Test Tube Baby Births as Leading Economic Indicator?

The ups and downs of birth rates are influenced by the economy, but that’s only one factor. It’s complicated.

So what about a subset of all birth rates? Specifically, births made possible by in vitro fertilization?

Such births have reportedly dropped off by a dramatic thirty percent since August of 2015 – for no readily apparent reason.

But the procedure reportedly costs between $10,000 and $15,000.

People who follow and study such things apparently noted the same phenomenon … declines going into the recession of 2008.

And now at least one expert, from the Center for Human Reproduction in Manhattan, believes that the next recession is on the way.

Read more in this New York Post piece: Declining IVF rates might signal the next recession .


Domestic Violence Really Does Cut Across All Boundaries

Husband and Wife live about an hour and a half away from Atlanta.

On a Sunday evening, Husband is shot in the head.

Husband has been the mayor of a small town in Georgia for about ten years.

Husband is a local physician.

Husband was the Chief of Staff of a local hospital just a couple of years ago.

The state’s bureau of investigations has taken over the police investigation.

Following an autopsy, it appears that Husband shot himself.

During some sort of disagreement that had erupted between Husband and Wife.



Husband: Home – and Jurisdiction – Is Where the Shoes Are

Wealthy Husband and Wife have multiple homes in multiple countries: New York, Paris, London, Switzerland and, most recently, Monaco.

New York divorce law sits pretty well with Wife, so she files for divorce in New York.

But Monaco’s divorce laws sit tens of millions of dollars better with Husband, so he files for divorce in Monaco … and files to transfer Wife’s New York case to Monaco.

In his filing, Husband cites as supporting evidence of residenccy pictures of Wife’s eighty or so pairs of shoes, numerous purses and clothing in the Monaco home … which is reportedly still under construction.

Classification of Husband’s $25 million art collection as marital versus nonmarital will likely turn on the determination of jurisdiction.

New York gets first crack at deciding jurisdiction.



How to Prepare for Divorce Now – Part 1

The question of how to prepare for divorce is bandied about all the time.


In beauty salons.

In gyms.

In therapists’ offices.

In financial institutions.

In doctors’ waiting rooms.

In accountants’ offices.

Even in law offices.

Among many other places…

By Whom

By people who want a divorce.

By people who don’t want a divorce, but … fear their spouse does.

By divorce attorneys, of course.

By marriage counselors and therapists.

By accountants. By financial advisors. By physicians.

By clergymen. School teachers. Hair stylists. Personal trainers.

By parents. Siblings.

By neighbors. Best friends.

By casual acquaintances who just went through a divorce.

The list is practically endless.

The Longstanding Consensus

Surprising? Not really.

Divorce – and divorce war stories – are all but universal.

What is surprising is how consistent all of these types of different people, in all of these different types of settings, typically are in their opinions as to how to best prepare for divorce.

And what is their kneejerk concensus?

At a very high level, it almost always boils down to:

a) Gather copies of the financial records.

Tax returns. Statements from financial institutions and employers. Loan documents and applications. Pay stubs. Employment contracts. Safety deposit box information. If there is a small business involved, any and all business records.

b) And sock away some funds to cover living expenses and professionals’ fees for at least several months.

You May Want to Update That Old Game Plan Nowadays

In years gone by, simpler times, this may have belonged at the very top of the list, possibly constituted the entire list of how to prepare for divorce.

But I would submit that life is more complex these days and rapidly changing.

In a great many cases that I see, these formerly tried and true rules of thumb, frankly, just don’t cut it anymore, by themselves.

Read more on the ages-old view of how to prepare for divorce in

  1. this Huffington Post article: 9 Critical Steps Women Should Take To Prepare For Divorce
  2. this Prudential Insurance article: Divorce planning 101 – Eight steps to protect yourself financially and
  3. this TIAA-CREF article: Preparing for divorce: Tips for protecting your financial health .

Does the Non-biological Gay Parent Who Never Married the Biological Parent Have Parental Rights Now That Gay Marriage is Legal?

Michigan Mother and Partner were in a stable gay relationship for thirteen years. At the time, Michigan did not recognize gay marriage.

Still, Mother and Partner wore wedding rings, purchased properties together, and otherwise acted like a married couple.

Four years into their relationship, Mother gave birth to their first daughter and three years later, their second. Both daughters’ legal last names consisted of a hyphenation of both Mother’s and Partner’s last names.

Both women parented their daughters actively and equally. And the daughters address both women as “mom”.

Eventually, the romantic relationship between Mother and Partner came to an end though. But they continued to co-parent their daughters.

Until Mother’s new partner’s new job necessitated a move to a new city, and Mother wanted to relocate with their daughters.

Partner sought to enforce her parenting rights through the Michigan family court. Only, up until this point, Michigan law has not actually recognized any parental rights or adoption rights of a non-biological gay parent.

Partner is hoping that the US Supreme Court’s recent recognition of gay marriage rights will spill over to parental rights of a gay non-biological parent.

But, Mother and Partner never went the whole nine yards of legally marrying in other states – or Canada – where gay marriage was recognized either. Some believe this may sway the Michigan family court.



Woman Sentenced to Death – by Stoning – for Perpretrating … Adultery in Saudi Arabia

Sri Lankan maid (Wife) is married, but living and working in Saudi Arabia.

Wife is having an affair with an unmarried Man.

Cheating violates Muslim law.

Wife and Man are both arrested in 2014.

They are tried and convicted.

Man is sentenced to 100 lashes.

Wife is sentenced to … death … by stoning.

The Sri Lankan government has made diplomatic overtures to the Saudi Arabian government seeking a pardon or similar leniency.

At the same time, Sri Lankan organizations have facilitated taking a legal appeal on Wife’s behalf.

Saudi Arabia invokes the death penalty and other harsh punishments not infrequently.


  1. this UK Daily Mail article: Saudi Arabia sentences maid to death by stoning for adultery – but the man she slept with will escape with 100 lashes and
  2. this Newsweek article: Saudi Arabia to Reopen Case of Sri Lankan Maid Sentenced to Death by Stoning .