Bob Emery is one of the preeminent national experts on issues related to children and divorce. In this video excerpt, he captures the essence of the problem: almost all of the systems that relate to divorce and separation are geared around the parents, lawyers, or judges. Very few systems are geared to the needs of the children. At the Resource Center for Separating and Divorcing Families, which will debut on campus at the University of Denver this fall, there is a specific role for the voice of the child.
Last week, in Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments to decide whether custody rights of a three-year-old girl should go to her adoptive parents or her biological father, who is a member of the Cherokee Nation. While state courts usually hear such custody disputes, this case has made its way to the Supreme Court because it involves the Indian Child Welfare Act
Under British Columbia’s new Family Relations Act, unmarried couples who have lived together for more than two years will now have the same property rights as married couples. The changes went into effect March 18 and require common law spouses to “evenly split family debt and anything purchased during their relationship, including property, in the event of a break-up.”
The Wall Street Journal has published an article examining the push for alimony reform and why it is becoming a growing movement. The main contention is that current alimony laws have the potential to force couples to remain together financially and personally until death, even after divorce. The movement is driven by the opinion that alimony laws have become unfair and outdated in a time when many recipients are healthy, college-educated, and employed.
IAALS has just released a research report entitled Family Law in Focus: A Retrospective Study of Colorado’s Early Experiments with Proactive Case Processing. This report presents the results from an analysis of data from five pilot programs in four different Colorado courts that implemented proactive case management in family law cases. The data show that by providing active case management, assistance, and education to litigants, the likelihood of speedier case resolution is increased, which is the intent of CRCP 16.2.
The Honoring Families Initiative is pleased to announce a new addition to our national Advisory Committee—Gabrielle Davis. Davis is a Legal & Policy Advisor with the Battered Women’s Justice Project. We are delighted to see the new perspectives and ideas that Davis will bring to the Honoring Families Advisory Committee.
While advancements in technology have made marrying over the internet a reality, they have made the divorce process easier as well. Technology-assisted divorce breaks the divorce process down into easily managed and discrete steps, designed to avoid messy court battles. For example, the service Wevorce walks a family through all the steps, including the legal, financial, and emotional components of the divorce process.
In a recent article, The Guardian discusses why mediation may be the quicker, cheaper, and less confrontational avenue for divorce in the United Kingdom. According to the article, non-mediated divorce takes nearly 450 days on average and costs an average of £7,000, while mediated divorce proceedings take an average of 110 days and cost only an average of £535.
The New York Times has published a debate about prenups, with several commentators recommending prenuptial agreements for those “who have sizeable wealth, own a business or are entering into a second marriage with significant personal assets.” However, other commentators suggested different solutions for protecting personal wealth and, as a recent case in New York demonstrates, prenups are not fail-safe.
Divorce filings in China have surged recently due to married couples’ desire to avoid the country’s new 20 percent capital gains tax. Because the tax only applies to second home sales, many couples reasoned that a divorce would enable them to claim that each had only one home and evade paying the tax.
The New York Times reports more immigrant couples living in separate countries are now utilizing online video chat services to marry despite the distance. These internet marriages are a modern form of proxy marriages that date back centuries and allow a couple to wed even without the presence of one or both spouses.
The divorce rate among baby boomers has reached an all-time high of 25 percent, with many more newly single 50-somethings experiencing difficulties planning and saving for retirement. USA Today reports that it will cost “at least 50% more to retire for boomers who divorce,” as there is much less time to make up any economic losses before retirement.
In a recent article, The Huffington Post offers advice on how families with teens can better cope with divorce. Divorce can particularly stress family relationships involving teenagers; teens are already struggling to establish their identity, separate from each parent, and divorce compounds these issues.
The Business Insider has compiled a list of the 9 most costly cities for divorcees. The list considered each city’s average fee rate for divorce attorneys in addition to the financial impact of each state’s different spousal support laws, asset division procedures, filing fees, and average divorce process periods.
The task force established to determine how to regulate marijuana in Colorado after the passage of Amendment 64 has no plans to create any laws dictating marijuana consumption in child custody cases. Use of marijuana is a factor that will be treated the same as any other kind of substance use, like alcohol and prescription drugs.
The ABA Journal reports that a South Florida judge has approved an out-of-court settlement allowing three people—two women and the gay man they used as a sperm donor—to be listed as parents on a 23-month-old girl’s birth certificate. While the two women will have sole parental rights and custody of their daughter, the settlement also gives the sperm donor visitation rights twice a week.
With marriages involving dual citizenship becoming increasingly common, Forbes contributor Jeff Landers has evaluated how the laws of different countries can compound the complications of divorce. The article warns that the disparity between the practices of divorce courts may have significant consequences on how someone will be treated.
Recently, Examiner.com reviewed a new mobile application called the Healthy Divorce App, designed to educate and advise users on how to get through the divorce process in an emotionally healthy way. The app was created with the intention of making professional mental health assistance more affordable and accessible to those unable or unwilling to see a professional in person.
New York Magazine has published an article discussing the intricate and often difficult path from gay marriage to divorce. The article interviews a recently divorced couple, who describe their relationship and how it ended, and give an intimate insight into the mechanics of “gay divorce.”
In a recent article, the New York Times discusses parenting partnerships, also known as co-parenting, in which two people maintain no romantic relationship but have and share responsibility for a child. In the article, proponents suggest parenting partnerships as an alternative to the traditional family framework by allowing single people to share the financial and emotional stresses of raising children. The complex legal issues involved in such an arrangement were considered as well.
Inspired by the spirit of a holiday devoted to love, the New York Times’ Room for Debate editorial board hosted a lively discussion that asks: “Should a divorce be more difficult to obtain? Or is the process arduous enough already?” Beverly Willett, a writer, lawyer, and co-chair of the Coalition for Divorce objects to the “me-centered approach” that she claims no-fault divorce laws have fostered. She is countered by Vicki Larson, a journalist who writes about marriage and divorce.
In the United States, divorce has been present as far back as the colonization. However, it was not until 2010 that all 50 states had a no-fault divorce law in place, with New York being the last state. Abraham Lincoln is not the first image of a divorce attorney that comes to mind, yet he handled over 125 divorce cases between 1837 and 1861.
For children of divorcing parents, grandparents can provide the safety and security that is so vitally needed by them during this time of transition. Often, grandparents are caught in the middle of the high emotion and stress that accompanies divorce.
The New York Times has reported that the divorce rate in Spain is 17 percent lower than it was in 2006, when changes to the law simplified divorce proceedings. The Spanish Judicial Council attributes this decrease in divorce to Spain’s protracted economic crisis.