Volume 40, No. 3 (Fall 2006) — Table of Contents
The Intersection of Immigration Law and Family Law
Nicole Lawrence Ezer
Divorce, custody, domestic violence and other marital matters can be impacted by immigration status. The immigration law practice area is a fluid one, and its changes can be both rapid and retroactively applied. New laws and regulations, sometimes even a new memo, can impact an applicant's eligibility for immigration benefits. Family lawyers should consult an immigration lawyer as soon as an immigration issue arises—or appears possible—in a family law case. A noncitizen client's ability to remain in the U.S. may be compromised, and timing may be critical. The author provides a general overview of family law and immigration issues that may arise as well as how the Dept. of Homeland Security affects the marriage relationship and divorce; how the client's status as a citizen, noncitizen, or illegal alien may affect divorce and custody issues; The Adam Walsh Child Protection & Safety Act of 2006; and the Immigration and Nationality Act as it relates to the smuggling of family members.
Assessing Social Science Studies: Eleven Tips for Judges and Lawyers
Sarah H. Ramsey & Robert F. Kelly
The authors caution that social science research can provide valuable contextual information about a family law problem, but that it usually does not tell us what the law or the court's decision should be. Users of social science research need to weigh the strengths and weaknesses of research studies and carefully assess their contribution in relation to the legal issues being considered. To that end, the authors offer eleven tips to help family law judges and practitioners identify major points to consider when using social science research.
Adults' Sexual Orientation and State Determinations Regarding Placement of Children
Michael S. Ward
This author examines whether a parent's sexual orientation is likely to promote children's well being and, from a child welfare and family-law-policy perspective, should gay parents or prospective parents be subject to special scrutiny when the state places children in adoptive and foster-care homes, resolves child-custody disputes, and establishes policy with respect to access to assisted reproductive technologies. The author concludes that children need homes where they are wanted and receive love and steady care, qualities that are not related to the adult's sexual orientation. Thus, consideration of sexual orientation in placement decisions is likely to be harmful to children.
Perpetuating the Impermanence of Foster Children: A Critical Analysis of Efforts to Reform the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children
Benign motives, primarily the need for child-welfare agencies and courts to access information about potential placements of children in other states, led to the passage of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children. Over time, however, the benefits of the statute have been corrupted by bureaucratic impediments, poor decision-making, and a lack of accountability that have resulted in children unnecessarily remaining in temporary foster homes or institutional placements. Drastic change to this system is needed, but current state and federal reform proposals fall short. A new cooperative framework is needed in which home studies are conducted in a timely manner consistent with the developmental needs of children and decisions are made by courts after considering evidence submitted by all parties. These changes will expedite the placement of children into permanent homes.
Executive Compensation: A Divorce Lawyers' Guide to Certain SEC and IRS Mandated Disclosure
Faith D. Dornbrand
This article discusses the new federal disclosure requirements promulgated by the SEC and certain disclosures about individuals' earning compensation from tax-exempt organizations available in public filings required by the IRS. Federally-mandated disclosures cover compensation treated as "income" for family court issues. They also cover remuneration components, such as retirement plans, stock, stock options and other equity awards or right, often treated as "assets" for family court purposes. Moreover, the SEC imposes rules on how certain components of compensation must be valued in its disclosure documents. From a domestic relations lawyer's point of view, these federal compensation disclosure sources can be extremely fruitful in obtaining and confirming compensation and asset information in a divorce case.
To Split or Not to Split: Judicial Divisibility of the Copyright Interests of Authors and Others
Francis M. Nevins
Most matrimonial attorneys are unversed in copyright law and might easily assume that any restrictions on a court's power to treat the copyright interest of one divorcing spouse as matrimonial or community property will be found in the law of the parties' domiciliary state and nowhere else. Most copyright specialists know that this assumption is false. This author explores the interface between copyright law and matrimonial law and the subject of federal constitutional and statutory preemption of such state court actions.Book Review
Equal Protection for Human Clones
A Review of Illegal Beings: Human Clones and the Law by Kerry Macintosh
Review by Richard F. Storrow