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November 27, 2017

Recent family-related news included controversial proposed legislative changes that would affect alimony, a look at sex education in Taiwan, data regarding the still high incidence of child marriage in Mexico, research confirming the benefits of close adult sibling relationships and finally a personal look about how one family embraced their new configuration.

Divorcees Warily Eye GOP Plan to Cut Alimony Tax Deduction The Associated Press, The New York Times, November 16, 2017 A House Republican tax plan would eliminate the deduction for alimony payments and would also end taxation of alimony recipients on the payments. The House approved eliminating the deduction as part of a nearly $1.5 billion package to overhaul corporate and personal taxes. The controversial proposal remains in limbo, however, because it is not included in the Senate tax plan that GOP leaders hope to pass early next month.

If Parents In Taiwan Are OK with Their Kids’ Sex Ed Class, Why Are Others So Upset? Yu-Ning Aileen Chuang, NPR, November 18, 2017 Taiwan has been at the forefront of protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights. It is poised to legalize same-sex marriage in the next two years because of a constitutional court decision in May… Schools are equally progressive. However, critics, not necessarily parents, voice their opposition to certain school sex education programs.

Why Child Marriage Persists in Mexico James Fredrick & Natasha Pizzey-Siegert, NPR, November 23, 2017 Child marriage was banned in Mexico in 2014, and while rates of child marriage around the world have fallen in recent decades, the numbers in Mexico haven’t moved much… According to the U.N. Women data, 25 percent of Mexican women ages 50 to 54 say they married as children, while 21 percent of women 20 to 24 report the same — a small change over more than a generation.

Adult Siblings Can Make Our Lives Healthier and Happier Robin Marantz Henig, NPR, November, 23, 2017 A study by Jill Suitor, a sociologist at Purdue University, and her colleagues polled 274 families with 708 adult children (ages 23 to 68) in 2009 and found that the majority had good feelings toward their siblings… Throughout adulthood, the sibling relationship “is powerful and never static,” said Jane Mersky Leder, author of The Sibling Connection.

An Optimist’s Guide to Divorce Elizabeth R. Covington, The New York Times, November 24, 2017 Beka told me about her self-care plans for the day of her final divorce hearing as we were getting pedicures. Her two daughters sat between us in child-size pedicure chairs, chattering away and paying no attention to our conversation… Beka is my boyfriend’s wife, and the girls are their children. I met her husband, Josh, the summer before, on Mother’s Day, which coincided with their 12th wedding anniversary.

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