So far 2012 is turning out to be the year of the celebrity divorce (Katy Perry) or celebrity reconciliation (Maria Shriver). However, family law involves a lot more than what is happening with celebrities, and a recap of the top Chicago family law stories from 2011 shows you why.
Illinois Civil Unions. Same-sex couples were finally allowed to enjoy the basic right to join together in a civil union. While short of a marriage, this state law is a giant step forward for gay and lesbian rights. Thousands of couples lined up for a civil union license the first day the law went into effect.
Joe Walsh Child Support. With marriage come divorce, alimony, and child support payments. Tea party Congressman Joe Walsh learned this the hard way as he's been engaged in a year-long child support battle with his ex-wife. Walsh apparently missed payments when his fortunes were down, but failed to make payments when his fortunes went up.
Spousal Violence. In a much darker turn, a popular story in 2011 was spousal abuse and violence. At the end of the year we wrote about Ian Alamilla, who was sentenced to 25 years in jail for murdering his wife as the couple was going through a divorce. Domestic violence turned deadly in several incidents this year.
Domestic Violence. To show that violence among family members is not limited to spouses, there was a disturbing trend of children killing parents this past year. One child tried to butcher his mom after she gave him a sandwich. Another killed his dad with a weed wacker for unknown reasons.
Chicago family law is not just about celebrity divorce. Instead, it often involves serious subjects with deadly consequences.