, 2019 in Abortion | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Gay Singaporean Man Can Adopt Son Born Via Surrogacy

From CNN:

A gay Singaporean doctor has won the right to adopt a child he fathered in the United States through a surrogate, in a landmark ruling for the socially conservative country.

On Monday, Singapore's High Court overturned a 2017 ruling in which a district judge said the man could not legally adopt the child because he was conceived through in vitro fertilization -- a process limited to heterosexual married couples in Singapore -- and brought to term through surrogacy, which is technically banned.

Under Singapore law, children born out of wedlock are considered illegitimate and do not have the same rights as those born to married couples, unless legally adopted.

Read more here.

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