Weekly News Roundup

Recent family-related news included statistics on the rate of divorce across the United States, a study reporting that the use of technology can be beneficial to the parent-child relationship when parents are divorced, a look at divorce in Saudi Arabia, a look at divorce in the Sikh community, and musings about what makes a relationship work.

Here Are the States Where Your Marriage Won’t Last
Deidre McPhillips, U.S. News & World Report, February 11, 2019
Research by sociologists at the University of Washington shows a consistent seasonal spike in divorce filings that begins in January and peaks in March… Generally, married individuals are less likely to get divorced in states where marriage is less common. Which states had the highest divorce rates in the last year?

One Plus of Texting, Social Media: Divorce Made Easier on Kids
Serena Gordon, U.S. News & World Report, February 26, 2019
A new study reports a bright side to all that texting and social media — it keeps children connected to their parents after a divorce. The researchers also found that when kids and the parent no longer living at home stayed in contact, it didn’t seem to matter how well the divorcing parents got along… With these forms of communication the child doesn’t get stuck in the middle.

American Woman, Divorced from Saudi Husband is Trapped in Saudi Arabia
Ben Hubbard, The New York Times, March 5, 2019
An American from Washington State, taught at a women’s university, started a company, married a Saudi businessman and gave birth to a daughter. But since the marriage fell apart and she sought a divorce, she has been trapped. Because of the kingdom’s … guardianship laws, which give men great power over women, she is unable to use her bank account, leave the country, travel with her daughter or seek legal help, according to the woman’s cousin.

I’m Divorced, So Sikh Men Don’t Want Me
Minreet Kaur, BBC, March 15, 2019
“Divorce is shameful in the Sikh community, especially for women. My marriage had been semi-arranged. After my divorce, when I started looking for a new husband, I went to the Hounslow temple to register in its matrimonial book, but what I didn’t know was that, since I was a divorcee, they would only introduce me to divorced men.”

How Do You Know When It Is Time to Break Up?
Nasreen Yazdani, The New York Times, March 15, 2019
“There’s a fine line between opposites attract and intractable differences… Sometimes I wonder if relationships are like math problems: You add the pros, subtract the cons, run the numbers and round up to the nearest husband.”

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Weekly News Roundup

Recent family-related news included an extensive study of the long-term harmful effects of stress on children, a personal look at whether logic can help you find the perfect romantic partner, a strong statement by Chief Judge DiFiore endorsing the expanded use of mediation, a defeat by the United Methodist Church of a proposal that would have allowed gay clergy and same-sex marriage, and more information about “grey divorce.”

The Startling Toll on Children Who Witness Domestic Violence is Just Now Being Understood
Jayne O’Donnell and Mabinty Quarshie, USA Today, January 29, 2019
New research is giving scientists more insight into the far-reaching and long-lasting harms of domestic violence, physical and emotional, to the children who grow up around it — including a startling finding: Witnessing abuse carries the same risk of harm to children’s mental health and learning as being abused directly. “When these high levels of stress happen too often and too intensely, it creates a toxic pathway that alters how our brains and bodies operate and how we think, learn and behave,” said psychologist Sheri Madigan, a professor at the University of Calgary in Canada.

Want Lasting Love? First Take This Test
Lauren Apfel, The New York Times, February 1, 2019
“I became obsessed with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator a few years ago when my nearly two-decade marriage began to unravel and I was trying to understand how things had gone so wrong. In love, we can try to test, predict and explain all we want, but romantic attachment will always be an inherently messy endeavor. Chemistry, history and timing can’t be logged into a spreadsheet.”

DiFiore Renews Call for Lawmakers to Restructure NY Court System
Dan M. Clark, The New York Law Journal, February 26, 2019
Chief Judge Janet DiFiore renewed her call to amend the state constitution during her State of the Judiciary Address. “We are all in,” DiFiore said. “Here are the simple facts: mediation and arbitration have a proven track record of settling a high percentage of civil cases — and of narrowing the disputed issues, reducing the cost of litigation.”

United Methodists Tighten Ban on Same-Sex Marriage and Gay Clergy
Timothy Williams and Elizabeth Dias, The New York Times, February 26, 2019
The United Methodist Church on Tuesday voted to strengthen its ban on gay and lesbian clergy and same-sex marriages, a decision that could split the nation’s second-largest Protestant church. Matt Miofsky, leads one of the fastest growing United Methodist churches in the country in St. Louis. “I want people to know that The Gathering, and a lot of churches like it all over the country, want to welcome LGBTQ people,” he said. “We are going to pursue a fully inclusive vision for ministry.”

Grey Divorce: Its Reasons and Its Implications
Marguerita Cheng, Forbes, February 26, 2019
Grey divorce refers to a demographic trend that has witnessed an increase in the split or separation of older couples who have been married for a long time. Research shows that the overall rate of divorce in the United States has declined over the past 20 years, but the divorce rate of people over 50 is on the rise.

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Weekly News Roundup

Recent family-related news included an interview with a  wedding planner who aims to address the needs of ALL couples, information about prenuptial agreements for second marriages, a look at divorce for same sex couples, a review of an animated film from Japan exploring the roles of parents, and a court case involving an immigration struggle for young twin brothers. 

The Woman Leading the Way to a More Inclusive Wedding Industry
Bianca Barratt, Forbes, February 12, 2019
Brittny Drye founded Love Inc. in 2013 when she realized that no one was being truly inclusive with their wedding content. Drye shares: “…as a whole, the wedding industry is very heteronormative. Love Inc. appeals to engaged couples of all orientations and identities, as well wedding pros and individuals who are equality cheerleaders.”

All About Prenups for Second Marriages
Laurie Israel, Forbes, February 13, 2019
“…if you’ll be entering a second marriage in your 50s or 60s, a prenup is something you may want. …Many people who are remarrying have significant assets, retirement funds, homes, and sometimes business ownership and children from their prior marriage.”

Advice for Boomer Same-Sex Couples Facing Divorce
Nancy Hetrick, Forbes, February 14, 2019
The rules of same-sex divorce are still being written. There are so many unanswered questions that make the process more complicated for married boomer same-sex couples who are splitting up.

Oscar-Nominated Mirai is More than a Moving Tale of Childhood
Nina Li Coomes, The Atlantic, February 18, 2019
The animated film from Mamoru Hosoda is a timely reflection on how societal expectations for Japanese fathers are slowly evolving… Japan is currently facing twin social dilemmas: urging female labor participation while also needing mothers to birth and raise babies; and trying to ease brutal workplace conditions to allow men and women more time at home.

Judge Rules Against State Department in Same-Sex Couple’s Citizenship Lawsuit
Merrit Kennedy, NPR, February 22, 2019
Andrew and Elad Dvash-Banks have twin sons, born four minutes apart. The U.S. State Department has maintained that one twin is a U.S. citizen and one is not, stating that U.S. citizenship could only be passed along to a child by the parent who has a biological connection to the child.

To suggest articles for inclusion in the FamilyKind Weekly Roundup please email us at info@familykind.org.

Weekly News Roundup

Recent family-related news included thoughts on what it means to be “family,” reflections from Michelle Obama on her  ever-changing roles within her family, a look at a very popular Chinese video game highlighting dating, a look at how much people spend on an engagement ring, and how Instagram Story can help you tell your world about your break-up.

When an Auntie is Not Actually a Relative
Imani Bashir, The Washington Post, February 4, 2019
We have established miniature pockets of family outside of relatives…because of where we live now and how we live, we are lucky enough to have other people we can call family.

Reading Michelle Obama’s “Becoming” as a Motherhood Memoir
Emily Lordi, The New Yorker, February 5, 2019
What Michelle Obama brings to this genre is, first, a powerful sense of self, which precedes and exceeds her domestic relationships… Obama makes and remakes her domestic relationships throughout her adult life.

“They’re More Attractive Than Real Boyfriends.” Inside the Weird World of Chinese Romance Video Games
Lu-Hai Liang, Wired, February 11, 2019
Love and Producer is a mobile game that follows the story of a young TV producer who is dedicated to reviving her late father’s TV show that explored mysterious incidents and anomalies revolving around Evols (humans with special powers). In the game, the female protagonist is dating four different men at the same time.

Three Months’ Salary for an Engagement Ring? For Most People, It’s More Like Two Weeks
Quoctrung Bui, The New York Times, February 13, 2019
Buying an engagement ring can be an emotionally loaded purchase… The median American spends about 4 percent (or two weeks) of annual pretax income on an engagement ring, according to an online poll of 1,640 adults conducted for The Upshot by Morning Consult… The poor spend two months’ wages on rings.

Crucial Moments in Your Post-Breakup Instagram Story
Monica Heisey (writer) and Jason Adam Katzenstein (cartoonist), The New York Times, February 15, 2019
Ending a relationship is hard, but telling mutual friends and loved ones you’ve split can be even harder… The people at Instagram Stories provided a method for the romantically bereaved to broadcast the message “I am really going through a breakup” without ever having to say “We just wanted different things” to an acquaintance on the street.

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Weekly News Roundup

Recent family-related news included a photographer’s ode to his wife, advice on facing the challenges of a blended family, how money and marriage intertwine for millennials, a look at marriage and parenthood in modern Japan, and research regarding the importance of grandmothers.

Lee Friedlander’s Intimate Portraits of His Wife, Through Sixty Years of Marriage
Chris Wiley, The New Yorker, January 11, 2019,
The things that got in front of Friedlander’s camera weren’t always out in the wilds of the street. Sometimes, the consummate peripatetic photographed within the quieter confines of his home…

Dear Therapist: I’m Dating a Divorced Man With Kids, and It’s Harder Than I Thought
Lori Gottlieb,The Atlantic, January 28, 2019
…Just remember that you two have some navigating to do, too, in figuring out what your life together will look like in this blended family. Now’s the time to be honest with each other about how he envisions you fitting into his life in its entirety — kids and ex-wife included — and how you envision that happening as well…

How Marriage Became a Status Symbol for Millennials
Aimee Picchi, CBSnews.com, February 1, 2019
Millennials are far more likely to be living with a partner or to be single than their parents at their age, in other words, and their generation’s shift away from marriage may be less a matter of choice and more the result of economic factors that have made the institution less approachable.

Japan’s Working Mothers: Record Responsibilities, Little Help from Dad
Motoko Rich, The New York Times, February 2, 2019
…While Japanese women have entered the work force at historic levels, their avalanche of domestic responsibilities is not shrinking and men in Japan do fewer hours of household chores and child care than in any of the world’s wealthiest nations… Despite some efforts to modify the excessive work culture for men, excessive hours remain the norm, helping explain why men contribute so little to housework or child care.

Living Near Your Grandmother Has Evolutionary Benefits
Jonathan Lambert, NPR, February 7, 2019
Since the name of the evolutionary game is survival and reproduction, the phenomenon begs explanation — why live longer than you can reproduce? Two studies published Thursday in Current Biology take another look at this hypothesis and add new insights into the role grandmothers play.

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Weekly News Roundup

Recent family-related news included the realization that a marriage ends but the google picture remains constant, the numbers and reasons behind Christmas Day divorce filings in the UK, a look at the messy affair of parenting, support for the pre-nup, and how a bike accident revealed a new husband.

Tracking the Demise of My Marriage on Google Maps
Maggie Smith, The New York Times, January 2, 2019
My husband moved out about six weeks ago, marking the end of our nearly 19-year relationship, but Google Maps hasn’t noticed yet… Do I need to explain why? Do I need to say what happened, to whom and by whom?

Christmas Day Divorce: 13 People Completed Online Applications
BBC, January 4, 2019
Ammanda Major, from relationship support charity Relate, said her organization typically saw an increase in requests for help in January. “Many people hope that the festive period will be a time of coming together, so when this doesn’t happen the sense of failure and sadness can further exacerbate problems that were there in the first place,” she said.

Parenting Looks Nothing Like What the Experts Say — Everyone’s Winging It, But That’s Not a Bad Thing
Hillary Frank, The Atlantic, January 18, 2019
Parenting is as high stakes as it gets — another person’s life is in your hands. And many of us look to gurus for easy step-by-step instructions on how to do it right… But what the “experts” are telling us doesn’t always work. They don’t account for the fact that raising other humans is a messy endeavor. That each child and each parent is an individual with unique experiences and needs and quirks.

Here’s Why Getting a Prenup Could Be the Best Thing for Your Marriage
Becky Hughes, Parade, January 24, 2019
HuffPost senior relationships editor Ashley Rockman says that while marriage can certainly be romantic, it is also a contract, which means that it should be approached in the same way you’d approach an auto loan or a mortgage: with serious forethought, attention to detail, and cautionary provisions put into place that might become necessary should circumstances change.

Are You My Husband?
Megan Horst, The New York Times, January 25, 2019
The author shares “When I lost my old husband, there was no funeral, no burial, no going through his items to decide what to keep or discard… I simply carried on, missing my husband and occasionally crying among strangers. My new husband isn’t the same person I married, but he has his beauty. I admire so much about him…”

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Weekly News Roundup

Recent family-related news included thoughts on taking your spouse’s name, tips on how to have an amicable divorce, a look at how the 2019 tax laws affect divorce, a memoir exploring what it means to be family, and will the Bezos’ divorce affect Amazon’s shareholder’s bottom line?

Myself, by Any Other Name
Pari Berk, The New York Times, January 11, 2019
The author shares her thoughts about changing her name: “Jack, my partner of six and a half years, had long observed that I hadn’t wholly let go of my ex. He was right, evidenced by the fact that I had kept his name. In the midst of my cancer recurrence, Jack and I married… The irony is, I never once considered taking Jack’s last name.”

How to Get Divorced Without Hating Your Ex or Tearing Your Family Apart
Lisa Bonos, The Washington Post, January 14, 2019
“I don’t like the idea of holding children hostage to money,” attorney Krauss-Browne says. “Your kids are the things you love more than words can describe.” If both parents know when they’re going to see their kids and that they’re going to have a voice in their lives, it makes the money issues easier to deal with, she says.

January is Divorce Month, and This Year Brings New Tax Rules for Couples Who Split Up
Tanza Loudenback, Business Insider, January 15, 2019
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.

Dani Shapiro’s New Memoir Uncovers a Life
Ruth Franklin. The New York Times, January 15, 2019
Many children of sperm (and egg) donors grow up fulfilled and content, nurtured by the love of the parents who raise them and uninterested in seeking out their biological relatives. And for many children genetic bonds aren’t sufficient to maintain connection to parents who are abusive or neglectful.

Why Jeff Bezos’ Divorce Should Worry Amazon Investors
James B. Stewart, New York Times, January 18, 2019
Jeff Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie, may be the first billionaire couple with a huge stake in an enormous technology company to announce their divorce. “Most divorces start out contentious and end contentious,” said Samantha Bley DeJean, a matrimonial lawyer in San Francisco, who has worked with many Silicon Valley entrepreneurs… “When they start out amicably, you hold out some hope that they’ll stay that way, but in my experience it only gets worse.”

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Weekly News Roundup

Recent family-related news included tips from two divorced divorce lawyers, Britain no longer requires women rescued from their forced marriage to repay the government for expenses, an interview about the divorce process in Niger, a popular divorce lawyer’s thoughts about divorce in South Africa, and the founders of Amazon seek divorce.

Two Lawyers Better After Their Own Divorce, but Still Together
Louise Rafkin, The New York Times, January 3, 2019
“Divorces can look like marriages, and marriages can look like divorces,” he said. “Focus on the human issues because the legal issues — income, property and child support — are formulaic. If you have children, minimize their exposure to adult issues,” she said. “All a kid wants to know is that everything is going to be OK. Be a rock even if you don’t feel like one.”

U.K. Drops Demand that Women Forced into Marriage Pay for Rescue
Benjamin Mueller, The New York Times, January 10, 2019
British women forced into marriages abroad will no longer be required to repay the government for the cost of helping them escape, according to the foreign secretary, reversing a policy that touched off intense public outrage. Instead, the government will use court orders to try to recover expenses for parts of the women’s rescue, like flights home and short-term shelter, from the people who sent them abroad — often their parents. If those efforts are unsuccessful, the Foreign Office will cover the costs itself.

More Women in Niger Take Control of Their Marriages, Seek Divorces
Rachel Martin interviews Dionne Searcey, West Africa bureau chief for The New York Times, NPR, January 11, 2019
In Niger, divorce court takes place on public sidewalks out in the open. Dionne Searcey, the West Africa bureau chief for The New York Times, has seen one in action. Today, more women in Muslim-majority Niger are showing up at these courts, having triggered their own divorce. This is part of a larger movement in West Africa, women taking control of their marriages and their relationships.

January is Divorce Month – But Cyril Ramaphosa’s Celebrity Lawyer Says Wait Until March
Helena Wasserman, Business Insider SA, Jan 11, 2019
A review of divorce law and a look at divorce through the eyes of a well known divorce lawyer in South Africa.

Who is MacKenzie Bezos?
Jonah Engel Bromwich and Alexandra Alter, The New York Times, January 12, 2019
A Twitter statement signed “Jeff & MacKenzie,” shares their sentiments about their upcoming divorce: “After a period of loving exploration and trial separation, we have decided to divorce and continue our shared lives as friends.”  The couple, who have four children, wrote that they see “wonderful futures ahead, as parents, friends, partners in ventures and projects, and as individuals pursuing ventures and adventures.”

To suggest articles for inclusion in the FamilyKind Weekly Roundup please email us at info@familykind.org.

Weekly News Roundup

Recent family-related news included tips on how to have better relationships, the reality of the new tax law and its effect on divorcing couples, a look at how the media has recently interpreted the concept of “dad,”  the reality that gay marriage could be in jeopardy in Brazil, and a look at the incidence of “broken adoptions” when adoptive families do not get the help they need when children have serious mental illnesses.

6 Ways to Have Better Relationships in 2019
Smarter Living Editors, The New York Times, December 26, 2018
According to the authors, even if the foundation of your relationship has long been built on trial and error, a relationship is nothing more than small growths and achievements, marked by the occasional misstep. The Smarter Living team has culled a few tips from their archive to help people grow in that new relationship, rekindle an old flame or turn a breakup into a positive experience.

How the Tax Laws for Divorce Will Turn Upside Down in 2019
Making Sen$e, PBS NewsHour, December 27, 2018
Aside from the normal emotions of a broken relationship and family, there’s the paperwork, the attorneys, the courts and the money. New tax changes that just took effect in this month could add a significant amount of stress to divorcing. The authors have compiled information that could be helpful to people divorcing in 2019 and beyond.

Year of the Daddy
Bonnie Wertheim, The New York Times, December 28, 2018
A look at the concept of “daddy” as seen through the modern media… The narrative, of male self-interrogation and self-improvement, aligns with a broader paternal revisionism that has permeated visual media in recent years.

Gay Couples Rush to Wed Before Brazil’s New President Takes Office
Shasta Darlington, The New York Times, December 29, 2018
Gay marriage has been legal in Brazil since 2013, but with the triumph of Jair Bolsonaro as president — a far-right politician who once declared “I’m homophobic, with pride” — things have changed. “There could be attempts to make same-sex marriage illegal, but the Constitution will prevail,” said José Fernando Simão, a professor of civil rights and family law at the University of São Paulo. “It’s natural for there to be concern. This is a community that has been ultra-marginalized in the past.”

To Get Mental Health Help for a Child, Desperate Parents Relinquish Custody
Christine Herman, NPR, January 2, 2019
Even when families have private insurance through the parents’ jobs, and a child has Medicaid coverage because he was adopted, often neither insurance would pay for extensive mental health treatment. Beth Stroul, who has been studying the problem of custody relinquishment for decades is the lead researcher on a new study — commissioned by the federal government and carried out by the University of Maryland — that explores why the problem persists to this day… Stroul says states, including Georgia and New Jersey, have passed laws and stepped up efforts to help children get treatment while in parental custody.

To suggest articles for inclusion in the FamilyKind Weekly Roundup please email us at info@familykind.org.

Weekly News Roundup

Recent family-related news included a Mexican marriage milestone, tips on how to do decrease financial woes in a marriage, an in-depth interview with Esther Perel about her theories on romantic love, last minute information regarding the alimony tax laws, and ideas on how to handle shared real estate when you split.

A Same-Sex Marriage Under Mexican Law, but Outside Mexico
Vincent M. Mallozzi, The New York Times, November 28, 2018
Daniel Berezowsky and Jaime Chávez Alor were married on November 26, 2018 in New York. The marriage is the first same-sex marriage outside Mexico under Mexican law, a milestone in marriage equality for LGBT Mexican immigrants living in New York and elsewhere, according to the Mayor’s Office for International Affairs.

How to Financially Divorce-Proof Your Marriage
Kari Paul, Marketwatch, December 5, 2018
Some 59% of couples cite financial problems as playing “somewhat” of a role in their divorce, a 2017 study from Experian found. Another 20% said financial problems played a “big” role in the divorce, and 26% said their spouse’s credit score specifically was a source of stress in the marriage.

Love Is Not a Permanent State of Enthusiasm: An Interview with Esther Perel
Alexandra Schwartz, The New Yorker, December 9, 2018
The author spoke with Esther Perel last year, where they discussed Ms. Perel’s family background, her theories about romantic life, and her role as a mediator between a couple’s competing narratives.

How to Manage Your Divorce as New Alimony Tax Rules Go Into Effect
Lorie Konish, CNBC, December 19, 2018
When the clock strikes midnight on Jan. 1, you can say goodbye to old alimony tax rules that have been in place for years. New rules mean alimony payments will no longer be tax-deductible for the payer and taxable income for the payee.

Real Estate Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make in a Divorce
Devon Thorsby, U.S. News & World Report, December, 19, 2018
Dividing your assets in a divorce settlement can be tough, and there’s no way to split a co-owned house in two. While selling and splitting the proceeds may be the fairest option, if you or your kids have an emotional attachment to the family home, you may be searching for alternatives — at least in the immediate aftermath of the divorce.

To suggest articles for inclusion in the FamilyKind Weekly Roundup please email us at info@familykind.org.