This is the time of year that employees find themselves going through their benefits packages to choose a health plan, to sign up for life insurance and to take care of what amounts to a huge financial outlay for some peace of mind for the coming year. When a couple is divorcing, though, those benefit elections get tricky. In fact, every insurance need for the family requires much closer examination, especially when there are children in the mix.
We are not talking about the U.S. Supreme Court here. We are talking about the high court in another country, Pakistan, that has agreed to consider a custody matter for a U.S.-based couple. The case is interesting not only because of its subject matter -- surrogacy and custody -- but also because of the tension between civil law and religious law. As we read the story, we wondered if the case would turn out differently here in the U.S.
For those of us who are fascinated by the lives of the rich and famous, the marriage of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes will be the source of endless media coverage for a while. According to news reports, Holmes has filed for divorce. According to rumor and speculation, she is asking for sole custody and child support; property division and spousal support are subject to the couple's prenuptial agreement, assuming that they have one.
Christie Brinkley will return to the stage in April. She will play Roxie Hart in the musical "Chicago," a career move that ex-husband Peter Cook claims is behind her public accusations regarding their ongoing dispute over custody and support of their children. Brinkley's camp counters that Cook was the one to take the argument to the media when he agreed to a TV interview.
An unusual and emotional custody fight made its way to the Illinois Appellate Court last week. The case involves a man who is asking for custody and visitation of the child his ex-wife adopted during their brief marriage. The problem is that he never filed stepparent adoption papers.
An Illinois woman is trying to convince a court that her child belongs with her, not a foster family. Before she can regain custody, though, she must complete her prison sentence.
Celebrities give their children unusual names, and most people raise an eyebrow. Apple, Moon Unit, Zeppelin and Pirate -- yes, even Blanket -- are fodder for late-night comedians. But if someone heard that name in a Chicago fast food restaurant, chances are good that no one would accuse the parents of abuse and launch a court action for custody of the child.
An Illinois native has completed a month-long bike ride that he hopes will result in changes to child custody laws. He lives in Japan; his son and his ex-wife live more than 500 miles away from him there. According to his visitation agreement, he is allowed to see his son for five hours every six weeks.
Illinois joined a handful of states recently when Governor Quinn signed the civil union law. Civil unions will be available to both heterosexual and same-sex couples, but same-sex couples celebrated the law a little more heartily. Other states have made headlines recently with decisions that bode well for same-sex relationships -- in particular, a decision from an unlikely venue regarding a child visitation agreement.
Illinois families going through divorce or working on a custody arrangement will want to take note of two recent developments regarding electronic communication. First, a man is facing criminal charges in Michigan for hacking into his wife's e-mail account. Second, Facebook has become a popular source of ammunition in divorce and custody disputes.