Publications

Illinois Bar Journal
Articles on Child Custody and Visitation

Family law rewrite still brewing in the General Assembly By Janan Hanna April 2014 Lawpulse, Page 162 A proposed 300-page overhaul of Illinois' decades-old marriage and divorce act remains alive in the legislature and continues to evolve in response to stakeholders' concerns.
Child care rights of first refusal awarded to separated parents January 2014 Illinois Law Update, Page 16 Newly added section 602.3 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act provides that if a court determines joint custody or visitation rights to be the best arrangement for a child under section 602.1 or section 607 respectively, then the court may further consider, as consistent with the child's best interests, awarding one or both of the parents the right of first refusal to provide child care for the minor child during the other parent's allotted parenting time.
Current version of family law overhaul bill gets mixed reviews By Adam W. Lasker September 2013 Lawpulse, Page 446 A proposed major rewrite of Illinois' 35-year-old Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act has some ISBA matrimonial lawyers feeling encouraged and others concerned.
Joint parenting agreement allows mother to remove children to California By Adam W. Lasker November 2012 Lawpulse, Page 574 The Illinois Supreme Court held that a divorced mother could remove her children to California over the ex-husband's objection because their joint parenting agreement expressly allowed it.
New bill eases substitute visitation for servicemembers; “visitation abuse” bill defeated By Helen W. Gunnarsson December 2011 Lawpulse, Page 604 A look at the contrasting fates of bills designed to 1) ease custody and visitation for deployed servicemembers and 2) increase penalties for visitation abuse.
Don’ts for Divorcing Parents By H. Joseph Gitlin April 2011 Column, Page 210 Lawyers should help clients keep children beyond the fray.
Changing Custody: The Cards are Stacked Against the Movant By H. Joseph Gitlin January 2011 Column, Page 50 Once made, a custody determination is hard to reverse.
No evidentiary limitations to statements of a minor in a temporary custody hearing January 2011 Illinois Law Update, Page 16 On October 21, 2010, the Supreme Court of Illinois held that the evidentiary limitations of section 2-18(4)(c) of the Juvenile Court Act do not apply to the out-of-court statements of a minor in a temporary custody hearing, where such statements relate to allegations of abuse or neglect.
GALS and cross-cultural custody By Helen W. Gunnarsson November 2010 Lawpulse, Page 558 For custody disputes involving international and immigrant families, determining what's best for the child can be especially difficult.
Greater security of parental rights regarding appointed guardianship. PA 096-1338 October 2010 Illinois Law Update, Page 508 The Probate Act of 1975 has been amended to safeguard parental rights. (755 ILCS 5/11-5)
Splitting Up Without Divorce: A Legal-Separation Primer By Roman J. Seckel August 2010 Article, Page 416 A look at the basics of this little-used but sometimes just-right remedy.
Supreme court rule changes bring more certainty to custody judgments By Helen W. Gunnarsson April 2010 Lawpulse, Page 174 Before, custody orders weren't final and appealable if other issues were pending. Now they are, and that's good for kids, an appellate justice says. But she warns that family lawyers must pay closer attention than ever to appellate rules and deadlines.
Act provides guidance for considering electronic communication time in determining parental visitation rights. PA 096-0331 November 2009 Illinois Law Update, Page 552 Illinois law makers amended sections 607 and 609 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, defining visitation and instructing courts on how to consider electronic communication when determining parental visitation rights.
Act provides assistance to the families and children of incarcerated parents. PA 096-0068 October 2009 Illinois Law Update, Page 496 The Department of Human Services Act has been amended to require state agencies to provide the families and children of incarcerated parents with information about how to obtain social services. 
Urban Legends About Family Law By H. Joseph Gitlin October 2009 Column, Page 528 Think men don't get custody or maintenance? Think again.
Faster resolution urged for custody, SLAPP suits By Helen W. Gunnarsson June 2009 Lawpulse, Page 278 At a recent hearing, the supreme court rules committee was asked to speed disposition of child custody proceedings and SLAPP suits.
Rules committee hears criminal law, family law, civil practice proposals By Helen W. Gunnarsson April 2009 Lawpulse, Page 168 The supreme court rules committee heard proposals to require consular notification for foreign nationals, to change child custody rules, and to require additional notice to opposing counsel.
“Standard Visitation” and the Best Interest of the Child By Scott A. Lerner March 2009 Article, Page 138 Courts too often grant every-other-weekend visitation without considering the advantages of more generous alternatives, the author argues.
Asked and Answered January 2009 Column, Page 47 Will I lose my stepchildren?
Live-in Partners and the “No Impact” Rule By H. Joseph Gitlin January 2009 Column, Page 50 Courts no longer per se prohibit live-in partners for unmarried custodians.
When Mom (or Dad) Wants to Move: Removing Children from Illinois After Divorce By Michelle A. Lawless November 2008 Article, Page 564 Custodial parents who seek to take their children out of Illinois face a high bar. Here are tips for preparing a removal case.
UCCJEA: Illinois refuses to register Indiana custody ruling By Helen W. Gunnarsson July 2008 Lawpulse, Page 334 The Illinois Supreme Court refuses to register an Indiana custody ruling where the Indiana court did not return the Illinois court's repeated phone calls.
Flynn v Henkel: A Heavy Burden for Petitioners Under the Grandparent Visitation Act By Michael K. Goldberg May 2008 Article, Page 244 Grandparents must show that the child's health, safety, and welfare will be adversely affected if visitation is denied, the supreme court rules.
Grandparent visitation cannot infringe on non-related parent’s visitation time April 2008 Illinois Law Update, Page 180 On February 4, 2008, the Illinois Appellate Court, Fifth District, affirmed the judgment of the circuit court allowing grandparent visitation but ordering that the visitation shall not diminish the time during which the mother currently has the child.
Emergency petition lacking affidavit not invalid because it was verified by petitioner February 2008 Illinois Law Update, Page 72 On December 5, 2007, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, affirmed the judgment of the Cook County Circuit Court denying the respondent's Motion to Strike and Dismiss Petitioner's Emergency Motion to Restrict Visitation and for a finding of visitation abuse.
Custody conundrum By Helen W. Gunnarsson January 2008 Lawpulse, Page 10 Your client’s ex-husband, who moved to Texas and had custody of the children, dies. Your client wants the kids, her ex’s Texas relatives say no. What do you do?
Supreme court upholds parent’s refusal to allow grandparent visitation By Helen W. Gunnarsson January 2008 Lawpulse, Page 10 A grandmother failed to show that denying her visitation was harmful to her grandchild’s physical, mental, or emotional health.
Visitation of minor child in non-Hague country allowed January 2008 Illinois Law Update, Page 16 On November 13, 2007, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, affirmed the order of the Circuit Court of Cook County granting a modified joint parenting order allowing visitation of the minor child in a foreign country. 
Visitation By Biological Boyfriend-Father By H. Joseph Gitlin October 2007 Column, Page 556 A biological father from a wife's extra-marital affair can win visitation with his child.
Court must assess best interests of child in considering contested removal agreement May 2007 Illinois Law Update, Page 236 On March 8, 2007, the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District, reversed and remanded the decision of the Circuit Court of Lake County granting the petitioner's motion to dismiss the respondent's petition to enjoin removal of the parties' daughter Caylee.