Mr. Estes acted as trial counsel and argued for an approximate equal division of parenting time for a client’s minor child. In the case, he argued the “parent alienation” theory, and the Second District Appellate Court affirmed it as only one of two (2) cited cases in Illinois affirming the theory. Additionally, the Illinois Legislature enacted a provision pursuant 604.5 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act to appoint an independent custody evaluation with respect to a request for an Illinois Supreme Court Rule 215 Evaluation.
Mr. Estes also acted as trial counsel for a seventy (70) year old biological father who sought and was awarded sole custody of his five (5) year old son. The mother had concealed the existence of said child and the father had, thus, never had a relationship with his son. The mother filed numerous appeals, and the appeals were dismissed. The Second District Appellate Court denied one such request for filing a late appeal as well.
In his family law practice, Mr. Estes successfully vacated several Judgments for Dissolution of Marriage in DuPage County which involved fraud, unconscionability and coercion of spouses to divorce. One such case involved Mr. Estes persuading the trial court to vacate a child custody award for three (3) children. Custody was ultimately awarded to the mother.
Family law cases often involve challenging issues. As trial counsel, Mr. Estes represented a parent seeking custody of the children when the other parent engaged in or demonstrated interest in sexual deviant behaviors. Mr. Estes was also trial counsel for several custody cases involving parentage and dissolution proceedings in which sole custody of minors was ultimately awarded to his clients.
Mr. Estes successfully traced assets which were determined to be the non-marital property of the spouse who asserted the claim. In other cases, Mr. Estes has worked for grandparents seeking custody of minor children and was ultimately successful in securing them custody. Mr. Estes has also tried, prosecuted, and defended Petitions for Order of Protection for many clients.
Other verdicts Mr. Estes tried successfully include the successful prosecution of the neighbor of a six (6) year old child who had a criminal charge of aggravated sexual abuse brought against them. The defendant was sentence to incarceration. Mr. Estes is adept at advocating in complex visitation and custody cases, and complicated financial issues in order to achieve a successful outcome in negotiated settlements and litigation.
- Illinois, 1987
- Southern Illinois University, 1987
- University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, 1983
- M.A., International Relations
- University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, 1981
- B.A., Political Science
Professional Associations and Memberships:
- Eagle Nature Foundation
- Board of Directors
Past Employment Positions:
- DuPage County, Illinois, 1989-1993
- Associate States Attorney
- Guerard, Kalina, Ulrich, & Varchetto, 1987-1989
- Associate Attorney
- Fourth District Appellate Prosecutor’s Office, 1985
- U.S. Senate Candidate Paul Simon
- Southern Illinois Campaign Coordinator for U.S. Senate (26 counties)