The Chicago Family Law Blog

June 2012 Archives

Legal Protest Against Domestic Violence 'Tax' on Marriage Fails

Some might call it a fee. Others might call it a tax. Jillian Jacobsen called it bull excrement and wanted the fee removed. More specifically, her complaint was that it was an unconstitutional tax on the fundamental right to marry, but we prefer the term bull excrement. It rolls off the tongue.

The allegedly unconstitutional tax was $5.00, reports the Courthouse News Service.

Now, you might be thinking, "Who in the wedding-bell-hell would sue over a $5 add-on to a $30 fee?" Well, lawsuits, and in this case, an appeal, aren't always about the amount in controversy. Often, it's a matter of principle and fear of a slippery slope.

Electronic Monitoring of Your Child: Trust Issues or Good Parenting?

To snoop or not to snoop? With modern technology, full surveillance of your child is as simple as installing a few apps. You can read every text message that your child sends to his girlfriend, or track his every movement to ensure that he really is going "to the library." You can monitor the sites he visits, the music he listens to, and read every Facebook and Twitter post that he makes.

Is that really a good idea?

The New York Times stirred the debate with the stories of a few helicopter parents that were using software to snoop. With story after story of children engaging in dangerous activities online, and social networking apps such as Skout accidentally making connections between rapists and children, monitoring your child's online activity almost seems like a necessity. As for GPS tracking, isn't it every parent's right to know where her child is at all times?

Technology Makes Divorce Easier: Helpful Apps

What would divorce be like if it was as simple as using an app? While we haven’t quite progressed (or regressed) that far, there are a handful of apps that can help you through the process.

The first, and main app that you should look at is the Illinois Legal Aid Society’s app for Apple iOS and Google Android devices. It is pretty remarkable that a non-profit agency that provides services to low income Illinois residents could have the funding and ability to come up with such a comprehensive app, though we shouldn’t be surprised after seeing their ridiculously useful website.

What We Can Learn From Dwyane Wade and Siohvaughn Funches-Wade

Not all lessons are positive. In fact, it has been said that you learn more from mistakes than from successes. So, while David Arquette and Courteney Cox’s dissolution provides an exemplary model of the ideal uncontested amicable divorce, we might actually learn more from Dwyane Wade and his ex-wife, Siovaughn Funches-Wade.

The most recent mistake, made by Siovaughn, landed her behind bars. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, she was supposed to hand the children over to Dwayne’s sister so that they could hop on a plane for Father’s Day and Game 3 of the NBA Finals. Instead, Siovaughn refused to answer her phone or release the children. The police were then summoned.

What We Can Learn From Courtney Cox and David Arquette

Divorce can become a living embodiment of hell. Bitterness and spite often rule over calm minds and co-parenting. That's why it's so refreshing to see a celebrity couple get it right, for once.

Unlike Mel Gibson, who wished unspeakable things upon his ex, or Deion and Pilar Sanders' physical fights and Twitter feuds, David Arquette and Courteney Cox Arquette are handling things like adults.

Tips for Choosing a Divorce Lawyer

Why do they bury lawyers thirty feet underground?

Because deep down, we're all good people.

We lawyers get a bad reputation. Once in a while, it's deserved. There are, however, a lot of good attorneys out there. So how do you tell the good from the bad? You might want to start with a directory. Contact a few attorneys and discuss the following issues with them.

Alvarez Admits Gay Marriage Ban is Unconstitutional; Parallels CA

Something odd happened yesterday. Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez, whose job it is to defend the laws of the State of Illinois, conceded in court documents that the law banning gay marriage was wrong and violated the state constitution’s Equal Protection clause, reports the Chicago Tribune.

“No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law nor be denied the equal protection of the laws.”

Want to be a Dad? Illinois Adoption for Same Sex Parents

What's a better way to mark Father's Day than to discuss families with two fathers? And for same-sex couples with two mothers, this information applies to you equally. Illinois is same-sex friendly when it comes to adoption and recent efforts to change that have failed.

Adoption agencies are required to consider only what is best for the child. They cannot take the parents' sexuality into consideration. This is what led to the Catholic Charities litigation, with ended with the Catholic Charities losing in court and closing up shop.

Will Budget Cuts to DCFS Put Even More Children in Danger?

Sixteen-year-old Darlene Armstrong weighed 23 lbs when she was brought into the emergency room, reports the Daily Mail. The image of her, curled into the fetal position, is nauseating.

The image was leaked by an unknown source in law enforcement, right around the time the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) was being investigated for their reported failures in the case.

The Mediated Divorce: Is it Right For You?

When one thinks of the words "divorce" and "court", images come to mind of bitter and nasty protracted litigation, with evil lawyers grilling the two parties over their alleged extramarital sexual activities and assets hidden in a safe deposit box in Mexico.

You can even see the blood dripping from the lawyers' fangs.

Dossey Baby: Rickets, Or Child Abuse?

Rickets is a disorder resulting from a Vitamin D, calcium, or phosphate deficiency. It causes bones to become brittle or soft, and far more likely to break.

Daniel and Linda Dossey claimed in a recent child removal appeal that the condition is what is to blame for their child's broken bones, reports the News-Register. They took their infant to the emergency room after noticing that the child was holding its leg and acting fussy.

Prenup: Make it as Strong as Your Marriage ... or Stronger

We all heard Chicago nature Kanye West when he rightfully informed us all that it was quite important, nay, necessary, to obtain a prenuptial agreement prior to the commencement of a marital commitment.

Premarital agreements set the expectations of the marriage. They are not a plan for failure; rather, they provide a set of guidelines and expectations for each party’s assets and estates. They can be useful in the event of a divorce, or in preserving one’s estate for their children. They are important for everyone, not just Ruben Studdard and Kanye.