Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Divorce misconceptions persist

The NY Times got a couple of family law experts to discuss couples getting prenups for their ideas, and one says:
Women have, historically, been short-changed in divorces. A familiar pattern was that of a wife who supported her husband as he worked his way through law school or medical school by taking low-wage jobs with little opportunity, believing she was helping invest in their collective future. Once the marriage dissolved, though, the husband walked away with the fruits of their human capital.
Greenspun responds:
The law professor who makes this assertion doesn’t make any attempt to explain why most divorce lawsuits are filed by women (see the classic Brinig and Allen paper referenced in “Causes of Divorce” as well as this statistical study of a Massachusetts courthouse where 72 percent of the cases were filed by women).
Greenspun also points out that the other expert is wrong about divorce law.

Family law is not complicated, but even experts get it wrong. I do not know whether these experts are stupid, or are blinded by ideology and self-interest.

I started this blog with a belief that the family (and juvenile dependency) court system could not really be as bad as it appears. Then I believed that the system would be reformed, if only the public understood how screwed up it was. Then I thought that at least it would be useful to document my own experience, so others can be alert to the pitfalls.

I don't think that I persuaded anyone. I heard from lots of people who had their own bad experiences, and who appreciated the blog to get the bigger picture. So I am happy to leave this blog up, in case it helps anyone.

Donald Trump was elected because, in part, the public wised up to the fact that the powerful and influential elites were lying to us about trade, immigration, Islam, police work, foreign wars, and many other topics. They also lie about marriage and parental rights, but that is too sensitive for even Trump to address.

Take the red pill. Our society is destroying the family. Find out how it works before you get married or have a kid.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

State tries to stop newspaper reporting on CPS

I have posted before how California law has been interpreted to shelter CPS (Child Protective Services) from public scrutiny. Sometimes they even try to restrict a parent from showing legal accusations to his own attorney.

UCLA law professor E. Volokh writes:
Avilucea also got, from the child’s mother, the child abuse complaint (filed by the New Jersey Division of Child Protection) that sought to remove the child from her custody. ...

The state therefore got a court order that barred the newspaper from publishing “any information obtained from the filed verified complaint,” as well as ordering the newspaper “to remove from any publication source any documents if already printed or distributed.” And there is also a related statute, which criminalizes “encourag[ing] the release of the contents” of such records and reports (and which might presumably apply to any request by the reporter that the mother let him copy the complaint).

I think this order violates the First Amendment. ...

But it’s not clear that the government may get a court order blocking publication even of an illegally solicited document — the prior restraint doctrine, which presumptively forbids injunctions against publication, is generally very strong.

And beyond that, I don’t think that the government can just flatly ban the targets of government action from going to the media with complaints about such government action. If the government wants to take away your liberty, your property or your children, and you think this action is unjust, you should have the right to blow the whistle, and appeal to those who are ultimately in charge of the government, and in whose name the government acts — your fellow citizens.
The legal briefs on the free speech issue are also sealed, and unavailable.

I think Volokh is correct that CPS confidentiality laws are contrary to established interpretation of the First Amendment and maybe some other amendments as well.

Update: A comment adds:
There is no reason to respect an unconstitutional court order or the court that issued it. I am a lawyer in NJ, and the Family Courts in NJ routinely trample First Amendment rights, often closing the entire courtroom in many case involving children, whether DYFS (whose name has changed) is involved or not. Even when DYFS is involved, I am not convinced the statute requiring all records to be sealed, initials to be used and the courthouse closed is constitutional. The general reason given is "best interests of the child," a general, non-descript catch-all phrase that is used to justify almost anything in Family Court.
Volokh removed links to the brief, even tho he says that the order sealing them is unconstitutional.