Family Law Decisions: Decided
Decided - The FindLaw Noteworthy Decisions and Settlements Blog

Recently in Family Law Category

Birthing Moms Can Kick Dads Out of Delivery Room: N.J. Court

In the first ever ruling of its kind, a New Jersey judge ruled that a woman in labor has the right to ban an unwed father from the delivery room.

The case -- argued the day the mother went into labor (!) -- stemmed from an estranged couple who called off their wedding prior to the birth of their child. Steven Plotnick sued his ex-fiancée Rebecca DeLuccia for the right to know when she went into labor and for access to the baby upon its birth, The Star-Ledger reports.

Though the child has since been born (in case you're wondering: pops was present at the birth), Superior Court Judge Sohail Mohammed ruled in favor of the mother.

An Arkansas man can have his gay partner and son under the same roof after the Arkansas Supreme Court reversed a prior court order.

Little Rock's KTHV-TV reports that Arkansas' highest court reversed an earlier court decision barring John Moix from having his same-sex partner in the home when Moix's son had an overnight visit.

This case is a victory for many gay parents who have been barred by their ex-spouses from having their children and new partners in one place.

Girl in Foster Care Not 'Mature' Enough to Get Abortion: Court

The Nebraska Supreme Court rejected the abortion request of a 16-year-old girl in foster care, ruling the girl was not mature enough to make the decision herself.

The case highlights some of the major concerns surrounding Nebraska's abortion consent laws.

S.C. Court: Baby Veronica's Adoptive Parents Should Get Custody

South Carolina's Supreme Court has awarded custody of Baby Veronica to her adoptive parents, and not her biological Cherokee dad. The ruling brings to a close a protracted and highly emotional legal battle that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In a 3-2 decision, the state court sent the case back to a family court with instructions to finalize Veronica's adoption by Matt and Melanie Capobianco, who live in Charleston.

The order comes on the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision to reverse and remand the South Carolina Supreme Court's earlier ruling, which had granted custody to Veronica's Cherokee Indian birth father, Dusten Brown, based on the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978, reports Reuters.

Supreme Court Sends Indian Adoption Case Back to S.C.

The U.S. Supreme Court has sent a contentious adoption case back to South Carolina's Supreme Court.

In a 5-4 ruling, justices reversed the South Carolina Supreme Court's decision in the case of Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl. South Carolina's highest court had affirmed a lower court's ruling to award custody of the girl to her biological father, a Cherokee Indian who cited the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 in support of his custody claim.

But as Justice Samuel Alito explained, the Act does not apply in this case.

Army Dad Can Pursue Int'l Child Custody Case: Supreme Court

Being an army dad or mom can be challenging, but having to fight for custody when your child is outside the United States makes it even more complicated.

For U.S. Army Sgt. Jeffrey Chafin, however, the battle just got a little easier. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously Tuesday that he can seek custody of his 6-year-old daughter Eris, who lives in Scotland with her mother.

That may not sound like much of a victory, and it's true that the legal battle has only just begun. But for Chafin and other parents who have a child living outside U.S. shores, it's an important decision.

Arizona's Anti Planned Parenthood Funding Law Blocked by Fed. Judge

Arizona's attempt to cut off public funds to Planned Parenthood ended abruptly on Friday when a judge stopped a new law from being enforced.

The law would have blocked Medicaid funding for family planning and other general health services from going to organizations that also provide abortions. It was signed earlier this year but hasn't yet gone into effect.

Judge Neil Wake's ruling was a temporary injunction meaning he didn't decide whether the law was illegal or unconstitutional. Instead he ordered that the law cannot go into effect until that is determined.

AZ Abortion Law to Take Effect After Judge's Ruling

Arizona's law banning abortions after 20 weeks will go forward says U.S. District Judge James Teilborg.

The law is a change from the current system in Arizona. Under the previous law, abortions were permitted up until viability which occurs around 24 weeks. Starting Thursday, abortions after 20 weeks will not be allowed unless there is a medical emergency.

Judge Teilborg was asked to stop enforcement of a new Arizona law passed by the legislature. He declined to do so by ruling that the law is acceptable under the Constitution.

Arizona is not the first state to ban abortions around 20 weeks but it's still a tricky decision, legally speaking, for a state to ban abortions before viability.

Texas Can Ban Planned Parenthood Over Abortions: 5th Cir.

A U.S. appeals court has ruled that Texas can cut funding to Planned Parenthood because it performs abortions, Reuters reports.

The emergency stay was granted by 5th U.S. Circuit Court Judge Jerry Smith. It reversed a lower court injunction in favor of the organization. Planned Parenthood sued Texas last year over a law that cut state funding to any abortion providers. The stay, in essence, bans Planned Parenthood from receiving any money from the state's Women's Health Program.

So what does this mean for the over 40,000 Texas women who currently depend on Planned Parenthood for their healthcare?

Lesbian Custody Dispute: Ohio Biological Mom Gets Custody

An Ohio Supreme Court custody decision has given custody of a daughter to the biological mother in a lesbian relationship. The same-sex couple's custody dispute, with one partner being the biological parent and the other the non-biological parent, was decided in a 4-3 decision.

Kelly Mullen, the biological parent, had originally shared parenting responsibilities with her lesbian partner, Michele Hobbs. After the couple split, a custody battle ensued.

Hobbs argued to the court that she was intended to be the co-parent of their daughter despite not being the biological parent, reports the ABA Journal.