Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C.

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IL divorce lawyerGetting a divorce can lead to a variety of financial difficulties for both you and your spouse. In addition to addressing the costs of the divorce process itself, you will both need to determine how you will be able to meet your needs based on a single income rather than a combined income. This adjustment may be especially difficult for a person who relied on their spouse as the family’s primary income earner. A spouse who is at a financial disadvantage may be able to receive spousal support. In these cases, the parties will want to be sure to understand how the amount of support will be calculated and how long the payments will last.

Determining the Duration of Spousal Support Payments

Illinois law uses the term “spousal maintenance” for payments made by one spouse to the other following their divorce. Typically, spousal maintenance will be awarded if one spouse needs support to ensure that they can maintain the standard of living they had during their marriage. Spouses may agree that spousal support will be paid when they create a divorce settlement, or in cases where litigation will be required to resolve divorce-related issues, a judge may choose to award maintenance to one spouse after considering factors such as the parties’ financial resources and ongoing needs, whether one spouse made sacrifices during their marriage that affected their career, and whether one party helped the other obtain education or otherwise assisted in their career advancement.

If maintenance is awarded, the amount that will be paid will be calculated based on the income earned by both spouses. The duration that payments will last will depend on whether maintenance is fixed-term, indefinite, or reviewable.

Fixed-term maintenance is awarded in most cases, and payments will last for a specific period of time based on the amount of time the couple was married. In these cases, the duration of maintenance will be based on a percentage of the time the couple was married. For example, if a couple was married for between 12 and 13 years, maintenance will be paid for 52% of the length of their marriage.

Indefinite maintenance may be awarded if a couple was married for at least 20 years or if a spouse has extraordinary needs, such as a disability that prevents them from working and earning an income. In these cases, maintenance will have no termination date, and it will continue to be paid unless the court grants a request for maintenance to be modified or terminated.

Reviewable maintenance may be appropriate if a spouse needs some time to obtain education or pursue employment. In these cases, maintenance may be paid for a specific amount of time, after which the court will review the case to determine whether support is still necessary or whether payments should be modified or terminated.

Contact Our Joliet Spousal Support Attorneys

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C. can help you understand how Illinois’ laws related to spousal support apply in your divorce case. We will advocate on your behalf throughout the divorce process to help you reach an outcome that will protect your financial interests and provide for your ongoing needs. Contact our Plainfield spousal maintenance lawyers today by calling 815-666-1285 to arrange a free consultation.



IL divorce lawyerMarried couples who choose to get a divorce will need to address many different legal and financial issues related to the income they earn and the property they own. Determining how to divide marital property can often be a complex process, especially for couples who own significant assets. In addition to dividing physical property and financial accounts, couples may also need to address retirement savings and pension benefits. When dividing certain types of retirement assets, couples will want to use a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO).

What Is a QDRO?

A Qualified Domestic Relations Order is a court order that instructs the administrator of a retirement plan to make payments to someone other than the plan holder. QDROs can be used to divide the funds in certain types of retirement savings accounts and to allocate pension payments.

A QDRO is usually used with retirement savings plans that are covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), such as a 401(k) account. If a couple agrees in their divorce settlement that the funds in a 401(k) that is in one spouse’s name will be divided equally between the spouses, a QDRO can be used to withdraw half of the funds and pay them to the other spouse. When using a QDRO, penalties for withdrawing funds before reaching retirement age will not apply, and taxes will not need to be paid, as long as the payee deposits or rolls over the funds into a retirement account in their name. For retirement accounts such as IRAs or SEPs, a QDRO will not be needed, and funds can be allocated using a “transfer incident to divorce.”

QDROs can also be used to divide pension benefits, and for pension plans operated by the State of Illinois, spouses will need to use a special type of QDRO known as a Qualified Illinois Domestic Relations Order (QILDRO). Unlike retirement accounts, which have a known balance that can be divided between spouses, the benefits a person will receive through a pension may not be known at the time of a couple’s divorce. To ensure that these benefits can be divided fairly, a QDRO or QILDRO may state that a certain percentage of the benefits will be paid to the alternate payee (the plan holder’s ex-spouse) once the person retires and begins receiving pension payments.

Contact a Plainfield QDRO Attorney

Retirement savings and benefits are just one of many issues that you may need to address during your divorce. Making the right decisions during the divorce process can ensure that you will be protected financially, providing you with the resources you need to succeed in the years to come. At the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C., we can advise you of your rights, help you understand the legal issues you will need to address and advocate for your interests throughout the divorce process. Contact our Will County property division lawyers by calling 815-666-1285 or 815-733-5350 to schedule your free consultation.



IL divorce lawyerWhen a married couple joins their lives, they also join their finances. If a married couple divorces, they must divide property such as bank account balances, real estate, and business earnings. They will also divide liabilities such as credit card debt. Then the division of marital property and debt can be quite complicated – personally and legally. This is especially true if a spouse spent money on an extramarital affair. Depending on when and how money was spent, the spouse who was cheated on may be entitled to a larger share of marital property in a divorce.

Dissipation of Assets During an Affair

Illinois State does not recognize any fault-based grounds for divorce. Typically, the reason that a marriage is ending has little impact on the outcome of the divorce. However, this is not true if a spouse spent a considerable amount of money to finance an extramarital affair.

“Dissipation of assets” occurs when a spouse “dissipates” or wastes property at the end of a marriage. Wasting assets has been specifically defined as using assets for a purpose not related to the marriage in a way that only benefits one of the spouses. The assets must have been wasted while the marriage was experiencing an “irretrievable breakdown” in order to count as dissipation. Case law has established that a marriage is experiencing an irretrievable breakdown when the couple is no longer trying to work out their differences and save the marriage.

Spending That is Typically Classified as Dissipation

Originally, dissipation of assets only referred to the misuse or waste of marital assets. Marital assets include the assets that are jointly held by both spouses in the marital estate. However, the law has since been amended to include non-marital assets as well. Some examples of spending that may constitute dissipation include:

  • Buying an affair partner expensive gifts
  • Frequently purchasing plane tickets to visit the affair partner
  • Spending money on a vacation with the affair partner
  • Giving the affair partner marital or non-marital property of a considerable value
  • Selling marital or non-marital property to fund the affair
  • Paying the affair partner’s bills or debt

If a spouse dissipates assets, the other spouse may file a dissipation claim during divorce. The spouse who was wronged may be entitled to a proportionally greater share of the marital assets during property division.

Contact a Joliet Property Division Lawyer

If your spouse spent a considerable amount of money to fund an extramarital affair, you may be able to recover this money through a dissipation claim during your divorce. To learn more, contact an experienced Plainfield divorce attorney from the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C. Call us at 815-666-1285 or 815-733-5350 and set up your free consultation.



IL defense lawyerDriving under the influence (DUI) is penalized heavily in Illinois – especially if another person is hurt or killed in an accident caused by an intoxicated driver. If great bodily harm results from a DUI car crash, the driver may face felony charges for aggravated DUI and up to three years in prison. If death results from a DUI accident, the driver faces a prison sentence of up to seven years. However, DUI resulting in the death of an animal is not currently an offense under Illinois law. Proponents of House Bill 3019 hope to change this.

Death of Illinois Police Dog Prompts New Bill

Illinois Deputy Robert Rosenkranz was in the middle of a routine traffic stop when an allegedly intoxicated driver struck the back of his police cruiser. The officer’s police K9 “Loki” was in the backseat of the police car. Unfortunately, the dog did not survive the accident. The loss of Loki represented a personal loss to the officers who worked alongside the K9 officer. It also meant losing the many years of training that went into teaching Loki to perform K9 duties. In response to Loki’s death, State Representative Joe Sosnowski filed a bill to make killing a police dog an elevated offense under Illinois law.

DUI Resulting in the Death of a Police or Service Animal May Be a Felony

Currently, driving under the influence is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by a year-long driver’s license suspension, a fine of up to $2,500, and up to a year of jail time. A second or subsequent DUI is penalized more harshly. If House Bill 3019 passes, killing a service animal or police dog while driving under the influence would be a Class 4 felony punished by a maximum of three years in jail and a fine up to $25,000. Having any type of criminal record can have a massive impact on a person’s life. Felony convictions often have especially significant consequences. Being convicted of a felony can substantially influence an individual’s personal reputation, employment options, and housing opportunities.

Contact a Joliet DUI Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged with driving under the influence, contact the Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C. for help. Our team of experienced Will County criminal defense attorneys knows how seriously a DUI conviction can affect your life. We are prepared to help you defend yourself against the charges. To learn more, schedule a free, confidential consultation today. Call our Plainfield office at 815-733-5350 or our Joliet office at 815-666-1285.



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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.



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