Mexico Archives - Cordell & Cordell

Mexico City lawmakers consider drastic change to divorce marriage laws

The process of divorce in the U.S. affects many citizens each day and can lead to unhappiness and discontent due to complications that arise in the painful proceedings. While Americans struggle with this issue, Mexico City has brought legislation forward that may change the nature of marriage in the country, Reuters reported.

A group of lawmakers in the Mexican capital want to help newlyweds avoid the hassle of divorce by providing an easy exit strategy for their citizens. They have proposed temporary marriage licences that would last for two years and can be renewed if the couple is happy, according to the news source.

“The proposal is, when the two-year period is up, if the relationship is not stable or harmonious, the contract simply ends,” Leonel Luna, the Mexico City assemblyman who co-authored the bill, told Reuters. “You wouldn’t have to go through the tortuous process of divorce.”

According to CNN, the legislation was put forth by Luna due to the fact that more than 50 percent of the marriages in Mexico end in divorce, and it would help the two individuals reach a fair settlement over who receives what in the separation.

Children located after allegedly kidnapped by mother

Children who were allegedly kidnapped from Los Angeles County four years ago by their mother, in violation of a child custody agreement, have been found in Mexico, Fox News reports.

The three children are the grandchildren of Rep. Gary Miller of California.

According to the news source, Jennifer Lopez DeJongh allegedly fled with her three sons, violating an agreement for child custody with ex-husband Brian Miller. The kids were found in Tijuana, Mexico, and transferred to U.S. authorities. Soon, the 12-year-old and his 10-year-old twin brothers will be reunited with their family.

DeJongh and her husband, George DeJongh, were arrested and the mother is currently being held on $500,000 bail. She faces up to three years in prison for the charge of child custody deprivation.

The Los Angeles Times reports that DeJongh and Miller were in a battle over custodial rights regarding medical and educational decisions before the alleged kidnapping.

Rep. Gary Miller thanked everyone involved with returning his grandchildren, stating that he would like to express “my deep appreciation for all of my colleagues, friends and constituents who have given my family their support and their prayers during this extremely difficult time.”

Supreme Court discriminates against fathers

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the son of an American man and Mexican woman who was born in Tijuana is not entitled to U.S. citizenship, a law that many believe unfairly discriminates on the basis of gender, according to multiple reports.

Read the article “Gender Discrimination Law Upheld by Supreme Court.”

The court upheld a decision by a federal appeals court that denied citizenship to 36-year-old Ruben Flores-Villar in 2008.

The nation’s highest court was split four-to-four on the decision after Justice Elana Kagan recused herself, meaning the lower court’s decision was automatically upheld.

Flores-Villar’s parents were unmarried when he was born in Mexico, but he was largely raised by his American father in California. Federal law states that children born outside of the U.S. to an unmarried American parent are considered American citizens at birth only if the parent lived in the U.S. before the child was born.

However, the law says American mothers can transfer citizenship to their child after living in the states for a full year, while a man must prove he has lived in the U.S. for five full years after age 14. Because Flores-Villar’s father was 16 at his birth, the California court ruled that he is not a citizen.

Flores-Villar argued the policy is unlawful because there are major differences in its treatment of men and women.

However, the New York Times reports the court ruled against Flores-Villar, claiming it is constitutional to make it more difficult for a father to pass on citizenship since it is harder to confirm his relationship to the child.

Child custody laws in the U.S. also generally favor the mother, even if she is legally married to the father. Women receive primary guardianship of a child in about 70 percent of child custody cases, while less than 10 percent of all cases award primary custody to the father.