We are finishing up our story of an annulment case recently decided by an appellate court. It is an interesting family law case that touches on other areas of law, including probate and estate planning, as well as a little civil procedure. In our last post, we discussed the burden of proof in the state where all of this took place and how different it is from Illinois' burden.
We are continuing our discussion of a recent case from outside of Illinois that involved three sisters, Janet, Amy and Mary. While Janet was in hospice, just a couple of weeks before she died of cancer, she married Tim. They told no one. After Janet's death, though, Tim broke the news. Amy and Mary petitioned the court to annul the marriage. This is where family law and probate/estate planning law both entered the picture.
Family law issues come in all shapes and sizes, and they often dovetail with other areas of the law. An interesting case came up in another state that showed how estate planning and family law can come together. The case involves three sisters and a secret marriage.
An Illinois newspaper recently published an analysis of vital statistics from four northern counties. The researchers were interested in finding out what was behind the recent decline in divorce. They wanted to go beyond the "typical," recession-related reasons found in previous studies. What they found was both simple and surprising: There are fewer divorces these days because there fewer couples get married in the first place.
Imagine a lovely suburban Chicago home, a divorced man sitting at the kitchen table with his three children. "Kids, I have some news," he says. "You know that Betty and I have been seeing quite a lot of each other, and, well, we're getting married." The oldest sits back, registering mild shock. The middle child snaps, "She's not moving in here. This is our house." The youngest asks if their mother knows yet, following up with a question about how Betty's kids feel about it.