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Local parents sue state over naming their baby PDF Print E-mail
Written by Karen B. Hall   
Thursday, 16 October 2014 09:00

A Brentwood couple has filed a lawsuit against the state of Tennessee for the right to choose the last name of their newborn son, Brentwood Homepage reports. Carl Abramson and Kim Sarubbi married in 2001, and decided "for personal and professional reasons" they would give their children a surname that combined both their last names— "Sabr." When the family moved to Tennessee in 2014 and had their third child, Abramson and Sarubbi were denied their request to use the hybrid name and instead were issued a birth certificate for the child with the last name Abramson. Citing a violation with First Amendment rights, the couple turned to the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee, which filed a lawsuit in federal court last week.

The Brentwood Home Page has more.

 
A really great marriage is rare PDF Print E-mail
Written by Karen B. Hall   
Thursday, 11 September 2014 09:00

Greater gender equality leads to divorce. Women’s increased earning power leads to divorce. Men shouldering the burden of household chores leads to lower marital satisfaction and increased risk of divorce.

These are just a few examples of handwringing in the popular press about why women, and to a lesser extent men, are choosing divorce over what seem to be perfectly good marriages. It used to be that a woman would stick with her husband unless he was abusing her or cheating on her. Nowadays, women leave perfectly kind, helpful husbands for reasons that seem mysterious.

There are many theories floating around about why greater gender equality has not put an end to divorce in America. Underlying most of these theories is an acknowledgment that expectations about marriage have changed. Prior to the late 20th century, it was difficult for women to prosper financially, express their sexuality or have children outside of the context of marriage. Single and divorced women were also stigmatized. Wives, therefore, were willing to put up with a lot more unhappiness in marriage to avoid the social consequences of being unmarried or getting a divorce.

Quartz has more.

 
Federal judge strikes down polygamy ban in Utah PDF Print E-mail
Written by Karen B. Hall   
Tuesday, 09 September 2014 09:00

(UPI) -- A federal judge has ruled a portion of Utah's ban on plural marriage unconstitutional Wednesday, essentially decriminalizing the practice in the state.

U.S. District Court Judge Clark Waddoups' ruling took issue with the phrase "or cohabits with another person," writing that it was "a violation of the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and is without rational basis under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment."

His ruling is similar to one from last December, which the judge later reversed. Waddoups' ruling differs because he preserved the language "marry" and "purports to marry" -- meaning adults may not have more than one active marriage license.

The UPI has more.

 
California bill would let birth certificates reflect same-sex parents PDF Print E-mail
Written by Karen B. Hall   
Friday, 22 August 2014 09:00

(Reuters) - Birth certificates in California would be changed to more accurately reflect families in which parents are of the same gender under a bill passed by the legislature on Wednesday.

The bill, which now goes to Democratic Governor Jerry Brown, would allow parents to identify themselves as father, mother or parent when a child is born, a nuanced change from the current birth certificate that backers say is more reflective of growing rights and acceptance for same-sex couples.

"This bill seems subtle but I think it’s going to make a profound impact on how people view each other," said the bill's author, Democratic Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez of Los Angeles.

Yahoo! News has more.

Last Updated on Friday, 22 August 2014 19:51
 
A Sacred Cow With Poisonous Teats PDF Print E-mail
Written by Karen B. Hall   
Wednesday, 16 July 2014 09:00

Boston Globe columnist, Jennifer Graham, recently discussed what she bemoaned is a “fringe” movement to make divorce more difficult for splitting parties to obtain, in a widely noted June column. Ms. Graham observed that divorce is not “yet” a sacrament, but that it is:

“…a sacred cow with poisonous teats.”

Wow. We have thought a lot about divorce, our own experiences as clients, judge, lawyers, mediators and arbitrators, but we have never managed to summarize the institution with such a glib and cynical spirit. Ms. Graham, of course, was speaking politically, while rhetorically grabbing for op-ed reader attention; and from persona, but not professional, experience. The point of her tasteless metaphor is that the society is too invested in no-fault divorce to turn back. She is probably right in that, but she is at least as naïve in suggesting that people would reverse the agonizing decision to legally split, if only they could see how a day in court. More real even than reality TV!

We are proud of the work that we pursue together. We do not encourage divorce; and so far as we can tell, we don’t cause it, either. We do our best to provide an respectful service in a cost-sensitive manner, while encouraging people to make their own decisions, in a way that saves unnecessary wear and tear on the family. At the very least, we pledge to do no harm to relationships that often must endure despite marriage’s end, in the process of facilitating settlements. ... we believe in what we do.

-- from Levine Dispute Resolution Center LLC, Westwood and Northampton, MA

 
Judge To Take Same-Sex Divorce Case Under Advisement PDF Print E-mail
Written by Karen B. Hall   
Friday, 27 June 2014 09:00

Roane County Circuit Court Judge Russell Simmons Jr. announced today that he is taking under advisement a high-profile divorce case involving two men who married legally in Iowa and want to divorce in Tennessee. The issue pertains to whether a same-sex divorce can be granted in a state where such marriages are banned. Simmons said he will render a written opinion soon. Knoxnews has more.

Knoxnews has more.

Last Updated on Sunday, 20 July 2014 01:54
 
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