Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C.

Joliet Office


Plainfield Office


b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_85725289.jpg Divorcing your spouse presents many complex situations such as division of assets, determining financial responsibilities, and, when children are involved, agreeing upon child custody arrangements. Dealing with children during a divorce is difficult for all family members. Typically, parents and the court try to remain neutral and make arrangements that are in the children's best interests when determining custody. However, there are circumstances where parents are not awarded the custody or parenting time they would like with their children. Extenuating circumstances from the parent's past may present a hurdle when fighting for child custody.

Having a Criminal Record While Fighting For Custody

When judges determine custody during a divorce, they will consider many different factors. As mentioned, the court wants to create the best environment for the children. The judge will take into account:

  • Which parent is remaining in the marital home

  • Where each parent will be living 

  • The amount of parenting time a parent already dedicates to the children 

  • The family dynamic 

  • The wishes of the children 

  • Any circumstances that could be harmful to the children 

These circumstances are evaluated to determine a parent's fitness in having custody. Parental fitness includes a parent's ability to be responsible and keep the children safe. If a parent were to have a criminal record, the court would consider the type of crime, when it occurred, and whether the crime involved children.  

How the Type of Crime Affects You

If a parent fighting for custody has a criminal record, the type of crime will be considered by the court. Typically, non-violent crimes affect parenting time, visitation, and custody much less than violent crimes. Violent crimes that may affect your ability to retain custody of your children include sexual offenses, assault, or battery. For example, a previous conviction for child sex abuse would be much more likely to influence the court’s decision than a single conviction for drunk driving. 

Once the type of crime has been analyzed, the court will consider when the crime took place and how the parent turned their life around since then. A crime that occurred many years ago is less likely to hinder your ability to have custody than a criminal record from a few months ago. 

Adjusted Custody and Parenting Plans

If the court deems a parent unfit to have custody due to criminal behavior, there are still options available. The court may put the parent on a sort of probationary period — a parent may have to attend drug or alcohol classes and take drug tests to remain in the child's life. As a parent continues to prove their ability to follow the law, more and more parenting time can be awarded. Individuals can modify their parenting plans as new information becomes available.

Speak to a Will County Child Custody Lawyer

At the Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C., our Will County family and divorce lawyers have the experience to help represent clients in child custody disputes. If you are a parent looking to retain custody, we have the resources to help you understand your situation and prepare you for the future. Please reach out to us at 815-666-1285 to schedule a free consultation with our office. 



b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_75952243.jpgWhen considering marriage, it is essential to discuss all of the legal aspects of this new chapter in your life with your partner. While many marriages are blissful, there are times when couples decide to separate or divorce. In the case of a separation or divorce, having a prenuptial agreement will help the process move along peacefully, efficiently, and quickly compared to a divorce proceeding without a prenup. If you are preparing for marriage with your partner, begin by speaking with a skilled family attorney who can create a prenuptial agreement that is best for your relationship.

Why Prenuptial Agreements are Useful

Why draft a document in the case of a divorce if you are sure you are marrying your soulmate? Many people avoid prenups for this reason. However, they could wind up regretting it later in life. Couples may decide to divorce for many reasons, not simply because of mistreatment or lack of love. Often, couples will separate or divorce due to relocation, financial incompatibility, or even disagreements in parenting styles. Even if you are sure your future spouse is the one, it may be helpful to dictate how your assets would be divided if your relationship ended. Having a plan may even help reduce any friction that would cause bad blood between you and your partner during a roadblock in your marriage.  

What to Include in My Prenuptial Agreement 

A prenuptial agreement is a legal document that lays out how assets and finances will be divided in the case of a divorce. In your prenup, it is a good idea to include:

  • Which spouse would pay spousal support (alimony)

  • How assets such as the home, furniture, or other personal belongings would be divided

  • Each partner’s right to spend money during the divorce 

  • Whether a spouse will have a right to the other’s life insurance 

  • How debt or outstanding loans will be divided following the divorce

Couples may not include child custody agreements in a prenuptial agreement. That will have to be decided based on the child’s best interests at the time of a divorce. If you choose to draft a prenuptial agreement with your spouse before the big day, it is in your best interest to hire a family attorney experienced in this type of legal documentation. A lawyer will have the skills to understand each spouses’ financial health, determine ownership of assets before marriage, and help lay out an equitable division that represents the best interest of each partner. 

Working With a Joliet Family Attorney 

If you are preparing for marriage, our Plainfield family and divorce attorneys are here to help set you up for success. At the Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C., we have five attorneys with years of combined experience working alongside new couples to draft prenuptial agreements. Call today at 815-666-1285 to schedule a free consultation and discuss prenup agreements or other legal elements to your marriage. 




Posted on

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1031134915.jpgThroughout a marriage, couples wind up sharing many important assets. Joint assets in marriage can range from physical things such as cars and homes to retirement plans and accumulated debt. Dividing up marital property can be tricky, especially when it comes to each spouses’ financial health. An experienced divorce attorney may be able to help divide the debt between the spouses in a way that ensures both spouses maintain a secure financial position. 


Understanding Shared Debt

Both partners are responsible for the debt accumulated during the marriage unless it is explicitly specified that only one spouse was responsible for a certain payment through a prenuptial agreement or other agreement. If the debt owed was created prior to the marriage, then that payment is typically the sole responsibility of that individual. However, there are special situations that deviate from these general rules.

Examples of shared marital debt may include:

  • Outstanding mortgage payments

  • Shared credit card debt

  • Shared car loan payments 

  • Medical payments 

Examples of individual debt may include:

  • Student loan payments prior to marriage

  • Outstanding medical bills prior to marriage

  • Individual loans

How Will Debt Be Divided?

Like all other shared marital assets, debt is divided between both parties in a way that is equal and reflects both spouses' financial abilities, not necessarily in a 50/50 manner. This means that when crafting the divorce decree that specifies all of the legal responsibilities that each partner will have following the divorce, the judge will consider many circumstances. These circumstances include:

  • Which partner has more individual debt

  • Which partner makes more money 

  • Which partner is receiving more of the shared savings

  • Which partner is paying the most for childcare needs 

  • Which partner is most responsible for the debt

When preparing for a divorce, it is in both partners' interests to document all of the shared finances prior to legal hearings. This will allow for time to pay off debts, prepare all of the paperwork necessary when filing for a divorce and open the dialogue with your partner. It is a great idea to discuss how marital property will be divided prior to filing for divorce to avoid a contested divorce. A contested divorce occurs when one or both spouses do not agree on an element of the divorce process. Contested divorces are time-consuming and much more expensive. Divorce attorneys can then help create a divorce agreement that allows both partners to feel comfortable with the amount of debt they will incur as a single individual. 

Speak To a Will County Divorce Lawyer

At the Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C., our highly skilled divorce lawyers are prepared to help you through any stage of your divorce process. We understand the importance of having a lawyer that you can trust through this difficult time. Our attorneys have years of experience representing their clients and ensuring their best interests are considered when completing a divorce agreement. For a free consultation with our office, call today at 815-666-1285




joliet divorce lawyerWhen parents decide to proceed with a divorce, many changes to the family occur. From dividing assets to child support, a divorce decree is set to ensure that both spouses continue their financial obligations to the family. Child support orders are set based on the financial health of both parents during the time of the marriage dissolution. However, finances, jobs, and spending habits change over the course of a person’s life. If a change in your financial situation has left you unable to afford your child support payments, you may be eligible to alter your child support order

Step 1: Find a Skilled Family Attorney 

Changing a child support order can be a difficult process. A divorce decree is a legally binding document, so a person cannot just hold off on making payments that align with a court order. When a person becomes unable to afford their child support, it is important to first reach out to a family attorney who can walk a parent through the process of petitioning for a change. A lawyer can help navigate the legal process of modifying child support in a timely and legally correct manner. 

Step 2: Prepare Your Financials 

If you are looking to petition for a change in child support and have found a trustworthy lawyer that you are prepared to work with, the next step is to prepare your financial documentation. The court will need to see proof of your financial change that resulted in an inability to afford payments. A lawyer can be handy during this process. Your lawyer will be able to help select the best documentation that represents your case and file it correctly during your petition. Were you fired from your job? Did you suffer from a recent salary cut? Do you have new expenses such as medical payments that prevent you from affording your child support? There must be documentation to show the situation at hand clearly. 

Step 3: File a Child Support Modification Petition 

You cannot simply stop paying child support if you cannot afford it. However, you may be able to modify the amount you are paying. To change a child support order in Illinois, you must file for a petition for child support modification through your county court. The court will review the documentation you have prepared, which may include:

  • Your past financial health

  • Your current salary

  • Changes in employment 

  • Changes in necessary payments for external circumstances (medical bills, debt)

Your attorney can help you proceed through the petitioning process and help grant you an alteration in your child support order. In the case that your petition is denied, an attorney may be able to continue fighting for you. 

Speak With a Joliet Child Support Lawyer 

At Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C., we understand that changes in financial situations occur during a person’s life. If you have recently experienced a drastic change that has left you unable to afford your court-ordered child support payments, our Joliet, Illinois family attorneys may be able to help you. To schedule a free consultation with us today, call 815-666-1285




 illinois adoption lawyerThe process of adopting a child can be one of the most rewarding experiences of a family’s life. The potential for adding to your family is both exciting and stressful, especially considering the many difficulties of navigating the adoption process. Due to the significance of adopting a child, the state and adoption agencies may require prospective adoptive families to undergo studies and tests to ensure that the adoptive child is the best fit for that family, including a home study on the family members. Here are some of the most common reasons a family may not pass the home study during an adoption. 

A Parent Has a Criminal History 

During the home study, adoption agencies are looking for parents who will be the best role models for their kids. Although a criminal history, including felony or misdemeanor convictions, is not always representative of who a person is, an adoption agency may feel that a parent with a criminal background is not the best fit for a child. As long as a parent is truthful regarding their background, most minor charges will not prevent them from adopting. However, adoption is usually prohibited for people with convictions for sex crimes involving a child or child abuse charges. 

Other Family Members in the Home 

The state and agencies consider all family members living in the home during the home study. This can include other children, aunts, uncles, nannies, or grandparents. It is important to take into account the entire dynamic of a home before another child is added into the equation. For example, if there are other children in the family that express an inability to accept an adoptive sibling, or if another person in the home has a criminal background, adoption agencies may feel it would be in the child’s best interest to be placed elsewhere. 

Family Finances 

The home study is comprehensive and includes the financial health of the family as well. Adoption agencies are looking to place a child with a family that is in good shape to provide that child with all of his or her necessities. Prospective adoptive families will be required to disclose their financial statements. If an agency or the state feels that the financial stability of the parents may not meet a child’s needs, they may fail the home study.

Health Concerns  

Not only are parents required to have their financial health up to standard when adopting a child, but their physical health must be well, too. A significant health concern may impact a child, especially if one of the parents has a life-threatening illness. This is to protect the child from emotional trauma from a sick parent or an unsuitable parent who can’t care for a child physically. 

Talk to a Will County Adoption Attorney 

If you are looking to adopt a child, our Will County adoption attorneys at Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C. are prepared to guide you through the process. Adopting a child is no small feat, and our firm wants to help you align all of the necessary documents to successfully complete the process. For a free consultation, call us at 815-666-1285 today. 




  • Badges and Associations
  • Badges and Associations
  • Badges and Associations
Back to Top