• Recent Court Decisions of Interest to Family Law Clients

    Full copies of Illinois court decisions are available at www.illinoiscourts.gov

    Illinois Supreme Court

    Yakich v. Aulds 9Case # 2019 IL 123667) - The DuPage County Circuit Court ruled that the Illinois statute that allows a court to require non-married/divorced parents to be ordered to help pay for adult children’s post-high school education violated the Constitutional guarantees of equal protection since married parents could not be order to pay such expenses. Since the Illinois Supreme Court had ruled in 1978 that such a law did not violate equal protection, the Supreme Court reversed the DuPage ruling on the basis that a trial court may not overrule the decisions of the Supreme Court regardless of the impact of any societal evolution that may have occurred since 1978.

    The law remains in force and unless the Illinois Supreme Court elects to review and reverse the 1978 ruling in a future case, the trial courts are bound to follow the 1978 ruling such that non-married/divorced parents may be ordered to pay post-high school education expenses of their adult children.


    Marriage of Fatkin (Case # 2019 IL 123602) - The trial court had granted the father’s motion to move the children out of state, but the Appellate Court reversed that ruling. In reinstating the trial court decision, the Illinois Supreme Court restated the legal principle that the exercise of the trial court’s discretion to grant the removal of the children “was a perfectly reasonable conclusion based on the record before us, and we see no reason to dispense with what we have consistently characterized as a “strong and compelling” presumption in favor of the result reached by the trial court in such cases.”

    This case is an example of the long standing legal principle that the trial court judge is in the best position to rule on the factual and discretionary issues, making it crucial that parties in a family law case make a complete record and present all the evidence and arguments to the trial court, as the Appellate court is limited in its review on these issues.

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