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February 23, 2022 Roundup

Recent family related news included pending legislation aimed at eradicating discrimination against people with disabilities who marry and help for separating couples who want to “divorce” themselves from their spouse’s school debt. Also in the news is the suggestion that a controversial drug and talk therapy may improve happiness in a marriage and a look at the dismal state of affairs in NYC’s family courts. Finally, cryptocurrency is the latest flashpoint in divorce proceedings.

Melissa Russo, NBC TV NEWS, February 4, 2022

Thousands of the city’s most vulnerable families are facing agonizing delays, with parents seeking child support and children waiting for permanent homes, as the city’s family court system has come screeching to a halt amid the pandemic, creating a severe backlog.

Sequoia Carrillo, NPR, February 8, 2022

More than 14,000 student loan borrowers participated in the short-lived program, which Congress shuttered in 2006. It seemed like a simple concept: Joint consolidation loans allowed for couples to have one single monthly payment with a lower interest rate. The problem came when trying to separate loans in the case of divorce or domestic violence. The program has no way to disentangle the debts.

Christina Caron, The New York Times, February 8, 2022

In recent years, clinical trials have shown that MDMA, when combined with talk therapy, can bring relief to those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, a finding that has elevated MDMA's reputation from party drug to potential therapeutic. Some couples, drawn to the drug’s ability to produce feelings of empathy, trust and compassion, have started using unregulated MDMA on their own in an effort to help them reconnect, improve communication and have better sex.

KAZU Radio, This American Life, February 11, 2022

Momentum is building in Congress to rewrite antiquated laws that strip Americans with disabilities of their federal benefits after marriage. Two bills currently in Congress would end these financial penalties.

David Yaffe-Bellany, The New York Times, February 13, 2022

An ugly divorce tends to generate arguments about virtually everything. But the difficulty of tracking and valuing cryptocurrency, a digital asset traded on a decentralized network, is creating new headaches. In many cases, divorce lawyers said, spouses underreport their holdings, or try to hide funds in online wallets that can be difficult to get into.

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