Illinois Bar Journal

Articles on Family Law

Who Pays for Unallocated College Expenses After Divorce?

By Roman J. Seckel
January
2014
Article
Page 28
What happens when a child of divorce's college tuition bill comes due and the parties didn't specify who pays? The language in the divorce decree can make all the difference.

Advance payment retainers in dissolution of marriage cases are subject to disgorgement

December
2013
Illinois Law Update
Page 612
On October 3, 2013, the Illinois Supreme Court held that advance payment retainers paid in dissolution of marriage cases are subject to disgorgement pursuant to the "leveling of the playing field" rules in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (the "Act").

Same-sex marriage comes to Illinois

By Adam W. Lasker
December
2013
LawPulse
Page 606
At presstime, Governor Quinn was poised to sign the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act into law.

Discretionary bonus accrued during marriage but issued after dissolution of marriage is not marital property

November
2013
Illinois Law Update
Page 560
On August 16, 2013, the First District Appellate Court held that a nonvested discretionary bonus accrued during a marriage, but received after entry of a judgment of dissolution of the marriage, was not marital property.

Divorcing spouses must share the cost of attorney fees - even fees already paid

By Adam W. Lasker
November
2013
LawPulse
Page 554
The Illinois Supreme Court holds that a financially strapped divorcing wife can require her husband's lawyer to turn over already-paid fees to help finance her own legal expenses.

The Myth of the Rebuttable Presumption for Loss of Society in Wrongful Death Cases

By Michael P. Cogan
November
2013
Article
Page 582
A recent case illustrates that in claims for loss of society in wrongful death cases, the rebuttable presumption of a substantial pecuniary loss is sometimes illusory.

Will Rule 138 privacy provisions be changed before taking effect?

By Adam W. Lasker
November
2013
LawPulse
Page 554
The ISBA supports changes to Rule 138's soon-to-be effective limitations on disclosure of personal identity information in response to concerns raised by divorce lawyers and others.

‘Wrongful Birth’ Plaintiffs Can Recover for Emotional Distress

By Christopher T. Hurley & Mark R. McKenna
November
2013
Article
Page 580
A recent Illinois Supreme Court decision holds that parents can recover for emotional distress if they win a claim for negligent genetic counseling, even if they suffered no direct physical injury.

Correspondence from Our Readers

October
2013
Column
Page 494
More on recorders and red-flagging; Bankruptcy and divorce.

Current version of family law overhaul bill gets mixed reviews

By Adam W. Lasker
September
2013
LawPulse
Page 446
A proposed major rewrite of Illinois' 35-year-old Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act has some ISBA matrimonial lawyers feeling encouraged and others concerned.

The Supreme Court DOMA Ruling, Civil Unions, and Same-Sex Marriage in Illinois

By Ray Prather & Padraig McCoid
September
2013
Article
Page 460
The U.S. Supreme Court's DOMA case opens the door to an array of federal benefits for same-sex married couples. But Illinoisans won't enjoy its full advantages, the authors argue.

Three Rules for Drafting Marital Settlement Agreements in Anticipation of Bankruptcy

By Matthew M. Benson
September
2013
Article
Page 474
These three rules can help keep your work for a divorcing client from being undone when one of the parties files for bankruptcy.

Custodial parent entitled to percentage of lump-sum workers’ compensation settlement as child support

August
2013
Illinois Law Update
Page 392
Howard Mayfield ("Mayfield") and Shannon Dykes ("Dykes") divorced in 2003. Dykes received primary custody of their two children, and Mayfield was ordered to pay $158.50 per week in child support.

Supreme court delays Rule 138 personal identity information provisions

By Adam W. Lasker
August
2013
LawPulse
Page 386
The supreme court delayed rule changes on personal identity information that some family law practitioners worry will force them to choose between the rule and conflicting statutes.

Facebook: What Family Lawyers Should Know

By Adam C. Kibort
July
2013
Article
Page 344
A look at Facebook-related issues that arise during divorce and suggestions for advising your clients.

DCFS cannot define “neglect” with language removed by the legislature

June
2013
Illinois Law Update
Page 284
On March 21, 2013, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the appellate court and held that the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services ("DCFS") did not have authority to charge someone with an offense that defined "neglect" using language that had previously been deleted by the legislature in the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act ("ANCPA").

Divorce Without Discovery: A New Landmine in Marital Litigation

By Reuben A. Bernick
May
2013
Article
Page 238
A recent case holds that if you don't conduct formal discovery in your divorce case, you may lose the right to reopen the judgment after it's entered, even to seek assets that weren't disclosed.

Illinois Supreme Court recognizes doctrine of equitable adoption

By Adam W. Lasker
May
2013
LawPulse
Page 222
If parents treat a child they have not legally adopted as their own, he can pursue an inheritance even in the absence of their express or implied contract to adopt him, the high court rules.

Additional information required in a report on the death or life-threatening injury of a child. PA 097-1068

April
2013
Illinois Law Update
Page 176
The Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act has been amended to require that copies of the materials used by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, in their investigation of the death or life-threatening injury of a child, be provided in their report. 325 ILCS 5/4.2.

Predicting Maintenance Awards

By H. Joseph Gitlin
April
2013
Column
Page 206
A look at all divorce cases affirming maintenance since 1977.

Valuing Property in Lengthy Divorce Proceedings

By Jenna C. Patchen
April
2013
Article
Page 198
When the valuation hearing comes after the dissolution judgment, is marital property valued on the judgment date or the hearing date? The supreme court recently settled the question.

Marital property valued on date of dissolution in bifurcated proceeding

March
2013
Illinois Law Update
Page 124
On December 28, 2012, the Supreme Court of Illinois held that, in a bifurcated marital dissolution proceeding, the date of trial on which marital property must be valued under section 503(f) of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act ("Dissolution Act") refers to the date the judgment for dissolution is rendered.

New rules for recordkeeping in prior unfounded child abuse reports. PA 097-1089

March
2013
Illinois Law Update
Page 124
The Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act has been amended to provide new requirements for recordkeeping by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (325 ILCS 5/7.7).

Lawyer Disqualification for Conflict of Interest

By H. Joseph Gitlin
January
2013
Column
Page 48
Denying a client the lawyer of choice should not be done lightly.

Support Awards for Adult Disabled Children in Illinois

By Jennifer Wood, Kathleen Roseborough, & Molshree Sharma
December
2012
Article
Page 656
A look at the factors that affect support awards under 750 ILCS 5/513, along with national trends in this area.

Marriage and Divorce at Midlife and Beyond

By Ross S. Levey & Kelley L. Menzano
October
2012
Article
Page 544
As the 45-and-older population continues to grow, family law practitioners are faced with an array of issues unique to the "gray divorce revolution."

Why Do Senior Lawyers Continue to Practice?

By H. Joseph Gitlin
October
2012
Column
Page 558
A senior lawyer ruminates about why he is still at it.

Is a family-law overhaul on the way?

By Adam W. Lasker
September
2012
LawPulse
Page 458
No more grounds for divorce? Divorce judgments within 90 days or else? These are just two of the family-law reforms proposed by a bipartisan legislative study group.

Advising Family Businesses

By Christine Organ
July
2012
Article
Page 372
Family businesses are the backbone of today's corporate world, but lawyers who counsel them must deal with some very "noncorporate" emotional and psychological issues.

Do Supreme Court Matrimonial Interrogatories Call for Legal Conclusions?

By Joseph Gitlin
July
2012
Column
Page 384
How can we expect lay people to know what is and isn't "marital" and "nonmarital" property?

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