Publications

Articles on Family Law

“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.

It is in court’s discretion to award spouse’s military retirement plan

January
2017
Illinois Law Update
Page 20
Courts may award the entire survivor benefit of a party's military retirement plan to the same party because the benefit is not divisible under federal law.

Proposed amendment regarding inadequate supervision of children

January
2017
Illinois Law Update
Page 20
Amendments to Appendix B would provide additional guidance as to what constitutes allegations of inadequate supervision of a child under the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act.

Collaborative law proposal approved by ISBA Board, Assembly

By Matthew Hector
December
2016
LawPulse
Page 10
The proposal would expressly allow divorcing couples to work with lawyers on a limited-scope basis to try to reach a settlement and avoid litigation.

From the Newsletters - Defending claims for back child support: long odds against success

December
2016
Article
Page 38
While there's a small opening for an equitable defense in a claim for back support, these cases are almost always losers for payors.

From the Newsletters - Should you quit offering free consults?

December
2016
Article
Page 38
There are plenty of good reasons to dispense with free consultations for consumer clients. But you might want to test the water before diving in.

The New Income Shares Child Support Guidelines

By Margaret Bennett, Nancy Chausow Shafer, & Hon. Pamela Loza
December
2016
Article
Page 26
Effective July 1, Illinois will implement a major change in how child support is computed. Here's how the new guidelines will work and why they'll make divorce practitioners' lives easier.

Continuing to not extend mutual property rights to unmarried cohabitants does not violate due process or equal protection

November
2016
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
Citing the State's unquestionable interest in the creation, regulation, and dissolution of marriage, the Illinois Supreme Court reaffirmed its 1979 Hewitt v. Hewitt holding that Illinois public policy precludes unmarried cohabitants from bringing claims against one another to enforce mutual property rights rooted in a marriage-like relationship.

From the Discussions - What rights does a man have to determine the parentage of an unborn child?

October
2016
Article
Page 50
Q. Under the new parentage act, a man can bring an action against a pregnant woman under 46/602(d) as a "man....alleging himself to be the parent of the child"....Is that the only reference?

From the Newsletters - ‘Joint custody’ lives on by a new name under the IMDMA rewrite

October
2016
Article
Page 46
Though the term "joint parenting" has replaced "joint custody," the joint-custody concept survives under the new law - which means judges must continue to put kids first when making parenting decisions.

Illinois Supreme Court declines to extend property rights to unmarried partners

By Matthew Hector
October
2016
LawPulse
Page 12
In Blumenthal v. Brewer, the Illinois Supreme Court held that Hewitt v. Hewitt is good law and unmarried cohabitants can't enforce marriage-like property rights.

New act provides for child bereavement leave

October
2016
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
The Child Bereavement Leave Act provides for unpaid leave for certain employees who lose a child.

Testimony regarding lack of intent to gift does not rebut presumption of transmutation of nonmarital funds to marital property

October
2016
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
The First District Appellate Court rejected all three arguments in a wife's appeal regarding the property division in her marriage dissolution.

Equitable Adoption: Are Kids Parental Property in Illinois?

By Jeffrey A. Parness
September
2016
Article
Page 36
In In re Scarlett Z.-D., the Illinois Supreme Courtrefused to grant equitable adoption rights to a nonparent who had played a childrearing role. The author looks at the policy issues surrounding the role of nonparents in childrearing.

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