Publications

Illinois Bar Journal
Articles on Domestic Relations

Divorcing spouses must share the cost of attorney fees - even fees already paid By Adam W. Lasker November 2013 Lawpulse, Page 554 The Illinois Supreme Court holds that a financially strapped divorcing wife can require her husband's lawyer to turn over already-paid fees to help finance her own legal expenses.
Family Law Practice-Management Tips By H. Joseph Gitlin January 2012 Column, Page 50 A veteran family lawyer offers rules for practice success.
Marital property should be valued as close as possible to the trial date in a bifurcated hearing January 2012 Illinois Law Update, Page 16 he appropriate valuation date of marital property in a bifurcated dissolution hearing is the date of trial under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution Act, according to a November 9, 2011, Illinois Fourth District Appellate Court ruling.
Rules committee hears proposals on divorce, criminal law, evidence issues By Helen W. Gunnarsson January 2012 Lawpulse, Page 10 Proposals address financial disclosure in divorce, how judges describe defendants' decision not to testify, and how to handle inadvertent disclosure of documents.
Correspondence from Our Readers December 2011 Column, Page 598 What judges know about family law.
Court affirms award of attorney’s fees in dissolution of marriage case October 2011 Illinois Law Update, Page 496 The court found that, despite Petitioner Kristina Baniak's claims, the lower court had subject matter jurisdiction to hear the case regarding attorney's fees and that Baniak had waived all other issues raised in her appeal.
A Divorce Lawyer’s Guide to the Illinois Fraudulent Transfer Act By Andrew R. Schwartz, Thomas J. Kanyock, and Karen Jeffreys September 2011 Article, Page 462 Sometimes a dissipation-of-assets claim under the IMDMA isn't enough when a recalcitrant spouse hides assets. Never fear - the Illinois Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act is here.
Don’ts for Divorcing Parents By H. Joseph Gitlin April 2011 Column, Page 210 Lawyers should help clients keep children beyond the fray.
Errors and Omissions December 2010 Column, Page 606 In re Marriage of Zells and not-yet-paid contingency fees; Foreclosure and divorce; and Who was that legal assistant?
Illinois Family Mediations: The Case Against Allowing GALs By Suzanne J. Schmitz November 2010 Article, Page 576 Because their presence may hinder family mediation, GALs should be excluded, the author argues.
Foreclosure and Divorce - Borrower’s Rights in the Face of Two “Wrongs” By Joseph R. Fortunato and Steven B. Bashaw October 2010 Column, Page 544 Should your divorcing, foreclosedupon client consolidate the foreclosure with the divorce?
Is a Not-Yet-Paid Contingent Fee Marital Property? By H. Joseph Gitlin October 2010 Column, Page 542 A divorcing lawyer has earned a big fee but hasn't been paid. Is the fee award marital property?
Getting fees from the other side in divorce By Helen W. Gunnarsson September 2010 Lawpulse, Page 446 The IMDMA lets one party get attorney fees from the other in some cases. But don't overplay your hand.
Using Life Insurance to Secure a Maintenance Obligation By Rob Shumaker September 2010 Article, Page 466 What happens when a maintenance-paying spouse dies shortly after the judge signs the dissolution judgment? Is the maintenance recipient out of luck? That may depend on where the case arose.
2010 Spring Session Roundup By Jim Covington August 2010 Column, Page 404 A summary of key Illinois legislation passed this spring.
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.
Domestic Violence Act addendum June 2010 Column, Page 282 More on the Illinois Domestic Violence Act.
When Property Becomes Income in Post-Judgment Divorce Litigation By Reuben A. Bernick June 2010 Article, Page 310 Are the assets your client got in divorce really "free and clear of all claims" by the ex-spouse? If they're retirement benefits and the claims are for child support, probably not.
See comments from our readers April 2010 Column, Page 170 Habitability warranty disclaimers; FOIA attorney fees; family law attorney fees
Taking Charge in Matrimonial Cases By H. Joseph Gitlin April 2010 Column, Page 216 The winning lawyer is usually the one who takes the initiative.
Attorney Fees in Domestic Relations Cases: The 2009 Amendments to “Leveling of the Playing Field” By the Attorney Fees Committee of the ISBA Family Law Section Council March 2010 Article, Page 136 Learn about important changes to the attorney fee provisions of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act.
Leave time not marital property, high court holds By Helen W. Gunnarsson March 2010 Lawpulse, Page 122 Unused leave days have only a "speculative" future value, the Illinois Supreme Court opines.
Collateral estoppel does not apply to release of mental health records if prior action related to relevance of records, but not possible violations stemming from release of those records. January 2010 Illinois Law Update, Page 16 On October 23, 2009, the Illinois Appellate Court, Fifth District, affirmed in part and reversed in part the decision of the Circuit Court of St. Clair County to grant defendant's motion to dismiss a complaint relating to the release of mental health records in a divorce proceeding. 
Ethical Issues for Family Lawyers Under the New Rules of Professional Conduct By Paulette M. Gray January 2010 Article, Page 36 A look at some hypothetical but all-too-common family-law scenarios and how to approach them under the 2010 Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct.
Real Ethics and Courtesy for Divorce Lawyers By H. Joseph Gitlin January 2010 Column, Page 52 Not all ethical rules appear in the Rules of Professional Conduct.
New statute clarifies family law attorney-fee provisions By Helen W. Gunnarsson October 2009 Lawpulse, Page 490 A new law drafted by ISBA’s Family Law Section Council should bring some order to Illinois’s confusing, inconsistent scheme for awarding attorney fees in family law cases.
Urban Legends About Family Law By H. Joseph Gitlin October 2009 Column, Page 528 Think men don't get custody or maintenance? Think again.
Changing Pension Beneficiaries After Divorce: It’s More Important After Kennedy By Leon I. Finkel and Hailee R. Bloom September 2009 Article, Page 462 Now ex-spouses must change the beneficiary designation after divorce or risk inadvertently enriching their former partners.
2009 Spring Session Roundup By Jim Covington August 2009 Column, Page 396 A summary of key legislation.
Marital and Nonmarital Property: Calculating Reimbursements Under the IMDMA By Roman J. Seckel August 2009 Article, Page 412 A spouse's nonmarital estate can be reimbursed for contributions to the marital estate - and vice versa - but determining the value of those contributions can be tricky.