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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.



Plainfield, IL criminal defense attorney drug possession

Attitudes about drugs have changed dramatically in the last several decades. Illinois’ recent decision to legalize the recreational use of marijuana is one of the best examples of this. However, the possession, consumption, transportation, or manufacture of certain substances is still strictly illegal. If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with drug possession, the penalties can be severe. That is why it is imperative that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you build a robust defense against these serious charges.

Unlawful Search and Seizure

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives us the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. It also establishes the need for search warrants. One of the ways that this important right is applied is through the “exclusionary rule.” This rule prevents any evidence obtained in violation of a criminal defendant’s rights from being used against him or her during a criminal proceeding. If the illicit substances allegedly found in your possession were discovered during an unlawful search, this evidence may be inadmissible.

Typically, police cannot search a person’s home without first obtaining a valid search warrant from a judge. However, there are exceptions to this rule. If evidence is in plain view, someone in the home is in immediate danger, or someone living in the home gave police permission to search, they may not need a search warrant. Law enforcement does not need a search warrant to search a vehicle; however, they do need “probable cause.” This means that there must be some indication of criminal activity or illegal contraband in the vehicle. Your lawyer can help you determine if you were the victim of an unlawful search and seizure.

Arguing the Ownership or Identity of the Drug

To obtain a conviction for drug possession in Illinois, the prosecution must prove that:

  • The substance was in fact an illicit drug.

  • The drug was in your possession.

  • You knowingly possessed the drug.

Your attorney may argue each of these facts depending on the circumstances of your case. One of the hardest elements to prove in a drug possession case is that the defendant knowingly possessed the substance. If a passenger in your vehicle hid drugs under the seat of your vehicle during a traffic stop, for example, you may not have known that the drugs were in your car.

Contact a Plainfield, IL Drug Crimes Defense Lawyer

If you or a loved one was arrested and charged with drug possession, contact the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C. right away. You have a Constitutional right to remain silent. Do not let police question you without your attorney present. Call our office today at 815-666-1285 to schedule a free, confidential consultation with our skilled Will County criminal defense attorneys.



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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