Showing posts from March, 2013

A Dirty Dozen Years of Divorce…And It Isn’t Over.

The case of In re Marriage of Mathis provides a cautionary tale to anyone who would advise their attorney to “fight at all costs” or “never give in”. No doubt there are situations where a battle is necessary and a judge is needed for a final decision at a trial. But many times the length of time it takes to get to that point defeats the purpose and many divorce litigants and quite frankly their attorneys fail to factor this into the equation. Take the case of Ken and Terri Mathis recently decided by the Illinois Supreme Court. In that case the people have substantial assets but have been fighting over those assets since November 2000. Note that I do not use the past tense when describing their case because IT IS STILL GOING ON! The legal points are mostly for the lawyers reading this. But basically, divorcing spouses have the option of splitting the case into two parts, first the grounds (or reasons) for divorce and then the property division and other issues – it is called bifurc

Supreme Court Reverses Ban on Right of Guardian to File for Divorce

Supreme Court Reverses a 26 year Rule on the Right of a Guardian to File for Divorce on Behalf of a Ward   In October of last year the Illinois Supreme Court reversed a 26 year old rule that guardians of an adult under a disability could not file for divorce by reversing In re Marriage of Drews , 503 N.E.2d 339 (1986) In that case the Court said that a guardian had no ability to file a divorce on behalf of a ward. That case was hotly contested even at the time when one of the dissenting justices complained that if starting a divorce “can be shown to be beneficial to the maintenance and welfare of the ward, the court ought to allow it.” It took a long time for that dissent to be a basis to change the law. But it did when the Supreme Court revisited the right of a guardian to initiate a divorce case on behalf of a ward. Karbin v. Karbin , 2012 IL 12815 (Ill. 2012). The Justices summed it up when they stated: “This ensures that the most vulnerable members of our society are afford