Publications

Illinois Bar Journal
Articles on Family Law

Facebook: What Family Lawyers Should Know By Adam C. Kibort July 2013 Article, Page 344 A look at Facebook-related issues that arise during divorce and suggestions for advising your clients.
DCFS cannot define “neglect” with language removed by the legislature June 2013 Illinois Law Update, Page 284 On March 21, 2013, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the appellate court and held that the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services ("DCFS") did not have authority to charge someone with an offense that defined "neglect" using language that had previously been deleted by the legislature in the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act ("ANCPA").
Divorce Without Discovery: A New Landmine in Marital Litigation By Reuben A. Bernick May 2013 Article, Page 238 A recent case holds that if you don't conduct formal discovery in your divorce case, you may lose the right to reopen the judgment after it's entered, even to seek assets that weren't disclosed.
Illinois Supreme Court recognizes doctrine of equitable adoption By Adam W. Lasker May 2013 Lawpulse, Page 222 If parents treat a child they have not legally adopted as their own, he can pursue an inheritance even in the absence of their express or implied contract to adopt him, the high court rules.
Additional information required in a report on the death or life-threatening injury of a child. PA 097-1068 April 2013 Illinois Law Update, Page 176 The Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act has been amended to require that copies of the materials used by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, in their investigation of the death or life-threatening injury of a child, be provided in their report. 325 ILCS 5/4.2.
Predicting Maintenance Awards By H. Joseph Gitlin April 2013 Column, Page 206 A look at all divorce cases affirming maintenance since 1977.
Valuing Property in Lengthy Divorce Proceedings By Jenna C. Patchen April 2013 Article, Page 198 When the valuation hearing comes after the dissolution judgment, is marital property valued on the judgment date or the hearing date? The supreme court recently settled the question.
Marital property valued on date of dissolution in bifurcated proceeding March 2013 Illinois Law Update, Page 124 On December 28, 2012, the Supreme Court of Illinois held that, in a bifurcated marital dissolution proceeding, the date of trial on which marital property must be valued under section 503(f) of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act ("Dissolution Act") refers to the date the judgment for dissolution is rendered.
New rules for recordkeeping in prior unfounded child abuse reports. PA 097-1089 March 2013 Illinois Law Update, Page 124 The Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act has been amended to provide new requirements for recordkeeping by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (325 ILCS 5/7.7).
Lawyer Disqualification for Conflict of Interest By H. Joseph Gitlin January 2013 Column, Page 48 Denying a client the lawyer of choice should not be done lightly.
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.