July 2011 News: The Chicago Family Law Blog

The Chicago Family Law Blog

July 2011 Archives

Congressman Joe Walsh Child Support Debt According to Suit

Apparently, Tea Party fiscal responsibility champion of Congress is not so fiscally responsible at home. The Chicago Sun-Times is reporting that freshman congressman Joe Walsh child support payments top $117,000.

According to the Sun-Times, Walsh and his ex-wife, Laura Walsh, have been married for 15 years before divorcing in 2002. The couple has three children and has essentially been battling over child support payments since the divorce.

Chicago Curfew: Do You Know Where Your Children Are?

Do you know where your children are? Well you should. The Chicago City Council has just passed new Chicago curfew laws for children. And you (the parent) can be held financially responsible if you don’t know where your kids are.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, parents who allow their children under 12 years of age to be out past 8:30 p.m. on weekdays or 9 p.m. on weekends will be fined starting September 18th. Under the law, parents will see larger fines depending on the number of times they’re caught letting their kids out past the curfew.

What is Illinois Child Abuse Mandatory Reporting?

In an ugly case of Illinois child abuse, a Midlothian toddler was recently found beaten to death. The child's mother had a history with the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) having been investigated for child abuse twice, and she is now being questioned in the baby's death, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

As officials continue their investigation, it would be a proper time to review child abuse mandatory reporting laws. While it's uncertain if a mandatory reporter could have prevented the baby's death, these laws are in place to help the DCFS step in before a tragic incident occurs.

Illinois Child Home Alone Laws

Twenty years ago Macaulay Caulkin made a splash in the hit movie Home Alone playing a child home alone in the Chicago suburbs after his parents accidentally flew to Paris without him.

The movie was a success partly because it made light of a serious dilemma most parents face -- leaving a young child home alone as the parents go to work, go to the supermarket, attend a movie, etc. But just because Caulkin was able to thwart two would-be burglars in the movie leading to a Hollywood ending, Illinois parents should think twice before leaving a child home alone as they could face serious legal troubles.

One Month of Illinois Civil Unions

It’s already been over a month since Illinois civil unions law went into effect. On June 1st, same-sex couples were allowed to enter into civil unions where they could receive many of the same benefits as married couples.

Now, the Cook County Clerk has issued some statistics on civil unions during that first month, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. According to the report, 831 couples entered into a civil union in June. The first day, June 1st, was the busiest day as 209 union licenses were issued. On average, 30 same-sex couples entered into a union each day for the remainder of the month.

A former cop, Devin Bickham, was arrested for the murder of his girlfriend in a River Forest parking lot. Devin Bickham, his son, and Cardell Taylor were all charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Chervon Alexander.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Alexander was pressuring Bickham to divorce his wife so that the two could get married. For unreported reasons, Bickham apparently found Alexander to be more trouble than she was worth, and he allegedly conspired with his son and Taylor to have her killed.

Gov. Quinn Cuts Illinois Foster Care to Catholic Charities

Governor Pat Quinn cut Illinois foster care contracts with Catholic Charities over the ongoing dispute of adopting to same-sex couples in civil unions.

Last month, the state passed the new civil union law that gives same-sex couples many of the same rights as married couples; including, the right to adopt children.

Catholic Charities, who cares for about 2,000 state wards, refused to recognize the new law and insisted that it did not have to adopt to same-sex couples in apparent violation of the law.

Lowell Aughenbaugh pled guilty to two felony charges of threatening wife and possessing illegal guns. These charges follow the arrest of Aughenbaugh in circumstances that may have prevented a deadly act of domestic violence — and which showed the importance of reporting domestic violence.

Aughenbaugh and his wife were going through a divorce last year when he allegedly made a phone call to her threatening to kill her and their children.

The wife contacted authorities and they attempted to arrest Aughenbaugh in the Chicago suburb of McCook. However, Aughenbaugh did not go down without a fight, and he was arrested only after a 12-hour standoff involving tear gas, robots, a fire hose, and a battered wall.

Yolanda Miller is the first woman to utilize a new Illinois adoption law that allows parents who have had their children taken from them due to personal problems to adopt their own children.

According to ABC, Miller, a mother of eleven, had ten of her children taken from her fourteen years ago due to her crack cocaine addiction.

Miller’s mother, the children’s grandmother, adopted the children. During this time, Miller sobered up and got her life back on track, reports ABC.

A judge ruled that a child of divorced parents can go to church over the father’s objections.

David Stone and Julie Stanfield, the divorced parents of a 9-year old Clarendon Hills boy, argued over whether their son could attend religious services with his mother, reports the Chicago Tribune.

According to the Tribune, Stone, who had main custody of the boy, objected to church attendance citing that it was causing a rift between him and his son. Stone is self-described as believing in God, but not affiliated with a religious organization.