Tracy Oppenheimer at Reason profiles a new reformist book and documentary on the costly business of divorce. “It’s the fourth most common cause of bankruptcy in the United States,” says filmmaker Joseph Sorge. Coverage: Paul Raeburn/Huffington Post, IMDb, Hollie McKay/Fox News, Nicolas Rapold/New York Times.
A New Jersey judge has ruled that a mother-to-be doesn’t have to notify the estranged unwed father that she is going into labor or let him into the delivery room [ABA Journal] Meanwhile, a suit filed on behalf of unwed fathers is challenging Utah’s adoption laws, which they say improperly enable mothers from out of state to visit Utah for purposes of depriving unwed fathers of rights of notification or objection they would otherwise enjoy under their home state’s law [Salt Lake Tribune]
“A New Jersey couple does not have to pay — for now — for their 18-year-old daughter’s college education, a judge ruled Tuesday evening.” [CBS New York, ABC News, NY Daily News, AP]
I don’t think everyone who supports same-sex marriage is logically obliged to support polygamy, and say so in this post taking issue with columnist Mona Charen. She responds here.
P.S. More thoughts from Eli Lehrer at Huffington Post (“Gay marriage is increasingly accepted precisely because its results, to date, have been good for society. Polyamory on a large scale would have negative short-term results and that’s a good reason to think it’s just not going to happen.”).
Okay, “get the government out of marriage” makes a nice slogan, with a libertarian-sounding ring to it. But what happens on contact with legal reality, where countless existing legal relations are predicated on marriage’s functional role as an on/off switch as opposed to a sliding continuum of statuses customized by private contract? [Scott Shackford, Reason]
Also on the marriage question, I have a new blog post at Cato recapitulating why social conservatives are deluding themselves if they imagine the GOP can use the issue to harvest many new black votes.
Yet more: video of a Friday Cato panel in which I join Mary Bonauto of GLAD, Ilya Shapiro of the Cato Institute, and Kathryn Lehman of Holland & Knight; I talk about how public opinion on same-sex marriage is increasingly boxing in the national Republican Party, and how it might bid to get out of the box.
William Marotta and the recipient of his donation signed an agreement that he would have neither rights nor obligations with respect to any offspring that resulted. But the state of Kansas says that shouldn’t insulate him from paying child support for the three-year-old daughter on whose behalf the state picked up $6,000 in medical bills unpaid by the mother, who had fallen on hard times. [Topeka Capital-Journal, Huffington Post]
Canine custody, that is: Craig Dershowitz says he’s spent $60,000 suing his ex-girlfriend over who will get their dog. “It’s worth it,” he says. [NY Post via Elie Mystal, Above the Law]
A proposed Michigan law would apply legal scrutiny to men’s motives for walking out of relationships. [Fathers and Families via Amy Alkon]
“I only dabble in family law with my reproductive technology work, but my experience with the various conferences I attend has led me to believe that the number of heterosexual men who primarily write and teach in the area and have joined the academy in the last 10 years or so is extremely small, and even when I teach family law topics I can feel myself performing my sexuality to some extent as if it were a ritual to get access or credibility.” [Glenn Cohen, Prawfsblawg]
“A B.C. man who was abandoned as a teenager is being sued by his elderly mother for parental support…. Shirley [Anderson], who has not had a relationship with Ken or his two siblings for decades, is asking for $750 per month in support from each of them.” Like some American states, British Columbia retains a law on its books requiring grown children to support their parents in case of destitution. [CBC]
A court has dismissed the Illinois action, saying that to let such cases proceed “could potentially open the floodgates to subject family childrearing to … excessive judicial scrutiny and interference.” [Chicago Tribune/SLT; Volokh]