REPORT ON LDRC
“By the street of by and by, one arrives at the house of never.
In this season of marriage equality for same sex couples (!), and the never-ending roil of U.S. race relations, we have been reading An Idea Whose Time Has Come, by Todd S. Purdum. The author chronicles the birth of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which Congress passed and President Johnson signed 50 years ago this month. We have commented before in our blog that the recognition of gay and lesbians’ rights to marry was breathtakingly fast – for everyone except the people directly involved: those who waited and hoped to marry a life partner, with the result hanging in the political balance.
Miguel de Cervantes captured this notion long before, in the quotation above. Mr. Purdum attributed a slight variation of it to New York Representative Emmanuel Celler, during House debate of the Senate’s amended version of HR 7152 (produced by the defeat of a 3-month southern and largely Democratic filibuster). Cervantes resonates today, as much as in 1964, with this country’s continuing struggle with the basic rights of citizens.
As South Carolina recognizes symbolically that the civil war is over, it pains us that it took a massacre of nine praying people, to make it happen. We also long for the return of an era when large bi-partisan majorities in Congress can expand, rather than constrict, rights.
In too many ways, we, in the United States, are still on the street of by and by; and it is worthwhile to remember the many generations who have only known the house of never.
“Is it fair to pay ‘ex’ alimony twice as long as unions’ duration”
This Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly July 6th headline announced a letter from a Hampshire County litigant, in which the writer bemoaned a recent modification judgment that compels him to pay alimony beyond the ARA’s durational limit. In 2016, Emmett Baraclow will have been paying alimony for twice the length of the parties’ marriage. Mr. Baraclow admits and asks:
“Yes, my ex-wife needs financial support. But would it not be just to impose a legal obligation to provide that support on her parents, siblings or children?”
We have read the trial court decision; and it holds together. Under prevailing law, the result was probably both correct and inevitable. But, Mr. Barcalow’s question is thought provoking nonetheless. While the legal answer to his question is plainly “no,” in a different culture the answer might be very different.
We receive a weekly newsletter from John O’Hara of Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation, who has helped many of our mediation clients in grappling with the tricky issues of refinancing and new home purchases for divorcing spouses, especially for support recipients. We have asked John for permission to reproduce a recent issue here about home financing after divorce. It is simple, well put and can be useful for anyone in the “business”. John is always happy to help. His email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
It has been a quiet quarter on the appellate alimony front (we all needed a breather). So, we have recently focused on a variety of issues, from mandatory mediation to the vitality of mediation itself; to arbitration, child support and
our gripes with Rule 1:28. Three of these are featured below, and as always, they are a portals to our entire blog offering. Please feel free to root around at levinedisputeresolution.com/divorce-mediation-blog/ and let us know what you think!
We are working this summer, except for some vacation and some very welcome long weekends. We continue to teach, write and luxuriate in our numerous and growing brood of grandchildren. Mid-way through our third year here, we still marvel at our good fortune to share this experience with each other, and with you.
Have a great summer.
Bill and Chouteau