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Belleville and Edwardsville Divorce Law Blog

Alleged parental alienation case raises concern for kids: Part II

Earlier this week, we began a discussion about a child custody case that has received national media attention. It concerns a divorced couple in Michigan (originally from Israel) and a child custody battle that first began in 2009.

What make this case so complicated and so sad are allegations and observations that the children have been victims of parental alienation disorder. While children (and especially teenagers) can harbor resentment and anger against one or both parents in divorce, this level of anger seems difficult to explain without some sort of psychological manipulation.

Alleged parental alienation case raises concern for kids: Part I

11684990_S.jpgWe have previously written about the problem of parental alienation in divorce and child custody cases. Extreme cases of parental alienation involve one parent's deliberate attempts to convince children to hate and reject the other parent. This is often done through telling lies about the other parent, verbally disparaging them and cutting off the other parent's access to and contact with the children. The end product in such cases is nothing short of brainwashing.

Allegations of parental alienation can be difficult to sort out, because kids can legitimately be angry at one or both parents in divorce. Examples include when one parent has cheated on the other or has been physically abusive. Although it didn't occur here in Illinois, an alleged parental alienation case making national headlines demonstrates that under such circumstances, the children almost always suffer the worst psychological and emotional harm.

The problem that was and is facing same-sex couples

24354803_S.jpgWhen the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its landmark decision regarding same-sex marriage last month, it changed the face of family law across the entire nation. No longer were same-sex couples forced to live as second-class citizens, some had said, in states that did not recognize their unions. They now had the same rights as heterosexual couples -- rights that might not have been possible if the high court had ruled differently.

Here in Illinois though, same-sex marriage has been recognized as legal since 2013 when Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation that allowed same-sex couples to legally wed in our state. It was a momentous occasion for our state because it provided rights to Illinois residents long before the U.S. Supreme Court decision. But, as you can imagine, it also brought with it a very small issue concerning divorce and property division.

Child custody case shows importance of legal representation

31504579_S.jpgFor a lot of parents here in Illinois, you would probably be devastated if someone accused you of treating your children badly. You'd probably become even more overwhelmed if an accusation led to the removal of your children from your custody. If you're like most people, you'd probably feel frustrated and confused, looking for answers you might not be able to provide on your own because of your minimal legal background.

If a situation such as this sounds terrifying, you wouldn't be alone in thinking so. Unfortunately, due to many states' vague reporting laws regarding child abuse and neglect, innocent families can be torn apart when children are removed from their parent's custody. Oftentimes, in cases like this, parents will seek help from a lawyer because they know it's not a situation they can handle on their own.

Minor emancipation: What is it, and is it automatically conferred?

If you're under the so-called "age of majority" and already perusing this blog from time to time, you certainly qualify as a comparatively unusual -- even distinctly singular -- young person.

And you could be demonstrating some of the traits that an Illinois court centrally looks for when it vets petitions for the emancipation of minors -- a sense of awareness, independence, maturity and so forth.

Transgender issues arise in wake of recent Supreme Court ruling

9977607_S.jpgA New York Times article today spotlights one group that it notes is highly interested in and also closely affected by the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage across the country: the transgender community.

Our Illinois family law website of course notes and discusses that seminal judicial ruling, pointing out its extension of rights to gay and lesbian couples seeking to marry.

Often a family court focus: parental relocation with children

9092700_S.jpgThe writer of a recent and instructive media piece on divorce and children makes reference to subject matter that "is among the thorniest issues family law courts face."

At first blush, many readers of our blog in Illinois and elsewhere might have widely varied ideas on what that focal concern of courts might be.

Domestic abuse might readily come to mind for some people, with the sad fact being that violence in the home is indeed a sobering concern for some families.

Drug and alcohol abuse, too, can splinter a family, even in cases where an abusing parent unquestionably loves and is seeking to provide for a child.

Opinion: How about a single divorce law across the whole country?

10808675_S.jpgMost readers of our blog know by now, of course, that the U.S. Supreme Court weighed in recently with a momentous family law ruling.

We referenced the case in our June 29 post, noting therein that the court's opinion required states still having a statutory enactment barring same-sex marriages to nix that law and begin granting marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples. The ruling also required those states -- a sizable minority not including Illinois -- to honor without reservation marriage licenses granted to same-sex couples in other states.

Illinois embryo case treks up and down the judicial ladder

22003900_S.jpgA few years ago, a story like the following might have been considered a novelty, given its focus on frozen embryos and the resulting acrimony over their potential use.

These days, of course, an embryo-related story is far from strange or singular, with a recent New York Times article noting that, "Hundreds of thousands of frozen embryos are in storage across the nation."

Long-awaited Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage arrives

3324502_S.jpgTruly, what else could a family law blog write about today?

Persons interested in constitutional law and cases that dramatically move the dial on American mores and culture might confidently mark June 26 as a signal date in the country's legal history.