Publications

Articles on Domestic Relations

An Illinois Lawyer’s Guide to Community Property

By Inna Pullin
July
2009
Article
Page 360
In our mobile society, lawyers in common-law jurisdictions like Illinois can’t afford to be ignorant of community property basics.

Declaratory Judgments and Premarital Agreements: In re Marriage of Best

By Celia Guzaldo Gamrath
April
2009
Article
Page 188
With Best, the Illinois Supreme Court allows before-trial declaratory judgments to determine the validity of a premarital agreement.

Financial inability to comply with an order must be shown by definite and explicit evidence

December
2008
Illinois Law Update
Page 612
On October 8, 2008, the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District, reversed and remanded the decision of the Circuit Court of Du Page County declining to hold the petitioner in contempt and ordering the petitioner to pay the respondent past-due maintenance interest from the date of judgment.

Real estate and divorce: No more transfer-tax exemption?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
December
2008
LawPulse
Page 606
 To the chagrin of matrimonial lawyers, Chicago has begun taxing the transfer of a divorcing couple's jointly owned home to one of the ex-partners.

Correspondence from Our Readers

November
2008
Column
Page 546
Two takes on two-tiered billing.

Order-of-protection laws amended to prohibit access to health records. PA 095-0912

November
2008
Illinois Law Update
Page 554
The Illinois General Assembly amended Section 602.1 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act and Section 222 of the Illinois Domestic Violence Act to prohibit health care providers from releasing a child's health care records to any respondent listed in an order of protection. 750 ILCS 5/602.1, 750 ILCS 60/222.

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.

Do We Still Need Grounds for Divorce?

By H. Joseph Gitlin
October
2008
Column
Page 534
They don't mean much in the age of no-fault divorce.

Is There Marital Property Before Divorce? So Sayeth Takata

By Reuben A. Bernick
October
2008
Article
Page 512
Can an ex-wife recover post-decree arrearages of child support from the separately owned assets of the obligor father's new wife? The appellate court says "yes." Plus, read Christine Takata's take on this much talked-about ruling.

Equalization of incomes an abuse of discretion

September
2008
Illinois Law Update
Page 444
On June 27, 2008, the Illinois Appellate Court, Fourth District, reversed the judgment of the Circuit Court of McLean County ordering the respondent to pay the petitioner maintenance of $12,500 per month for a period of 111 months.

In re Marriage of Bratcher

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
September
2008
LawPulse
Page 438
A fourth district panel reverses a trial court’s grant of a substantial maintenance award in a long-term marriage where there was also a large property settlement.

Two-Tiered Billing in Illinois Divorce Cases - a Critique

By James H. Feldman
September
2008
Article
Page 452
Illinois divorce lawyers typically charge a higher hourly rate for court than for office time. It's time that changed, the author argues

Court affirms that ex-wife entitled to her percentage share of disability benefits

August
2008
Illinois Law Update
Page 390
On May 28, 2008, the Illinois Appellate Court, Third District, affirmed the judgment of the Circuit Court of Peoria County denying petitioner's request for attorney fees and granting petitioner's rule to show cause and to enforce judgment.

A new definition of marital property?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
August
2008
LawPulse
Page 384
 A controversial ruling allows a child-support obligee to lay claim to property held in the name of the obligor's new spouse.

Asked and Answered

July
2008
Column
Page 369
Is a spouse entitled to corporate assets?

Court determines that limitations period tolled during parties’ marriage

July
2008
Illinois Law Update
Page 340
On April 21, 2008, the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District, answered two certified questions relating to a premarital agreement in the negative and remanded the cause to the Circuit Court of Lake County for additional proceedings.

Profitable Family Law Practice

By H. Joseph Gitlin
July
2008
Column
Page 368
Build your family law practice by knowing your stuff and getting your name out.

Spying Spouses and Their High-Tech Tools

By Alison G. Turoff
July
2008
Article
Page 348
Divorcing spouses who try to gain the upper hand by catching the other party in the act may violate federal and state eavesdropping and privacy statutes.

The Impact of Order-of-Protection Remedies on Divorce

By Thomas J. Kasper
June
2008
Article
Page 310
Some OP remedies, such as temporary custody, can have a huge effect on a subsequent divorce. Find out how to protect your client's interest.

Undefined “death benefits” include life insurance proceeds

June
2008
Illinois Law Update
Page 284
On April 7, 2008, the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District, affirmed the judgment of the Circuit Court of Winnebago County ordering life insurance proceeds to be delivered to the decedent's children, instead of the listed beneficiary. 

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.

A Family Law Toolbox

By H. Joseph Gitlin
April
2008
Column
Page 214
A list of resources worth keeping at your fingertips.

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.

The Lawyer of Love

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
April
2008
LawPulse
Page 174
Chicago divorce lawyer Corri Fetman offers advice in - and poses for - Playboy.

QDRO does not grant an increased benefit

April
2008
Illinois Law Update
Page 180
On February 6, 2008, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, affirmed the judgment of the Circuit Court of Cook County entering an order consistent with the Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) presented on behalf of the petitioner.

Life insurance cannot be used to secure maintenance payments

March
2008
Illinois Law Update
Page 124
On January 3, 2008, the Illinois Appellate Court, Third District, reversed the judgment of the circuit court requiring the respondent to designate his ex-wife Sandra as the beneficiary of his life insurance policy as security for his maintenance obligation.

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.

No reimbursement to marital estate for contributions to mortgage on marital residence

January
2008
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
On October 29, 2007, the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District, affirmed an award of child support, vacated those portions of a judgment ordering reimbursement to the marital estate, and remanded the judgment for further proceedings in the Circuit Court of McHenry County.

Premarital Agreements Need Premeditation

By H. Joseph Gitlin
January
2008
Column
Page 48
Before you draft a premarital agreement, consider what’s at stake.

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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