June 2015
The Child & Family Law Center of the North Shore 

In This Issue
Father's Day
School Officials Don't Need Probable Cause to Question Students
Divorce: Parallel Parenting Defined
Rights of Teens Regarding Confidentiality under the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Confidentiality Act

"Anyone can give up; it's the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that's true strength."  

- Christopher Reeves


Happy Father's Day

to all of the

Super Dads!! 


Upcoming Events:  

Peers® Social Skills Program  
For Adolescents and Young Adults
Facilitated by Diane Gould, LCSW, BCBA & Fran Shapiro, NCSP

Deerfield and Westmont

For information call 847-494-3100, email  
[email protected]
or go to: 

Is your group or organization having an event?
Email 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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The Child & Family Law Center of the North Shore

Founded by Micki Moran, J.D., we are a unique legal practice that specializes in providing services to families and children in the areas of:
  • Special Education
  • IEP Consultation
  • Divorce and Custody
  • Parenting Agreements
  • Mediation
  • Guardianship
  • Juvenile Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Mental Health Law
  • DCFS


We provide representation in the following Northern Illinois counties:   

Cook, Lake, DuPage, Kane, McHenry, and Will.  

Consultations by appointment in our Lisle, IL office.


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



For many families, summer is the time to double up on therapies and "catch-up" in preparation for the next school year.

I am certainly reluctant to add to the parent to do list, but as a special education attorney, I suggest the following:

  1. Remember to build in fun. I know that my son was tutored all summer and expressed on more that one occasion how unfair it was that he was sitting in a room doing work when other kids weren't.
  2. Summer is a good time to schedule an evaluation by a psychologist, psychiatrist or other therapist.
  3. Organize your records. This should include any evaluations, assessment and IEP documents.
  4. Determine what you feel are the educational priorities for your child in the upcoming school year. Make a list.
  5. Plan an informal meeting after the first 30 days of school. Get this on the calendar soon if possible.
School Officials Don't Need Probable Cause to Question Students

Many parents are outraged when their child or adolescent is questioned by school officials regarding misconduct in a school setting without appropriate Miranda warnings and without notifying the parents. A district court in Michigan recently ruled that a school was able to detain a student for questioning. To detain a student, a school must have a reasonable suspicion that the student violated a law or school rule. A lesser standard is a appropriate, the court reasoned, because school officials act in loco parentis of a student and in order to maintain order, a student's freedom may be restricted in many ways.
Divorce: Parallel Parenting Defined

As my divorce practice has grown, I have encountered parents who have so much animosity toward each other and/or divergent views of parenting that cooperation, co-parenting and shared decision making aren't possible. For these families, a parenting plan know as parallel parenting may be a solution.

Who is appropriate for parallel parenting? Parents who:
  • Do not get along
  • Are very reactive to each other
  • Feel extremely uncomfortable in each others' presence
  • Have an order of protection
  • Can't cooperate in one or more major areas of parenting

What is the reason for proposing parallel parenting?

  • Children need time with each parent.
  • They have a right not to be always in the middle of the conflict.
  • Each parent has a a right to a relationship with the child without the interference of the other parent.
  • The level of conflict between the parents is the greatest predictor of how children do after a divorce. Reducing the level of conflict improves a child's prognosis.

What makes a parallel parenting agreement different from a more traditional parenting agreement?

  • Nothing is assumed. Everything is spelled out in great detail.
  • There is no personal information shared with the other parent.
  • Meetings and exchanges are public and formal.
  • Calls and meetings take place during regular business hours and are time limited.
  • Following the meeting, the parent initiating the meeting should send a written summary confirming understandings on key points.
  • Meetings may require the presence of a third party. Ideally, this would be a Parenting Coordinator.

How does parallel parenting work?

  • Parents have little or no interaction with each other.
  • The schedule is written down in detail on a calendar. Loopholes breed conflict.
  • There is no assumption of flexibility in scheduling.
  • Each parents' household functions independently. What happens is not discussed with the other parent.
  • Major decisions are communicated rather than discussed by the parent who has the authority to make decisions during that time.
  • Parents avoid face to face communication and communicate through a neutral source such as Our Family Wizard.
  • Transition times take place at a neutral location. Each parent is responsible for contacting the school regarding meetings, report cards or other communication.

Rights of Teens Regarding Confidentiality under the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Confidentiality Act


Many parents who come to our office are surprised to learn that their child, if they are at least 12,

must consent to the release of mental health information.

Who has the right to the records protected by the Act? You have the right to copy and inspect your own records if you are age 12 and older. In addition, the following people have the right to inspect and copy the records upon request:

  • The guardian of a child under age 12
  • The guardian of a recipient who is age 18 or over
  • An attorney and guardian ad litem representing a minor age 12 years or older with a court order
  • An agent appointed by a recipient under a Power of Attorney for Health Care or Property
  • An attorney-in-fact named in a declaration of preferences or instructions regarding mental health treatment under the Mental Health Declaration Treatment Preference Declaration Act

Disclosure of Records to Parents of Children Age 12 to 18:


A parent or guardian of a recipient of services who is over 12 but under age 18 may always have access to certain kinds of records. Those are records about the child's current condition, diagnosis, treatment and medications being provided, and the treatment and services needed.

The parent or guardian may have access to other kinds of mental health or developmental disabilities service records if the child does not object or if the therapist does not feel there is a strong reason to deny the parent access to the records. If the therapist or the child denied access to those records, the parent or guardian may file court action to seek access.


Micki Moran 
The Child & Family Law Center of the North Shore
1950 Sheridan Road, Suite 201
Highland Park, IL 60035
Phone: 847-926-0101
Fax: 847-926-8500