Domestic Relations Legal Resources

Recently Passed Legislation of Interest to Child Representatives

Visitation Abuse

Public Act 97-1047, Effective August 21, 2012

Amends the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act and the Illinois Vehicle Code.  If the court issues an order holding a party in contempt for violating a visitation order and finds that the party engaged in visitation abuse, the court may suspend the party’s driver’s license until the court finds the party is in compliance with the visitation order.  The court may also issue a “family responsibility driving permit,” which would allow limited driving privileges for employment, medical purposes, and to transport a child for scheduled visitation.  In addition, the court may place the party on probation or sentence the party to periodic imprisonment for up to  12 months.  Or the court can order that the party be fined up to $500 for each finding of visitation abuse.

To read the entire act, click here.

Custody Provisions for Deployed Parents

Public Act 97- 0659, Effective June 1, 2012

Amends the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act.  For custody and visitation proceedings involving a parent who is a member of the United States Armed Forces and is deployed or has deployment orders, the proceedings shall be expedited upon the request of either party or the court.  Additionally, the court shall allow the parent who is deployed or with deployment orders to appear by telephone, audiovisual means, or other electronic means upon their request.  And if the court determines it to be in the child’s best interest, the deployed person may designate a person the child knows to exercise reasonable visitation on the deployed person’s behalf.  A party’s absence or failure to comply with the court’s custody/ visitation/parenting orders is not alone sufficient to justify modification of the prior order if the reason for the failure to comply is the party’s deployment.

To read the entire Act click here.

Other Legal Resources

Statutes of Interest to Child Advocates representing children in Domestic Relations Court:

Other Legislation/Acts relative to representing our clients:

Case Law

  • In re Marriage of Bates , 212 Ill.2d 489 (2004). This case precipitated an amendment to the statute, further clarifying the roles of child advocates, and providing that a child representative shall not testify, and must only offer evidence-based legal arguments to the court.
    For full text of opinion click here
  • In re Marriage of Kostusik 361 Ill.App.3d 103 (1st Dist. 2005). The Office of the Public Guardian, the child representative on the case, filed an emergency motion to change custody. The court found that the child representative has the authority under the statute to file motions.
    For full text of opinion click here