The Illinois Family Lawyer

Commentary on the practice of family law (and other riveting subjects) from a Chicago lawyer

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Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Here's a recent case interpreting the Illinois Parentage Act touching on what happens when a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity has been signed by two parents and later on one of them thinks it's a mistake...i.e. one of them claims usually the alleged father is not the father. The case is unusual because it's actually the child's mother who tries to vacate the court's order against the first father.

The case emphasizes again the huge stakes of acknowledging you're the father without DNA testing. If you're wrong and you don't get into court within 60 days you're likely stuck. You're on the hook for 18-23 years of various forms of child-related financial support.

Here's a piece reporting on Illinois' efforts to collect child support related to taking away non-custodial parent drivers licenses.

Under the new program, the Department of Healthcare and Family Services sends warning notices to parents who owe at least $2,500 in child support and have an Illinois driver's license.

If the parent does not reply, their names are sent to the secretary of state, who suspends the license 60 days later.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

What is a "family or household member" under the IL Domestic Violence Act? Well, the statute says...

"Family or household members" include spouses, former spouses, parents, children, stepchildren and , persons who share or formerly shared a common dwelling, persons who have or allegedly have a child in common, persons who share or allegedly share a blood relationship through a child, persons who have or have had a dating or engagement relationship, persons with disabilities and their personal assistants, and caregivers as defined in paragraph (3) of subsection (b) of Section 12‑21 of the Criminal Code of 1961."

That's what was at issue in a recent 4th District Appellate case, Benjamin v. McKinnon, No. 4-07-0079. The facts were fairly typical, Plaintiff was alleging various verbal and physical abuse against two Defendants. What was a bit unusual was that the two Defendants were a FORMER father-in-law and brother-in-law...i.e. the Plaintiff was FORMERLY married to the Defendants brother/son. So do those two people fit within the above definition? The court said YES!

The court looked at this language: "other persons related by blood or by present or prior marriage" and said that includes former in-laws.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

A NY Judge has ruled that a "friend request" on MySpace constituted a violation of a Temporary Order of Protection. I would think that under the IL Domestic Violence Act a judge could find that such a request is "harassment" and thus a violation of an OP.

The Times had a thoughtful piece entitled, Religion Joins Custody Cases. The piece discussed the alleged increasing role of a parent's religious choice as a factor in how judges decide custody cases. Of course religion along with education and healthcare have always been the so-called big 3 factors of not sure what's new here.

Of course then there are the "circumcision" cases where religion is often a factor. A Chicago judge recently denied a parents desire to have a son circumcised.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Thanks Dad, but I'm still going after my ex-husband...that's what happened here: In re Marriage of Hopwood, No. 5-06-0660).

As part of dissolution of marriage judgment, the former husband was required to pay-off a $28k loan of the parties. That loan had been guaranteed by the former wife's father. So ex-husband fails to make payments on the loan and the lender goes after the father. Father pays off the loan in a lump-sum payment...done. Now, several years later the ex-wife now tries to enforce the judgment against the ex-husband for his failure to pay the loan.

Nope...denied for lack of standing. It's like this, typically when you're alleging that someone is not following a court's judgment you are asking a court to find that person in contempt of court. The only punishment for this "contempt" can be to force someone to act...the most common scenario is for a person to be jailed for not paying child support and then there's a bond of say 10% of the support due so the person jailed has to make some partial payment on his back support to get out of jail.

The problem with the ex-wife here? Since her father had paid the loan, there was NO lack of payment by the ex-husband to enforce.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Ah...I love a good settlement in the domestic relations field. It looks like Brian Urlacher and the mother of one of his kids have gotten things resolved w/o further court intervention. Pick-up/Drop-off disputes, unpaid medical expenses and child support...sounds like my days.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I wonder if I could be the general counsel for the Chicago Bears regarding all domestic relations matters? I'd be doing great between Urlacher, Briggs and now, the Sackman, good old #95 Richard Dent...Here's the article.

And look at that the case is in courtroom 1403 over at 32 W. Randolph w/ Judge Reynolds. Darn I had a case there the other day...I must have missed the fun. Drat!

Monday, January 14, 2008

10 Tips about reverse mortgages.