February 2014

The Child and Family Law Center of the North Shore


In This Issue
What to do if your Child is Arrested?
The Process of Due Process in Resolving Special Education Disputes in Illinois
Does my Child Need Guardianship?
60 Minutes Program on Mentally Ill Youth in Crisis


The Process of Due Process and Dispute Resolution in Illinois Special Education   

Presented by Micki Moran, J.D. of The Child & Family Law Center


 Thursday, February 27, 2014

6:30-7:15 p.m.



Call 847-926-0101 for information 


Announcements and Upcoming Events:



Congratulations to our colleagues at 


on their new  

Adolescent Intensive Outpatient Program  

in Northbrook.  

The program will provide evidence based treatment to teenagers struggling with substance abuse while allowing them to stay in their own homes.  

Attend the  

Intensive Outpatient Program Open House   

February 26, 2014

2:00-6:00 p.m.

1200 Shermer Road  

Suite 109

Northbrook, IL 

For more information call 815-387-5607 or go to




Illinois Alliance of Administrators of Special Education Fifteenth Annual Winter Conference
February 20 and 21, 2014
Springfield, IL
ED Eligibility for Students with Mental Health Issues
Presented by Micki Moran and Laura Sinars

nami Chicago
The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Chicago 
Light the Darkness 2014 
Awards Dinner and Auction 
Thursday, April 10, 2014 
6:00 p.m. 
For more information and to purchase tickets call 312-563-0445  
Is your group or organization having and event?
Email us or call our office at 847-926-0101 with the information and
The Child & Family Law Center will be happy to publish it in our newsletter.
Lisle Office

The Child and Family Law Center is pleased to announce the opening of a branch office in Lisle, Illinois. Attorneys Micki Moran and Joe Scally will meet with clients by appointment at 5950-E Lincoln, Lisle, IL.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 847-926-0101.
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In addition to traditional divorce services,  

The Child and Family Law Center now offers:


Divorce Mediation


  • Cost Effective.
  • Experienced Mediator.
  • Child Centered.
  • Problem Solving Focused. 

Please call us at 847-926-0101 for more information.

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The Child and Family Law Center provides representation and consultation in the following areas:
  • Special Education and School Law
  • Family Law
  • Juvenile and Criminal Law
  • Mental Health and Disability Law
 Check our website for a complete list of our services

The Child and Family Law Center, Ltd.  

1950 Sheridan Rd.
Suite 201 
Highland Park, IL 60035
phone: 847-926-0101
fax: 847-926-8500

Consultations by appointment in our Lisle, IL office. Please call for information. 
We provide representation in the following Northern Illinois counties:  Cook, Lake, DuPage, Kane, McHenry,and Will. 
Hello and Welcome.  Each month The Child and Family Law Center of the North Shore, Ltd. will provide articles of interest and updates on areas that our office deals with on a regular basis.  We appreciate and welcome feedback, so please feel free to send us an email at [email protected] with questions or suggestions.

Happy Valentine's Day from The Child and Family Law Center!

February is National Women's Heart pink heart stone set in backgroung of grey stones symbol of pink represting womens health Health Month 
Check out goredforwomen.org for information from the American Heart Association 
What to do if your Child is Arrested

Young man in handcuffs in rear view In 2009, nearly two million children between the ages of 10 and 18 were arrested in the United States. Some of those arrests occurred at school.
Many panicked parents call our office never imagining that their son or daughter would be arrested or do anything that would allow that to happen. Teenagers make stupid judgments: even smart, educated teens. Every parent should talk to their child about this possibility, including the kind of conduct that can land them in the back of a police car.
  1. Remember the police are not your friends. They are there to do a job. Yes, they do lie and promise that nothing will happen legally if your son or daughter just tells them the truth and the facts of the case. This isn't illegal. Your child should be told that they are not to speak to the police without their parents or an attorney under any circumstances.  a. Give them a script to practice. "Please call my parents and my attorney. I am not going to answer any questions at this time without my attorney present."  b. Parents do not have a right to be present when their child is questioned.  c. Do not act as your child's lawyer. You can end up harming the case. Police expect people to get a lawyer. They may promise that it will be easier if you don't. This is not correct.
  2. Do not yell at the police and call them names. Do not panic.
  3. Let the police know how to reach you.
  4. Ask the police officer where your child is being held and ask them to explain the next steps.
  5. Let them know if your son or daughter has a medical condition, a psychiatric problem, or disability and if they are on any medication.
  6. Have the name of a lawyer that you have identified if this ever becomes a problem. Ask friends for a referral. Hopefully, this will be a number you never have to call.
  7. Interview the lawyer you are considering. Ask the following questions.  a. What is their experience with this type of case?  b. What are the options in this type of case? A lawyer may not be able to answer these questions until they know more information.  c. What are the costs?  d. What should you as parents do?  e. What information does the lawyer need? (e.g. medical records, school records)
  8. Bond is not typically available in juvenile cases. Your attorney can ask the court to release your child into your custody.  
Education concept  CMYK Special Education on linen fabric texture background, 3d render The Process of Due Process in Resolving Special Education Disputes in Illinois-Part I

Success Questions and uncertain strategy with a road or highway going up to the sky fading into a... FAQ: How do I know that it is time to file for due process?
Answer: There is no short answer to this question. The first and most important step is to be able to clearly articulate your dispute with the district. Sometimes there have been so many problems that it is hard to focus on the most important issues. The ability to clearly state what the problem is and how you want to solve it is one of the key components to a successful due process hearing. I urge my clients to do the following:

Write down, in short bullet point items, your issues and concerns with the district. For example:
  • The reading goals aren't measurable and my son isn't making progress based on the reports and testing I have seen.
  • My daughter is out of the class a lot due to her behavior. Things keep getting worse but I can't get an answer regarding a plan to help her.
  • My son has autism and the district doesn't seem to be doing anything related to his disability. The teacher keeps asking me for ideas.

Can you answer the question, "What do I want?" Many clients simply don't know what they can ask for from their school district. Some parents are told, "this is what we have," and accept this for a time.  Ultimately, parents recognize that while a district may have only a few options this may not be sufficient to meet their child's educational needs. An attorney can discuss the options and possible solutions.


Have I made this clear to the school in writing?


The top reasons parents decide to file for due process:

  • They cannot communicate with the school and the school district is ignoring their concerns.
  • They are exhausted. All their energy has been spent fighting the school and no one is listening.
  • Their child is making no progress.
  • The district staff are not skilled enough to address their child's behavior or educational needs.
  • They are seeking a private placement.
  • The district is seeking an alternative placement.
  • Residential placement.

Steps before due process:



Either the parents or the school district may request mediation. Both parties must be willing to compromise. Mediation is voluntary. Neither party can be forced to mediate. You can arrange a mediation by calling (217)782-5589. If you are represented by an attorney, the lawyer typically arranges the mediation with the school district's attorney to assure that the times work for everyone. The mediator is an impartial person who will help the parties discuss the issues and determine if there is a compromise position. The rules for conducting a hearing can be found at 23 IAC 226.50.  

  • The mediator cannot make the parties do anything.
  • The parties sign an agreement that the mediator cannot be called as a witness.
  • The mediator will help facilitate an agreement to benefit the child.
  • At the mediation the parties (parents and school) will have an opportunity to state their positions.
  • No witnesses are present. This is not a hearing.
  • Each side will be given an opportunity to present their story. It is important 
Does my Child Need Guardianship?  

the helping hand on sky a  friendship The answer is that is depends. Not every young adult with a cognitive disability or autism needs a guardian. It is something that needs to be considered in advance of the child turning 18. Parents have been in control of decisions and are used to making decisions and being at the table for all events including education for their child. Once that child turns 18 that automatic presumption regarding decision making is no longer valid. That authority passes to the 18 year-old unless the parents obtain guardianship or utilize other legal means (e.g. Power or Attorney) to make decisions or to get information.
The decision to become your child's guardian involves a number of considerations and questions. Each child is different. When parents seek out advice on this issue, I ask the following questions:
  1. Can your child make good decisions regarding their life? Simply making poor choices doesn't automatically mean that your young adult child needs a guardian.
  2. Are they able to participate in the process of dealing with their educational choices, health care or financial issues with assistance?
  3. IQ or a diagnosis is not the only determining factor in the decision to assume guardianship of your child.
  4. Does the young adult need a guardian to manage their financial affairs. Is this the best mechanism to address this concern?  

What are some of the implications of guardianship?

In Illinois, a person who has been adjudicated in need of a guardian cannot drive. 


Guardianship and Advocacy Commission:  gac.state.il.us/


60 Minutes Program on Mentally Ill Youth in Crisis
Many people are talking about a recent CBS News report, Nowhere to Go: Mentally Ill Youth in Crisis, shown on 60 Minutes on January 26, 2014. The program focused on the "severe shortcomings in the state of mental health care for young people in the U.S." This is a struggle than a number of our clients deal with on a daily basis.

Click here to listen to the program. 

The Child and Family Law Center of the North Shore is a unique legal practice that specializes in providing legal services to families and children in the areas of special education, IEP consultations, divorce and custody, parenting agreements, mediation, guardianship and juvenile law, including criminal law, DCFS and mental health. Where possible, we have initiated flat fee billing for appropriate matters.


The Child and Family Law Center of the North Shore 

1950 Sheridan Rd.

Suite 201

Highland Park, IL 60035 


For more information about The Child and Family Law Center of the North Shore, please call 847-926-0101 or visit our website at www.lawforchild.com 

Micki Moran
The Child and Family Law Center of the North Shore