Publications

Articles on Child Custody and Visitation

Looking at how courts use attorneys for children in custody cases

By Matthew Hector
December
2015
LawPulse
Page 12
The way courts use appointed GALs and child reps varies dramatically across the state. A committee of the ISBA Family Law Section Council hopes to bring more uniformity to the system.

Illinois law applies to custody proceedings when Illinois is the child’s home state under the UCCJEA

March
2015
Illinois Law Update
Page 20
On December 23, 2014, the Fifth District Appellate Court held that Illinois law applies to custody proceedings when Illinois is the child's home state under the Uniform Child-Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act, 750 ILCS 36/101 et seq. ("UCCJEA")

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.

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.

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.

Joint parenting agreement allows mother to remove children to California

By Adam W. Lasker
November
2012
LawPulse
Page 574
The Illinois Supreme Court held that a divorced mother could remove her children to California over the ex-husband's objection because their joint parenting agreement expressly allowed it.

New bill eases substitute visitation for servicemembers; “visitation abuse” bill defeated

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
December
2011
LawPulse
Page 604
A look at the contrasting fates of bills designed to 1) ease custody and visitation for deployed servicemembers and 2) increase penalties for visitation abuse.

Don’ts for Divorcing Parents

By H. Joseph Gitlin
April
2011
Column
Page 210
Lawyers should help clients keep children beyond the fray.

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.

No evidentiary limitations to statements of a minor in a temporary custody hearing

January
2011
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
On October 21, 2010, the Supreme Court of Illinois held that the evidentiary limitations of section 2-18(4)(c) of the Juvenile Court Act do not apply to the out-of-court statements of a minor in a temporary custody hearing, where such statements relate to allegations of abuse or neglect.

GALS and cross-cultural custody

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
November
2010
LawPulse
Page 558

Greater security of parental rights regarding appointed guardianship. PA 096-1338

October
2010
Illinois Law Update
Page 508
The Probate Act of 1975 has been amended to safeguard parental rights. (755 ILCS 5/11-5)

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.

Supreme court rule changes bring more certainty to custody judgments

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
April
2010
LawPulse
Page 174
Before, custody orders weren't final and appealable if other issues were pending. Now they are, and that's good for kids, an appellate justice says. But she warns that family lawyers must pay closer attention than ever to appellate rules and deadlines.

Act provides guidance for considering electronic communication time in determining parental visitation rights. PA 096-0331

November
2009
Illinois Law Update
Page 552
Illinois law makers amended sections 607 and 609 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, defining visitation and instructing courts on how to consider electronic communication when determining parental visitation rights.

Act provides assistance to the families and children of incarcerated parents. PA 096-0068

October
2009
Illinois Law Update
Page 496
The Department of Human Services Act has been amended to require state agencies to provide the families and children of incarcerated parents with information about how to obtain social services. 

Urban Legends About Family Law

By H. Joseph Gitlin
October
2009
Column
Page 528
Think men don't get custody or maintenance? Think again.

Faster resolution urged for custody, SLAPP suits

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
June
2009
LawPulse
Page 278
At a recent hearing, the supreme court rules committee was asked to speed disposition of child custody proceedings and SLAPP suits.

Rules committee hears criminal law, family law, civil practice proposals

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
April
2009
LawPulse
Page 168
The supreme court rules committee heard proposals to require consular notification for foreign nationals, to change child custody rules, and to require additional notice to opposing counsel.

“Standard Visitation” and the Best Interest of the Child

By Scott A. Lerner
March
2009
Article
Page 138
Courts too often grant every-other-weekend visitation without considering the advantages of more generous alternatives, the author argues.

Asked and Answered

January
2009
Column
Page 47
Will I lose my stepchildren?

Live-in Partners and the “No Impact” Rule

By H. Joseph Gitlin
January
2009
Column
Page 50
Courts no longer per se prohibit live-in partners for unmarried custodians.

When Mom (or Dad) Wants to Move: Removing Children from Illinois After Divorce

By Michelle A. Lawless
November
2008
Article
Page 564
Custodial parents who seek to take their children out of Illinois face a high bar. Here are tips for preparing a removal case.

UCCJEA: Illinois refuses to register Indiana custody ruling

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
July
2008
LawPulse
Page 334
The Illinois Supreme Court refuses to register an Indiana custody ruling where the Indiana court did not return the Illinois court's repeated phone calls.

Flynn v Henkel: A Heavy Burden for Petitioners Under the Grandparent Visitation Act

By Michael K. Goldberg
May
2008
Article
Page 244
Grandparents must show that the child's health, safety, and welfare will be adversely affected if visitation is denied, the supreme court rules.

Grandparent visitation cannot infringe on non-related parent’s visitation time

April
2008
Illinois Law Update
Page 180
On February 4, 2008, the Illinois Appellate Court, Fifth District, affirmed the judgment of the circuit court allowing grandparent visitation but ordering that the visitation shall not diminish the time during which the mother currently has the child.

Emergency petition lacking affidavit not invalid because it was verified by petitioner

February
2008
Illinois Law Update
Page 72
On December 5, 2007, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, affirmed the judgment of the Cook County Circuit Court denying the respondent's Motion to Strike and Dismiss Petitioner's Emergency Motion to Restrict Visitation and for a finding of visitation abuse.

Custody conundrum

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
January
2008
LawPulse
Page 10
Your client’s ex-husband, who moved to Texas and had custody of the children, dies. Your client wants the kids, her ex’s Texas relatives say no. What do you do?

Supreme court upholds parent’s refusal to allow grandparent visitation

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
January
2008
LawPulse
Page 10
A grandmother failed to show that denying her visitation was harmful to her grandchild’s physical, mental, or emotional health.

Visitation of minor child in non-Hague country allowed

January
2008
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
On November 13, 2007, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, affirmed the order of the Circuit Court of Cook County granting a modified joint parenting order allowing visitation of the minor child in a foreign country. 

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