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Will County Estate Planning and Divorce LawyerWhen you are going through divorce proceedings, the property and assets that you and your spouse shared will have to be divided. In addition to myriad other legal ties that need to be broken, something you may not have considered is what will happen with your last will and testament. After all, the will you had drawn up during your marriage most likely does not reflect your wishes now.

Illinois law dictates that after a divorce is finalized, neither party will hold legal claim to anything that the former spouse had designated for him or her in their will. However, during the divorce, before the marriage is officially terminated, is a different story. If you were to pass away in the midst of your divorce proceedings, your spouse would still be entitled to whatever your current will states. Therefore, it is important to make needed changes as soon as divorce is filed.

What Revisions Should Be Made?

Experts say a divorcing party should revise his or her will and any other estate planning documents to ensure that any children or other family members are taken care of, along with any charities or organizations that they wish to include. If a spouse was previously named as the executor, that should also be changed. Parents should also name the person or people they would like to take custody of any minor children in the event of their death.

Can a Spouse Contest Will Changes?

It is possible for a spouse to fight against will revisions made during a divorce. According to the Illinois State Bar Association, another option is for the divorcing party to create a trust. While a spouse may be able to renounce a new will if their former partner dies before the divorce is finalized, allowing them to take over one-third of their soon-to-be-ex's estate, spouses are not able to renounce a trust. Putting assets in a trust will ensure that the former spouse would not get any percentage of these assets. However, the trust must not be in the divorcing party's name, and it must be funded prior to that party's death.

Taking Steps to Protect Your Assets During Divorce

Every case is different, and the Joliet, IL family law and estate planning attorneys at the Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C. can help you determine what is best for your individual situation. Call 815-666-1285 to arrange a free consultation and discuss your options for protecting your assets during your divorce.


Joliet felony DUI defense lawyersWhile the courts tend to be fairly lenient on first- and even second-time DUI offenders, typically classifying them as misdemeanors and offering the defendant the option of court supervision, fines, and community service in lieu of jail or prison time, they are not so understanding toward repeat offenders. Drivers who commit a serious crime while intoxicated, such as killing someone in a hit-and-run accident or driving with a minor child in the car, may also face heightened penalties in court. These situations, and others, are examples of situations that may lead to a felony DUI in the state of Illinois.

What Constitutes a Felony DUI in Illinois?

In the state of Illinois, a third or subsequent DUI is considered a felony - and the more DUIs you have, the more severe the penalties typically are. For example, a third or fourth offense DUI typically results in a Class 2 felony charge, while a fifth DUI is generally classified as a Class 1 felony. The latter typically results in heftier penalties for those who are convicted of their charges. Other situations that may lead to a felony DUI include:

  • DUIs committed in school zones while the speed limit is restricted;
  • DUIs that reseal in great bodily harm, or permanent disability or disfigurement;
  • DUIs committed without a valid driver's license, insurance, or registration;
  • DUIs that result in the death of another person;
  • Second (or subsequent) DUI committed while transporting a child under the age of 16;
  • DUIs committed while driving on a suspended or revoked license;
  • DUIs that occur after a reckless homicide conviction; and
  • DUIs committed after a conviction for aggravated DUI involving the death of another person.

Examining the Potential Consequences of a Felony DUI Conviction 

While the penalties of a felony DUI conviction will vary, depending upon the exact circumstances of each case, individuals can be almost certain that there will be jail time involved. In fact, the courts will generally impose a sentence of 3 to 7 years of prison time for a third DUI conviction - potentially even longer if there are aggravating factors in the case (i.e. driving a school bus, driving with a minor in the vehicle, causing death or severe bodily harm to another person while committing a DUI, etc.). By the time a person reaches their sixth or seventh DUI, they could be looking at up to 30 years in prison - if not more.

Our Joliet DUI Defense Lawyers Provide Aggressive Legal Defense 

When you are facing the possibility of a felony and the resulting consequence of jail time, you need an aggressive DUI defense lawyer to work in your favor. Skilled and experienced, the Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C. offer the personalized, solutions-based services that you need. Schedule a free consultation with our Plainfield DUI defense attorneys by calling 815-733-5350.


Joliet alimony attorneysThe number of divorce cases involving spousal maintenance have declined significantly over the last decade. Still, some divorcing parties may need financial assistance from their ex-spouse to achieve a self-sustaining future. Disabled parties who may not have previously qualified for social security because their marital income was too high, stay-at-home parents with little to no recent job training or experience, and financially disadvantaged spouses incapable of maintaining the lifestyle that their marriage afforded are a just a few examples.

Starting January 1, 2019, the tax laws that currently apply to spousal maintenance (which have been in place for more than 70 years) will be completely annihilated. What might this mean for you in your Illinois divorce, and how might it impact your future financial well-being? Learn more in the following sections, and discover how our seasoned divorce lawyers may be able to help mitigate the issues in your case.

Understanding the Changes to Spousal Maintenance Tax Laws 

Spouses who pay alimony have long relied on the tax law that made their spousal maintenance payments tax deductible. Spouses who received alimony had to claim their maintenance payments as taxable income at the end of the year, but it did not always impact them at tax time, as few receive a high enough payment to change their tax bracket. A direct result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act's passage earlier this year, these changes will impact spousal maintenance laws, nationwide.

New Law is Expected to Leave Less Money for the Family Unit

Parties who expect to pay alimony in their divorce have long dreaded the turning of the calendar because they know it means they will likely have less money at the end of the year. What was not initially clear was how receiving spouses would be impacted. Sadly, their fate could result in downright disturbing financial consequences.

The reason for this is simple: The tax cut often dropped a paying spouse into a lower tax bracket at the end of the year, which gave them more discretionary spending money. As a result, paying spouses were often more likely to agree to a higher maintenance payment during divorce negotiations.

Joliet alimony attorneysBecause spousal maintenance payments will no longer be deductible, the payer's tax responsibility at the end of the year will remain the same, even if they pay alimony. If they were held to the same payment standard as before, they might end up with even less discretionary spending money (the amount a party has after their bills and expenses are paid) than the spouse to which they are making payments. Since the law would not allow this to happen in most situations, the paying spouse's maintenance obligation will likely be lower under the new law - so receiving spouses are getting less money. To make matters worse, paying parties may be less likely to even negotiate an alimony payment, as they are not receiving any benefits for paying. If ordered to pay, some parties still may refuse to do so, as there is no benefit for them.

How Our Joliet Divorce Lawyers Can Help with Your 2019 Divorce 

At Tedone & Morton, P.C., we work hard to protect the financial interests of our clients. Whether you expect to pay support or receive it in 2019, our seasoned Plainfield, IL divorce lawyers can help to mitigate the issues that may threaten your financial well-being. Call 815-666-1285 today.


Grundy County car accident lawyersFor many people, the holidays mean traveling to visit close friends or extended family. Consequently, this is the time of year when roads are often the worst. Keep yourself and your family safe this holiday season using the following five tips for  driving on icy, congested roads. Also learn where to turn for help if an auto accident does occur.

1. Prepare Your Vehicle for Winter Weather 

Driving on roads that are slick or icy is very different from driving on the dry pavement. Your tires, which usually grip the road, need good traction, possibly even chains, to ensure that your vehicle does not slide around on the ice, slush, water, or snow. Cold weather can also kill a vehicle's battery, so make sure yours is checked before heading out this holiday season. Check fluids, install new windshield wipers (if necessary), and ensure your gas tank stays half full whenever it must be parked on your trip (i.e. staying the night in a hotel).

2. Plan Your Route and Departure Ahead of Time

As the holidays draw nearer, you may want to start paying attention to the weather to plan both your route and departure. Ideally, you would make your departure at a time that allows you to completely bypass any severe weather, but if avoiding snow and other poor weather conditions is impossible, plan your route carefully. Try to avoid areas that may be hit with the worst of the storm, and maybe even be willing to drive a little out of your way if it can keep you and your family safe.

3. Drive Safe and Slow in Poor Weather Conditions 

While it is always important to drive safely, poor weather conditions increase the need for care and diligence on the road. Increase your following distance to accommodate for slower stop times, give yourself extra time to stop or turn (but avoid doing both whenever possible), and avoid making any sudden, jerky movements while driving. If the conditions are slick or wet, slow down a little as well, as faster traveling can increase your chances of hydroplaning or sliding out of control on ice or slush.

4. Pull Over if Driving Becomes Dangerous 

If you find yourself driving in conditions that are worse than expected, play it safe and simply pull over, out of the danger zone. While, yes, it may be inconvenient to delay your arrival time, it is far better to avoid an accident whenever possible.

5. Keep an Emergency Kit in Your Car

No matter how much you plan and prepare, the risk of an accident or needing to stop are still higher in the ice and snow. Be prepared by keeping an emergency kit in your car. Include things like food and water if you will be traveling a long distance, and keep extra clothes and blankets in your vehicle, in case you are stuck and cannot start your car. Your emergency kit should also include everything you need in the event of an injury (i.e. first aid kit, a cell phone with good service, etc.), as well as supplies that you may need if you get stranded, have a minor slide, or pull off the road and get buried. Examples might include cat litter, a shovel, and bright clothing to tie to your car so that you can be seen.

If a Crash Occurs, Contact Our Joliet Auto Accident Injury Lawyers for Help

Accidents during the holidays increase, not just because of road conditions, but also because there are often more drivers on the road. Know how to handle a crash - not just in the moment, but in the weeks and months that follow. Contact our Joliet car crash attorneys and increase your chances of a full and favorable settlement in your personal injury case. Call 815-666-1285 today.


Joliet weapons defense attorneyThe United States Constitution indicates that Americans have “the right to bear arms,” but there are some situations that may hinder (or even outright eliminate) an individual's “right” to own, use, or carry a firearm. Since gun laws are made and enforced at the state level, these conditions can vary from one state to the next. Learn more about the consequences of breaking firearm laws in the state of Illinois, and discover how a seasoned criminal defense lawyer may be able to help.

What Constitutes Unlawful Possession of a Firearm in Illinois? 

In the state of Illinois, gun owners must possess a Firearm Owner's Identification Card, otherwise known as an FIOD. Without it, you risk being charged with unlawful possession of a firearm. Moreover, if you wish to carry a concealed weapon, you must also possess a permit for doing so. If you are caught with a concealed weapon and do not have one, you could face criminal charges. Other scenarios that may lead to criminal charges for unlawful possession of a firearm include:

  • Being a minor (under age 18) in possession of a firearm of a size that may be concealed (even if you are not actively concealing it);
  • Possessing a firearm or ammunition when you are under the age of 21 in and have a misdemeanor conviction of any kind (other than traffic offenses);
  • Possessing a firearm or ammunition if you have been a mental institution patient within the last five years;
  • Being a narcotic addict and having a firearm or ammunition in your possession;
  • Possessing an explosive bullet or another prohibited weapon; and
  • Possessing a firearm or ammunition when you have been convicted of a felony in any state.

Unlawful Possession of a Firearm - Examining the Consequences of a Conviction 

Depending on the situation, unlawful possession of a firearm may be classified as either a Class A misdemeanor or a Class 4 felony in the state of Illinois. Note that you can be charged with multiple counts of unlawful possession of a firearm - one for each gun or piece of ammunition that is found in your possession at the time of arrest. So, if you had one gun and seven bullets, you could be charged with as many as eight counts of unlawful possession of a firearm.

Consequences for a Class A misdemeanor charge can include up to a year in jail, two years of probation, and as much as $2,500 in fines and penalties. Unlawful possession felony convictions can result in up to three years in prison, 30 months of probation, and significant fines.

Criminal consequences should not be your only worry, however, as there are also what is known as collateral consequences for those who are convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm. These can include:

  • Difficulty finding or retaining employment, due to your criminal record;
  • Rejection of your application to certain colleges or universities;
  • Difficulty obtaining financial aid if you are ever accepted to a college or university;
  • Trouble qualifying for welfare, public assistance, or housing assistance programs; and
  • Possible deportation if were not born as a U.S. citizen.

Contact Our Joliet Weapons Defense Attorneys for Aggressive Representation 

When facing criminal charges, it is important to know you can trust the attorney representing you. Backed by decades of experience and known as one of the most aggressive legal defense teams in the state, the Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C. are the ones to contact. Schedule your consultation with our Plainfield weapons charges defense lawyers by calling 815-733-5350 today.


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