Category Archives: Recent Cases & Law

Utah Petitions the United States Supreme Court to Stay Gay Marriages After a Federal Court Strikes Down its Ban as Unconstitutional

The recently-concluded holiday season found parties on both sides of the marriage equality debate embroiled in what may prove to be the next matter decided by the United States Supreme Court on this issue. A decade ago, in 2004, two-thirds of Utah’s voters approved a ban on same-sex marriages, defining “marriage” as occurring only between […]

North Dakota Attorney General Issues Legal Opinion That a Man in a Same-Sex Marriage May Marry a Woman

A man who was validly married to another man in a state that recognizes same-sex marriages moves to North Dakota. He then seeks to marry a woman in North Dakota, which does not recognize same-sex marriages. Due to this non-recognition, the man cannot get a divorce in North Dakota. The man then applies for a […]

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 […]

Marriage Equality and Divorce Equality Reach Illinois

On November 20, 2013, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed into law the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, which will make same-sex marriage legal in Illinois as of June 1, 2014. At this time, fourteen states, the District of Columbia, eight counties in New Mexico and eight Native American tribal jurisdictions issue marriage licenses to […]

US Senate Approves Gay Rights Bill

This afternoon, the United States Senate passed historic gay rights legislation in its approval of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would provide protections in the workplace to workers and job applicants who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. Any private employer with more than 15 employees would be precluded from workplace discrimination based on sexual […]

Illinois House Approves Gay Marriage Bill

On Tuesday afternoon, the Illinois House voted 61-54, narrowly surpassing the required 60 vote threshold, to approve gay marriage. The measure previously passed the Illinois Senate on Valentine’s Day. It has taken this long to secure enough votes in the House for the measure to pass. Technically, the bill is being sent back to the […]

The Supreme Court Clarifies Rules on Disgorgement for Interim Attorney Fees and Rejects the Use of Advance Payment Retainers in Dissolution Actions

In In re Marriage of Earlywine, 2013 IL 114779, the Illinois Supreme Court recently addressed whether the circuit court, in an action for dissolution of marriage, had discretion to order the husband’s attorney to turn over (or disgorge) to the wife as interim attorneys’ fees under § 501(c-1)(3) of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of […]

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, […]

Baby Veronica: Is it Possible to Mediate the Impossible?

With court battles that have now spanned several years and with a young child at the center of a debate between her biological father and her adoptive parents, last month an Oklahoma court ordered the parties into mediation to reach a resolution.  It seems an impossible resolution route to an already difficult and emotional battle. […]

IRS Recognizes Same Sex Marriage for Federal Income Tax Purposes

As of September 16, 2013, through Revenue Ruling 2013-17, the Internal Revenue Service will recognize the marital status of legally married persons, including persons married to others of the same sex, for the purposes of filing federal income tax returns. The full text of Rev. Rul. 2013-17 can be found here. Currently, thirteen states recognize […]