Articles on Custody

Pet custody is coming to Illinois: Who will get Fido in the divorce? By Marie K. Sarantakis Family Law, March 2018 Effective January 1, 2018, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act nows require state courts to award custody of a marital companion pet after considering what is in the animal’s best interests.
Pet custody is coming to Illinois: Who will get Fido in the divorce? By Marie K. Sarantakis Animal Law, February 2018 Six out of every 10 U.S. households own a pet. Almost five out of 10 of married couples file for divorce. Consequently, it should be no surprise that a significant percentage of our population faces legal difficulties as to who will keep the family’s furry child when spouses move in to separate residences.
Parties must now file parenting plans even in the slightest modification proceedings By Michael M. Shemkus Family Law, October 2016 Recent revisions to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act and Illinois Supreme Court Rules now require that a statutory parenting plan be filed even for the most minor of changes to an allocation judgment, with the potential of causing unneeded confusion and hostility between parties.
The perils of joint custody revisited under a new Act: Is it something or nothing? By Arnold F. Blockman Family Law, August 2016 A new Act went into effect January 1, 2017 abolishing joint custody (750 ILCS 5/600-5/611). This article will focus on the consequences of that Act as it pertains to what is now similar provisions to the old joint custody language.
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Disposition of cryopreserved pre-embryos settled in Szafranski v. Dunston By Heather M. Hurst Family Law, May 2016 The Court’s hybrid approach is now precedent for any future embryo cases.
Szafranski v. Dunston: A case note By Nicole Jaderberg Family Law, May 2016 The First District Appellate Court addressed the issue of embryo disputes in Szafranski v. Dunston
Proposed bill may provide future remedy in aftermath of embryo dispute By Bradford L. Bennett Child Law, March 2016 HB 6273 seeks to provide guidance with the legal complexities commonplace for those using assisted reproductive technology as exemplified in Szafranski v. Dunston.
“Good to go” (and return!) Part 1: Unraveling the rules By Mark E. Sullivan Family Law, January 2016 A look at military parents who have sole or primary custody, and how military absences can affect their custody orders and their military family care plans.
In Re Marriage Of Perez: The perils of joint custody revisited By Arnold F. Blockman Family Law, June 2015 The bottom line from a reading of the Perez opinion is that just because a certain decision is not an abuse of discretion does not mean that it is a right decision or that the decision is in the best interest of the minor child.
What happens to companion animals when their masters’ marriages go to the dogs? By Amy Brammell Animal Law, April 2015 A general overview of companion animal custody following divorce or formal separation.
Child custody evaluators By Grace G. Dickler & Michael Levy Family Law, September 2014 A look at three standards that have been implemented around the country as an attempt to homogenize custody evaluations and to increase their accuracy and utility.
In re Marriage of Mancine v. Gansner, In re the Parentage of Scarlett Z.-D. and the status of “equitable parents” and “equitable adoption” in Illinois By Heather M. Hurst Family Law, July 2014 Two new cases have recently been issued from the Illinois Appellate Courts addressing the doctrines of “Equitable Parents” and “Equitable Adoption.”
UCCJEA: Understanding the basics By Tony Vechiola & Mike Hudzik Child Law, June 2014 A highlight of the key provisions of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act.
Child’s wishes under the IMDMA By Jon D. McLaughlin Child Law, February 2014 While a court should consider the preferences of the child in awarding custody, a court is not bound by that preference.
Pet provisions in marital settlement agreements By Angela Peters Animal Law, February 2014 Sample provisions of a pet agreement.
Disposition of frozen embryos is governed by contract By Michele M. Jochner Bench and Bar, November 2013 The case of Szafranski v. Dunston has drawn nationwide attention as it not only addresses emerging, cutting-edge legal issues with respect to the use of reproductive technology, but it also has engendered emotionally-charged debate regarding fundamental questions concerning the creation of families and whether a person can change his or her mind about being a potential parent.
Bill would allow courts to deny custody or visitation to rapist fathers By Tracy Douglas Women and the Law, June 2013 Illinois allows mothers who gave birth to their rapist’s child to block custody or visitation when the rapist is criminally convicted. House Bill 3128 would change that.
Trial court’s award of sole custody to father affirmed where father did not request sole custody in any pleading By Julia Pucci Family Law, May 2013 In the case In re Marriage of Debra N. and Michael S., the Court modified the parties’ joint parenting agreement and granted sole custody to the father, though he had not specifically requested such a modification.
Court not always required to make best interest finding in removal cases By Hon. Jeanne M. Reynolds Family Law, November 2012 Despite the statutory guidelines, can one parent effectively eliminate the court’s best interest review process in a removal case by contractually agreeing to do so?
Will someone please think about the children: Where can divorced parents with joint custody send their children to school? By Maryam T. Brotine Family Law, November 2012 When it comes to determining the appropriate school district for children of divorced parents, the answer may not be so clear cut.
Five years later: Child custody and visitation mediation implementation after the 2006 Supreme Court Rules By Heather Scheiwe Kulp Alternative Dispute Resolution, October 2012 While there have been major achievements for the Illinois justice system, there is still room for improvement in certain aspects of some mediation programs.
Five tips for handling a child custody appeal By David House Child Law, June 2012 Of course there are more than five steps to a good appeal, but if you remember these tips, you should be able to survive your first appeal.
Is a custody judgment really “final” under Supreme Court Rule 304(b)? By Robin R. Miller & Elizabeth Sietsema Family Law, April 2012 Supreme Court Rule 922, which requires a final Custody Judgment within 18 months, conflicts directly with the so-called “absolute” right to voluntarily dismiss a lawsuit under 735 ILCS 5/2-1009.
Using mediation in child custody disputes could prevent violence By Em Rademaker Alternative Dispute Resolution, April 2012 Illinois is among the few states in which custody mediation is mandatory.
A case law overview for child custody disputes in civil union dissolutions By Sean McCumber Child Law, November 2011  A brief case law overview of custody and visitation issues for non-biological parents.
Best interests and presumptions circa 2011 By Elizabeth Chacko Child Law, February 2011 While the courts now utilize the best interests of the children standard when determining custody, the age and sex of the children and the sex of the party can be a factor considered by the courts in determining custody. But to what extent and how much emphasis should the court place on this factor?
Recent amendment to Supreme Court Rule 304(b) and its impact on family law cases By Hon. Edward R. Jordan & Hon. Mary Jane Theis Family Law, May 2010 Two judicial perspectives of how the recently adopted Supreme Court Rule 922 will affect custody cases.
Take the house but the dog is mine: Anecdotal “tails” about pet custody issues in divorce By Angela Peters Family Law, December 2009 PART TWO OF TWO PARTS (PART ONE APPEARED IN THE NOVEMBER 2009 NEWSLETTER)
Take the house but the dog is mine: Anecdotal ‘tails’ about pet custody issues in divorce By Angela Peters Family Law, November 2009 The first of a two-part series discussing pet custody issues.
Contingency Planning: Motion to Stay—Preparing to counteract a possible negative ruling By Susan M. Brazas General Practice, Solo, and Small Firm, July 2009 Where the client (or the client’s children) stand to suffer great harm in the event that the court makes a ruling adverse to their position, the attorney should consider preparing, in advance, a Motion to Stay enforcement of the court’s judgment pending appeal.

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