Archive for 'Publications'

Collaborative law codified

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On Jan. 10, state Sen. Michael Noland introduced Senate Bill 31, which would create the Uniform Collaborative Law Act. The proposed act outlines terms applicable to collaborative law participation agreements and contains provisions governing the requirements of collaborative law agreements, the start and end of the collaborative law process, court proceedings, disqualification of lawyers, disclosure requirements and aspects of confidentiality and privileges.

Collaborative law has gained steam over the years not only in matrimonial actions, but commercial and business disputes as ...

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Valuation date in bifurcated trials

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Valuing assets in a divorce case is factually and legally complex, but picking the valuation date is easy, right? After all, we have a statute in Illinois that requires the court to “value the property as of the date of trial or some other date as close to the date of trial as is practicable.” 750 ILCS 5/503(f). Thus, in most divorce cases, the valuation date for marital property is the date of the divorce trial or another date near ...

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Divorce and exclusive possession

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Remember the 1989 film “The War of the Roses”? It is a story of Oliver and Barbara Rose (Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner) who viciously tried to get each other out of the house during their divorce proceeding. In the end, both are killed by a dangling chandelier. As the Roses discovered, exclusive possession of the marital residence during the divorce proceeding is not easily obtained.

To forcibly remove a spouse from the house, one must file either a ...

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Equitable adoption

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Adoption is a statutory doctrine that creates legal status among children and parents. However, even without a formal adoption, parents and children haveattempted to gain rights or impose responsibilities when their affiliation has simulated a parent-child relationship.

In limited circumstances, courts in other states have treated a child as a legally adopted child under the theory of equitable adoption. No Illinois court has expressly utilized this theory and, in fact, the 1st District Appellate Court has rejected equitable adoption ...

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When to seek college contribution

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Under 750 ILCS 5/513, the divorce courthas the authority to order parents to contribute to their child’s college expenses after considering the financial resources of both parents and the child, the standard of living the child would have enjoyed had her parents’ marriage not dissolved and the child’s academic performance.

When a child is young and her parents get a divorce, the court generally reserves the issue of college contribution for later determination.

However, there are perils in waiting ...

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Life insurance as way to secure maintenance

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A few months ago, we reported on the phenomenon of an ex-spouse winding up with a windfall, where a former spouse inadvertently fails to remove her as his designated life insurance beneficiary.

This often happens when a term life policy has no present cash value, the parties consider it a “non-asset” and the court does not allocate life insurance rights and benefits due to the lack of evidence. New legislation should avoid this result by making two important changes in the ...

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When an injunction isn’t an injunction

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Like the smell of a rose, an injunction by any other name is still an injunction. Yet, calling it an injunction does not make itso. This article discusses the types of orders that constitute immediately appealable injunctions under Illinois Supreme Court Rule 307(a)(1).

Ordinarily, only final orders are appealable. However, the 300 series of the Illinois Supreme Court rules allows for certain exceptions. Under Rule 307(a)(1), an interlocutory order granting, modifying, refusing, dissolving or refusing to dissolve or modify an injunction ...

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The lawyer’s right to contribution

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The collection of attorney fees in matrimonial cases has changed dramatically. The law provides not only a remedy for an attorney to seek fees against his own client, but against the client’s spouse with whom the attorney has no contractual relationship. In In re Parentage of Rocca, 2011 Ill.App.LEXIS 232 (2d Dist. 2011), the 2nd District Appellate Court expanded these rights, permitting an attorney in a parentage case to seek fees from the opposing party, notwithstanding her own client’s waiver ...

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Civil unions have arrived

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After years of work and countless hoursof negotiations, Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law the civil unions bill, announcing exultantly: “We believe in civil rights … civil unions … liberty and justice for all.” The law takes effect on June 1.

Regardless of your position on the matter, there is no denying that this is a significant advancement of rights and equality for gay, lesbian and transgender couples who want legal rights and protections afforded to legally married spouses.

Senate Bill 1716, ...

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Protect life insurance upon death

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After months of wrangling over property upon divorce, an ex-spouse could still end up with a windfall where his former wife inadvertently failed to remove him as her designated life insurance beneficiary. Language in a carefully drafted marital settlement agreement might avoid this result; however, parties to a divorce should still be advised to change their policy designations immediately upon divorce.

In Richard v. Martindale, No. 09 CV 4159 (N.D. Ill. June 14, 2010), the parties divorced after 22 years of ...

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