Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C.

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IL family lawyerDid you know that the total cost of raising a child to adulthood is estimated at over a quarter of a million dollars? Covering housing, food, and other costs without help from the child’s other parent can be extremely difficult if not impossible. Parents have not only an ethical responsibility but also a legal responsibility to financially support their children. Child support is the mechanism through which parents share child-related costs in Illinois. Read on to learn what you can do if your ex is not paying child support.

Establish a Child Support Court Order

Some parents assume that they do not need a formal child support court order, so they make a casual arrangement with the other parent. Perhaps your child’s other parent was giving you funds to help pay for housing or childcare on a weekly or monthly basis but has suddenly stopped. Unfortunately, the court cannot enforce a handshake child support agreement.

The best way to ensure that and your child will get the financial assistance you need is to petition the court for a child support order. If your child’s father is not providing financial support, he is not on the child’s birth certificate, you must establish paternity before you can ask for a child support order. Paternity may be established in one of three ways in Illinois:

  • You and the father sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) form
  • You obtain an Administrative Paternity Order through the Illinois Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) Division of Child Support Services
  • You obtain an Order of Paternity through the court system

Enforcing Child Support When You Have a Court Order

If your child’s other parent is subject to a child support order but is refusing to pay, you will need to take steps to enforce the order. The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services has the authority to collect child support from a non-paying parent by placing a lien or the parent’s bank account, intercepting the parent’s tax refund, collecting from unemployment benefits, and through other means. You may also enforce a child support order through the courts. The parent may have his or her wages garnished or even be held in contempt of court.

Contact a Will County Child Support Lawyer

If you need to establish paternity, petition the court for a child support order, or force a non-paying parent to pay his or her fair share of child support, a Plainfield child support attorney can help. Call the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C. at 815-733-5350 for a free consultation. Our Joliet office can be reached at 815-666-1285.



Plainfield, IL criminal defense attorney DUI

The act of drinking and driving is taken seriously by Illinois courts. As a result, the penalties for driving under the influence (DUI) include both administrative and criminal consequences. A first or second DUI is typically a misdemeanor offense in Illinois. While a misdemeanor conviction will still result in heavy fines, a driver’s license suspension of one year, and possibly jail time, felony DUI is punished much more harshly. A third or subsequent conviction for drunk driving or DUI involving certain aggravating factors is considered a felony offense in Illinois. If you are convicted of felony DUI, you could face years in prison and other life-changing consequences.

Receiving a Third, Fourth, or Fifth DUI Conviction

First and second DUIs are typically misdemeanor offenses in Illinois. Many individuals can avoid significant jail time and eventually regain their driving privileges after a first or second DUI. However, if a driver is convicted of driving under the influence for the third time, the penalties increase significantly. A third DUI is a Class 2 felony “aggravated DUI” punishable by three to seven years of imprisonment, a maximum fine of $25,000, and a 10-year driver’s license suspension. A fourth DUI is also punishable by three to seven years in prison and the offense is non-probational. A fifth DUI is a non-probational Class 1 felony punishable by a maximum prison sentence of 15 years. Fourth or fifth DUI convictions also result in a lifetime suspension of the offender’s driving privileges.

DUI Involving Aggravating Factors

There are several situations in which a first-time DUI is a felony offense in Illinois. A DUI may be classified as a felony if certain aggravating circumstances are present. Driving a school bus under the influence, DUI resulting in serious bodily harm, DUI with a suspended or revoked license, and driving under the influence without auto insurance are all Class 4 felonies in Illinois. DUI resulting in death and a second DUI with a passenger under 16 are both Class 2 felonies. If you are convicted of aggravated DUI, you face significant jail time and other consequences that have the potential to radically change your life.

Contact a Will County DUI Defense Lawyer

If you or a loved one were charged with DUI, the consequences can last a lifetime. That is why it is important to contact the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C. for help. Our team of skilled Joliet criminal defense attorneys has experience defending against both misdemeanor and felony DUIs. We can help you fight for your freedom. Call 815-666-1285 or 815-733-5350 to arrange a free consultation.



Plainfield, IL divorce attorney asset division

Society typically focuses on the romantic aspects of marriage. However, the joining of two lives through marriage is not only a romantic union, it is also a legal and financial union. Determining how marital property should be divided between the spouses is often one of the most complicated parts of the divorce process. This is especially true if the spouses own complex assets or have a high net worth. If you are preparing for a divorce in Illinois, it is important to know how certain assets may complicate the process.

Small Businesses

If you or your spouse own a business, this may complicate your divorce significantly. In Illinois, only marital property is divided during a divorce. Separate property, meaning property that a spouse owned before getting married, is not divided. However, it is possible for a business that was acquired before marriage to be “transmuted” or transformed into marital property. If you acquired a company during the marriage or you owned a company before getting married but your spouse contributed time or money into growing the business, he or she may be entitled to an equitable share of the company. Often, a spouse who wishes to retain sole ownership of a business “buys out” the other spouse’s portion of the business by giving up assets of a similar value. Before a business may be divided in a divorce, the identity and the value of the business must be determined.

Certain Assets Are Hard to Value or Fluctuate in Value

Some assets are hard to divide during divorce because determining the value of the asset is difficult. Cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin or Ethereum is an alternative form of payment that has skyrocketed in popularity recently. The value of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies fluctuates dramatically and there are several different methods of determining its value. Retirement plans – especially pensions or defined benefit plans – are often difficult to value as well. Real estate, investments, stocks, and intellectual property may also be hard to value.

Heirlooms and Items of Sentimental Value

Family heirlooms and other property with intangible or sentimental value is another issue that may add contention to an Illinois divorce. These items may not have great worth financially, but they are valuable to a spouse for personal reasons. Dogs, cats, and other pets are often considered beloved members of the family; however, pets are classified as property per Illinois law. Heated arguments over the ownership of pets and other property of personal or sentimental significance are not uncommon during a divorce.

Contact a Joliet Property Division Lawyer

If you or your spouse own complex assets like investments, stocks, businesses, cryptocurrency, retirement accounts, or real estate, it is likely that these assets will complicate property division during your Illinois divorce. A highly skilled Will County divorce attorney from the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C. can help you negotiate a property division settlement or, if needed, advocate on your behalf during litigation. Call 815-666-1285 or 815-733-5350 to schedule a free consultation.



Plainfield, IL criminal defense attorney sexual assault

Being accused of sexual assault, rape, child sexual abuse, or another sex crime can have life-changing consequences. If you were charged with this type of criminal offense, your personal reputation, career, and your very freedom may be on the line. If convicted, you could be looking at months, years, or even decades behind bars. You may also be required to register on the public sex offender registry. Developing a robust defense strategy is the best way to fight sex crime charges.

Avoiding Self-Incrimination by Refusing Police Interrogation

Many people do not realize it, but a strong defense strategy often starts before the criminal defendant even hires an attorney. If you have been accused of a sex crime, the best thing you can do to protect yourself is to remain silent. Do not answer police questions. The police may imply that you “must have something to hide” if you do not answer their questions, but this is only a tactic used to get you to talk. You have a Constitutional right to avoid self-incrimination. The best way to do this is to decline police questioning and ask for your lawyer.

Identifying Flaws in the Prosecution’s Case

Your lawyer may help you find evidence that contradicts the charges being brought against you and use this evidence to cast doubt on the prosecution’s claim. Remember, criminal charges are held to the highest possible standard of proof. This means that the prosecution must prove the required elements “beyond a reasonable doubt.” By finding inconsistencies or holes in the prosecution’s case against you, you may be able to weaken their case and demonstrate that there is reasonable doubt about your guilt. For example, your lawyer may find evidence that proves that you were not at the alleged crime scene when the alleged crime took place.

Discrediting the Accuser and the Prosecution’s Witnesses

Not everyone who has been accused of a sex crime actually committed a sex crime. Some people use false accusations of sexual assault or other sex crimes to seek revenge on the accused. Others bring false claims to avoid tarnishing their reputation. For example, an accuser may regret a consensual sexual encounter and therefore claim that the encounter was non-consensual. Some parents may even use false accusations of child sexual abuse in an attempt to gain an advantage in a child custody dispute. Your lawyer may be able to present evidence that damages the accuser’s credibility or trustworthiness. For example, if your lawyer can show that the accuser has been deceptive or manipulative in the past, this may cast doubt on the credibility of his or her current claims.  

Contact a Plainfield, IL Sex Crimes Defense Lawyer

If you or a loved one have been charged with a sex crime, the penalties can be severe if convicted, and that is why you need an attorney who understands how to build a robust defense strategy. Contact the highly knowledgeable Will County criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C. to obtain the legal support you deserve. Call today to schedule a confidential, free case consultation at 815-666-1285 or 815-733-5350.



Will County child support attorney

The cost of going to college increases with every passing year. If you are like many parents, you probably have concerns about how to finance your child’s college education. You may wonder how college expenses are dealt with when parents are unmarried or divorced. Does Illinois require parents to help pay for college? Does the parent who pays child support automatically pay for university-related expenses? Whether your child is college-aged or you still have a few years before he or she heads off to university, it is important to know how Illinois law deals with college expenses.

Child Support for College Students in Illinois

College expenses are handled differently than typical child support. When the child is still a minor, it is presumed that the obligor pays child support. Regular child support typically ends when the child turns 18 and graduates from high school. Once the child is an adult, this presumption no longer exists. It is up to the parent seeking non-minor child support to show that non-minor support is appropriate. Per Illinois law, courts may require one or both parents to contribute to college expenses, but this requirement is not automatic.

When deciding whether or not to order child support for post-secondary expenses, Illinois courts consider each parent’s financial circumstances, the child’s income or assets, the standard of living the child would enjoy if the parents were married, and the child’s academic records.  

How Much Each Parent Must Pay Toward College Expenses

As with other family law issues, parents may be able to negotiate an agreement about how much each parent will contribute toward their child’s college education and submit the agreement to the court for approval. If an agreement cannot be reached, the court has the authority to allocate college expenses between the parents.

Parents may be ordered to contribute to their child’s tuition and fees, housing expenses, books, living expenses, and other education-related costs. There is a statutory cap on what parents can be ordered to contribute to a child’s college expenses. Illinois uses the current cost of tuition and housing at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to set this cap. Parents are only required to pay for their child’s undergraduate degree. Furthermore, non-minor support for college expenses may terminate if the child does not maintain at least a “C” grade point average.

Contact a Will County Non-Minor Child Support Lawyer

The cost of college tuition and housing can be astronomical. For help understanding your rights and obligations regarding non-minor child support or for help petitioning the court for non-minor support, contact an experienced Joliet, IL child support attorney at Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C. Call to schedule a free consultation at 815-666-1285 or 815-733-5350.





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