Illinois Bar Journal
Articles on Family Law

The New Illinois Spousal Maintenance Law: Retroactive or Prospective? By Brian A. Schroeder January 2015 Article, Page 32 What changes under the new law apply retroactively - i.e., to maintenance awards entered before January 1 - and which apply only prospectively? Here's a point-by-point analysis.
Agent-Swapping POAs and More December 2014 Column, Page 596 Should a health care POA swap out agents after a triggering event?
Guardians may act as proxies for purposes of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act November 2014 Illinois Law Update, Page 524 Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, if the guardian of a ward's estate or person petitions a court on behalf of the ward, the court may permit the guardian to file for dissolution of marriage, legal separation, or declaration of invalidity for the dissolution of a marriage.
Fictive kin required to apply for licensure as a foster family home October 2014 Illinois Law Update, Page 472 Under the Children and Family Services Act, child placements with fictive kin will soon be subject to new requirements.
Challenging Voluntary Acknowledgments of Paternity By Kelly M. Greco and Stephanie R. Hammer September 2014 Article, Page 432 Parties in juvenile and divorce cases sometimes want to challenge a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity under the Illinois Parentage Act. Find out when and why these efforts succeed.
Courts may award child support to non-custodial parents September 2014 Illinois Law Update, Page 424 On June 19, 2014, the Illinois Supreme Court held that section 505 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act allows courts to award child support to non-custodial parents.
More family members may petition for medical information under the Adoption Act September 2014 Illinois Law Update, Page 424 This amendatory act to the Adoption Act adds several categories of people eligible to petition state courts for the appointment of a confidential intermediary to: (1) exchange medical and identifying information with mutually consenting biological relatives; and (2) arrange contact with consenting biological relatives.
Spousal maintenance guidelines become law in Illinois By Mark S. Mathewson September 2014 LawPulse, Page 418 A new law, effective January 1, removes uncertainty from most maintenance decisions by creating a formula for determining the size and duration of awards.
Compliance with section 607(e) of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act renders constitutional challenges moot August 2014 Illinois Law Update, Page 372 On May 22, 2014, the Illinois Supreme Court found that a constitutional challenge to section 607(e) of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (the "Act") became moot when the affected parent established compliance with the statute. See 750 ILCS 5/607(e).
Same-Sex Marriage Comes to Illinois By Richard A. Wilson August 2014 Article, Page 384 Illinois' new same-sex marriage law leaves in place the Civil Union Act and provides for voluntary conversion of civil unions to marriages, among other important changes.
A Family Lawyer’s Guide to Tending Client Relationships By Janan Hanna May 2014 Article, Page 224 Choosing the right clients and managing their expectations may be the two most important jobs for any family law practitioner.
Divorce Corp misses the mark, lawyers say By Janan Hanna April 2014 LawPulse, Page 162 An angry documentary misrepresents the family court system and the judges, lawyers, and others who work there, ISBA family law practitioners say.
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.
Pet Custody April 2014 Column, Page 197 Here's what to do for divorcing partners who love their pet but not each other.
New rules affecting adoptions February 2014 Illinois Law Update, Page 68 Section 5 of the Adoption Act has been amended to expand the definition of "intercountry adoption" and of "preadoption requirements."
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.
Supreme court requires strict compliance for garnishment notices By Adam W. Lasker January 2014 LawPulse, Page 10 Serving a withholding notice on a child-support obligor's employer? Make sure to include the required information (think social security number) or the employer won't be forced to comply.
Who Pays for Unallocated College Expenses After Divorce? By Roman J. Seckel January 2014 Article, Page 28 What happens when a child of divorce's college tuition bill comes due and the parties didn't specify who pays? The language in the divorce decree can make all the difference.
Advance payment retainers in dissolution of marriage cases are subject to disgorgement December 2013 Illinois Law Update, Page 612 On October 3, 2013, the Illinois Supreme Court held that advance payment retainers paid in dissolution of marriage cases are subject to disgorgement pursuant to the "leveling of the playing field" rules in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (the "Act").
Same-sex marriage comes to Illinois By Adam W. Lasker December 2013 LawPulse, Page 606 At presstime, Governor Quinn was poised to sign the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act into law.
Discretionary bonus accrued during marriage but issued after dissolution of marriage is not marital property November 2013 Illinois Law Update, Page 560 On August 16, 2013, the First District Appellate Court held that a nonvested discretionary bonus accrued during a marriage, but received after entry of a judgment of dissolution of the marriage, was not marital property.
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.
The Myth of the Rebuttable Presumption for Loss of Society in Wrongful Death Cases By Michael P. Cogan November 2013 Article, Page 582 A recent case illustrates that in claims for loss of society in wrongful death cases, the rebuttable presumption of a substantial pecuniary loss is sometimes illusory.
Will Rule 138 privacy provisions be changed before taking effect? By Adam W. Lasker November 2013 LawPulse, Page 554 The ISBA supports changes to Rule 138's soon-to-be effective limitations on disclosure of personal identity information in response to concerns raised by divorce lawyers and others.
‘Wrongful Birth’ Plaintiffs Can Recover for Emotional Distress By Christopher T. Hurley and Mark R. McKenna November 2013 Article, Page 580 A recent Illinois Supreme Court decision holds that parents can recover for emotional distress if they win a claim for negligent genetic counseling, even if they suffered no direct physical injury.
Correspondence from Our Readers October 2013 Column, Page 494 More on recorders and red-flagging; Bankruptcy and divorce.
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.
The Supreme Court DOMA Ruling, Civil Unions, and Same-Sex Marriage in Illinois By Ray Prather and Padraig McCoid September 2013 Article, Page 460 The U.S. Supreme Court's DOMA case opens the door to an array of federal benefits for same-sex married couples. But Illinoisans won't enjoy its full advantages, the authors argue.
Three Rules for Drafting Marital Settlement Agreements in Anticipation of Bankruptcy By Matthew M. Benson September 2013 Article, Page 474 These three rules can help keep your work for a divorcing client from being undone when one of the parties files for bankruptcy.
Custodial parent entitled to percentage of lump-sum workers’ compensation settlement as child support August 2013 Illinois Law Update, Page 392 Howard Mayfield ("Mayfield") and Shannon Dykes ("Dykes") divorced in 2003. Dykes received primary custody of their two children, and Mayfield was ordered to pay $158.50 per week in child support.