The Child & Family  Law Center

Newsletter October, 2016
October is National Dyslexia Awareness Month

What is dyslexia?

"It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and / or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge."


Dear Colleagues and Clients:

I have been representing individuals and their families impacted by autism since 1995. My first due process case involved a family who was requesting a home based ABA program for their five year-old son. That case launched my interest and passion for advocating for these students. At the time, I could not have known that so many children would be diagosed with autism and that soon it would seem common and not rare (at least in my office) nor could I envision that eventually these multiplying numbers would result in an expansion of our practice to assist in so many aspects of these families' lives. It has been a journey that has been rich with reward, complicated and sometimes discouraging due to the scarcity of services and supports.

Autism Related Services Provided by our Office:
  • Special Education Advocacy
  • Securing of appropriate placements including residential placement
  • Transition Planning
  • Attendance at IEP's
  • Due Process Hearings
  • Mediation
  • Discipline Issues faced by students on the autism spectrum
  • Representation in juvenile court for students on the autism spectrum
  • Representation in adult court for young adults on the autism spectrum
  • Representation for crimes involving sexual offenses, including cyber-crimes for students on the autism spectrum
  • Divorce, Parenting and Support Issues faced by parents of children with autism.
  • Guardianship, Powers of Attorney and other advanced directives
Coming Soon: "Income Shares Model" for Child Support
By Sharon Falen, J.D.

Approved on August 12, 2016, House Bill 3982 will bring Illinois into the collection of 39 other states that have adopted the income shares model of child support.  The change in statute will be effective July 1, 2017.  The new law provides that either or both parents may be responsible for payment of child support as determined by an entirely different scheme from one that only considers the payor's income.
The Department of Healthcare and Family Services will issue child support guidelines with values that correspond to the "combined net income" of parents.  These guidelines will be based upon percentages of the combined net income if the parents were living in the same household, i.e. if they had never divorced or separated.  In other words, the values will reflect the average percentage of combined net income that parents of intact families spend on their children.  As always, the guidelines will be subject to the ability of parents to pay.  The intent is to make child support calculations more equitable for both parents and their children.

Supreme Court to Hear Case Regarding the Standard for the Provision of FAPE
By Micki Moran, J.D.

Last week the Supreme Court accepted  Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District  for review in this current term.  The issue in this case is what level of educational benefit is required for a free and appropriate public education (FAPE). This is only the tenth special education case considered by the Supreme Court and is therefore of considerable interest. The various disability organizations are hoping that the Court will settle the dispute to resolve the split among the Circuit Courts by creating a uniform national standard for the provision of FAPE that will allow for predictability of litigation outcomes and faster dispute resolution of disputes over IEP's.
Dear Colleague Letters: School Discipline, by Sharon Falen, J.D.

On September 8, 2016, the Department of Justice issued a Dear Colleague Letter regarding the impact of school resource officers (SROs), or police officers and personnel in schools, directed at law enforcement agencies. The Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) of the Department of Justice provides funding for hiring of SROs.  The letter discusses the benefits of SROs in schools, highlighting the positive relationship development between students and SROs: Students can learn to see SROs as positive members of their community, in a non-adversarial environment, and the presence of SROs ideally provides the opportunity of officers to become one-on-one role models for students who might not have role models otherwise.  On the other hand, the letter recognizes the potential negative impact that SROs can have in schools, including the rise in student arrests and SRO involvement in school discipline.  Students' civil rights often are at issue with improper involvement of SROs.
On the same date, the Department of Education issued its Dear Colleague Letter directed at educational institutions.  

Events and Presentations

October 13, 7:00 p.m.
Advocacy for IEPs and 504s
Presented by Micki Moran, J.D.
Hinsdale Central PTO Parent Network
Hinsdale, IL

November 10, 6:30 p.m.
The Top 60 Things Parents of Children with Autism Need to Know about Advocating for Special Education Services
Autism Home Support Services
85 Revere Drive
Northbrook, IL 


Please visit our new website
We have been representing special needs families for nearly 20 years in all aspects of family law. Our website will provide up to date information and resources to our clients and others. Check it out and let us know what you think!

Free Consultations:
We now offer free consultations on selected Family Law and Guardianship matters. Please call our office at 847-926-0101 for more information.
About Us
The Child & Family Law Center ,  founded  by Micki Moran in 1995, is a unique legal practice that specializes in providing services to families and children in the areas of Special Education, IEP Consultation, Guardianship, Juvenile Law, Criminal Law, Mental Health Law, DCFS, Divorce and Parental Responsibility, Parenting Agreements, and Mediation.

We provide representation in Cook, Lake, McHenry, DuPage, Kane and Will Counties.

Please call our office to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.

The Child & Family Law Center
1950 Sheridan Road, Suite 201
Highland Park, IL 60035
Phone (847)926-0101
Fax (847)926-8500