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December 17, 2019

Recent family-related news included a look at why men don’t always take advantage of paid leave, one reason why divorce rates may be declining, research showing that access to resources may be more important than the family structure, the Giulianis wrap up their divorce proceedings and a look at divorce through the lens of the new film ‘Marriage Story’.

Men Say They Want Paid Leave but Then Don’t Use All of It. What Stops Them? Claire Cain Miller, The New York Times, December 4, 2019 Men today are as likely as women to say they need to have time off work to care for babies, aging parents or sick family members, new data show. Yet men are much less likely than women to actually take leave if it’s not paid — and even if it is paid, they take much shorter leaves than women do.

The Not-So-Great Reason Divorce Rates Are Declining Joe Pinsker, The Atlantic, Republished December 2019 Divorce rates had been increasing since the mid-1800s, in part because of what Cherlin, a sociology professor at Johns Hopkins University described as “a gradual growth in the sense that it was okay to end a marriage if you’re unhappy.” Divorces spiked after World War II, peaking in 1980…Yes, divorce rates are declining. “But that’s more a reflection of who’s getting married than of the stability of any given American couple says Andrew Cherlin.”

The Myth of the Two-Parent Home Christina Cross, The New York Times, December 9, 2019 “New research indicates that access to resources, more than family structure, matters for black kids’ success. My research shows that differences in access to resources largely explain the relationship between family structure and outcomes for black youth. If this is the case, then what deserves policy attention is not black families’ deviation from the two-parent family model but rather structural barriers such as housing segregation and employment discrimination that produce and maintain racilized inequalities in family life.”

Giulianis Settle Ugly Divorce Case, Avoiding a Public Trial Sarah Maslin Nir, The New York Times, December 10, 2019 The acrimonious divorce case of Rudolph W. Giuliani and his estranged wife, Judith, a battle that had played out in court and across tabloid headlines for more than a year and a half, came to an abrupt — and harmonious — end on Tuesday evening, according to her lawyer.

‘Marriage Story’: Noah Baumbach’s First Feel-Good Movie Scott Tobias, The New York Times, December 13, 2019 It’s hard to think about Baumbach’s new film, “Marriage Story,” as fundamentally optimistic, given how thoroughly it devotes itself to the excruciating process of divorce. Yet Baumbach has been telling marriage stories for most of his career — all of them troubled, the majority terminal — and his thinking on divorce has formed a narrative arc of its own. Divorce is still a terrible rupture in his most recent films, but it is also a catalyst for change — a source of surprising new relationships and families, of career opportunities, of lessons to be carried forward.

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