The Chicago Family Law Blog

December 2011 Archives

Ian Alamilla Gets 25 Years for Killing Wife

Ian Alamilla met his future wife Tara under circumstances fit for a movie. Tara was visiting the Central American country of Belize where Ian worked as a scuba instructor at the resort where she stayed. The two met and fell in love, eventually prompting Ian to relocate to Westmont.

Unfortunately, seven years and three children later, the couple's relationship did not have a Hollywood ending. Instead, Tara sought to divorce her husband. And in an act of rage on April 2010, a DuPage County court found that Ian strangled his wife to death following a late-night argument, reports The Associated Press.

Maria Shriver Divorce? Schwarzenegger May Be Forgiven

After spending Christmas together, and then attending the Lakers game as a couple, the rumor mill is now churning that the Maria Shriver divorce may not happen after all.

As you know, Arnold Schwarzenegger was caught cheating on his Kennedy wife with the family housekeeper, Mildred Baena, reports Reuters. To make matters worse, the Governator is believed to have fathered a child who is roughly around the same age as Schwarzenegger and Shriver's own children with Baena.

Facebook Gag Baby a Gag?

A Chicago South Side father went viral for all the wrong reasons.

You probably saw pictures of the Facebook gag baby. A man posted pictures of his 22-month-old daughter on Facebook bound in blue painter's tape. After the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) got wind of the post, they begun an investigation into child abuse and possible child removal.

But the father, 21-year-old Andre Curry, says it was all a big joke, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

Opposite Sex Civil Unions in Illinois

More and more couples eligible to get married in Illinois are eschewing that right and choosing to enter a civil union instead. As you may already know, only opposite sex couples are allowed to legally marry in Illinois. Same-sex couples do not have this option and must enter into a civil union instead.

While civil union and marriage may be similar, they are not identical. And to show their solidarity with same-sex couples, opposite sex civil unions have been on the rise, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

Family of 5 Dead in Emington Murders

Skyler and Ian Lemke just returned home from school on the final day before the start of Christmas vacation. Minutes later they were shot to death and their mother, Sara McMeen was standing over their baby sister with a semi-automatic pistol ready to end the little girl's life as well, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

A neighbor reportedly witnessed the Emington murders and spoke with McMeen as the woman stood over her baby daughter. The neighbor asked if everything was alright. McMeen responded that, "No, everything is not all right," before shooting the baby.

The Different Types of Child Custody

You may have some general idea of what child custody is, but you may not know all the different types of child custody that parents and guardians can have.

Below, we provide an overview of physical, legal, sole, and joint custody arrangements.

5 Tips for Limiting Effects of Divorce on Families on Xmas

The holidays can be a stressful time for most families with the gift buying and family visits. And if you’re divorced, separated, or sharing custody of your children, the stress is only magnified and you may find yourself having a very difficult time spreading the holiday cheer.

If this is your first holiday season post-divorce, you may have felt that the restructured family relationship has not been easy even in the most amicable divorce, reports the Independent Record. This is because your roles may be changed, traditions are ruined, and you may even have to spend the holidays without your children.

Drunk Dad to Lose Kid to Joyride?

A Chicago drunk dad was arrested for driving under the influence with his three-year-old daughter in the car. The dad, Robert Hudson, was not only arrested for driving drunk, but he was also driving with a blood alcohol level over five times the legal limit.

According to the police, a woman witnessed a man pull over and then stumble out of his car and fall onto the pavement, reports the Chicago Tribune. A few moments later, a little girl then helped herself out of the car.

Scott Sullivan Kills WWII Vet Father

Taking care of an aging parent is a big deal. There is a lot of responsibility in looking after an elderly person. And if you couple age with illness like dementia or Alzheimer's disease, the responsibilities can be overwhelming.

A Will County jury could have have thought that such pressures were too much for 58-year-old Scott Sullivan to bear, but he was convicted of killing his 86-year-old father. His elderly father suffered from Alzheimer's and apparently needed help bathing, getting around, and other aspects of life that many of us take for granted, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

Parental Rights Hearing Begins for Mother Who Abandoned Baby

Nunu Sung gave birth to a son in 2009 outside her Wheaton apartment. Sung left the baby outside as she went back to her apartment. The woman claims she was coming back to get him, but prosecutors say that she left the baby to die, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

Currently in jail for abandoning her baby, Sung now wants to reinstate her parental rights after she is released. But the guardians of her now three-year-old son are seeking to terminate her parental rights completely and DuPage County prosecutors are arguing the case for them.

Abortion Parental Notification Set for Illinois Supreme Court

Back in 1995, Illinois legislators passed the Parental Notice of Abortion Act that would require doctors to notify the guardians of a girl 17 or younger before she has an abortion, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

But despite being on the books for 16 years, the parental notification law was never enforced. However, that may soon change, as the Illinois Supreme Court has agreed to consider the long-running dispute and perhaps decide whether to enforce the neglected law.

Same Sex Couples Allowed to Jointly File Taxes Next Year

In what is largely a symbolic victory, same-sex couples who entered a civil union will be allowed to file joint state income tax returns starting in January. The joint tax returns for same-sex couples is a symbolic victory because the joint returns are unlikely to save the couples any money.

However, gay rights groups are still calling this an important step forward, reports the Daily Herald.

Carolyn Twietmeyer Fights to Reduce Limits on Adoptions

Carolyn Twietmeyer is a Joliet mother of 14 and she wants to adopt more. The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) has no numerical limit on the number of children someone can adopt, but its rules are making it difficult for Twietmeyer to adopt, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Now Twietmeyer has taken her fight to Washington D.C., urging Illinois lawmakers to allow large families like hers to more easily adopt -- especially children from third-world countries and those children with special needs.