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Katz & Stefani

Publications

Doing Really Hard Time

Published in Chicago Lawyer Magazine, December 2016
by Daniel R. Stefani

What does the divorce court do with proceeds from a lawsuit for a wrongful conviction when the conviction occurred before the marriage and was reversed during the marriage? In a recent decision of In re Marriage of Rivera, 2016 Ill. App. (1st) 160552, Petitioner was convicted for murder in 1993 and was incarcerated from the time he was arrested in 1992 until January 2012. In January 2012, his conviction was reversed by the Appellate Court. While Petitioner was incarcerated, he and Respondent got married on October 31, 2000. Petitioner filed a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage in 2014 and in March 2015, he settled a lawsuit for wrongful conviction and received a net amount of $11.36 million.
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A chapter on postnuptial agreements, published in the Illinois Family Law Handbook by the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education

Published in IICLE®

Book containing this chapter and any forms referenced herein is available for purchase at www.iicle.com or by calling 800-252-8062.
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Estate Plans Collide with the Dissolution of Marriage Act

Published in Chicago Lawyer, October 2016
by Daniel R. Stefani

Several interesting issues emerged in a recent Second Appellate Court Opinion of In re Marriage of Asta v. Pappas, 2016 IL App (2d) 150160. In Asta, during the marriage, wife acquired an interest in two companies (“Olsun”) founded in part by her father. She acquired the Olsun more than nine years after her father had died through a complicated transaction among her family which resolved multiple levels of litigation by a comprehensive settlement agreement.
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How Much Information Do You Share With Your Spouse?

Published in Chicago Lawyer Magazine, August 2016
by Daniel R. Stefani

Hot off the press is the case of In re Marriage of Schneeweis, 2016 IL App (2d) 140147.  There the Appellate Court affirmed the Trial Court’s ruling that husband dissipated much of the marital estate by using marital funds to engage in high-risk securities trading, without telling his wife any details.  However, this occurred several years before wife ultimately filed for divorce.  This decision could cause many litigants problems, given the fact that most married couples, even while happily married, do not fully communicate with respect to their finances.

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What is Income to Pay Child Support?

Published in Chicago Lawyer Magazine, June 2016
by Daniel R. Stefani

The days when income to pay child support meant employment income are long gone. The Fifth District Appellate Court recently decided a case, which further expanded the definition leaving virtually nothing that is outside the Court’s reach to tap for child support. In re The Marriage of Fortner, 2016 IL App (5th) 150246. Specifically, the Appellate Court found that wrongful death settlement proceeds received by an ex-husband following the death of the ex-husband’s father constituted income for child support purposes in a post-decree modification of child support proceeding.
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The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act Effective January 1, 2016: An Overview

By P. André Katz and Erin B. Bodendorfer Katz & Stefani, LLC

Society and family dynamics have changed dramatically in the past 35 years. Three decades ago, it was still typically the mother’s primary role to care for the children, while the father provided financial support. Pursuant to societal norms, marriage was seen as a contract that should not be broken, and if either spouse or a third party caused a breakup, they could be held responsible in a court of law. Today, in many, if not most families, both parents are employed outside the home, and both share the financial and emotional responsibilities of parenting.
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Summary Of Certain Nuances In The New Divorce Act

Published in Chicago Lawyer Magazine, December 2015
by Daniel R. Stefani

As a follow up to my colleague Judge Celia Gamrath’s last article, below is a summary of certain changes in the new Divorce Act (“Act”) which will take effect on January 1, 2016.  This Act is a product of the hard work of the Illinois Family Law Study Committee which was created in 2008.  The Illinois Family Law Study Committee was a bi-partisan committee of experienced family law practitioners, Judges and Legislators in the State appointed by House Majority and Minority leaders, the Illinois Supreme Court and the Illinois Child Support Advisory Committee.  My partner André Katz was appointed by House Speaker Michael Madigan as Chairman of the Committee.
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The New and Improved Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act

P. André Katz and Erin Bodendorfer authored an article regarding the recent changes to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act effective January 1, 2016 which was published in the Illinois Bar Journal. Reprinted with permission of the Illinois Bar Journal, Vol. 103 #11, November 2015. Copyright by the Illinois State Bar Association. http://www.isba.org

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When Does Property Begin To Accumulate When Parties Have Entered Into A Civil Union In Another State?

Published in Chicago Lawyer Magazine, October 2015
by Daniel R. Stefani

The recent Second District Appellate Court decision in In Re Civil Union of Debra Hamlin, Petitioner, and Victoria Vasconcellos, Respondent, 2015 Ill.App. (2d) 140231, has at least for now resolved the issue of when civil union property begins to accumulate.  Respondent unsuccessfully argued that because Illinois first recognized civil unions on June 1, 2011 (the effective date of the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act (the “Act”), 750 ILCS 75/1 et. seq. 2010), the Act should only have prospective effect and therefore any previously acquired assets of the parties should be classified as non-civil union property despite the fact that the parties entered into a civil union before Illinois recognized such by the Act.
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Are Disability Benefits Considered Retirement Benefits?

Published in Chicago Lawyer Magazine, August 2015
by Daniel R. Stefani

On May 25, 2015, the Appellate Court of Illinois Fourth District rendered the Opinion of In re Marriage of Benson.  In Benson, the Court affirmed the Trial Court’s ruling that, fifteen years after a Divorce Judgment, the ex-wife was entitled to disability pension rights from the ex-husband which were not awarded to her in their Judgment.
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