Thursday, October 1, 2009

Property division case

Here are the results of a recent appellate decision in Illinois about property division in divorce.

In re: the Marriage of Oden , No. 4-08-0687 (4th Dist. Sept. 21, 2009) POPE (Calhoun Co.) Affirmed.

The trial court did not abuse its discretion when it awarded the husband 52% of bank account which contained proceeds from husband's personal injury settlement. The court said the trial court's review of relevant factors was proper for the court to arrive at "just distribution"; here, 30-year marriage, including 20 years after injury, and settlement was paid jointly to parties 15 years prior to dissolution.

Monday, March 9, 2009

New Illinois House bill regarding presumptions under Section 602 & 607 & 609

Marriage Act presumptions
House Bill 3904 (Connelly, R-Lisle) creates a new presumption in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act in three places.

The current law in Sec. 602 (best interest) states that there is a presumption that maximum involvement of both parents is in the best interest of the child unless there is an occurrence of ongoing abuse. This elaborates and widens the presumption to include "a history of abuse or a significant incident of abuse."

If it is ruled that any any of these instances of abuse has occurred, a presumption against joint custody arises, which the defending party can present evidence of sufficient steps taken to minimize the potential for abuse of the custodial parent or minor child.

The new law would create the same presumptions in the visitation section (Sec. 607) and removal section (Sec. 609). Should the court rule in any of these matters, the burden falls on the abusive parent in a removal proceeding. If the removal is sought, and granted, the court is prohibited from requiring the custodial parent to provide an address or telephone number to the noncustodial parent, but may designate an alternative manner of contact that does not give the abusive parent a means of directly contacting the custodial parent. Temporary removal can also be allowed by the state without having to give information, if that information could create a serious risk of substantial harm to the removing party.