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UCCJEA child custody

UCCJEA Not Followed and Appellate Court Returns Child to Father

Categorized as Child Custody


Lauren sought guardianship of Mirabella, the daughter of her former boyfriend, Matthew. She claimed that Matthew, a Wisconsin resident, had left Mirabella to live with Lauren in Illinois for more than one year. The trial court entered an order of plenary guardianship and an order of protection against Matthew.

Father Challenged Guardianship Based on Wisconsin Custody Order

Matthew challenged the guardianship on the basis that he was awarded sole custody of Mirabella by a Wisconsin court and that the Illinois court lacked jurisdiction. Ultimately, the Appellate Court vacated the trial court’s orders and returned custody of Mirabella to her father.

Case Background

The minor child, Mirabella, was born November 4, 2014, to Matthew and Christina. Christina was not a part of this litigation between Lauren and Matthew. Matthew and Mirabella lived in Wisconsin, and on September 1, 2016, the trial court in Racine County, Wisconsin, entered an order awarding Matthew the sole custody of Mirabella.

Father’s Ex-girlfriend Filed Emergency Petition for Appointment of Guardian

On May 11, 2018, Lauren, Matthew’s ex-girlfriend, filed an Emergency Petition for Appointment of Guardian. In the petition, Lauren alleged that Mirabella had lived with her in Channahon, Illinois, since May 1, 2017, when Matthew left Mirabella in Lauren’s care. She further alleged that Matthew gave her Mirabella’s medical card but had not provided any monetary support and had not seen Mirabella in over three months. Finally, Lauren alleged that Matthew was unwilling or unable to make the day-to-day decisions for Mirabella and that he “voluntarily relinquished the child to Petitioner.”

On May 14, 2018, the trial court appointed Lauren plenary guardian without prejudice and also appointed a guardian ad litem for Mirabella. An additional order entered the same day, which is not in the record, presumably prohibited Mirabella from leaving Will County. On May 16, 2018, Lauren sought and was granted an emergency order of protection, naming herself and Mirabella as protected parties. Matthew was not provided timely notice and did not appear at either hearing.

On May 21, 2018, Matthew appeared and was served with the summons, complaint, emergency order of protection, and interrogatories. The court struck Matthew’s emergency motion, which is not included in the record. On June 7, 2018, Matthew filed a copy of the Racine County order granting him sole custody in the Will County court. He also filed an emergency motion to strike and dismiss Lauren’s Emergency Petition for Appointment of Guardian and for an order of protection.

Matthew’s motion provided that he lived with Mirabella and Lauren in Wisconsin until May 2017. He and Lauren broke up in May 2018. He was not given notice of the guardianship proceeding or hearing on the order of protection. On June 14, 2018, Lauren filed an emergency motion to amend her emergency motion to appoint a guardian and the amended motion, titled “an emergency motion for finding of temporary emergency jurisdiction.” Matthew filed a motion to strike Lauren’s motions. A hearing took place on June 18, 2018, and the trial court entered an order finding an Illinois Supreme Court Rule 903 judicial conference was needed with the Wisconsin court and continued the matter. The Illinois judge and a Wisconsin judge, although not the judge who entered the initial custody order, participated in a judicial conference that took place between June 18 and June 26, 2018. The trial court in Wisconsin wrote to Matthew’s attorney on June 26, 2018, informing that the conversation concerned which court would have jurisdiction and the determination was made that the hearing already scheduled in Illinois would take place and jurisdiction would be addressed then. The letter also stated that no decision on jurisdiction had been made. No record of the phone conference was made.

Father Appeals Illinois Court Finding of Personal Jurisdiction

On June 29, 2018, the trial court denied Matthew’s motions to strike, found Illinois was Mirabella’s home state for jurisdictional purposes and determined that, per the conversation with the Wisconsin judge, Wisconsin ceded jurisdiction. The court further found that it had temporary emergency jurisdiction and set a date to decide if Lauren had standing to seek guardianship. On appeal, Matthew argued that the trial court lacked personal jurisdiction over him and that it failed to comply with the requirements of the Uniform Child-Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) (750 ILCS 36/101 et seq. (West 2016)). Matthew argued that Wisconsin retained exclusive continuing jurisdiction over Mirabella’s custody. He also argued that an Illinois court may not modify Wisconsin’s custody determinations, and the emergency petition to appoint a guardian did not meet the requirements for emergency jurisdiction under the UCCJEA.

The Appellate Court stated that a person may object to personal jurisdiction based on a number of factors. A person can accidentally submit to jurisdiction, or waive his argument against jurisdiction, however, if he files any motion before the court before he files a motion challenging his personal jurisdiction. 735 ILCS 5/2-301(a-6) (West Supp. 2017). A court acquires jurisdiction over a party who voluntarily appears before the court. In re Estate of Pellico, 394 Ill. App. 3d 1052, 1066 (2009). A review of the record showed that on May 21, 2018, Matthew was present in court and was served with the summons, the complaint, interrogatories, and the emergency order of protection. The court struck Matthew’s emergency motion as unintelligible. When challenged about the subject matter of his motion, Matthew did not say that his motion in any way objected to the trial court’s personal jurisdiction. This was a mistake on his part. It was not until Matthew’s emergency motion to strike and dismiss was filed on June 11, 2018, that he challenged personal jurisdiction. However, he had already waived any objection to it by appearing and filing a prior motion.
In addition, Matthew voluntarily appeared at the May 21, 2018, hearing and accepted the summons and complaint without objection. Those two errors caused Michael to lose his argument about jurisdiction. It is unclear from the record if he appeared on his own behalf or through counsel, but this is just one example of why someone should never appear in court on his own behalf. The reviewing court found that the trial court had personal jurisdiction over Matthew. These two mistakes early in the case likely caused Matthew quite a bit of a headache and money.

On appeal, Matthew next argued that the trial court erred when it did not follow the procedures set forth in the UCCJEA. Because a custody determination regarding Mirabella had been made by the Wisconsin court and Matthew continued to reside in Wisconsin, Matthew argued that the trial court was required to follow the procedures set forth in the UCCJEA. Matthew further alleged that if the trial court had followed the procedures set forth in the UCCJEA, it would have determined that jurisdiction was proper only in Wisconsin.

Appellate Court Review of Father’s Claim Wisconsin Jurisdiction

The Appellate Court began with Matthew’s claims that Wisconsin retained exclusive continuing jurisdiction over all custody determinations and the trial court here was without authority to modify the Wisconsin custody order. Under the UCCJEA, a child custody proceeding is one that concerns the legal or physical custody of a child and includes proceedings for guardianship and protection from domestic violence. 750 ILCS 36/102(4) (West 2016). A child custody determination is a judgment or court order concerning legal or physical custody, including permanent, temporary, and modification orders. 750 ILCS 36/102(3) (West 2016). Modification means a child custody determination changing, replacing, superseding, or is otherwise made after a previous determination regarding the same child, regardless of whether made by the same court. A court may not modify a prior custody order of another state, except as provided under temporary emergency jurisdiction provisions of the UCCJEA or when Illinois has jurisdiction to make an initial custody determination under section 201(a)(1) or (2) of the UCCJEA and (1) the other state cedes jurisdiction or (2) the child, the child’s parents, or a person acting as a parent does not presently reside in the other state. 750 ILCS 36/203 (West 2016). Once a state makes an initial child custody determination, it retains exclusive continuing jurisdiction. <ahref=”https://cases.justia.com/illinois/court-of-appeals-second-appellate-district/2015-2-14-1229.pdf?ts=1435104544″>Fleckles v. Diamond, 2015 IL App (2d) 141229.

Modifying Custody Determination From Another State

In determining whether to modify a custody determination from another state, an Illinois court must first decide whether the court in the other state retained exclusive continuing jurisdiction. A letter from the Wisconsin judge to Matthew’s attorney, dated June 26, 2018, provided that the conversation involved, in part, whether Illinois or Wisconsin should have jurisdiction and that the judges determined the Illinois hearing that was scheduled would be used to address jurisdiction. The letter further stated that “no such decision on jurisdiction has been made” and the parties would have “an opportunity to present evidence and argument before the jurisdiction question is answered.” The letter concluded with the statement that if Wisconsin is found to have jurisdiction, a guardian ad litem would likely be appointed. In contrast, the trial court here concluded from the phone call that Wisconsin ceded jurisdiction and that Illinois was now Mirabella’s home state. The UCCJEA’s requirements to modify child custody were not satisfied. The Wisconsin court did not cede jurisdiction. The court’s letter specifically stated that jurisdiction was not determined. It is undisputed that Matthew resided in Wisconsin during the entirety of the proceedings and prior to Lauren’s initial filing. Our Appellate Court found that the trial court here was without jurisdiction to modify the order of Racine County awarding Matthew sole custody.

Review of Temporary Emergency Jurisdiction Under UCCJEA

The Appellate Court next considered whether the trial court obtained temporary emergency jurisdiction under the UCCJEA. Matthew asserted that Lauren’s pleadings were insufficient to invoke the trial court’s jurisdiction. In the alternative, he argued that the trial court failed to comply with the UCCJEA’s mandatory requirements and the court erred in granting Lauren’s petition for guardianship. A court may obtain temporary emergency jurisdiction when the child is present in Illinois and “has been abandoned or it is necessary in an emergency to protect the child because the child *** is subjected to or threatened with mistreatment or abuse.” 750 ILCS 36/204(a) (West 2016). Where there has been a prior child custody determination entitled to enforcement, an order issued by the Illinois court under temporary emergency jurisdiction must specify “a period that the court considers adequate to allow the person seeking an order to obtain an order from the state having jurisdiction.” 750 ILCS 36/204(c) (West 2016). The temporary order remains in effect until an order from the other state is obtained or the time period expires. Where an Illinois court is asked to make a child custody determination under its temporary emergency jurisdiction authority, and it is informed that a child custody determination has already been made by a court in another state with jurisdiction, the court “shall immediately communicate with the other court.” 750 ILCS 36/204(d) (West 2016). Communications between the courts may include the participation of the parties; if the parties are not able to participate, they must be given the chance to present facts and legal arguments before the court may decide the jurisdictional issue. 750 ILCS 36/110(b) (West 2016). The parties need not be informed if the call concerns schedules, calendars, court record, and similar matters and a record of the call is not required. 750 ILCS 36/110(c) (West 2016) Otherwise, a record must be made of the call, and the parties must be promptly informed and granted access to the record of the call. 750 ILCS 36/110(d) (West 2016).

Illinois Supreme Court Rule 903 Inapplicable

The trial court believed that the call with the Wisconsin judge was governed by Illinois Supreme Court Rule 903 (eff. Mar. 8, 2016). That rule provides that custody proceedings concerning an individual child be decided by a single judge. The Court here was incorrect because Rule 903 is inapplicable and does not direct the interstate phone conference at issue. The requirements under the UCCJEA govern the phone call here – not Rule 903. The UCCJEA requires that the phone conference must be recorded, which did not occur and, as discussed above, resulted in differing versions of the call. Moreover, according to the Illinois trial court, jurisdiction was decided despite the lack of participation of the parties or an opportunity for them to argue the merits of jurisdiction as required by the UCCJEA.

Background of Emergency Petition for Guardianship

Lauren’s emergency petition for guardianship stated that Matthew left Mirabella with her around May 1, 2017, that Mirabella remained in her care, that Matthew provided Mirabella’s medical card but did not provide any financial assistance, that Matthew lived in Wisconsin and had not seen Mirabella for more than three months, and that Mirabella’s mother had not had contact with Mirabella for more than a year. The petition alleged that Mirabella’s mother was believed to be a drug addict and unable to care for Mirabella and that Matthew left Mirabella in Lauren’s custody for more than one year, did not provide support, and is unwilling and unable to make daily decisions concerning Mirabella’s care. The petition further alleged that there was no one in Illinois to carry out Mirabella’s daily care, which necessitated Lauren’s appointment as guardian. By all accounts, Mirabella was present in Illinois and had been living here with Lauren for more than one year. Lauren’s petition, however, failed to allege that Matthew abandoned Mirabella or that there was a threat of her abuse or mistreatment. The petition did not assert that Matthew left Mirabella “without provision for reasonable and necessary care or supervision.” 750 ILCS 36/102(1) (West 2016). Rather, the petition asserted that Matthew left Mirabella in Lauren’s care. The petition did not allege mistreatment or abuse, offered only the conclusory statement that Matthew was unwilling and unable to make decisions concerning the care of Mirabella.

Emergency Motion for Finding of Temporary Emergency Jurisdiction

After Matthew moved to strike and dismiss Lauren’s petition, she moved to amend the pleading, which the trial court granted after Matthew moved to strike and dismiss the motion to amend. The amended motion, titled “an emergency motion for finding of temporary emergency jurisdiction” rather than petition for guardianship, stated that a custody order was entered in Wisconsin, granting Matthew sole custody, and was enrolled in Will County; that Illinois was now Mirabella’s home state; and that Lauren had physical custody of Mirabella for a period of six consecutive months and was a person acting as a parent under the UCCJEA. The motion alleged that Mirabella was subjected to or threatened with mistreatment as shown by Matthew’s repeated threats of suicide, his failure to comply with his medication regime, his use of Mirabella “as a bargaining chip” in his relationship with Lauren, his “depersonalizing Mirabella by threatening Lauren that he will find Mirabella a new mother,” and his “exhibiting emotional instability and verbal abuse toward persons he purports to love.” Lastly, the motion requested the court immediately communicate with the Wisconsin court that entered the custody order.

The amended motion also failed to satisfy the statutory requirements. Lauren filed her motion to amend and motion for emergency temporary jurisdiction on June 14, 2018, nearly a month after the trial court awarded her guardianship of Mirabella. Her belated claims regarding Matthew cannot constitute the basis for the prior ruling granting her guardianship. Even if Lauren’s new allegations regarding Matthew were considered, they do not indicate abandonment, mistreatment, or abuse. Unsupported allegations regarding Matthew’s behavior and mental health did not establish that he mistreated or abused Mirabella. There is no claim of emergency or that Mirabella was in immediate harm. To the contrary, Lauren alleged Matthew had not seen Mirabella in three months prior to her original filing and therefore her allegations cannot support a claim of emergency or immediate harm. The allegations concerning Matthew’s suicide threats are supported by copies of undated text messages in which he talks about suicide. Again, those allegations, while serious, do not support a claim that there was an immediate risk of harm to Mirabella. Because the Wisconsin court had already determined that Matthew was fit for custody of Mirabella, it retains continuing exclusive jurisdiction to decide if he is now unfit as alleged by Lauren.

Trial Court Failed to Comply With UCCJEA

After learning that a Wisconsin court had entered a prior custody order and in the exercise of its emergency temporary jurisdiction, the Illinois court was required to specify a time period to allow Lauren to obtain an order from the Wisconsin court and to immediately communicate with the other court. The trial court’s orders granting guardianship and finding it had temporary emergency jurisdiction did not include a time period as required and the trial court failed to immediately communicate with the Wisconsin court. Lauren suggested at the initial hearing on May 14, 2018, that there was a prior order. The court did not call the Wisconsin judge until approximately mid-June. The Appellate Court did not consider that the trial court acted “immediately” to communicate with the court in Wisconsin.

The Appellate Court ruled that the trial court failed to comply with the requirements of the UCCJEA and granted guardianship to Lauren without any authority to do so. Lauren did not establish any basis to sustain the court’s emergency temporary jurisdiction. It is undisputed that Matthew has sole custody as determined by the Racine County court. It was found that because Wisconsin retained continuing and exclusive jurisdiction to make custody determinations regarding Mirabella, the trial court here lacked jurisdiction to award Lauren guardianship and to modify the Wisconsin custody order. Accordingly, all orders entered by the trial court were vacated and the Appellate Court ordered custody of Mirabella be immediately returned to Matthew.

As this case illustrates, child custody and guardianship disputes can be complex, especially when multiple states and jurisdictions are involved.  Get in tough with one of our Chicago child custody lawyers if you find yourself in a murky scenario.

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We could not have been happier with the services provided by Anderson and Boback. If it were not for there experience in the type of case my family was involved in, I am convinced the outcome would not have been a positive one for us. Janice knew exactly how to respond... and to what we were entitled to do, bring and discuss during the phone sessions. I am sure it is a lot harder to have cases decided without in person conversations, but that is a reality of today's world. They knew exactly how to handle the situation.Hopefully never would we have to, but would not hesitate to use them again or recommend them in the specialty line of work they are expert in.read more
Wendy Z.
I could not have asked for better representation for my divorce than Jessica Sindel. Jessica was hardworking, thorough, intelligent, and practical. She got me everything I wanted with my settlement. She was always responsive, gave me regular updates, and I always knew... I had an excellent advocate. When the other side was being difficult and unresponsive, she handled it and moved the case along. I would highly recommend Jessica Sindel as an attorney.read more
Mary P
Boback/Anderson’s attorney Janice Boback was recommended And I do recommend her as one attorney who will adhere and work hard to serve the principles You believe in what ever the character of the opposing att. I strongly believe that family going through difficult... times should be served in a method respecting both sides with the least exposure possible to unnecessary painful processes.Att. Janice Boback esq. is the one you want ,who will persist on working in the utmost ethical manner to reach SETTLEMENTS and avoiding the un-needed processes that aim to serve interest of others than your family’s . She will explain to you your options what is legally possible and alternatives.When it comes to family issues, you will never regret choosing att Janice. She was and still is the best ethical and professional help during hard family times.read more
Isam H.
I recently worked with Jessica Marshall. She was informative, available, kind, and tough. I felt supported and she defintely knows what she is doing and how to get the job done. Highly recommend this firm.
Melyssa C.
Jan Boback was a great lawyer. She responded in a timely manner and answered all of my questions ( and there were a lot ). She's incredibly professional and takes her job seriously. I would definitely recommend her if you are in need of such services during a difficult... time.read more
Gurjot G.
Anderson and Boback have a professional, dedicated team who will fight for you and do everything in their power to help. They are kind, professional and kept be updated on my case. I VERY highly recommend their office. I worked with Genevieve Binnie on my latest case... and she went above and beyond!read more
Lisa S.
I had switched to Kim 6 mo into my case because I didn’t feel the firm at the time wasn’t very responsive, proactive and provided a good representation. Kim was a strong advocate for me in my case and fought like it’s her own battle. A great trial attorney. I was... awarded additional time as a result.read more
R. K
I worked with Alexandra Brinkmeier and she is a phenomenal lawyer and a great person as well. She cares about what she does and why she does it. I highly recommend her!!!
My lawyer was awesome!!! The situation was handle with such care. They were always readily available which was great to handle daily details and constant issues that arose. I will refer them to everyone I know for the rest of my life. That is how much I appreciated... them!!! Thanks, Lisread more
Lisa A.
Very professional law firm. I had to use them for many years for a child case. I can say I'm very pleased with the outcome and would highly recommend this law firm. They were always on top of anything that needed to be done. They did a better job than the opposing... council with arguments and making sure the judge had all the necessary paperwork to help us win our case. Thanks!read more
Josh N
I have used other law firms in the past, and I can honestly say that none of them compares to the work of Alexandra. I now understand how crucial it is to have the right counsel by your side.She is by far the best counsel I’ve ever had. She was on top of my case since... day one, pays close attention to details, and answered all my questions in a timely manner. Alexandra is deeply knowledgeable and with her experience, she has made my case get positive results.I will forever be grateful to Alexandra C. Brinkmeier. Alexandra Thank You!!!read more
Antonio R.
prior to finding and retaining Anderson & Boback, i had two previous lawyers. both of my prior attornies let the process drag on, and would not challenge opposing counsel. several issues surfaced during this time and my prior attornies were unwilling or unable to... address them.After an initial meeting with Kim Anderson, I did not hesitate to hire her as my now 3rd lawyer. Kim and Genevieve Binnie quickly familiarized themselves with the case. Kim and Genevieve are knowledgable, professional, and very confident. Kim and Genevieve gave me the impression that i was their only client. I was never told that they were too busy or had other important meetings to address my concerns, as my previous lawyers often did. just recently my case went to trial. although the judge has not made a ruling yet, i am confident in a favorable outcome for the case that Kim and Genevieve put on. i cannot thank them enough for their hard work. Both Kim and Genevieve are skilled, and excellent attornies. I highly recommend Anderson & Boback!read more
james B.
Highly recommend they helped me get a long over due child support modification. Props to Attorney Sindel for all her hard work and putting up with me.
Jason B.
Anderson & Boback was our 3rd Lawfirm for a family court issue. The others were mean, rude, disrespectful, & unresponsive. A & B was very courteous, respectful, & knowledgeable! They were great! They maintained their professionalism in very dicey situations.I’ll use... them again if needed!read more
Lorenzo L.
I will recommend Jessica Marshall as an excellent attorney for child custody and family law cases. From the moment she took on my case, she was determined to help me achieve my desired outcome (of course in the best interest of my son).Jessica worked diligently on my... case and showed compassion through out the year long custody battle. She has the knowledge, wit and compassion that it takes to represent and fight for a fathers rights.If you ever need or know someone in need of a family law attorney, Jessica is the one for you.read more
Solomon M.
i was involved in a very complicated custody battle. My attorney was Kim Anderson. She stepped up & took my case when 5 other law firms would not. Kim showed professionalisms, integrity & most importantly for me, heart. She diligently fought for almost 4 years to... make sure I had a positive outcome. Kim is not afraid to take on a challenge & give it all she’s got for her clients. I don’t know where my family would be today if not for Kim Anderson.read more
Peggy K.
For years, I have been bombarded with bad-faith petitions by my daughter's biological father; Though we've lived in Florida since my daughter was 17 months old (she'll be 12 in a week), the jurisdiction has remained, sadly, in Illinois. Her father has an unlimited... amount of money to waste, and as a single mother of two, and a Florida educator, I do not; I have struggled to fly back and forth to Chicago from Florida, fighting Pro-Se because I've not been able to afford an attorney. I've had to incur costs to fly to Chicago, lose work time, lose time with my family, and simply continue to be harassed with no end in sight. Recently, after being bombarded again- now with 'emergency petitions' with no merit to them, but simply designed to ensure I am not able to fly within 24 hours from Florida to Chicago to defend myself, my family members said, "ENOUGH!". I was referred to Janice Boback from a dear family friend, and another family member loaned me the retainer fee, which is very reasonable. Janice, with only 36 hours to prepare for a hearing, was a ROCK STAR! It was the first time I felt that the 'little guy' won a victory! She was laser sharp, calm, and unrelenting - Everything was dismissed against me! My daughter's best interest was supported, and the Judge, because it was a hearing, was finally made aware of the facts. After almost two hours, the judge stated he finds me, "Completely credible, honest, and in no way attempting to interfere with [my] daughter's relationship with her biological father"... He went on to tell her father, "She is not responsible for 'spoon-feeding' you information about your daughter."... POETIC JUSTICE! Janice is my HERO - A Peaceful Warrior who is steady in a sea of chaos, ready to lift onto her shoulders those whose voice has been drowned out! Thank you!read more
Rosanne H.
Wonderful law firm! Jessica Marshall is a terrific attorney. Not only is she an expert in family law, she listens, she cares, and she gets to the bottom of the issues to protect the best interests of children involved and the client. She's aggressive and practical and... the one you want on your side. Everyone that I have worked with at this firm has been helpful, skilled, and extremely professional.read more
I have worked with Jan for several years after finding her through Google Reviews. She has been a tremendous asset to my case. She is always responsive and willing to help. She is extremely knowledgeable of the law and is always realistic about expectations.... Ultimately, I got the BEST possible outcome for my case due to Jan’s diligence. I am so glad she is on my side!read more
Krystal H.
Ms. Boback is an excellent legal resource. She collaborated with me on possible solutions for a mutual client concerning a complicated matter that implicated the laws of multiple states. She was knowledgeable, helpful, and practical. She certainly earned my highest... endorsement.read more
James L.
While looking to switch to a female attorney for a very contentious separation involving a child with an exe, I came across the law firm of Anderson & Boback. They were very prompt with the call-back response to my inquiry and connected me with Janice right away.... Janice took a substantial amount of time to speak with me, to better understand the complexities in my case, and she offered great insight.I found this firm to very compassionate and understanding in how to navigate the legal system in this matter and also in their understanding of the sort of individual I unfortunately have to deal with and the associated legal games separating parents may face.I would have absolutely sought Anderson & Boback’s council but there was a conflict and with my case already advanced, I chose another female attorney. Based on my initial experience, I would definitely recommend this firm!read more
Lucy M.
You get what you pay for... !After firing our first attorney because quite frankly he was in over his head with our case we hired Jessica Marshall from Anderson and Boback.Jessica was responsive, attentive, has a hyper attention to detail and of course, knows the... laws relating to the litigation of custody, child support, and parenting time inside and out. At no point did we feel Jessica was not ontop of our case and ready to see our case all the way through to a trial. She managed expectations. Under promised, over delivered!No trail, an agreement in place with the parenting time we wanted and a manageable child support order was the end result of a bitter child support and parenting time case.Hopefully we will not have to utilize Jessica’s services again but in the event that we need to, we have full confidence in her abilities. She did an outstanding job for us. Cannot say enough about how pleased we are as a result of Jessica’s services. Highly recommend!read more
Devere J.
I could not be more impressed or appreciative for this firm's work. Kimberly Anderson is professional, benefits from an exceptional reputation in the legal community, and understands how to make a difficult process easier. Her availability to answer questions and... strategize goes far beyond what I've experienced with other lawyers. I highly recommend her firm.read more
John D.
Kim Anderson is a fantastic attorney. I was very stressed and scared over possible outcome of my case. Kim successfully defended me and helped me move forward with my life. I can't honestly thank her enough.
Jason G.
I was in an existing parentage case that had been drawn out for about a year and a half with little being done, before I decided to switch firms to Anderson & Boback. Kim Anderson reached out to me immediately upon my inquiry and it was very clear to me that she was... interested in what I had to say, and genuine in her responses to my questions. In taking on my case, she showed strong support for the outcome I wanted, gave very reasonable advice to help me get there, and brought experience to the table to guide me in my own decision making. She kept things moving, and so within only a few months of bringing her on, we were able to wrap up the case with a great outcome. Couldn't be more pleased. Thank you so much Kim!read more
Suzanne P.
Absolutely wonderful, are just some of the adjectives I can use to describe the wonderful women at Anderson and Boback. Kimberly Anderson is a tough hard-nosed lawyer who knows what she's doing and the direction she wants to go when it comes to fighting for her client.... Since the day I contacted this firm because of the deteriorating circumstances involving my ex-wife, she listened to me and gave sound advice. When it came time to fight in the courtroom, she was more than ready and communicative throughout the entire process with the first emergency order, which we won. This happened on two more occasions before our day in court and she still fought hard winning each time. The communication was excellent as she explained the possible outcomes and worst case scenarios before each case. I couldn't have come into contact with a better lawyer. Kim is outstanding and she stays abreast of current changes occurring within our legal system. In instances when Kim personally couldn't be there, Jessica Marshall stepped in her place and did a wonderful job. Our last victory was culminated with Kim still giving her all to fight for me, when she was dealing with her own health issue; that honestly meant a lot to me because she was not only displaying her passion to fight for her client but her dedication to obtaining best possible solution for a father who was being denied his parental rights. All I can say is, if you're contemplating on hiring these wonderful women at Anderson and Boback, DO IT! You will not regret your decision because they will fight for you and they are just wonderful from the paralegals, to the lawyers, and partners they're TOP NOTCH! Not only in the state of Illinois but I'd put them against any lawyer nationally.read more
Bruce J.
I just want to say that Kimberly Anderson is an amazing lawyer!! She is smart and easy to talk too. She is willing to listen to you and what you want. She helped me in more ways than she knows. She always answers your calls or emails and if you don’t understand... something she is more than willing to explain it . She also won’t sugar coat things and has your best interest in mind. I will recommend her to anyone that needs a divorce lawyer. Also the people who work with her are friendly and always willing to help in any way they can.read more
Kate G.
My sister had used thier services and I can actually say THEY ARE F***KING GOOD .. I seen them in action they WON. I can actually say I want them on my side..
Maria H.
Jan Boback represented me in a domestic order of protection case. Her expertise and performance in court was nothing but stellar! She knew every aspect of the law related to this issue and very clearly communicated the conforming facts of the case to the judge. The... judge, even though they have full discretion, could not argue with Jan's facts, how they conformed and her very calm presentation. She read the judge's body language which has a big factor in court when you are dealing with a judge you've never been before in the past.Jan is nothing but outstanding at her job.I've referred her to others and will continue to do so.Deanread more
Dean K.
I was very grateful to do business with Janice Boback.I am a strong believer in God, Justice, and “Janice”.She expressed extreme knowledge in the law pertaining to my case. Her winner attitude and great communication skills always kept my mind at peace.The trust... connection and bond between Janice and I was priceless.I always felt protected under her guidance with complete awareness of the status and all possible outcomes to my case.She was always available to answer or explain any questions or concerns I had.She is truly the attorney to have if the situation arises.read more
Larisa H.
Kim Anderson has a knack for staying 1-step ahead of me and my thought process. This is extremely helpful in those moments when I am stressed on legalities and not quite thinking straight. Kim also capably breaks the legal speak into everyday terms that I can... understand. Kim is an excellent attorney who is prompt, diligent and professional. The team at Anderson & Boback was invaluable in guiding me through my divorce as well as resettlement issues that I initiated after the divorce. Thanks for all your help Kim!read more
Michael C.
Jessica Marshall was amazing! My divorce should have been an easy process, since we didn't have any children or assets; however the opposing party was adamant on making it complicated. Jessica not only kept me informed of everything that was happening but advised me on... the best course of action to get divorced within a reasonable time-frame and without it costing me everything I owned. I couldn't thank her enough once it was all over. I can now move on with my life and it's because of her.read more
Jenny R.
Jessica is Amazing! She is kind, thoughtful, detailed oriented. She is quick in responding. She is knowledgeable. She fought for me in court and not afraid to speak up for her client. She has this confidence in return I feel confidence. She gives me good advices and... helping me to make right decisions. I am so very grateful she is my attorney.read more
Daranee A.
Jessica Marshall sat with me and supported me from the moment of our first consult to the final court appearance. No question went unanswered, no call/email left unreturned, and no doubt that she was on my side and ready to work. Jessica handled my case with confidence... and empathy, which I greatly appreciate given court can, often times, feel overwhelming. Cost was worth every penny and I know that every dollar was earned. I am grateful that the outcome was in my daughter’s favor and that she is now safe. My daughter will be forever thankful for finally having her voice heard in court, as Jessica suggested, through a child rep. I also want to acknowledge Gianna Carabez, Jessica’s paralegal, for always being kind and available to take my calls.read more
Sara G.
I have worked with lawyers in the past, Jan I feel really took care of me! She always had time for me, was very good at getting back to me when she was busy. In court I could see she handled her self confidently and was respected by other lawyers and also the judge. I... have recommended her to friends and family and will continue to do so!read more
Jim B.
This practice will go above and beyond! During a difficult time they were understanding and helpful.Very responsive! I received a fair and favorable outcome. I recommend contacting them immediately to get the ball rolling.
Antiwon S.
After visiting with two other law firms, I selected Anderson & Boback. They are professional! The former office was bright and pleasant. The receptionists are professional. The attorney I was assigned listened to my story and then prepared a course of action. I am... glad I chose Anderson & Boback to handle my divorce case. I highly recommend them!read more
Richard P.
Kim came as a referral from a great friend of mine. This wasn't an easy process to go through, but Kim gave me great guidance and help along the way. Wouldn't have gotten the outcome I wanted without her and her team.
Meghan M.
In April of 2016, I had an urgent need for a family attorney to help me litigate some critical issues unresolved from my divorce decree ordered by the cook county family court in 2011. I interviewed 3 attorneys and ended up picking the last one I felt was the best out... of the three. What a mistake I made after two months of litigation and more than $10,000 legal fees. In July, I interviewed two more attorneys and I selected attorney Anderson to replace the previous attorney. What a switch I made! All the critical issues were litigated and resolved to my complete satisfaction. Attorney Andersen has a very simple way of serving her client: she will listen to my story and ask what legal outcome I am expecting to get, and she will recommend a course of action and get me the result in the most cost effective manner. In short, when you give your problems to attorney Anderson for solutions, you can go home and sleep well.read more
Dean C
Kim handled both of our adoptions for us and made the process so easy. When you’re overwhelmed with all of the legal details it’s so nice knowing you’ve got someone who will attend to them so you can focus on other things. Very professional and highly recommended!
Cd J.
Kim is very professional and cared about your case. Always there when you need her. Thanks for all your hard work.
Kim S.
Elizabeth Bailey
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I really appreciated Laura’s help on my case. She was professional, empathetic, knowledgeable, and very quick to respond. She made an unfortunate situation much more tolerable with her ability to move my case along quickly and easily. Highly recommend.
Audrey Tabon
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I’ve been working with Anderson and Boback since 2019 due to the unfortunate complexities of my case. It’s been exhausting and expensive but having this group of powerful attorneys has been pivotal in the success of my case.
Timothy Host
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Attorney Jessica's exceptional assistance and success in securing a proper visitation agreement and reuniting me with my daughter surpassed my expectations. Her prompt correspondence and attention to detail were remarkable, ensuring efficient communication and leaving no aspect of my case overlooked.
Paul Cavill
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Laura was my assigned Attorney and she was very professional and did an excellent job. Great advice and did everything as quickly and easily as possible. I couldn't of gone through the unfortunate process I had to and got the outcome I did without her. Highly recommend.
Dan Strickland
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Words cannot express the gratitude I have for Jessica Marshall and her team. As a father who was no longer present in the USA, I was facing a monumental task to get access to my daughter in the face of extreme hostility. She made the impossible happen, and I’ll forever be in her debt.
Kelly Olsen
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We never go into a marriage thinking I have a great divorce attorney if this doesn’t work out. However, Laura Darby is the attorney you want in your back pocket if you do have to go through a divorce! Laura is extremely knowledgeable, caring, and will advocate for her clients. She will provide realistic, clear, and yet supportive guidance to her clients.
Karen Mae
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If you’re looking for a smart, reliable divorce attorney, look no further. I was able to collect many years of back support with the assistance of this office. Jessica Marshall really knows what she is doing and I felt that my outcome was fair. You really do get what you pay for.
Rob Backeberg
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My experience with Anderson & Boback was nothing short of professional, efficient and caring. My lawyer, Jessica Marshall, provided a strong sense of guidance, reassurance and a human touch during a very difficult and complicated legal process. Highly recommend Jessica and her team.
Raza K.
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Jessica is a dedicated, intelligent and a skillful attorney. Her arguments are skillfully articulated. She helped me in getting my divorce finalized in 2018. She then helped in getting the past due child support from my X-spouse and then recently in getting the maintenance alimony payments settled. I would highly recommend their services.
Joanna Kieplin
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Jessica C. Marshall , partner at Anderson & Bobak is one of the best attorneys I had a pleasure to work with! I wish I had found her sooner in my divorce process. I had a post decree military pension issue and it was resolved quickly, efficiently and effectively. I didn’t even have to go to court or interact with my ex- spouse. The billing was also very straightforward and honest. Highly recommended attorney!

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    Chicago Downtown Office

    20 N. Clark Street, Suite 3300 Chicago, IL 60602

    Northbrook, IL Office

    5 Revere Drive, Suite 200 Northbrook, IL 60062

    Firm Overview
    Anderson Boback & Marshall

    Anderson Boback & Marshall is a highly-respected, experienced Chicago family law firm, skilled in negotiation and litigation for divorce and other family law issues. With multiple offices in NorthBrook and Chicago Downtown, we make it easy for you to book an appointment in a location near you. Our family and divorce lawyers serve families in Cook County, Lake County, Will County, and DuPage County. Call Now 312-715-0870

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