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January 27, 2021 Roundup

Recent family-related news focused on a variety of issues including the broadening definition of domestic violence; Kamala Harris ascending to the Vice Presidency and bringing her “modern” family with her and a family court lawyer inspiring others to join him in service to families in need. Also in the news is an app that is being used as a vehicle to announce milestones — including divorce, and a mother sues her adult son in a gray divorce.

It’s Mother vs. Son in Britain’s Priciest Divorce War David Segal, The New York Times, January 5, 2021 Tatiana Akhmedovais is trying to recoup part of a $615 million judgment owed by her ex-husband by suing her elder adult child, who she says has been shielding his father’s assets.

Want a Divorce? Try Cameo to Break the News Sean Mallin, The New York Times, January 12, 2021 After a series of viral pranks, the celebrity-driven video shout-out app has become the unexpected home for breakup announcements…Users often express gratitude for the opportunity to share one last highly personal experience of joy, nostalgia, and fandom with their exes…

Kamala Harris Will Make History. So Will Her ‘Big, Blended’ Family Jessica Bennett, The New York Times, January 17, 2021 Kamala Harris has ascended to this barrier-breaking role, with her loved ones looking on, millions of Americans will see a more expansive version of the American family — one that could broaden rigid ideas of politically palatable family dynamics or gender roles…Mr. Emhoff was divorced, with two children from his previous marriage, making his kids among the one in four who do not live with both biological parents, according to the Census Bureau. Ms. Harris did not have children. She has often said that being “Momala” to her stepchildren is the role “that means the most” to her.

What Defines Domestic Abuse? Survivors Say It’s More Than Assault Melena Ryzik and Katie Benner, The New York Times, January 22, 2021 The Congresswoman Cori Bush and the musician FKA twigs describe how manipulative, isolating conduct known as “coercive control” helped trap them in abusive relationships. Lawmakers are starting to listen. The term coercive control is embraced by some researchers to describe the dynamics of abuse because it encompasses acts like creeping isolation, entrapment, denigration, financial restrictions and threats of emotional and physical harm, including to pets or children, that are used to strip victims of power. Mild but frequent bodily aggression — pushing and grabbing, or increasing roughness during sex in a way the partner does not like — is another hallmark, experts said.

NYS Family Court Assigned Counsel: Why I Joined and Why You Should, Too Philip Katz, The New York Law Journal, January 22, 2021 The author of this article explains why he joined the Family Court Assigned Counsel Panel and implores others to join him. Mr. Katz states that Panel members are a diverse group of private practitioners — as diverse as the communities served. They are men, women, non-binary, multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multilingual and a true asset to the community.

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