Illinois Bar Journal

Articles on Family Law

Custody of pre-embryos awarded to woman despite sperm donor’s objection

By Matthew Hector
August
2015
LawPulse
Page 10
An Illinois court awarded custody and control of frozen pre-embryos to the woman whose eggs were fertilized to create them.

Family Law Rewrite Signed by Governor

By Jim Covington
August
2015
Article
Page 44
A far-reaching revision of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act is among the bills signed by the governor this session.

Illinois Supreme Court: Social Security can’t be used to offset pension at divorce

By Matthew Hector
August
2015
LawPulse
Page 10
If a spouse gets a government pension instead of Social Security, can the pension be protected in a divorce settlement to offset the other spouse's Social Security? No, the Illinois Supreme Court held.

Whither domestic partner benefits in the wake of marriage equality?

By Matthew Hector
August
2015
LawPulse
Page 10
Now that all couples can marry, will companies continue to offer benefits to same-sex partners?

Family law rewrite goes to the governor

By Matthew Hector
July
2015
LawPulse
Page 12
After years of effort, a major reworking of Illinois family law passes the General Assembly.

Navigating Concurrent Personal Injury and Divorce Cases

By Michael Alkaraki & Andrew Vaughn
July
2015
Article
Page 32
Lawyers representing clients who are both divorcing and bringing a p.i. claim should work together.

New legislation brings Parentage Act up to date

By Matthew Hector
July
2015
LawPulse
Page 12
Among other things, a bill reworking the Parentage Act allows courts to refuse DNA testing that could deprive kids of their only known parent.

When is corporal punishment excessive?

July
2015
Article
Page 30
Parents have the right to administer corporal punishment in Illinois, unless it's counter to the best interest of the child.

Calculating Maintenance When Income Is Hard to Determine

June
2015
Column
Page 47
How do you apply the new maintenance formula when you can't determine income?

Illinois’ Maintenance Formula: News from the Trenches

May
2015
Column
Page 45
How one court applied the new spousal maintenance formula.

Subject matter jurisdiction: The state constitution trumps the UCCJEA

By Matthew Hector
May
2015
LawPulse
Page 10
In McCormick, the Illinois Supreme Court rules in an interstate custody dispute that subject matter jurisdiction comes from the constitution, not from a statute.

Affidavits of Support: Another Option for Divorcing Immigrant Spouses

By Molshree Sharma
April
2015
Article
Page 32
In addition to seeking spousal maintenance, divorcing immigrants might have another, and perhaps better, way to seek support – suing to enforce the affidavit of support signed by their spouses.

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")

The New Illinois Spousal Maintenance Law: Retroactive or Prospective?

By Brian A. Schroeder
January
2015
Article
Page 32
What changes under the new law apply retroactively - i.e., to maintenance awards entered before January 1 - and which apply only prospectively? Here's a point-by-point analysis.

Agent-Swapping POAs and More

December
2014
Column
Page 596
Should a health care POA swap out agents after a triggering event?

Guardians may act as proxies for purposes of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act

November
2014
Illinois Law Update
Page 524
Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, if the guardian of a ward's estate or person petitions a court on behalf of the ward, the court may permit the guardian to file for dissolution of marriage, legal separation, or declaration of invalidity for the dissolution of a marriage.

Fictive kin required to apply for licensure as a foster family home

October
2014
Illinois Law Update
Page 472
Under the Children and Family Services Act, child placements with fictive kin will soon be subject to new requirements.

Challenging Voluntary Acknowledgments of Paternity

By Kelly M. Greco & Stephanie R. Hammer
September
2014
Article
Page 432
Parties in juvenile and divorce cases sometimes want to challenge a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity under the Illinois Parentage Act. Find out when and why these efforts succeed.

Courts may award child support to non-custodial parents

September
2014
Illinois Law Update
Page 424
On June 19, 2014, the Illinois Supreme Court held that section 505 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act allows courts to award child support to non-custodial parents.

More family members may petition for medical information under the Adoption Act

September
2014
Illinois Law Update
Page 424
This amendatory act to the Adoption Act adds several categories of people eligible to petition state courts for the appointment of a confidential intermediary to: (1) exchange medical and identifying information with mutually consenting biological relatives; and (2) arrange contact with consenting biological relatives.

Spousal maintenance guidelines become law in Illinois

By Mark S. Mathewson
September
2014
LawPulse
Page 418
A new law, effective January 1, removes uncertainty from most maintenance decisions by creating a formula for determining the size and duration of awards.

Compliance with section 607(e) of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act renders constitutional challenges moot

August
2014
Illinois Law Update
Page 372
On May 22, 2014, the Illinois Supreme Court found that a constitutional challenge to section 607(e) of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (the "Act") became moot when the affected parent established compliance with the statute. See 750 ILCS 5/607(e).

Same-Sex Marriage Comes to Illinois

By Richard A. Wilson
August
2014
Article
Page 384
Illinois' new same-sex marriage law leaves in place the Civil Union Act and provides for voluntary conversion of civil unions to marriages, among other important changes.

A Family Lawyer’s Guide to Tending Client Relationships

By Janan Hanna
May
2014
Cover Story
Page 224
Choosing the right clients and managing their expectations may be the two most important jobs for any family law practitioner.

Divorce Corp misses the mark, lawyers say

By Janan Hanna
April
2014
LawPulse
Page 162
An angry documentary misrepresents the family court system and the judges, lawyers, and others who work there, ISBA family law practitioners say.

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.

Pet Custody

April
2014
Column
Page 197
Here's what to do for divorcing partners who love their pet but not each other.

New rules affecting adoptions

February
2014
Illinois Law Update
Page 68
Section 5 of the Adoption Act has been amended to expand the definition of "intercountry adoption" and of "preadoption requirements."

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.

Supreme court requires strict compliance for garnishment notices

By Adam W. Lasker
January
2014
LawPulse
Page 10
Serving a withholding notice on a child-support obligor's employer? Make sure to include the required information (think social security number) or the employer won't be forced to comply.

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