News + Insights

News + Insights

Accepted: The Constitutionality of Section 513 of the IMDMA

Illinois is only one of a handful of states where courts may require parents to contribution to their child’s college education. This “non-minor support” is codified in Section 513 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act and applies to those parents who are undergoing a divorce, have already been divorced or were never married. Pursuant to this statute, the court may order certain educational expenses to be paid either to the child, the other party or directly to the institution itself.

 

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Fighting Like Cats and Dogs Over Cats and Dogs

People love their pets. That’s indisputable. We often hear pet owners refer to themselves as a “dog mom” or a “cat dad” – which makes sense. Pets have become more like cherished members of the family more than anything else. According to the 2019-2020 National Pet Owners Survey, sixty-seven percent (67%) of households in the U.S. or roughly 85 million families own a pet. Moreover, this number could be much higher today since the Covid pandemic began and people were forced to stay inside and work from home. Since Covid, pet ownership has continued to soar.

 

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Diversity Thoughts

The political ascendancy of Vice President Kamala Harris has released hope in women across professions in which women and women of color are often underrepresented. While all Americans and women in particular are still assessing the meaning of a woman in the White House, Feinberg Sharma, P.C. celebrates the promotion and recognition of women in all professions, especially in the legal field.

 

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LESSONS OF A YOUNG LAWYER

Throughout law school and before, I always knew I wanted to work and practice in family law. So, when I officially became an Illinois licensed attorney in November 2019, I started my career working as a family law associate attorney at Feinberg Sharma, P.C. At that time, I was focused mainly on trying to immerse myself into the hectic and intimidating atmosphere that was the Domestic Relations division. Somehow, everybody knew everybody here. How could I break in and make my mark?

 

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The Contractual Approach to Assisted Reproductive Technology Litigation

The number of frozen embryos in the United States continues to rise exponentially as people are turning to assisted reproductive technologies (ART) in order to conceive. Current laws fail to protect parties making agreements relating to their frozen embryos. Courts typically use the contractual approach to determine parties’ so-called agreements regarding the disposition of their frozen embryos. However, looking at these agreements as if they were simple contracts fails to protect parties in the divorce context. If courts continue to use the contractual approach, then they have a responsibility to examine the parties’ so-called agreements more closely.

 

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Experts disagree on the merits of Parental Alienation Syndrome

Parental alienation syndrome first appeared back in the 1980s. The discovery of PAS is attributed solely to Dr. Richard Gardner, a professor of psychiatry. According to Dr. Gardner, PAS describes when a child is essentially brainwashed by one parent to turn the child against the other parent. Not surprisingly, PAS generally arises in the context of highly contested child custody cases.

 

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The Impact of Domestic Violence on Property Division in Divorce in the U.S.A.

To understand the impact of domestic violence in the context of property division in the United States, one must view the concept of the “war” against domestic violence as a dynamic force, finally gaining acceptance at large, yet trying to find its place in the midst of the various “no fault” concepts that govern divorce law in each of the 50 states.

 

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The Second Time Around Could Ring Your Bell: The Dangers of Child Support for the Non-Owing Spouse

Beware: If you are married to someone who pays child support, your income now can be combined with your spouse’s income for purposes of calculating your spouse’s child support obligation. Illinois has ventured into new territory with In re Marriage of Rushing.

 

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All Over the Map

The Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of Child Custody provides for an expeditious return of children wrongfully taken from their habitual residence. Different interpretations of the Convention’s key terms have led to inconsistent applications by the federal circuits.

 

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Premarital Agreements

Family business owners endure the long hours, pain, stress and strain of building and growing a business so that they can provide their family with an environment of financial security and stability, with the ultimate hope of future generations running the business.

 

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Illinois Case Law on Parental Abduction

In situations where a court has found a REPEATED, continuing, ongoing pattern of interference with the non-custodial or non-residential parent’s right to have access to and an ongoing relationship with the child of the parties, Illinois courts have ordered a change of custody to rectify the perception of alienation by one parent to another from the child of the parties.

 

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