Publications

Section Newsletter Articles on Custody

Child’s wishes under the IMDMA By Jon D. McLaughlin Child Law, February 2014 While a court should consider the preferences of the child in awarding custody, a court is not bound by that preference.
Pet provisions in marital settlement agreements By Angela Peters Animal Law, February 2014 Sample provisions of a pet agreement.
Disposition of frozen embryos is governed by contract By Michele M. Jochner Bench and Bar, November 2013 The case of Szafranski v. Dunston has drawn nationwide attention as it not only addresses emerging, cutting-edge legal issues with respect to the use of reproductive technology, but it also has engendered emotionally-charged debate regarding fundamental questions concerning the creation of families and whether a person can change his or her mind about being a potential parent.
Bill would allow courts to deny custody or visitation to rapist fathers By Tracy Douglas Women and the Law, June 2013 Illinois allows mothers who gave birth to their rapist’s child to block custody or visitation when the rapist is criminally convicted. House Bill 3128 would change that.
Trial court’s award of sole custody to father affirmed where father did not request sole custody in any pleading By Julia Pucci Family Law, May 2013 In the case In re Marriage of Debra N. and Michael S., the Court modified the parties’ joint parenting agreement and granted sole custody to the father, though he had not specifically requested such a modification.
Court not always required to make best interest finding in removal cases By Hon. Jeanne M. Reynolds Family Law, November 2012 Despite the statutory guidelines, can one parent effectively eliminate the court’s best interest review process in a removal case by contractually agreeing to do so?
Will someone please think about the children: Where can divorced parents with joint custody send their children to school? By Maryam T. Brotine Family Law, November 2012 When it comes to determining the appropriate school district for children of divorced parents, the answer may not be so clear cut.
Five years later: Child custody and visitation mediation implementation after the 2006 Supreme Court Rules By Heather Scheiwe Kulp Alternative Dispute Resolution, October 2012 While there have been major achievements for the Illinois justice system, there is still room for improvement in certain aspects of some mediation programs.
Five tips for handling a child custody appeal By David House Child Law, June 2012 Of course there are more than five steps to a good appeal, but if you remember these tips, you should be able to survive your first appeal.
Is a custody judgment really “final” under Supreme Court Rule 304(b)? By Robin R. Miller and Elizabeth Sietsema Family Law, April 2012 Supreme Court Rule 922, which requires a final Custody Judgment within 18 months, conflicts directly with the so-called “absolute” right to voluntarily dismiss a lawsuit under 735 ILCS 5/2-1009.
Using mediation in child custody disputes could prevent violence By Em Rademaker Alternative Dispute Resolution, April 2012 Illinois is among the few states in which custody mediation is mandatory.
A case law overview for child custody disputes in civil union dissolutions By Sean McCumber Child Law, November 2011  A brief case law overview of custody and visitation issues for non-biological parents.
Best interests and presumptions circa 2011 By Elizabeth Chacko Child Law, February 2011 While the courts now utilize the best interests of the children standard when determining custody, the age and sex of the children and the sex of the party can be a factor considered by the courts in determining custody. But to what extent and how much emphasis should the court place on this factor?
Recent amendment to Supreme Court Rule 304(b) and its impact on family law cases By Hon. Edward R. Jordan and Hon. Mary Jane Theis Family Law, May 2010 Two judicial perspectives of how the recently adopted Supreme Court Rule 922 will affect custody cases.
Take the house but the dog is mine: Anecdotal “tails” about pet custody issues in divorce By Angela Peters Family Law, December 2009 PART TWO OF TWO PARTS (PART ONE APPEARED IN THE NOVEMBER 2009 NEWSLETTER)
Take the house but the dog is mine: Anecdotal ‘tails’ about pet custody issues in divorce By Angela Peters Family Law, November 2009 The first of a two-part series discussing pet custody issues.
Contingency Planning: Motion to Stay—Preparing to counteract a possible negative ruling By Susan M. Brazas General Practice, Solo, and Small Firm, July 2009 Where the client (or the client’s children) stand to suffer great harm in the event that the court makes a ruling adverse to their position, the attorney should consider preparing, in advance, a Motion to Stay enforcement of the court’s judgment pending appeal.
“Third party” custody disputes in Illinois and the continuing “riddle” of non-parent “standing” By Lawrence Schlam Child Law, March 2009 Third parties, such as step-parents or grandparents who have become “psychological” parents, are faced with an obstacle in Illinois not faced by parents when seeking to gain or retain custody of children.
In re Sophia G.L.: A review of the UCCJEA in the State of Illinois By Michelle L. Blackburn General Practice, Solo, and Small Firm, January 2009 What is the status of the UCCJEA in the State of Illinois? According the Illinois Supreme Court, the UCCJEA is alive and well. The Illinois Supreme Court recently ruled on the case In re Sophia G.L., No. 104603, and in doing so overturned the decision of the 4th District Appellate Court, reversing the ruling of the Greene County Circuit Court.  
Motions to stay pending appeal in custody cases By Matthew A. Kirsh Family Law, November 2008 As most practitioners know, the conclusion of a contested custody trial is not, by a long shot, the end of the litigation.
Contested custody/Visitation litigation: A satire By Roza Gossage and Pamela J. Kuzniar Bench and Bar, October 2008 Years ago, super heroes held the values of our ancestors and would not father a child out of wedlock.
Representing the Hearing-Impaired Client in Child Custody Cases By Robin R. Miller Family Law, October 2008 I recently experienced the challenge and the privilege of representing a hearing-impaired client in a child custody proceeding.
Supreme Court decision a win for custodial parents and a warning to employers By Christina M. Webb Young Lawyers Division, February 2008 On November 29, 2007, the Illinois Supreme Court held that a $1,172,100 penalty pursuant to Section 35(a) of the Income Withholding for Support Act was constitutional as applied to an Illinois employer who failed to forward income withheld for child support in a timely manner.
The Miller case: Custody dispute—Limiting the number of witnesses—Proper offer of proof By Charles R. Winkler Family Law, January 2008 Dustin Miller and his wife Bethany were engaged in a custody dispute. In February of 2004 a hearing took place in Quincy, Illinois and Dustin won.
Prevention of the Holiday Emergency Motion…is it possible? Maybe yes, maybe no. But, minimizing the possibility, absolutely! By Brigid A. Duffield Family Law, November 2007 Taking charge of your office policies and reviewing your own client control techniques and especially your office “lines in the sand” will go a long way to helping you plan your own stress-free holiday and enjoy it with your family instead of your client’s family.
Your client wants to vacation outside the U.S. with the kids but the other parent fears abduction… If the destination country is a Hague signatory, here’s a possible solution By Jacalyn Birnbaum International and Immigration Law, November 2007 Not an uncommon problem in a pending pre-decree case: One parent seeks to vacation with the children outside the country and the other parent—concerned about possible abduction—refuses to permit the vacation in the absence of an Order of Court.
Your client wants to vacation outside the U.S. with the kids but the other parent fears abduction… If the destination country is a Hague signatory, here’s a possible solution By Jacalyn Birnbaum Family Law, September 2007 Not an uncommon problem in a pending pre-decree case: One parent seeks to vacation with the children outside the country and the other parent—concerned about possible abduction—refuses to permit the vacation in the absence of an Order of Court.
Child custody statutes ready for a complete overhaul By David N. Schaffer Family Law, July 2007 On this, the thirtieth anniversary of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (“IMDMA”) 750 ILCS 5/1above01 et seq., it is clear that, at minimum, the section concerning child custody and visitation Id. at 5/601 – 5/608 needs a complete overhaul.
Contested custody / visitation litigation: A satire By Roza Gossage and Pamela J. Kuzniar Family Law, April 2007 Years ago, superheroes held the values of our ancestors and would not father a child out of wedlock.
Removal in parentage cases after Fisher v. Waldrop By Nanette A. McCarthy and Carol Jones Family Law, January 2007 Joan and Richard had one child—Samantha—during their relationship.