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Is DOMA doomed? US Supreme Court hears marriage cases

Marriage is on the minds of the nine U.S. Supreme Court justices these days. Last week, the court heard arguments in two high-profile cases that could change how states and the federal government define marriage. While the decision in Hollingsworth v. Perry will not directly affect same-sex couples in Illinois, the court's ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act in United States v. Windsor could. Much, of course, depends on the state's recognition of same-sex marriage, a matter that is still pending in the General Assembly.

Real Housewife's real real estate problems complicate divorce

There is not a "Real Housewives" franchise in Lake County -- that we know of -- but that does not mean we cannot learn from the shows and their stars. Bethenny Frankel's split with her husband, for example, points out some important ways that other areas of the law dovetail with family law. In Frankel's case, real estate law is dictating how she and her husband proceed with their divorce.

A divorce bigger than anything the Ewings could ever dream up

If you thought Big Oil was a thing of the past, you were wrong. The oil barons of the prime-time soap operas of the 1970s were nothing like today's oil industry heavy hitters -- for the most part. For one thing, both husband and wife in a recent divorce case are heavy hitters at the company that made them billionaires.

Same-sex marriage taken up on Valentine's Day

The Illinois Senate will vote today, Valentine's Day, on the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, if everything goes as planned. Before the bill becomes law, of course, the House must pass it and the governor must sign it. Thirty days after that signing, all state laws regarding marriage will apply equally to marriages of same-sex and different-sex couples and their children.

Family crises resolved faster with new Lake County processes

It is no secret that divorce, child support and custody and other family law matters are stressful for everyone involved. One of the pain points is the necessary involvement of the family court. Even in uncontested divorces and settlements reached through the collaborative law process, some court involvement is necessary. The hope is that court appearances -- hearings and even trials -- will move forward quickly.

No-fault divorce may not ignore infidelity as cause of breakup

In many divorce proceedings, the court is not all that interested in hearing the details of one spouse's extra-marital affairs. That does not stop the media from endlessly recounting their lurid tales of celebrity affairs, including recently that of ex-CIA director and retired General David Petraeus. In Illinois, most couples opt for a no-fault divorce, where no specific allegations of infidelity are levied.

When parents split, who gets the kids' insurance premiums? p2

There are so many i's to dot and t's to cross in a divorce. When kids enter the picture, the details really seem to pile up, and every one of those details plays a role in determining what is in the best interest of the children. Some of those details are related to insurance, and while most people need insurance very few really want to think about it.

When parents split, who gets the kids' insurance premiums?

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.

Mom, guardian change divorce law for spouses with mental disabilities p2

We are continuing our discussion of an Illinois Supreme Court decision that gives spouses with mental disabilities more independence. The new rules could very well serve as a template for other states.

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