Publications

Illinois Bar Journal
Articles on Family Law

Support Awards for Adult Disabled Children in Illinois By Jennifer Wood, Kathleen Roseborough, and Molshree Sharma December 2012 Article, Page 656 A look at the factors that affect support awards under 750 ILCS 5/513, along with national trends in this area.
Marriage and Divorce at Midlife and Beyond By Ross S. Levey and Kelley L. Menzano October 2012 Article, Page 544 As the 45-and-older population continues to grow, family law practitioners are faced with an array of issues unique to the "gray divorce revolution."
Why Do Senior Lawyers Continue to Practice? By H. Joseph Gitlin October 2012 Column, Page 558 A senior lawyer ruminates about why he is still at it.
Is a family-law overhaul on the way? By Adam W. Lasker September 2012 Lawpulse, Page 458 No more grounds for divorce? Divorce judgments within 90 days or else? These are just two of the family-law reforms proposed by a bipartisan legislative study group.
Advising Family Businesses By Christine Organ July 2012 Article, Page 372 Family businesses are the backbone of today's corporate world, but lawyers who counsel them must deal with some very "noncorporate" emotional and psychological issues.
Do Supreme Court Matrimonial Interrogatories Call for Legal Conclusions? By Joseph Gitlin July 2012 Column, Page 384 How can we expect lay people to know what is and isn't "marital" and "nonmarital" property?
A Checklist for Building or Defending Against A Maintenance Case By Thomas J. Kasper May 2012 Article, Page 256 The IMDMA's 12 factors for calculating maintenance amount to a checklist for both sides in a divorce where maintenance is an issue. This article discusses each factor.
Absolute immunity for child reps By Helen W. Gunnarsson October 2011 Lawpulse, Page 490 Immunity from liability is absolute for child representatives working within the scope of their court-appointed duties.
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 Judge’s Obligation to Learn the Law By H. Joseph Gitlin October 2011 Column, Page 537 Judicial discretion gives judges tremendous power - and a heavy responsibility.
Adoption law pointers By Helen W. Gunnarsson September 2011 Lawpulse, Page 434 The August Child Law Section newsletter includes an adoption law legislation roundup and helps lawyers help clients find birth parents and readopt after surrendering parental rights.
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.
Adoption in the Sunshine: Illinois’ Disclosure Law for Adult Adoptees By Paul A. Rodrigues August 2011 Article, Page 414 A look at the Illinois law that reverses years of presumptive confidentiality and gives adult adoptees access to their original birth certificates.
Marital Property: Making the Pie Larger By Professor H. Joseph Gitlin July 2011 Column, Page 367 Employer-based health insurance should be treated as marital property.
“This is why we become lawyers”: the Watkins counsel speak By Helen W. Gunnarsson June 2011 Lawpulse, Page 280 Lawyers talk about the challenges and rewards of representing parties to the highly charged, nationally publicized Watkins visitation case.
A Guide to the New Illinois Civil Union Law By Richard A. Wilson May 2011 Article, Page 232 Beginning June 1, Illinois' civil union law confers most of the rights of marriage on parties to a civil union. But federal prohibitions impose important limits. Find out how the new law works.
Court-ordered mental health reports not confidential under IMDMA By Helen W. Gunnarsson April 2011 Lawpulse, Page 174 Unlike those issued by treating caregivers, mental-health reports ordered by the court under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act are not confidential, the supreme court rules.
Don’ts for Divorcing Parents By H. Joseph Gitlin April 2011 Column, Page 210 Lawyers should help clients keep children beyond the fray.
Vailas: An Ill-Conceived Limit on Modifying Child Support Orders By Professor Jeffrey A. Parness March 2011 Column, Page 160 While Vailas' goal of protecting nonresidents is laudable, the approach it took commands too high a price.
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.
Maintenance, Support, and Underemployed Payors By Burton S. Hochberg and Kimberly A. Cook January 2011 Article, Page 24 Is your client's ex unwilling to get work or deliberately taking a lesser-paying job to avoid paying support or maintenance? Here are resources and remedies you need to know about.
ABCs for GALs By Helen W. Gunnarsson November 2010 Article, Page 572 You'd like to serve as a GAL, child rep, or attorney for the child - how do you play this important but challenging role? Seasoned lawyers offer dos, don'ts, and tips.
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?
Family law software: not exempt from the rules of evidence By Helen W. Gunnarsson August 2010 Lawpulse, Page 394 Make sure you understand how support calculators work before relying on their results, and don't forget to lay a foundation for the report if you seek to enter it into evidence.
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.
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. 
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.