Category Archives: Illinois Family Law

Get ready for new Illinois laws to take effect at midnight January 1, 2014

Call the Fox Valley Law Center at 630-236-2222 if you have any questions about the new laws.

Call the Fox Valley Law Center at 630-236-2222 if you have any questions about the new laws.

More than 200 plus new laws take effect at midnight on January 1 in Illinois. Some of the new laws as reported in this video by WGN news include a ban on incandescent light bulbs, the legalization medical marijuana, the concealed carry law for firearms. Several of the news laws are somewhat complex, and for example, the new handgun law identifies several places where people in Illinois may not carry a concealed handgun at playgrounds, forest preserves and restaurants. It is important to do your research if you are one of the Illinois residents who will apply for the new handgun permit so you do not inadvertently carry a gun in a prohibited location. Those who violate the new law may be subject to criminal penalties. Here is a link to a table listing all the new laws courtesy of WGN TV.

The medical marijuana law is rather complex for both patients and medical providers.

While the new medical marijuana law goes into effect on January 1, it will take some time for patience to gain access to their medicine. By April 2014 the state agencies regulating the licensing of dispensaries and cultivators. The new law allows a patient with a prescription to legally purchase no more than 2.5 ounces of marijuana over any two-week period. Unlike medical marijuana laws in other states, the new Illinois law requires that the prescribing doctor have a prior medical relationship with the patient who must have a serious or chronic condition for which the marijuana is prescribed. This new law is a pilot program and Illinois lawmakers are already proposing revisions to the law. The marijuana cultivators and dispensaries are highly regulated under the new law by the Illinois Department of Financial and Regulation. Here is a link to the Illinois Medical Cannabis Act Reference Sheet provided by the Marijuana Policy Project organization. If you have any questions please, give the Fox Valley Law Center a call and one of the lawyers can explain this and the many other laws that take effect January 1.

New laws allow Illinois drivers to speed up to 70 and some of the youngest drivers can register to vote at age 17.

Driving in Illinois will change somewhat in 2014 as several speed limits in non-urban areas increase to 70 miles per hour. While driving you will need to use hands free electronic devices if you want to communicate with the world outside your vehicle, so you may need to take the plunge and learn how to connect your device to the vehicle’s blue tooth system if you are so equipped.

As you drop your kids off at school, you may be pleased to know a new federal law regarding food allergies provides that Epi pens should be on hand for the aid of children with food allergies. If your children are seniors in high school, they may become politically active and start voting at age 17! If you are divorced you will be surprised to learn that a new family law requires parents with joint-custody to offer the other parent the option of temporary care before taking a child to a third party care giver like daycare.

If you are an employer, you may also want to spend some time on New Year’s Day reviewing new laws.

Business owners will enjoy reviewing several of the new laws. Professionals licensed to practice their craft by the Illinois Department of Professional and Financial Regulation will be glad to know their home addresses may no longer be printed on the licenses that are required to be displayed to customers. An employer may also access an employee’s social networking website such as Facebook for professionally used accounts for which the employer has liability for the employee under certain laws. This is another example of why in 2014 if you are unsure of how a new law works you should make a call to a lawyer who can explain how new laws may affect you.

To talk to an attorney about the new laws in Illinois, please call and make an appointment at the Fox Valley Law Center by dialing 630-236-2222 or simply stop in and see us at our office conveniently located at the second floor of the Westfield Fox Valley Mall in Aurora. We are here during mall hours. You can also learn more about our firm when you “Like” us on Facebook and “Follow” us on Twitter!

Usher’s son and pool incident triggers emergency custody filing

Listen, everybody who has a pool knows there is an inherent risk of an injury involved. Every year homeowners spend countless hours worrying about whether they closed the gate properly, when they left the house for a weekend out of town. Having a pool in your back yard can be a double-edged sword when you consider the liability you experience as a homeowner. The neighbor kids always want to play in the pool and if you are like most parents, you will worry and watch those kids like a hawk.

TMZ photo of Usher and his children. Near drowning caused ex-wife to file for emergency change in custody.

TMZ photo of Usher and his children. Near drowning caused ex-wife to file for emergency change in custody.

Ask Usher about pool safety! In recent news reports are the entertainer’s 5-year-old whose arm allegedly was stuck in the family’s pool drain on Monday, when in the care of Usher’s aunt, who was watching the child at the time. Of course, and with this couple, as reasonably anticipated, Usher’s ex-wife and mother of their child filed for emergency court relief, seeking custody.[i]

Is Usher a negligent parent who should be stripped of custody of his sons? Fans say no.

On commenter to the TMZ article stated, “so happy to see a real man step up and raise his kids…,” and another remarked, “Listen everyone involved, these horrible things happen, so don’t feel guilt…”

Usher’s ex-wife raised complaints in the past, alleging that the parties’ children are in danger and that their aunt is too physical in disciplining the kids, had let a stalker into the house, according to the TMZ article. The ex-wife may very well enjoy the recent unfortunate mishap as it opened the door to her emergency court filing which put her in the limelight.

Custody law in Illinois and basis for modifying custody judgments

In Illinois, modification of child custody is not favored, “unless it finds by clear and convincing evidence, upon the basis of facts that have arisen since the prior judgment or that were unknown to the court at the time of entry of the prior judgment, that a change has occurred in the circumstances of the child or either or both parties having custody, and that the modification is necessary to serve the best interest of the child(ren).[ii]” Note also that the courts are not likely to allow proceedings to modify custody short of two years of a custody judgment, “unless the court permits it to be made on the basis of affidavits that there is reason to believe the child’s present environment may endanger seriously his physical, mental, moral or emotional health.[iii]

Do you think based on the law in Illinois that a kid swimming in the pool whose arm becomes caught in a pool drain would justify a change of custody? Should the caretaker be in the pool with kids at all times? How closely is a parent or appointed caretaker expected to monitor ever second and movement of the child? Do you agree with the TMZ article commenter, that accidents happen?

If you are concerned and need a family law attorney, stop by the Fox Valley Law Center, conveniently located on the second floor of the Westfield Fox Valley Mall in Aurora. You can also call ahead to make an appointment to talk to a family law attorney by dialing 630-236-2222. Don’t forget to “Like” us on Facebook and “Follow” us on Twitter for up to date news in the law and issues that matter. For a list of legal practice areas please visit our website.


[ii] 750 ILCS 5/610 (b). Modification.

[iii] 750 ILCS 5/610 (a). Modification.