Publications

Articles on Family 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, and 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.

From the Newsletters - Cleanup legislation makes technical fixes to the divorce-law rewrite.

September
2016
Article
Page 42
Public Act 99-0763 ties up some loose ends left after last session's sweeping reworking of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act.

Attorney fees appropriate in termination of parental rights and adoption proceedings subsequent to divorce

August
2016
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
On May 27, 2016, the Appellate Court of Illinois held that the court may award attorney fees to a party in cases involving termination of parental rights and adoption proceedings under section 508 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA).

Collaborative Conflict

By Tiffany M. Alexander
August
2016
Article
Page 32
Look to mediation for ways to reduce misuse of the collaborative-law process, this author recommends.

DCFS expands and refines its terminology

August
2016
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
The Department of Children and Family Services ("DCFS") adopted amendments that change pertinent definitions to 12 Parts. 89 Ill. Adm. Code 300 (eff. May 16, 2016).

From the Discussions - Is a pension share transferred in divorce taxable to the recipient?

August
2016
Article
Page 30
Q. When one divorcing spouse gets a part of the other's pension as part of a court order, is that portion taxable to the receiving spouse?

Divorce judgment based on negotiated postnuptial agreement not unconscionable simply for being favorable to one side

July
2016
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
On May 3, 2016, the Third District Appellate Court affirmed the circuit court's denial of a husband's motion to vacate judgment for dissolution of marriage claiming that the parties' postnuptial agreement was unconscionable.

From the Discussions - Is maintenance ‘income’ for child-support purposes?

July
2016
Article
Page 42
Is maintenance 'income' for purposes of determining child support?

Modification to a permanent maintenance award is appropriate based on a change in financial situation

June
2016
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
On September 28, 2015, the First District of the Illinois Appellate Court issued several rulings in a consolidated appeal addressing the modification of a permanent maintenance award and an award for prospective attorney fees.

Statewide forms released for interim fee awards, financial affidavits in divorce

By Matthew Hector
June
2016
LawPulse
Page 12
The Illinois Supreme Court has released two required statewide forms for divorce cases, and legislators have introduced a bill to remove ambiguities in last year's IMDMA rewrite.

Appellate court upholds order of dissolution that found 401(k) retirement plan to be marital property and denied award of attorney fees

May
2016
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
On February 26, 2016, the Second District Appellate Court affirmed the circuit court's allocation of property in its order of dissolution of marriage and denial of attorney's fees to the wife.

From the Discussions - Addressing visitation by an abusive noncustodial parent.

May
2016
Article
Page 41
What's the best way to stop visitation by an abusive noncustodial parent?

Making Post-Divorce Property Transfers Less Taxing

By Jessica Berger
May
2016
Article
Page 36
Under Section 1041 of the Internal Revenue Code, property transfers between ex-spouses are tax free if they happen within a year of divorce. But Section 1041 can also apply to some transfers that take place after a year. Here's how it works.

Dating, Maintenance, and Miller

By Leon I. Finkel and Katelyn A. Blanchard
April
2016
Article
Page 34
In a ground-breaking ruling, the second district in Miller found that an intimate dating relationship was not a de facto marriage that triggered termination of maintenance after divorce. The ruling is a step forward, the authors argue.

Expanded definition of “sibling,” and new requirements for DCFS to encourage sibling relationships in adoption and foster care

April
2016
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
The Department ("DCFS") has adopted amendments concerning contact and visitation between siblings when some or all are in DCFS custody and not living in the same household.

From the Discussions

March
2016
Article
Page 54
Should you charge a consultation fee? How do you find an out-of-state child?

From the Newsletters

March
2016
Article
Page 52
10 big changes to family law.

Court requires divorce lawyers to give earned fees to opposing counsel

By Matthew Hector
February
2016
LawPulse
Page 12
In In re Squire, the appellate court expanded the reach of the IMDMA's "leveling the playing field" provision by requiring a spouse's attorney to disgorge already earned fees to the other side.

From the Discussions

February
2016
Article
Page 32
Should I call one of the kids to testify in a custody case? Can a lawyer contact the opposing party’s
family? Can my client get an extension of time to complete traffic school?

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