Beginning in March, the pace of special education and other legal areas in my practice quickens and many families feel a sense of urgency to address things that have been developing over the past months. Whether it be due to a special education, family law or juvenile law matter, no one comes to my office unless things aren't going well. (Often an understatement)
That is not a new development and in the twenty-five years of The Child and Family Law Center, my sense of responsibility regarding providing both legal assistance and counseling clients on what is needed both legally and personally provides me on most days with a sense of having made a difference for the better. 

   What We Do
    Special Education
    Family Law:
        Child Support
        Allocation of Decision Making
        Allocation of Parenting Time
     Juvenile Law
     Mental Health
     DCFS Defense

The online form on our website is an easy way to contact our office about your special education, family law or juvenile law matter. We'll respond quickly and schedule a consultation as soon as possible. Or, call 312-640-0500 and ask for Micki Moran.

When I opened the doors of my office over two decades ago it was inconceivable that autism would not remain a rare disorder. Now, 1 in 59 children are diagnosed with autism. Many of the families that I represent are impacted in profound ways by their child's autism diagnosis. They seek out help for their young children, teens and adults to navigate the education system, the juvenile justice system and the world beyond high school. There is still a scarcity of resources and no cookie cutter solution. Parents shouldn't have to fight so hard to get help. Yet they do. That is the mission of my practice both in the beginning and now. We advocate to provide the needed supports in multiple settings for our clients. Thank you for your continued faith and trust.


SPECIAL EDUCATION: Top 20 Tips for Getting the IEP your Child Needs

  1. Start with data. What is your child able to do? Accurate, data driven, present levels of performance are essential.
  2. Evaluations. (current and comprehensive)
  3. Develop an Agenda for the IEP meeting. Circulate this in advance.
  4. Get organized.
  5. Be clear and concise in your discussions with the school.
  6. Remain calm and respectful. It is easier to dismiss an angry or emotional parent.
  7. Request draft goals in advance. (at least 5 days before the meeting)
  8. Request (insist) on getting copies of any evaluations prior to the meeting.
  9. If you have a private evaluation this also should be shared with the school personnel (at least 5 days before the IEP meeting).
Responding to DCFS

What to do if The Department of Children and Family Service "DCFS" Calls or Shows up

In my experience this is a call that causes panic in even the calmest among us. Visions of their children taken from their homes and the notion that some harm has been caused and that the parent is being accused of some wrong doing makes families feel exposed and scared.
Here are some frequently asked questions that may help in advising clients or when you are confronted with a call from a DCFS worker. This list is not exhaustive and is not intended as legal advice. Every situation is different.

*Call an attorney for advice prior to speaking to DCFS*

Can I refuse to talk to DCFS or refuse to allow my children to be interviewed?
Yes. However, this refusal will be used against you. DCFS may then determine that they should interview your children at school or take even more serious steps. If the police are involved and there is a criminal investigation, you should absolutely consult an attorney before speaking to DCFS.

If you are a parent or a mandated reporter under Illinois law, please feel free to contact our office for a consultation regarding your legal rights regarding DCFS investigations and reporting.

Family Law/Divorce

In February a bill that has been widely opposed by many family law organizations including the Illinois State Bar Association has been reintroduced in the state legislature. HB 185 would amend the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act to mandate a rebuttable presumption in favor of equal parenting time in every family law case.
Parents could by agreement present a written parenting plan that would allow a deviation from this presumption if this were approved by the court. The court would be required to issue a written decision stating its specific findings of facts and conclusions of law in support of its ruling.
HB 185 ignores the best interest of the children standard in favor of a rigid formula regardless of the needs of the children or the family.
While both parents' involvement in a child's life is very important, many of the children and families I represent are those where the child has a disability. Often although not always, these kids struggle with transitions. They can't manage a 50/50 split of parenting time. These issues cannot be ignored in a consideration of a parenting plan. Every family is unique .While a formulaic response may provide what appears to be a straightforward solution, any parenting plan must be based upon the best interests of the children.
The bill fails to consider the many complexities involved when children have a disability, particularly educational concerns regarding the residence, transportation, decision making.

Selected Bibliography for Children and Divorce

Two Homes
by Claire Masurel
Dinosaurs Divorce by Lauren Krasny Brown and Marc Brown
My Family's Changing by Pat Thomas
The Invisible String by Patrice Karst
It's Not Your Fault, Koko Bear by Vicki Lansky
I Don't Want to Talk About It, by Jeanie Franz Ransom
What Can I Do? A Book for Children of Divorce by Danielle Lowry


Getting Ready for your IEP Meeting or Annual Review: 
Tips for getting your child what they need

Wednesday, April 10, 2019, 6:30-7:00 p.m.

Presented by Micki Moran, J.D., this webinar will cover the following:
  • Developing an agenda
  • Present levels of performance and why they matter
  • Research based interventions
  • Data driven IEP goals
  • Evaluations
  • Functional behavior analysis and the behavior plan
  • Related services
  • Moving away from the one-size-fits-all model
  • Parent/School communication
  • Accommodations
  • Extended School Year
  • Transition

May Webinar:

Transition Planning: Advocacy Tips for Getting Your Child Prepared for Life After School 

Wednesday, May 8, 2019, 6:30 p.m.


Micki Moran
The Child & Family Law Center of the North Shore
A Division of Grund & Leavitt, P.C.
600 Central Avenue, Suite 248
Highland Park, IL 60035
Phone 312-640-0500
Fax 847-681-1295