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Plainfield, IL family law attorney marriage invalidation

Illinois Family Law extends beyond divorce to encompass both annulment and prohibited marriage. Depending on the circumstances of your marriage, these laws may apply to you instead of general Illinois divorce laws. Even if you know what laws apply to you, family law is a complicated subject, so you should ease the stress of separation by finding highly qualified legal representation from a family law attorney in your area.

750 ILCS - Marriage Invalidation

In Illinois, family law does not include the term ‘annulment’ any longer. Instead, you will see and hear that marriages are ‘invalidated.’ If you or your spouse wishes to annul your marriage, one of you must submit a declaration of invalidity. To successfully invalidate your marriage, you must prove that:

  • A party, due to mental incapacity or because of the influence of drugs, lacked the capacity to consent and was forced into marriage by fraud

  • A party does not have the physical capacity to consummate the marriage by sexual intercourse and the other party was not aware of this

  • A party lacked approval from a parent, guardian, or judicial approval and he or she was 16 or 17 years old

  • The marriage is prohibited  

The petitioner must also request that his or her marriage be declared invalid within 90 days after learning of any of the conditions described above. The party does not have to directly claim that the marriage is invalid. Instead, his or her legal representation can claim it instead. 

The fourth condition that would invalidate a marriage, that the marriage in question is prohibited, applies to several situations:

  • Any marriage entered into while a party was still part of a legal relationship such as an earlier marriage or civil union

  • Any marriage between family, whether “the relationship is by the half or the whole blood or by adoption”

  • Marriages between uncles/nieces and aunts/nephews 

  • Marriages between first cousins

However, marriage between first cousins is not prohibited if both parties are 50 years old or older, or if one party files a certificate stating that he or she is “irreversibly sterile.”

Contact a Plainfield, IL Family Law Attorney

Family law cases involving marriage invalidation can produce a considerable amount of conflict depending on the circumstances. To help prevent feeling overwhelmed and to pursue an outcome that is favorable to you, reach out to a Will County family law and divorce lawyer at The Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C. We will put our experience representing clients in all manner of Illinois law to provide you with thorough and empathetic representation. To schedule your free consultation and learn more, call our Joliet office today at 815-666-1285 or our Plainfield office at 815-733-5350.




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Plainfield, IL criminal defense attorney weapons charges

Although firearms dealers must abide by federal regulations, Illinois recently implemented legislation that requires dealers to attain licensing through the State of Illinois. If you own weapons, you should stay up-to-date on any changes in gun laws so that you avoid any charges for unlawful possession or use of a gun in the future. If you do face weapons charges, whatever the circumstances, speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as soon as possible to make sure your rights are protected.

2019 Illinois Firearms Dealers Licensing Legislation

Only a few days into J.B. Pritzker’s tenure as governor, he and his administration passed legislation that would require weapons dealers and retailers to attain additional licensing and certification from the State of Illinois. Governor Pritzker expressed a wish that this legislation would be the first in an ongoing campaign to establish stricter gun control in Illinois. 

Although some supporters of gun control suggested this law in the past, others viewed it just as unnecessary bureaucracy that would not affect gun violence in Illinois. However, Pritzker’s administration passed it because many people agree that federal regulators do not have the resources to keep tabs on every firearms dealer in the country as much as they wish they could. With State licensing, Illinois agencies can fill in some gaps and keep a closer eye on firearms dealers to prevent illegal sales and straw man purchases. The latter involves when someone who can legally purchase a firearm does so for someone who cannot. This is a significant cause for illegal possession and use of guns.

For firearms dealers to get the necessary State certifications, they must first be licensed by the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. This was always the case, but now, dealers must submit a copy of this license to the Illinois State Police and pay no more than $1,500 for certification. To qualify for a State certification, retailers must equip their store with anti-theft measures, surveillance equipment, and an electronic inventory to help track purchases.

Contact a Will County Criminal Defense Lawyer

The penalties for unlawful possession or use of a weapon are strict in Illinois. For that reason, you need to prepare a rigorous defense to contest these serious charges. At the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C., we have years of experience representing clients in Illinois, and we will aggressively fight to have your charges diminished or eliminated altogether. To schedule a free consultation with our accomplished Joliet, IL criminal defense attorney, call our office today at 815-666-1285.




Plainfield, IL driver's license reinstatement attorney

If your Illinois driver’s license was suspended or revoked, you will have to attend some form of Secretary of State hearing to have it reinstated. How you prepare for that hearing and whether it will be formal or informal depends on the reason you lost your license, all of which we will explain below. If you are worried about the reinstatement process, do not panic: With the help of an attorney skilled in Secretary of State representation, you can move through the hearing process smoothly.

Formal and Informal Driver’s License Reinstatement Hearings

To reinstate your license, you will need to schedule a Secretary of State hearing. There are two types of reinstatement hearings: formal and informal. You will need a formal hearing if your license was suspended or revoked because of a traffic offense involving a fatality or multiple DUIs on your record. If your revocation did not involve a fatality, if you do not have sanctions related to lesser moving violations on your record, and if you do not have any DUIs, you can schedule an informal hearing.

To request a formal hearing, you must first submit a Formal Hearing Request form with a non-refundable $50 fee. You can be represented by your attorney and will need to answer between 80 and 100 questions before receiving a verdict. If you fail to appear for your scheduled court date, you will have to wait at least 90 days before scheduling another hearing. However, if you cancel a hearing at least five days in advance, you will not be issued a waiting period.

Informal hearings are much more lenient. They are held on a walk-in basis. Depending on the outcome, you may be issued either a restricted driving permit or full driving privileges. 

Contact a Joliet, IL Driver’s License Reinstatement Attorney

Losing your primary means of transportation when your license is suspended or revoked is stressful and painful, but if you approach your reinstatement hearing calmly and are thoroughly prepared, you can hopefully be back on the road in no time. To make the reinstatement process proceed smoothly, seek the guidance of a Will County Secretary of State representation lawyer. At The Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C., we strive to provide exceptional representation for our clients in all manner of Illinois law. To schedule a free consultation, call either our Joliet office at 815-666-1285 or our Plainfield office today at 815-733-5350. 




Plainfield, IL criminal defense attorney domestic abuse

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, domestic violence incidents have been on the rise. In some areas of the United States, domestic abuse crime reports have risen as much as 25 percent. Domestic violence is taken seriously in Illinois, with stiff penalties for those convicted of this type of crime. Although false allegations are rare, you should be ready to aggressively defend yourself in court if you face them. Work with an accomplished domestic violence attorney to develop a thorough understanding of Illinois domestic violence law and build your case. 

Why Would Someone Make False Allegations of Domestic Violence?

First, it is vital to understand who can make domestic violence claims in Illinois. This includes “family members, spouses or ex-spouses, people who share a residence, people who have a child in common, people who are dating or used to date, and people with disabilities and their personal assistants.” Domestic violence is not limited to the nuclear family. Many people are capable of making domestic violence allegations that you should treat seriously.

Accusing someone of domestic abuse is a serious action. Still, some people will feel compelled to do so in some common situations. For instance, a spouse who is desperate to win full parenting rights during a divorce might falsely accuse their spouse of domestic abuse. Similarly, spouses or family members might make false accusations to gain property or assets.

Punishment for Domestic Violence

Even if you are innocent, you are still subject to harsh punishment if you are convicted of domestic violence on false claims. If allegations include children, sexual assault, or the possession of a weapon, you could be subject to a class 4 felony. This could amount to six years in prison, so there is a lot on the line when you are falsely accused of domestic violence. If you already have a criminal history, a judge may extend this punishment. A low-level domestic battery charge is categorized as a Class A misdemeanor, including up to one year in prison, probation, a fine, and potential counseling. 

Defending Against False Allegations of Domestic Violence 

Before understanding how to proceed with your defense, it is essential to comprehend Illinois law’s definition of domestic violence so you know whether the claims made against you could lead to charges or not. For example, it is common for people to assume that domestic abuse is purely physical. Illinois law also includes mental and emotional abuse as a punishable offense. Whether the accusations you face are true or false, an attorney can help you see clearly and understand how to move forward with your defense. 

Contact a Will County Criminal Defense Lawyer

Domestic violence carries heavy punishment, so you should take any false allegations very seriously. At The Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C., we will use our extensive experience defending clients against domestic violence claims to build your case. Call our Joliet office at 815-666-1285 or our Plainfield office at 815-733-5350 to schedule your free consultation with a Plainfield, IL domestic violence attorney.




Joliet, IL divorce attorney division of assets

Although you can make many settlements in a divorce decree such as child support, alimony, and custody, a settlement on the division of assets that includes retirement accounts does not guarantee that the spouse without a retirement account of his or her own will get the payments that he or she is owed. If your spouse was the primary breadwinner and you are trying to ensure that you receive payments from his or her retirement account, you will need a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO, pronounced “quad row”) to make their employer pay you what you are owed. 

Understanding a QDRO

Even if your divorce agreement provides you with a particular portion of your spouse's retirement funds, you may experience some setbacks without a QDRO. For instance, withdrawing funds from a spouse’s retirement account without the protection of a QDRO could result in penalties. You should plan to draft a QDRO in most cases, but if your spouse’s retirement account is not IRS tax-qualified and covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, a QDRO is not applicable. Military and government pensions are not IRS tax-qualified, so a QDRO will serve you no purpose in that case. 

How Do I Get a QDRO in Illinois?

Part of why a QDRO can help guarantee that a retirement plan provider complies with your marital separation agreement is that the retirement plan’s plan administrator will be involved during the drafting process. In many instances, your spouse’s retirement plan provider will have standard QDRO forms. If the provisions you need to state are highly detailed and your stakes in your spouse’s retirement plan are significant, you may want to create a QDRO of your own. In either case, working with a skilled divorce attorney will help protect your rights to your fair share.

If your spouse has a defined contribution plan like a 401k, it will be relatively simple for your attorney to determine how those assets should be divided. Pensions and other defined benefit plans are difficult to divide because your attorney will probably need to discover your share of the assets with an actuary’s help. 

Note that retirement assets are treated like other assets: There will be a distinction between marital and non-marital assets. For example, the funds with which your spouse entered your marriage may be considered non-marital property, and they may not be subject to division. 

The timing, frequency, and quantity of your payments will depend on your spouse’s retirement plan’s nature. Either the plan provider or your attorney can help you make sense of the details in your case.

Contact a Plainfield, IL Asset Division Lawyer

Dividing assets during divorce can be complicated depending on the amount of savings and the type of plan. Still, you can better understand how your and your spouse’s retirement assets will be distributed with the help of a Will County divorce attorney. At the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C., we pride ourselves on the years of experience we have in helping our clients fight for their fair share of the marital assets during a divorce. To learn more about how we can help you, call our Joliet office at 815-666-1285 or our Plainfield office at 815-733-5350 to schedule your free consultation.



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