Category Archives: Child Custody & Visitation

Special Considerations for Special Needs Children During Divorce

Each year, approximately 6,000 children born in the U.S. have Down Syndrome,[1] as many as 5 out of every 100 children in school may have Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD) [2] and autism now affects 1 in 68 children.[3]  The emotional and financial toll of caring for a disabled child can be overwhelming, even for […]

The Unexpected Consequences of Filing a Petition to Modify Custody

In most legal matters, the Court can only award relief which is requested by one of the parties. However, in matters regarding modification of child custody, the Courts are not restricted by the parties’ requests. Instead, once the issue of custody is placed before the Court, the Court possesses broad discretion to alter custody or […]

A Child Does Not have the Right to Ultimately Choose His or Her Custodian

One of the pervasive urban myths that I have heard during my many years of family law practice is that children at the age of 13 have the right to choose which parent they live with.  I have heard this from clients, prospective clients and even an occasional practitioner. This statement is unequivocally false.  The […]

Citizenship Registration for Foreign Born Children

American citizens often spend time overseas for job assignments, military deployments or sabbaticals.  On occasion, these extended stays will result in the birth of a child out of wedlock.  Where a child is born abroad and out of wedlock to a father who is a United States citizen, that child is a citizen of the […]

The Right of First Refusal: A Step Toward Less Headaches

Effective January 1, 2014, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act was amended by adding Section 602.3 titled “Care of minor children; right of first refusal.” The statute now provides guidelines and parameters for provisions in Custody Judgments dealing with a parent’s right to opt to have parenting time with children when the other […]

Olympic Skier’s Cross-Country Custody Battle Has Potential to Create Nationwide Precedent

The nine-month-old infant named Nate was brought into a New York courtroom, cradled in the arms of his father. After a hearing, the same child left the courtroom in the arms of his mother, who calls him Sam. This is only one of many twists and turns in the bi-coastal custody battle between the child’s […]

Disposition of Frozen Embryos is Governed by Contract

Although the Illinois Supreme Court accepts only 4% of the Petitions for Leave to Appeal filed by parties unhappy with their outcomes in the Illinois Appellate Court, many family law observers believed that one recent decision would likely beat the odds and be accepted by Illinois’ highest tribunal for review. That case, Szafranski v. Dunston, […]

Many Family Types, One Goal: Children’s Best Interest in Custody Agreements

Although Ryan Jurica’s initial divorce filing is loaded with inflammatory allegations, My Fair Wedding host, David Tutera, and his partner, Ryan Jurica, have entered a temporary custody agreement that places the parties’ fraternal twins 3,000 miles apart on separate sides of the US. The LA Times reported on September 13, 2013, that the judge entered […]

Modifying Custody Post-Judgment: A Two-Step Analysis

Before any parent signs on the dotted line to their custody agreement, they should understand each and every provision of the document. Hastily signing an agreement thinking that one can “just go into court” and seek to have it changed at a later time is a mistake. In Illinois, unless the children are seriously endangered, […]