The Chicago Family Law Blog

March 2012 Archives

Ebony Martin, a caseworker for the Illinois Department of Human Services, was indicted earlier in the week on charges of official misconduct, theft, and state benefits fraud.

Martin allegedly used her job with the Department to create fictitious dependents for a friend so that he could receive extra food aid. The man then sold a portion of the food aid for cash, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Dennis Rodman Child Support and Spousal Support Problems

He wouldn’t be a famous athlete if he didn’t get embroiled in a messy family law problem. In this case that famous athlete is Dennis Rodman, declaring himself broke when asked to pay spousal support and child support in arrears, reports ESPN.

Rodman, the former Detroit Pistons, Chicago Bulls, and Los Angeles Lakers star, and Hall of Famer, who is now in his early 50’s, owes nearly a million dollars in unpaid child support — $800,000 to be exact. And beyond Dennis Rodman’s child support arrears there is another $50,000 in unpaid spousal support.

He faces up to 20 days in jail for not paying, says ESPN.

Joint Custody in Illinois? Don't Use Kids as Messengers

Former spouses that have children together and share custody may be put in a position of using children as messengers between each other.

However, experts warn against using children as go-betweens between adults, and argue that such a state of affairs could have a deleterious effect on the child's mental health, reports The Chicago Tribune. In this case, the experts are the authors of the useful book, Joint Custody With a Jerk: Raising a Child with an Uncooperative Ex.

Dividing Assets: Juanita Jordan Penthouse Up For Sale

Juanita Jordan, who was once married to NBA great, Michael Jordan, is selling her Chicago penthouse, reports The Chicago Tribune.

Juanita Jordan’s penthouse, an 8000 foot triplex on Lake Shore Drive, has been put on the market for $5 million. The news comes just a short while after Michael Jordan himself put a $29 million dollar home in Highland Park for sale. The two homes were part of the divorce settlement between Michael and Juanita, after they split in 2006.

Orthodox Jews Use a Prenup to 'Get' a Religious Divorce

A well-known Chicago documentary film maker has brought to light an interesting twist to family law with a screening of her 2011 film, Women Unchained. In it, Beverly Siegel explores the case of "chained wives" or traditional Jewish women whose husbands refuse to grant them a religious divorce.

Like any other U.S. citizen, the women depicted in Siegel's film can get a civil divorce in a family law court in Chicago or anywhere else in the country, reports The New York Times. But if they would like to re-marry in their faith and see their children free of stigma, they must get "a get" a religious divorce under the laws of their branch of Judaism.

Affair Behind Jennie Garth and Peter Facinelli Divorce?

While off in Vancouver filming the latest Twilight movie, actor Peter Facinelli had a rumored torrid affair with a local woman. After coming home to his wife, actress Jennie Garth, it was reported that Facinelli spilled the beans and the couple tried to make things work for the sake of their three children.

But enough was enough, and it looks like there will be a Jennie Garth and Peter Facinelli divorce, reports PRWeb. The couple has already put up their $5.9 home for sale.

Law to Stop Exorbitant Child Custody Fees in the Works

People have lost their homes, their children’s college funds, and even ordered to serve jail time because they could not afford to pay fees related to the child custody process. State Representative Jil Tracy says that some court appointed guardians are taking advantage of the system and she is sponsoring a child custody bill that would cap how much the guardians and other court appointed representatives can earn.

When parents divorce or have a child custody battle, they may be required to pay for the child’s representatives under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, reports WLDS News. The amount that the court appointed representatives charge can vary, but some charge over $300 an hour.

Katy Perry's Dad Chimes in on Divorce

Katy Perry’s dad, Keith Hudson, just can’t help himself when talking about the Katy Perry divorce from Russell Brand.

But the comments of Perry’s dad are not what you’d expect when you normally think about what a dad would say about his daughter’s ex-husband.

Be Careful What You Tweet, Smart Phone Evidence in Divorce

Want custody of a child, but Tweeted earlier that the kid wasn’t yours? Claim you need money, but posted Facebook comments of planned cosmetic surgery? Say you're looking for a job, but spend all day viewing porn?

Smart phone evidence of all these behaviors is increasingly being used against individuals in divorce and child custody proceedings, reports The Kansas City Star.

Domestic quarrels can involve a lot more than husbands and wives or boyfriends and girlfriends. In the Lakeview neighborhood, one man was stabbed to death while another man was critically injured following a domestic dispute between roommates.

The third roommate slept through the roommate stabbing.

A 25-year-old roommate and a 53-year-old roommate got into a violent quarrel shortly before midnight on Monday, reports the Chicago Tribune. Police have no idea what started the argument, but it led to violent stabbings and both men suffering multiple wounds.

As you know, many married couples enter a prenuptial agreement that agrees how they will split their assets and future earnings in the event of divorce. Getting one of these agreements is a great idea as it could save a lot of headache and argument later on. And if your marriage remains happy, it will never be used.

But just because you’re not marrying the person you are living with, this does not mean you cannot have a similar agreement with your significant other.

Divorce Pet Custody Cases on the Rise

As cats, dogs, and other pets become a greater part of our lives, it's not surprising that divorce pet custody cases are on the rise. In a 2006 survey, divorce attorneys said they saw a noticeable increase in such cases. Since that time, anecdotal evidence suggests that pet custody cases have become even more prevalent, reports USA TODAY.

Traditionally, pets were viewed as someone's property. In fact, technically, they still are. However, courts have been taking a more pet-friendly approach and have been treating pets more similarly to children than furniture, reports USA TODAY.

Jerry Hudson Convicted in Ex-Wife Murder

A DuPage County jury refused to believe Jerry Hudson's claim that he acted in self defense as he shot his unarmed ex-wife six times. For the ex-wife murder, Hudson faces at least 45 years in jail.

Hudson and his ex-, Melissa Bridgewater, were having difficulties following their divorce. Hudson apparently believed that Bridgewater stole his manhood and so wanted revenge, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. It's not clear why Hudson felt that his manhood was compromised, but at the time of the shooting, Bridgewater had left a New Year's party with a new boyfriend.