Plainfield divorce QDRO attorneyWhen dividing property during divorce, issues involving assets such as retirement plans or pensions can be difficult to resolve. In many cases, it is necessary to use a QDRO (Qualified Domestic Relations Order) to distribute the funds in these accounts or plans. According to the IRS, a QDRO is a “judgment, decree or order for a retirement plan to pay child support, alimony or marital property rights to a spouse, former spouse, child, or other dependent of a participant.”

Why Is a QDRO needed?

In many cases, retirement plans or pensions may be some of the most valuable assets owned by married spouses. Therefore, when it comes time to divide marital property, the funds in these accounts or the payments from pension plans may need to be split between spouses. While a divorce decree may state that a former spouse should be awarded part of the other’s retirement fund, it is not official unless there is a QDRO in place. In addition, a QDRO allows funds to be withdrawn and distributed from a retirement account (such as a 401(k) or IRA) without incurring taxes or penalties. In order to obtain a QDRO, you should contact an experienced attorney who can help you determine the documents needed in order to ensure that funds are distributed fairly.

When Should a QDRO Be Filed?

Although a QDRO can be filed after a divorce has been finalized, it is better if it is filed prior to the divorce decree being issued. Otherwise, if the plan participant retires, and payments are distributed, the QDRO will only pertain to future payments, which means money lost by the other party. Another possibility is that if the plan participant remarries, the next spouse could file their own QDRO and, again, the first divorcing party may be shorted funds. Therefore, in order to ensure the highest benefits possible, the recipient will need to get the QDRO filed as soon as possible, and it is best to do so early on in the divorce process.

Finding Hidden Assets

In some cases, a spouse may try to hide his or her retirement assets or avoid disclosing the balance of accounts. Therefore, it will be helpful to contact the provider of the plan directly. An experienced attorney can assist you in finding the needed information and ensuring that the correct monetary amounts are properly divided during divorce.

Contact a Joliet QDRO Attorney to Ensure You Are Getting Your Fair Share

QDROs, divorce decrees, and retirement plans can all be confusing. At Tedone & Morton, P.C., we can help ease your stress during the divorce process. Our experienced Plainfield divorce attorneys can sort through the numbers and paperwork for you and ensure that your marital assets are divided properly. Call 815-733-5350 to set up a free consultation today.


Posted in Division of Property in Illinois, Divorce | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Will County DUI defense attorneyWith hundreds of drunk driving-related deaths and thousands of DUI-related arrests per year in Illinois alone, it is easy to see why DUIs are taken seriously in this state. If you have been pulled over and charged with driving under the influence, your best bet is to seek legal counsel immediately. An experienced DUI attorney can help you figure out your best options for beating the charge or assist you in reducing the charges if you cannot avoid prosecution altogether.

A Few Facts About Driving Under the Influence

  • In Illinois, anyone driving a regular car, truck, motorcycle, or other motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) at 0.08 or above is considered to be driving under the influence.
  • For commercial drivers, the legal limit is 0.04.
  • Illinois law states that there is “zero tolerance” for minors under the age of 21 and school bus drivers, meaning it is illegal to have any alcohol at all in their systems while driving.
  • People can also be charged for driving watercrafts and snowmobiles while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • First offenders may face less severe charges than those with previous DUI convictions.
  • DUI resulting in injury or death will result in greater punishment than a DUI without harm done to others.

What Kinds of Penalties Will I Face for DUI?

A first or second DUI can result in up to a year in jail and fines of as much as $2,500. Your driver’s license may be revoked for at least one year (or two years or more if you are under age 21) for the first DUI and five or more years for a second DUI. A third DUI brings a minimum of 10 years without a license, three to seven years in jail, and up to a $25,000 fine, along with mandatory community service. If you have more than three DUI convictions, you may lose your license for life. You may be facing up to 14 years in prison for a DUI resulting in a death, or up to 28 years if there is more than one fatality.

In addition to legal costs, if your DUI incident involved property damage, injury, or death, you will likely be required to provide reimbursement for repairs or property replacement, medical bills, and much more. By working with an attorney, you can understand what you are facing and how to best handle the situation from a legal standpoint.

Contact a Joliet Attorney to Fight Your DUI Charges

Do not leave your drunk driving case to fate, or it may end up affecting every aspect of your life. If you have been arrested for DUI, do not hesitate to contact a Will County DUI defense attorney. Call 815-666-1285 to set up a free consultation today and learn about your options for defense.


Posted in Drunk Driving in Illinois, DUI | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Joliet car crash attorneysIllinois state law requires that truck loads be secured in a safe fashion to reduce the risk of debris injuries among other road users. Federal regulations that govern the trucking industry have this same requirement – but not all loads are carried by federally regulated vehicles. Anyone can haul a load of furniture or a dishwasher across town, and if they fail to secure it properly, it can lead to devastating injuries for other road users.

Unsecured Load Accidents Extremely Common in the United States

According to statistics from the American Automobile Association (AAA), truck debris was a factor in more than 200,000 crashes over a four-year period. Two-thirds of those accidents were involving improperly secured loads. That is just for the federally registered vehicles on the road.

Pickup trucks, vans, suburbans, and cargo vehicles carry unsecured loads as well.

Statistical information may not be available for these types of accidents, but the rate is undoubtedly higher among them. Drivers of these vehicles may get a ticket for an unsecured load, but they are not at risk for losing their right to drive. They also lack the same training as federal truck drivers, so they may not even know how to properly secure a load.

Injuries Caused by Unsecured Load Accidents 

If you have ever had a rock hit your windshield, you know the force that an object can have when it hits your windshield at high speed. Now, imagine a trash can flying out of the truck in front of you. What is your first reaction? Most people will attempt to swerve. If you are lucky, there are no vehicles around you and you avoid the truck.

Sadly, this best-case scenario does not always occur. Some parties crash into the vehicles around them. Others do not manage to avoid the falling debris, so it makes impact with their vehicle. Sometimes, the force is so great, the object goes through the windshield and into the cab of the vehicle. In short, there are numerous injuries that one may sustain in an accident involving an unsecured load, such as:

  • Traumatic brain injury,
  • Lacerations and abrasions,
  • Broken bones,
  • Facial fractures or disfigurement,
  • Impalement,
  • Soft tissue injuries (including whiplash),
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder,
  • Amputation or dismemberment,
  • Spinal injuries, and
  • Death or permanent disability.

The one thing that these injuries all have in common is that they create a substantial loss for the victim. Perhaps they are injured to the point that they are no longer able to work, and as a result, their family faces a financial hardship. Maybe the party suffers a severe mental health injury and can no longer drive their own vehicle, and as a result, they have had to completely change their career. Then there are the lost days at work, the cost of medical treatment, and the burial costs when a wrongful death occurs. All these losses – as well as many others – are often compensable.

Contact Our Joliet Unsecured Load Injury Lawyers 

Unsecured load accident victims deserve an advocate that is willing to fight for the most favorable settlement possible. Seasoned and experienced, the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C. are the ones to trust. Call 815-666-1285 to schedule a free consultation with our Plainfield, IL cargo accident lawyers today.



Posted in Catastrophic Injuries | Tagged , , , ,