The Chicago Family Law Blog

May 2012 Archives

How to Deal With a Bully in Chicago -- Online or On the Ground

Some say that bullying is an age old problem. It's been going on as long as people have existed and getting bullied is just a part of growing up. It will make the kids tougher.

That's a load of crap.

In the "old days," when you walked uphill both ways to school, bullying was done in the hallways of school or on the school bus. All a kid had to do to escape was just to run like Forest Gump.

But times, they are a changin'.

Separate is Unequal: Illinois Gay Marriage Ban Challenged

Just a year ago, Illinois passed a bill allowing same-sex Civil Unions. The law gave gay couples the same rights under the law as straight couples, except the right to inherit property and the power to decide medical treatment. Nevertheless, it was seen as progress for the gay rights movement and a step towards "mandating gay marriage" from those opposed to marital equality.

Now, according to CBS News, sixteen couples have joined together to challenge the language in Illinois law that prohibits gay marriage.

What Are "The Best Interests of the Child"?

When making a decision that affects the well-being of the child, such as custody or visitation, the primary factor that will determine the child’s placement is the frustratingly vague “best interests of the child standard.”

The standard isn’t vague simply to make your lives hell. It is left open because the family law court is more of a court of equity, meaning the judge makes decisions based on principles of fairness and intuition, instead of the more rigid court of law principles used in criminal cases.

The Quickie Divorce ... Freedom via Uncontested Dissolution

You hate her. She hates you. It might be the only thing you have in common. You really have no idea why you got married, other than that bottle of Jose Cuervo Silver. Either way, you both want out ... NOW!

Sound familiar?

An uncontested no-fault divorce is exactly what it sounds like. Both of you want out, both or neither of you are to blame, and there is no dispute over property or children.

What Effect Does a Cheating Spouse Have on the Divorce?

Legally? None. Emotionally? A ton.

Illinois is a no-fault divorce state. In addition to allowing divorce based on “irreconcilable differences,” this also means that adultery will not affect property settlements. Property settlements are to be made “without regard to marital misconduct.”

If you plan on getting married downtown by a judge this weekend, you’re going to have to take a rain check.

All downtown, judge-conducted marriage and civil union ceremonies have been postponed for the weekend, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. You can thank the NATO Summit for that. While you mull over alternative ways of getting hitched this weekend, you can check out the Cook County requirements for a marriage license we’ve listed below.

On Wednesday, the Illinois House passed a bill that would divert funds in order to avoid cuts to child care services to low-income families, The State Journal-Register reports.

Last week, Gov. Pat Quinn announced that child care services were underfunded by $73.6 million and suggested diverting funds to help avoid the budget gap. However, many state lawmakers contend that the child care budget gap was Quinn’s doing in the first place.

Divorces can be drawn out, messy, and expensive. The whole process of dissolving your marriage can seem pretty overwhelming.

To make your divorce a little less painful, we’ve included a few steps that will help you on your way to dissolving your marriage.

The father of a 2-year-old girl turned himself into the police on Friday after allegedly fabricating a story about finding the girl in a stroller on the Near West Side, CBS News reports.

The bizarre story began on May 4 when 23-year-old Clint Ross reported finding an abandoned girl in a stroller near the intersection of Ashland and Roosevelt. It turned out, however, that Ross wasn’t just a concerned citizen, but the girl’s dad.

Halle Berry’s ex-boyfriend is asking for half a million dollars in attorney’s fees and $20,000 a month in child support, TMZ reports.

Berry and French-Canadian model Gabriel Aubry have been embroiled in a custody war over the care of their 4-year-old daughter Nahla. Aubry is requesting the huge child support payments because he wants his daughter to continue living the life to which she’s grown accustomed, according to TMZ.

Mother’s Day is a time for families to gather together to celebrate moms of all kinds.

While many people think of biological motherhood when they hear “mom,” there are several ways to become a mother in Illinois. Below, we’ve included the different ways to become a mom under Illinois law.

On Tuesday, Gov. Pat Quinn announced that he's devised a way to avoid a $73 million budget gap that would've cut funding for child care services to low-income families, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Last week, Quinn's office notified over 40,000 child care providers that the state would be unable to pay for their services for the last three months of the budget year. The announcement fixing that gap comes as welcome news to the parents who rely on the subsidized child care to get to work every day.

Many people believe that child support is only meant to cover a child's basic needs, like food, clothing, and shelter. However, most states, including Illinois, have developed guidelines, allowing child support to be used to provide many different types of benefits for children.

Below, we've included some of the expenses for which child support payments may be used.

While most people lawyer up when a marriage falls apart, a Des Plaines man reportedly tried to have six people burned alive after his wife left him.

According to authorities, a man has been arrested who tried to hire undercover officers to burn six people alive for breaking up his marriage, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. If convicted of the murder-for-hire charge, 49-year-old Zenon Grzegorczyk will face a sentence of up to 10 years in federal prison.

After two years of marriage Martin Lawrence and his wife Shamicka Lawrence are calling it quits, TMZ reports.

The star of the “Big Momma’s House” trilogy filed his divorce petition in Los Angeles Superior Court last week, citing the classic “irreconcilable differences.”

On Monday, Chicago police issued a community warning about an attempted child abduction that took place last week in the Roseland neighborhood on the city’s Far South Side, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Last Wednesday at around 11 a.m., an 11-year-old girl who was walking on South State Street was reportedly followed by a white man driving in a dark four-door vehicle.