Pro Se Chicago's Weblog

Family Court

More later – this page is under construction.Right now review this page and check the links as the hard to find laws on changing child support and appeals are linked here.
Familiarize yourself with the behaviors that may make you lose custody here.
For Child Support familiarize yourself with these laws in the Divorce Big Book.
See this post which explains how the courts and HFS Child Support Division are violating law and a motion for supervisory order is pending in the Illinois Supreme Court to address the issue of failure of the courts and HFS to follow laws pertaining to non-custodial parents’ request to change child support post-trial.
For details as to how you apply for changes in child support go here. However, be aware that the IL Dept of Healthcare and Family Services Child Support Division is presently violating laws and failing to service non-custodial parents, where the law says they must accept requests for changes in child support if the circumstances would cause it to change at least 10% ; then they must have an investigator obtain discovery from the parents as to financial situation, work situation, income, assets; then present an analysis of what should be the child support and health insurance for the children to the administrative law judge at HFS; then the adm law judge hold a hearing with the parents and give them his/her recommendation; then if the parents agree send the recommendation to the trial judge who will rubber-stamp it or if the parents disagree, send it to the trial judge for an adjudicative hearing to determine the amount of child support. Instead the HFS-CSD (including the SDU [state disbursement unit]) is simply sending the financials to the trial judge for them to determine child support. Concerned individuals and some parents are presently attempting through legal procedures to address these issues.
View the videos on this link.
GITLIN, BUSCHE & STETLER  lawyers from Woodstock Illinois has a wonderful public service web site with questions and answers.  You will find a lot of information here.
If the judge endessly is continuing issues in the case and pleadings without hearing them so that you do not have a final appealable order, which only occurs when every issue in the case is finished and there is an order on them , you may want to file a “Motion for Supervisory Order” with the Illinois Supreme Court asking the court to order the trial court to finish the trial and make  orders on all “issues held in reserve”.
 [Except that custody orders only can be appealed (as an interlocutory appeal) before the other issues are finished (“left on reserve”), according to Illinois Supreme Court Rule (SCR)  306(a)(5) and (b) , as well as 311, where you file a petition for leave to appeal the custody order only as an interlocutory appeal, without appealing the other issues in the case when there are no final appealable orders yet. – see this post that explains how to do it, gives the SCRs and and links to a sample “Motion for Supervisory Order” here.]



Illinois Supreme Court decision mandates that parents who are about to have parental rights terminated in a new case must be given notice and the before notice is granted by publication (in Chicago this would be an ad in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin) the other party must show “due diligence” in trying to serve the parent with notice that the case was filed.  The Court said that due diligence requires more than simply mailing notice or a few attempts at personal service.


Child Support Services Section of the Illinois Dept of healthcare and  Family Services web site:
All motions or requests to modify child support or children’s health  insurance must be made by law through the administrative law court under Title  IV and NOT the trial judge as the trial court loses jurisdiction to modify child  support after the dissolution of marriage or after the support is transferred to  the SDU (State Disbursement Unit).
The online application to administrative law court through DHS section on  child support is as follows – it takes five minutes:
In general, if you are representing yourself, you should familiarize yourself with the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, Article X of the Public  Aid Code, the Illinois Rules of Civil  Procedure, the Illinois Supreme Court Rules on Appeals, and the Federal Code concerning the Social Security Code Part IV-D and the Consumer Protection Act concerning withholding from paychecks, as well as the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
All of these have laws that pertain to divorce, custody and child support.
The courts in Illinois have been systemically violating these laws and a number of people are in the process of challenging this violation of federal and state law.  See our article that lists the table of contents and summaries for many of these laws here and has a link to the detailed laws.Preparing for divorce trial, dealing with false allegations against a parent such as abuse or neglect. This is an excellent web site (Separated Parenting Access & Resource Center) which gives a lot of detail about what to do, how to prepare, and how to deal with things.  Read it in detail and share it with your attorney.But for now read Illinois Supreme Court rule 311 below as well as look at the following:
Illinois Supreme Court Rule
Accelerated Docket [for appeals of child custody issues]

(a) Mandatory
Accelerated Disposition of Child Custody Appeals.
The expedited procedures in this subpart shall  apply to appeals from final orders in child custody cases and to interlocutory
appeals in child custody cases from which leave to appeal has been granted  pursuant to Rule 306(a)(5). If the appeal is taken from a judgment or order  affecting other matters, such as support, property issues or decisions  affecting the rights of persons other than the child, the reviewing court may  handle all pending issues using the expedited procedures in this rule, unless  doing so will delay decision on the child custody appeal.

(1) Special Caption.
The notice of appeal or petition for leave to appeal, docketing statement,  briefs and all other notices, motions and pleadings filed by any party in  relation to an appeal involving child custody shall include the following  statement in bold type on the top of the front page: THIS APPEAL INVOLVES A  QUESTION OF CHILD CUSTODY, ADOPTION, TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS OR OTHER  MATTER AFFECTING THE BEST INTERESTS OF A CHILD.

(2) Service Upon the  Circuit Court. In addition to the service required by Rule 303(c), a party  filing notice of appeal in a child custody case shall, within seven days, serve  copies of the same on the trial judge who entered the judgment or order  appealed and the office of the chief judge of the circuit in which the judgment  or order on appeal was entered. Where leave to appeal has been granted pursuant  to Rule 306(a)(5), the appellant shall, within seven days, serve copies of the  order granting leave to appeal upon the trial judge who entered the judgment or  order appealed from and the office of the chief judge of the circuit in which  the judgment or order on appeal was entered.

(3) Status Hearing in  Circuit Court. On receipt of the notice of appeal or order granting leave  to appeal under Rule 306(a)(5) in a child custody case, the trial judge shall  set a status hearing within 30 days of the date of filing of the notice of  appeal or order granting leave to appeal to determine the status of the case,  including payments of required fees to the clerk of the circuit court and court  reporting personnel as defined in Rule 46 for the preparation of the transcript  of proceedings, and take any action necessary to expedite preparation of the
record on appeal and the transcript of the proceedings. The trial court shall  have continuing jurisdiction for the purpose of enforcing the rules for  preparation of the record and transcript. The trial court may request the  assistance of the chief judge to resolve filing delays, and the chief judge  shall assign or reassign the court reporting personnel’s work as necessary to  ensure compliance with the filing deadlines.

(4) Record. The  record on appeal and the transcript of proceedings in a child custody case  shall be filed no later than 35 days after the filing of the notice of appeal  or granting of leave to appeal pursuant to Rule 306(a)(5). Any request for  extension of the time for filing shall be accompanied by an affidavit of the  court clerk or court reporting personnel stating the reason for the delay, and  shall be served on the trial judge and the chief judge of the circuit. Lack of  advance payment shall not be a reason for noncompliance with filing deadlines  for the record or transcript. Any subsequent request for continuance shall be  made to the appellate court by written notice and motion to all parties in  accordance with rules.

(5) Deadline for  Decision. Except for good cause shown, the appellate court shall issue its  decision within 150 days after the filing of the notice of appeal or granting  of leave to appeal pursuant to Rule 306(a)(5).

(6) Local Rules.
The appellate court of each district shall by administrative order or rule  adopt mandatory procedures to ensure completion of child custody appeals within  the time specified in paragraph (5). The order or rule may include provisions  regarding the use of memoranda in lieu of briefs, expedited schedules and  deadlines, provisions for the separation of child custody issues from other  issues on appeal and any other procedures necessary to a fair and timely  disposition of the case. The clerk of the appellate court shall be responsible
for seeing that the accelerated docket is maintained and for advising the court  of any noncompliance with the rules of the court concerning timely filing.

(7) Continuances  Disfavored. Requests for continuance are disfavored and shall be granted  only for compelling circumstances. The appellate court may require personal
appearance by the attorney or party requesting the continuance as provided by  local rule.

(8) Effective Date.
This rule shall apply to all orders in which a notice of appeal is filed after  its effective date.

(b) Discretionary  Acceleration of Other Appeals. Any time after the docketing statement is filed in the reviewing  court, the court, on its own motion, or on the motion of any party, for good  cause shown, may place the case on an accelerated docket. The motion shall be  supported by an affidavit stating reasons why the appeal should be expedited.  If warranted by the circumstances, the court may enter an order accepting a  supporting record prepared pursuant to Rule 328, consisting of those lower  court pleadings, reports of proceedings or other materials that will fully  present the issues. In its discretion the court may accept memoranda in lieu of  formal briefs. The court may then enter an order setting forth an expedited
schedule for the disposition of the appeal.

Adopted June 15, 1982,  effective July 1, 1982; amended June 19, 1989, effective August 1, 1989;  amended December 17, 1993, effective February 1, 1994; amended February 26,
2010, effective immediately.

Committee Comments

(August 1, 1989)

Amended in 1989 to give  the Appellate Court discretion, for good cause shown, to order cases to an  accelerated docket on its own motion or on the motion of a party, rather than
requiring that all parties agree to such action.

Committee Comments

(February 26, 2010)

Paragraph (a)

Paragraph (a) was  originally enacted as Rule 306A in 2004 to expedite the resolution of appeals  affecting the care and custody of children. In 2010, Rule 306A was moved to
paragraph (a) of this rule. The purpose of this amendment was to streamline the  wording of the rule and facilitate its use. The amendment was also intended to  clarify that the rule addresses only the procedures to be followed in order to  expedite disposition of child custody appeals. Importantly, this rule does not  confer any new appeal rights or affect finality for purposes of appellate  jurisdiction. The appealability of any order affecting child custody is  governed principally by Rules 301, 304, 303, and 306. The expedited procedures
set forth in paragraph (a) apply to all child custody appeals, whether they  have been taken from final orders appealable as of right or interlocutory  orders from which the court has granted leave to appeal. The goal of paragraph  (a) remains to promote stability for not only abused and neglected children,  but also children whose custody is an issue in dissolution of marriage,  adoption, and other proceedings, by mandating swifter disposition of these  appeals.

Paragraph (b)

Paragraph (b)
encompasses the pre-2010 amendment version of Rule 311, which permits the  expedited resolution of any appeal upon the request of any party and at the  discretion of the appellate court.


  1. See our latest post about how the Illinois State Bar Association is retaliating against our family court team members who are seeking changes in the laws so that court appointed attorneys don’t rape family finances with excessive fees at:

    Comment by Linda Shelton — April 11, 2012 @ 10:02 am

  2. constantly i used to read smaller content which as well clear their motive, and that is
    also happening with this piece of writing which
    I am reading at this time.

    Comment by Prophetic Worship Music — April 28, 2013 @ 9:40 am

  3. Hello friends, nice article and pleasant arguments commented at this place, I am genuinely
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    Comment by breast feeding counselor — June 25, 2013 @ 2:41 pm

  4. My children were looking for KS Instructions for Pro Se Motion for Continuance Form earlier today and were informed about an online service that has a searchable database . If people need KS Instructions for Pro Se Motion for Continuance Form too , here’s

    Comment by Griselda Foreman — February 17, 2017 @ 4:09 am

  5. Only applies in State of Kansas

    Comment by Linda Shelton — February 17, 2017 @ 5:35 am

  6. Laws? What are those? In my experience the mother gets everything she wants regardless of real facts. This is designed to make attorneys money. I am a father. I’ve done nothing wrong except want to be a dad. I could not put my own child to bed until divorce. My ex has a free attorney…that means I must constantly come up with cash for representation. My child has no financial future. Illinois courts are financially motivated to make money…its designed that way. I’m tired of fighting. I am over 70 thousand in debt…but that’s for the best interest of my child right?

    Comment by J — February 27, 2019 @ 4:06 pm

  7. You are right. The goal is increased money for courts and court appointed child reps attorneys counselors etc with no care about best interest of child. This is not just about damage to men. Some rich connected men have screwed their ex wives & kids in this fashion also. The system is corrupt. That is why some of us are continually trying to get better laws and expose this corruption-which includes illegally taking money from social security disability for child support in violation of ADA & fed law as well as using childrens’ college funds for child support. That is also why some of us are trying to arrange a meeting to discuss this with new IL AG Kwame Raoul to explain how courts violate fed & state laws & harm children, while corrupt attorneys bribe corrupt judges with contributions to judges’ campaign funds-you can get proof of this by checking source of campaign funds on IL election web site-attorneys even have their toddler children wives & law firms donate to judges so it doesn’t look like the attorneys contribute a lot-when they actually do contribute a lot to fix cases, demonize one parent, & drag out cases for their profit motive.

    Comment by Linda Shelton — February 28, 2019 @ 9:44 am

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