4.17.2015

Immigrating Families and Children - A Best Interests of the Child Problem of Executive Action??

Immigration of families to the United States is one of the two key aspects of legal immigration, with the goal of the US government being to reunify families whenever possible.  Under this legal process, family strength and stability and the best interests of children are the objective – or in two words: Family Restoration. 

When children are left behind by parents who are deported, their best interests are a great challenge to meet.  Addressing that problem and finding its solutions are outlined in “Are We There Yet? Immigration Reform to Protect the Best Interests of Children.  

Over the past year President Obama has taken sweeping executive action to bypass avenues of legal immigration, many of which have already resulted in not providing for the best interests of children – a legal requirement in the US whenever a child is involved.  Today a federal appeals court will hear oral arguments about whether to keep or rescind a hold on the President’s recent executive actions on immigration.  Watch the Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal video on Will Obama's Immigration Actions Remain on Hold?  to find out more about the hold placed on those actions by a federal district court in Texas. 

Immigration to benefit families ought to provide for family restoration in the best interests of children.

4.16.2015

The Texas Response to Federal Privacy Jurisprudence

In 2012 over ten million children in the United States were living without their fathers. In 2013 over 1.8 million of those children were in Texas, living in mother-only households. Children are being deprived of a needed parent. Has the United States Supreme Court’s endorsement of the philosophy of individualism in its privacy jurisprudence contributed to this rise in fatherless households?

This article will discuss the effects of that jurisprudence on the State of Texas and how Texas has responded. Part I of this article discusses the Supreme Court’s privacy jurisprudence. That examination will reveal a shift from the Court’s protection of families to a jurisprudential assault on families through judicial endorsement of extreme individualism. Part II examines the origins, philosophy, and effects of this individualism, including marital and family breakdown and father absence, specifically considering statistical and demographic evidence from Texas. Part III explains Texas’s response to that jurisprudence and the State’s efforts to protect life and family relationships. While Texas’s public policy has been to strengthen families and promote fatherhood in the State, the High Court’s privacy jurisprudence has divided family unity in favor of individualism, which is having a profound effect on children.

This article illustrates that Texas is making efforts to counteract those effects to restore families.

 

 

4.14.2015

Healthy, Wealthy and Married?

Marriage is the foundation for a strong family, but it also provides for the best health - and wealth - of the partners, and their children, according to some interesting new research. 

A recent study which looked at risk factors for vascular health by the American College of Cardiology revealed that married people have a lower risk of vascular disease affecting the abdomen, neck and legs. A well-kept secret is that marriage also yields  many general benefits to your physical health.  For decades researchers have consistently found that men and women in good marriages tend to do better in a number of health measures. From colds to the flu to major issues such as cancer and heart disease, healthy marriages appear to confer a protective effect. Happily married men and women also enjoy better mental health and tend to live longer than their never-married, divorced or cohabiting counterparts.

There is also incontrovertible evidence that marriage also increases wealth.  A recent study by the Brookings Institute revealed that marriage provides a social mobility element to its members.  Marriage partners tended to accumulate wealth better than single, divorced, widowed or cohabiting couples, and passed those trends on to their children.  And the study found that this social mobility notion applied not just to those married folks in lower economic brackets, but middle class marrieds were impacted too.  According to researcher Brad Wilcox in his latest study published by the American Enterprise Institute, that mobility is significantly lower with weaker family structures.  Employers have long known, as outlined at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2070871, that hiring married people makes good business sense.

The health and happiness of married people bears out in these recent studies, and Focus on the Family has some great resources on keeping your marriage strongOf course, let's be clear—although men and women in good marriages are more likely to do better in terms of health and wealth, there are no guarantees that a solid marital relationship will help ward off illness or extend a person's net worth.  Still, a thriving marriage makes a tremendous difference in your quality of life in every way.  Dietrich Bonheoffer said it best in a letter to his niece on her pending marriage: "It is not your love that sustains your marriage, but from now on, the marriage that sustains your love."

 

4.11.2015

"Wed Lease" Limiting Marriage Duration Weakens Marriage Rather than Eases Divorce

Introduced by a legal scholar who was trying to find a way to reduce the divorce rate in the United States, a wedlease is a contract between the two parties in a married couple that spells out the terms of the relationship, including the length of time that the couple would remain in the relationship.

If the idea gains favor and wedleases become law, the contract would be created during family law mediation. The agreement could define the rights and responsibilities of each party, as well as property division after the formal relationship comes to a close. It could even include an option to renew the lease if the couple is happy in their relationship. It would also need to include a provision that would end the contract if one or both parties violated the terms of the wedlease.

The terms of the agreement should also include the provisions for children who are born from the wedlease relationship. It could extend the lease until the couple's youngest child is either emancipated or is no longer considered to be a minor by law.

The legal minds who came up with the wedlease theory believed that marriage is an evolving institution, and that it should include couples who do not want to be bound to remain together beyond a set period of time. For the moment, however, wedleases only exist in the minds of the idea's creator. They are not legal as of yet.

For couples who want to have formal agreements about each party's responsibilities and rights in a standard marriage, there are, of course, post-nuptial and prenuptial agreements that the couple can create. With the help of family law mediation, a couple can make some substantial decisions about property ownership and other responsibilities and rights that each party will have within the marriage relationship. The couple cannot, though, specify a time at which the relationship will come to a close. Marriage is still for a lifetime. according to Florida state law.

Read more at http://targetlaw.com/a-new-concept-called-a-wedlease-may-be-in-the-future-of-florida-family-law-mediation.
On the other hand, a restorative family perspective might allow an attorney to consider how to use a contract to help couples work through their difficulties, rather than plan their marriage's demise from the outset.  To learn how to do that see the article at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1949256 - "Understanding Realistic Reconciliation in an Age of Divorce. " Family restoration is a movement to strengthen marriage.  A Wed Lease limits a marriage's duration from its inception, seemingly to ease divorce, but unwittingly weakening marriage from its very start.