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Plainfield, IL divorce attorney property division

One of the most important matters that must be resolved in a divorce is the distribution of marital property. When a couple marries, they typically combine their finances – either intentionally or unintentionally. Undoing this financial entanglement is often complex. Spouses may not even be aware of what their property rights are during a divorce. This is why it is important to consult with an experienced divorce attorney if you are legally ending your marriage in Illinois.

Dividing Property Using an Agreement Between the Spouses

You and your spouse can decide how you want to divide your assets without court intervention. You will first need to make a full accounting of all of your assets and debts. You can then negotiate an arrangement for dividing the debts and assets on your own, with help from your respective attorneys, or through an alternative resolution method like mediation. In order for this strategy to work, each spouse must be completely honest about his or her finances. If a spouse hides assets or lies about financial information, the negotiations will be pointless and any arrangement that is decided will be based on false information.

Property Division Through the Courts

If you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement about the division of property, the court will intervene. Illinois courts make property division decisions based on a series of factors that are listed in Illinois law. These factors include but are not limited to:

  • Each spouse’s contributions to the marital estate

  • Non-financial contributions made by a spouse

  • Each spouse’s financial circumstances including his or her employment, income, debts, and more

  • Each spouse’s education, training, employability, and future earning capacity

  • The duration of the marriage

  • Child custody arrangements

  • Any prior agreements such as prenuptial agreements

  • Whether the court will award spousal maintenance to a spouse

  • The tax implications of property division

Illinois adheres to a legal doctrine called equitable distribution when dividing property during a divorce. Only marital property that is acquired during the marriage is divided. Separate or nonmarital property is assigned to the original owner. The amount of property that each spouse receives is equitable, or fair, but it is not always exactly equal.

Contact a Will County Property Division Lawyer

Regardless of where you are in the divorce process, a Joliet, IL divorce attorney from the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C. can help. Our team has helped countless divorcing spouses understand their rights and responsibilities when it comes to property distribution. We can help you negotiate a property division arrangement, investigate concerns about hidden assets, and, if needed, represent you in court. Call us at our Joliet office at 815-666-1285 or the Plainfield office at 815-733-5350. Schedule a free consultation today.



Plainfield, IL criminal defense attorney drug possession

Few substances have been more hotly debated than marijuana or cannabis. Some believe that this plant-derived drug offers substantial medicinal benefits while others consider it to be a dangerous gateway drug. The laws governing the manufacture, sale, and consumption of marijuana are constantly changing. As of January 2020, the possession and use of recreational or medical marijuana are legal in Illinois for residents over age 21. However, Illinois residents are still subject to many marijuana-related restrictions. Violating these restrictions can lead to serious drug charges.   

Possession of More Than 30 Grams May Be a Misdemeanor or Felony Offense

Adults 21 and older are permitted to possess up to 30 grams or just over one ounce of marijuana flower and up to 5 grams of concentrated marijuana. Visitors to Illinois may possess half of these amounts. Many Illinois residents do not realize that although recreational marijuana is now legal in Illinois, there are still many ways in which the substance can lead to criminal charges.

Possession of 30 – 100 grams of marijuana is a misdemeanor offense punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of $2,500. If an individual is caught with more than 30 grams of marijuana a second time, the offense is a felony punishable by up to three years of imprisonment and a maximum fine of $25,000. Possession of 100-500 grams of cannabis is also a felony offense punishable by up to $25,000 in fines and three years in prison. The greater the amount of marijuana possessed, the harsher the punishments. Possession of more than 5,000 grams or the sale or trafficking of large amounts of cannabis is punishable by upward of a decade in prison.

Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana

THC-containing products such as cannabis flower or cannabis-infused foods have been found to significantly worsen a user’s balance, coordination, and reaction time. Memory problems and impaired judgment are also common side effects of cannabis use. Consequently, it is unlawful to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of cannabis. If a police officer suspects a driver of being under the influence of marijuana, he or she may ask the driver to complete a field sobriety test. Once the driver is arrested, he or she may be asked to submit to chemical testing of his or her urine, breath, or blood. If the driver has more than 5 nanograms of THC in his or her system, he or she may be charged with driving under the influence (DUI).

Contact a Joliet, IL Drug Crimes Defense Lawyer

If you or a loved one were charged with a criminal offense related to marijuana, do not take these charges lightly. Although the drug has been legalized in Illinois, there are still many ways that the possession, use, manufacture, or sale of the drug can lead to criminal consequences. Contact one of the highly skilled Plainfield, IL criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C. for help building a strong defense against marijuana charges. Schedule your free, confidential initial consultation by calling our Joliet office at 815-666-1285 or our Plainfield office today at 815-733-5350.



Plainfield, IL family law attorney prenuptial agreement

Prenuptial agreements or “prenups” are often misunderstood. Some people assume that only the rich and famous can benefit from prenuptial agreements. Some even falsely believe that signing a prenup is a sure sign that the marriage will fail. Fortunately, the misconceptions surrounding prenuptial agreements and other types of marital agreements are slowly being replaced by facts. More and more individuals – especially young people – are choosing to sign prenups before tying the knot. 

Opening Up a Dialogue About Finances Before the Wedding

It is no secret that financial conflicts are common during a marriage. Many married couples report that disagreements about money are the source of most of their arguments. When you create a prenuptial agreement, you and your soon-to-be-spouse will disclose your assets, debts, income, and expenses. You will have the opportunity to discuss how these assets and debts should be managed during the marriage as well as what should happen if a spouse passes away or you get divorced. These discussions are not always pleasant, but being transparent about financial issues before getting married can help prevent future financial concerns from souring an otherwise happy marriage. 

Establishing Each Party’s Property Rights and Protection from Debt

In Illinois, property that is acquired during the marriage is marital property, and property acquired by a spouse before the marriage is considered separate or non-marital property. In a divorce, only marital property is subject to division. However, determining what property is marital and what is non-marital is much harder than it looks. Your prenuptial agreement will allow you to decide what property belongs to an individual spouse and what property belongs to the marital estate. A prenup also allows you to designate which spouse is responsible for which debts. If a party incurred any debt before even meeting his or her future spouse, it is only fair that the party who accumulated the debt is responsible for repayment.

Improving Estate Planning or Divorce Proceedings

The main goal of prenuptial agreements is to determine how divorce issues such as asset division or spousal maintenance should be handled if the marriage ends. Having a prenuptial agreement in place typically makes the divorce process go much smoother. However, a prenup offers many benefits outside of divorce. For example, prenups can be very useful for estate planning purposes – especially if a spouse is on his or her second marriage or has children outside of the marriage. Many individuals use prenuptial agreements to ensure that certain family heirlooms are passed down to children or grandchildren upon their death.

Contact a Joliet, IL Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer

Although most couples who get married expect to spend the rest of their lives together, planning for the unknown can help protect your rights. If you have questions about prenuptial agreements or are ready to get started on drafting your prenup, contact a knowledgeable Will County family law attorney from The Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C. Call us today at 815-666-1285 to schedule a confidential consultation.



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Joliet, IL divorce attorney child custody

If you are a parent who is thinking about ending your marriage, you probably have questions about child custody. In 2016, considerable changes to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act went into effect. Illinois has replaced the somewhat antiquated concept of child custody in favor of a more modernized approach. “Parental responsibilities” refers to the authority a parent has to make major decisions about his or her child, such as where the child will attend school. “Parenting time” refers to the time a parent spends caring for his or her child. Divorcing parents in Illinois are encouraged to make their own decisions about how to divide parental responsibilities and parenting time. If the parents are unable to reach a decision, the court may intervene and make a decision on their behalf.

Reaching an Agreement About Your Parenting Plan

The decisions you and your child’s other parent make about parental responsibilities and parenting time are written in your “parenting plan” or “parenting agreement.” Parents have 120 days after filing for divorce to submit a parenting plan. You will need to decide when the child will live with each parent, how the child will be transported between houses, and how major decisions about the child’s life will be made. Your parenting plan also includes information about issues that may arise in the future such as a parent relocating to a new residence or asking to modify the terms of the parenting plan.

Many divorcing parents struggle to reach an agreement about the terms of their parenting plan. A family law attorney can help you and your spouse negotiate the unresolved issues and find common ground. He or she may also be able to help you consider alternatives that you may not have even been aware of. Mediation is another way that many divorcing couples are able to reach an agreement about parenting issues.

Courtroom Litigation

If parents are not able to agree on the terms of the parenting plan, the case may go to trial. Illinois courts make child custody decisions based on what is in the child’s best interests. When deciding on a parenting plan, courts will consider:

  • Each parent’s wishes regarding parental responsibilities and parenting time

  • Each parent’s health and well-being

  • The child’s adjustment to his or her school and community

  • Any past instances of domestic violence or abuse

  • The child’s wishes

  • Several other relevant factors

Contact a Plainfield, IL Family Law Attorney  

If you are getting divorced and you need help with child custody concerns, contact the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C. We can assist in all divorce matters, including parenting plan negotiations, or if needed, represent you in court during your child custody dispute. Schedule a free, confidential consultation with our experienced Will County divorce lawyers by calling us today at 815-733-5350.



Plainfield, IL criminal defense attorney drivers license reinstatement

The Illinois Secretary of State is authorized to suspend or revoke a person’s driver’s license as punishment for several different offenses. You may have lost your license after you were arrested or convicted for driving under the influence (DUI), leaving the scene of an accident, street racing, or for many other reasons. Continuing to drive after your license has been suspended or on a revoked license is a criminal offense in Illinois. In order to regain your driving privileges after a license suspension or revocation, you may need to attend an informal or formal Secretary of State hearing.

Informal Hearings

If you lost your license after a first-time DUI, a lesser moving violation, or an offense not involving a fatality, you may only need to attend an informal hearing. Informal hearings are conducted on a walk-in basis, so no appointment is necessary. You will meet with a Secretary of State hearing officer at a Driver Services facility. The hearing office will likely ask you questions about:

  • Your driving record and criminal history

  • The circumstances that led to the suspension or revocation

  • The reasons you are requesting driver’s license reinstatement

  • How you will avoid driving under the influence or otherwise violating Illinois law in the future

You may need to provide evidence of any drug and alcohol programs you have attended, character references, and other information. The hearing officer will use this evidence and your statements to make a recommendation to the Secretary of State about restoring your driving privileges. A license reinstatement attorney can help you prepare for your informal hearing or even attend the hearing with you.  

Formal Hearings

If your license was revoked because of a second or subsequent DUI or a traffic offense resulting in death, you will need to attend a formal hearing. Formal hearings are similar to court trials and must be scheduled in advance. They take place at one of four Secretary of State facilities in Illinois. A hearing officer as well as an attorney for the Secretary of State will attend the hearing. You will be placed under oath and asked a series of questions about the circumstances of your license revocation, your drug and alcohol use, and what you have done to avoid unsafe driving in the future. You will need to demonstrate that you have met the conditions of license reinstatement and will not re-offend. Depending on your risk classification, you may need to complete a DUI Risk Education Course, participate in an Early Intervention Program, and/or attend a substance abuse treatment program in order to qualify for license reinstatement. Your attorney can help you understand the steps you must take to qualify for license reinstatement and represent you throughout the license reinstatement process.

Contact a Plainfield, IL Driver’s License Reinstatement Attorney

Losing your driver’s license can make it difficult to get to and from work, transport children, or complete everyday responsibilities. For help reinstating your license, contact The Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C. We will assist you during the informal or formal hearing process. Schedule a free consultation with our accomplished Will County criminal defense lawyers by calling us today at 815-733-5350.



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