Publications

Articles on Family Law

Statutory Maintenance Guidelines Get a 2018 Tune-up

By Thomas J. Kasper
June
2018
Article
Page 26
In 2015, the General Assembly added guidelines to the IMDMA for determining the amount and duration of maintenance. We focus on the 2018 amendments to the guidelines and their implications for divorcing couples.

Allocation of companion animal during the dissolution of marriage

December
2017
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act has been amended to address the allocation of companion animals

From the Newsletters - The case for postnups

November
2017
Article
Page 37
Postnuptial agreements sometimes get a bad rap, but like their prenup counterpart they can be a powerful planning tool for couples.

New family-law act eases name changing, revises maintenance calculation

By Matthew Hector
November
2017
LawPulse
Page 14
Changes to Illinois spousal maintenance law streamline the process for name changes, revise how the duration of maintenance is calculated, and increase the number of cases to which the law applies.

Standardizing monetary child support obligations

November
2017
Illinois Law Update
Page 20
Section 505 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act has been amended to create a standardized method to calculate monetary child support obligations (750 ILCS 5/505).

From the Newsletters - 5 estate planning steps for divorcing clients.

October
2017
Article
Page 38
Divorcing clients should change beneficiary designations and take other steps to make sure their soon-to-be ex doesn't reap an unintended windfall if they die before the divorce is final.

New court-approved family law, small claims forms will be released soon

By Matthew Hector
October
2017
LawPulse
Page 12
The Illinois Supreme Court continues to build its library of court-approved forms, available to pro se litigants and lawyers alike.

Child support awards calculated using the income shares model

September
2017
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
Basic child support awards will now be computed based upon income allocated for the support of the child as if the parents and child were living in the same household.

Collaborative Law: A Brief Overview

By Sandra Crawford
September
2017
Article
Page 28
Collaborative law, a consensual, non-litigation model of conflict resolution, has been practiced in Illinois for more than 15 years. The Illinois Collaborative Process Act formally recognizes its use in family law and other settings.

From the Discussions - How should you handle parents’ contributions for kids’ extracurricular activities in divorce cases?

September
2017
Article
Page 43
Q. How do you usually determine parents' contributions towards extracurricular activities in martial settlement agreements?

From the Newsletters - Will the new child support guidelines help or hurt your client?

September
2017
Article
Page 41
The new income shares child support calculus can produce dramatically different results from the old percentage guidelines.

Arguing Affidavits of Support

By Stephanie L. Tang
August
2017
Article
Page 34
U.S. citizens must complete an affidavit of support if they file for their immigrant spouse to become a permanent resident. But if the partners divorce, the support obligation created by the affidavit is strict and potentially indefinite.

From the Discussions - Are vision and dental costs ‘medical expenses’ for child-support purposes?

July
2017
Article
Page 48
Q. If a support order requires payment of "medical expenses," does it apply to costs related to dental and vision care?

“Minor modification” does not include six-percent increase in parenting time that would result in fifty-fifty split

July
2017
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
The appellate court upheld the dismissal of a parent's motion to modify parenting time under section 610.5(e) where the trial court found "an additional overnight every 14 days [was] not a minor modification as contemplated by [the section]."

DHFS implements multiple new laws

June
2017
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
The Department of Healthcare and Family Services adopted extensive amendments to Child Support Services to implement several different public acts.

Divorce, Death, and Retirement Benefits

By Dorothy A. Voigt
June
2017
Article
Page 32
When retirement-plan participants die, what happens to their ex-spouses' benefits? This article looks at a variety of death-after-divorce benefit division scenarios.

From the Discussions - Does the new child support statute apply to pending cases?

June
2017
Article
Page 24
Q. Does the income shares child support calculation method that takes effect July 1 apply to cases in the pipeline?

New income shares child support calculation method takes effect July 1

By Matthew Hector
June
2017
LawPulse
Page 12
Heads up, family lawyers - beginning next month, Illinois will trade the percentage guideline child support formula for the income shares method used in the majority of states.

Supreme court clarifies law on determining contribution for attorney fees

June
2017
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
The Illinois Supreme Court addressed inconsistencies in awarding contributions toward attorney fees by pointing out that case precedent and the statutory language of 750 ILCS 5/508 complement one another.

Appellate courts lack jurisdiction to review temporary orders for child support and maintenance

May
2017
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
A trial court did not have jurisdiction to review temporary orders for child support and maintenance pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 306.

From the Discussions - Are there special requirements for kids traveling internationally with only one parent?

May
2017
Article
Page 40
Q. If a divorcing parent is taking a child out of the country, does he or she have to fill out a special form?

High court tackles division of attorney fees in divorce

By Matthew Hector
May
2017
LawPulse
Page 10
The court ruled that spouses can seek attorney fees from the other party in divorce if their "financial stability" would otherwise be undermined.

Parental rights termination proceedings are not subject to ADA requirements

May
2017
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
After the trial court found petitioner to be an unfit parent and terminated her parental rights, petitioner appealed. Petitioner's sole argument on appeal was that the trial court's ruling must be reversed because the parent-child reunification services required by the State were not reasonably accommodated to her developmental disability, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Earned fees are not “available” for disgorgement

April
2017
Illinois Law Update
Page 22
Attorney fees paid for services rendered or expenses previously incurred are not "available" for disgorgement.

Court finds petitioner’s failing health and desire to re-wed constitute “appropriate circumstances” for bifurcation of emergency divorce proceedings

March
2017
Illinois Law Update
Page 28
The First District Appellate Court found no abuse of discretion in a trial court's decision to grant an emergency petition to bifurcate the parties' divorce proceedings.

From the Discussions - Is Refusal to Allow Visitation Grounds for an Order of Protection?

March
2017
Article
Page 38
Q. My client's estranged wife refuses to let him see the kids. Does that constitute "concealment," thereby justifying an order of protection against her?

Divorce, email, and the Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Act

By Matthew Hector
February
2017
LawPulse
Page 14
The seventh circuit okays a lawsuit by a divorcing husband who alleges his wife intercepted his email in violation of the federal Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Act.

Portion of child support collections to be disregarded in TANF grant calculations

February
2017
Illinois Law Update
Page 20
The Illinois Public Aid Code was amended to prevent certain amounts of child support from factoring into cash and assistance grants under Temporary Assistance for Needy Families ("TANF").

Proposed regulations would alter child abuse proceedings

February
2017
Illinois Law Update
Page 20
The Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) proposed amendments to the subpart "Appeals of Child Abuse and Neglect Investigation Findings."

Federal income tax refund ruled part of yearly income, not addition

January
2017
Illinois Law Update
Page 20
The Third Appellate District determined that a husband's federal income tax refund for 2014 constituted part of net income for the year, not an addition to it.

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