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Plainfield, IL family law attorney order modification

The initial process of filing for a divorce and negotiating or litigating the corresponding terms is typically just the first stage of separation. Over time, both individuals’ and their children’s circumstances may change, which could justify a change in the agreement in order to be fair to both parties. There are many reasons why you or your ex-spouse might want to pursue a post-divorce modification. Regardless of the changes in mind, you should seek the assistance of a highly qualified divorce attorney. With his or her legal guidance, you will be able to better negotiate with your ex-spouse to achieve a favorable outcome.

Post-Divorce Modifications

Many circumstances can lead people to seek post-divorce modifications, but the following are a few of the most common. If the party who is paying spousal support loses his or her job, a modification may be necessary to reflect this change in income. Similarly, if a person is receiving rehabilitative spousal maintenance, a modification may be necessary to reflect the change in income once he or she finds a job and is able to properly support himself or herself. 

In many cases, the decisions a couple makes regarding parenting time might have problems from the start. A couple should refine their parenting time allocation to reflect the needs and desires of their children, and one party may seek a modification if he or she feels his or her amount of parenting time is unfair. Much of the decisions made about parenting time have to do with both spouses’ work schedules and lifestyles, so if there is a significant change on that front, an amendment to the agreement may be necessary. 

Child support terms are often altered through post-divorce modifications. If either spouse has a change in income, that can be reflected in a new agreement. It is unusual for a divorced couple to immediately agree on an adjustment to their child support agreement, and the modification can be made through mediation or in court. 

Contact a Will County Divorce Attorney

Divorce and the subsequent negotiations or legal battles can be costly and emotionally challenging, but a skilled Joliet, IL divorce lawyer can help ease the burden and make sure that your needs and rights are being protected to the fullest extent. At the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C., our accomplished divorce attorneys have years of experience protecting our clients’ best interests in their divorces. To learn how we can help you modify your court orders to reflect the changes in your or your ex-spouse’s circumstances, call our office today at 815-666-1285 to schedule your free consultation. 




Plainfield parentage attorney VAP

In Illinois, when a child is born to a married couple, the husband is presumed to be the father of the child by law. However, paternity can and should be established even if a couple is unwed. The father’s name cannot be added to the child's birth certificate until paternity is confirmed. If the identity of the biological father is not in question, both parents can sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP). This will ensure that both parents can share in child custody and parenting time. It can also ensure that a child will receive financial support from both parents. Whether you need to establish paternity through a VAP or other methods, or if you have other concerns regarding child custody or child support, you should work with a skilled family law attorney to protect your parental rights and ensure that your child can maintain a relationship with both parents.

What Is a VAP?

If a couple is unwed, or if a person other than the mother's husband is the child's biological father, a VAP legally establishes paternity. In addition to protecting parents' rights to share in responsibility for raising the child and ensuring that the child can receive child support, establishing paternity can also provide a child with financial security in the form of Social Security benefits if a parent is deceased or disabled, inheritance rights, health insurance benefits, and more. A child will also be able to access his or her family’s medical history at some point later in life if any health issues come up. 

A VAP can be signed by both parents and submitted to the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS). VAP forms can be obtained at: 

  • Hospitals

  • Local child support offices

  • The HFS or Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) website

  • Any Department of Human Services office

  • Any county clerk’s office

  • Any state or local registrar’s office

Before signing a VAP, it is important for parents to understand their rights and responsibilities with the help of an experienced family law attorney. There is no time limit for completing a VAP, and it can be filed at any time following the child's birth. Any parents who are not legally married can submit a VAP, including minors (who do not need the consent of their parents or guardians) and non-US citizens as long as their child was born in the United States.

Contact a Joliet, IL Family Law Attorney

Studies show that a child benefits from having a relationship with both parents, regardless of whether they are married. The circumstances of your relationship aside, seeking the assistance of a Will County paternity lawyer will ensure that all of the legal aspects of parentage are handled properly. At the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C., we have years of experience advocating for our clients in all matters of family law. To learn how we can help you, call us today at 815-666-1285 to schedule a free consultation.




Plainfield, IL parenting time attorney

Any aspect of divorce -- especially determining child custody and parenting time -- can be difficult to discuss and navigate. If you are trying to move out of Illinois with your child after a divorce, you might have difficulty justifying the move, but with skilled legal support, it is possible. Below is a guide for obtaining permission to move with your child, but it is also important to work with professional legal counsel. An experienced divorce attorney can help you convey the best argument to a judge if your ex-spouse contests your request to move.

Seeking Permission to Move

In Illinois, a parent who has the majority of the parenting time with their child or who shares equal parenting time cannot proceed with a move that would be considered parental relocation without receiving permission from the applicable family court. It is important to note that a move out of Illinois in which the new address is 25 miles or less from the child's current address is not considered parental relocation. Any out-of-state moves that exceed 25 miles from the original address will be subject to Illinois' parental relocation laws.

If you are planning a move that would be considered parental relocation, you must first provide written notice to your ex-spouse. A copy of this request must be filed with the clerk of the circuit court. Unless impractical, you must provide this written notice 60 days before your intended move. If you cannot give notice this early, you must provide the notice at the earliest possible date and have a valid reason for why this was necessary. Any notice must include the following:

  • The intended date of the relocation

  • The new address (if available)

  • The duration of the stay, if the relocation will be temporary 

If your ex-spouse approves of the relocation request, you may file a revised parenting plan with the court that contains any necessary changes to parental responsibilities or parenting time. If the judge agrees that these changes are in the child's best interests, the relocation request and modified parenting plan will be approved.

If your ex-spouse contests your relocation request, the court must then make a decision about how to protect the child’s best interests. This is where relocation requests can get particularly difficult, since parents may have different opinions on what they think is best for the child’s well-being. The judge will consider a number of factors in these cases, including your reasons for moving, the other parent's reasons for objecting to the move, your child's wishes, the educational opportunities available to our child at the proposed new location, the effect of the move on the child's proximity to extended family members, and how to reach a solution that will allow the child to maintain a positive relationship with both parents.

Contact a Plainfield, IL Parental Relocation Attorney 

After a divorce, a change of scenery may be beneficial. You may wish to move out of state with your child for a fresh start, to be closer to your family members, or to pursue a job. To ensure that you are making a persuasive argument for why your request to relocate should be granted, it is critical that you seek legal counsel. Meet with one of our experienced Will County divorce lawyers at the law firm of Tedone & Morton. Schedule your free consultation by calling us today at 815-666-1285.




Plainfield theft defense attorney

Under Illinois law, retail theft of items worth $300 or greater in value could put an offender in prison for two to five years with $25,000 in fines. This is the same punishment that someone would receive for aggravated battery, and a new bill is progressing that could raise the ceiling on the amount stolen for these serious charges. Most states in the country have eased their shoplifting and retail theft laws in an attempt to put fewer non-violent offenders in prison, but Illinois remains one of the six most punishing states in the country for crimes of this nature. If you are facing any type of theft charges, it is crucial to work with an accomplished criminal defense lawyer to make sure your rights are protected.

Cook County Laws and New Statewide Bills

Since 2016, the Cook County State’s Attorney, Kim Foxx, has deemed any retail thefts under $1,000 in value to be a misdemeanor, not a felony charge. This is much more lenient than Illinois state law, and it is important to note that the consequences of your case could dramatically change if you were accused of retail theft in Chicago and other parts of Cook County. 

However, these standards could affect statewide legislation soon. Illinois State Representative Justin Slaughter is sponsoring a bill that made its way out of the Judiciary Criminal Committee in mid-2019 and has gained additional co-sponsors in recent months. This legislation has the potential to raise the cap for retail theft felony charges to $2,000 or greater in value, which is significantly higher than the current Cook County policy. 

This bill is subject to change, as opponents argue that the rise in the value amount is too drastic and could result in a sharp increase in thefts across the state. The supporters of the bill argue that a higher cap for convictions would address the disproportionate amount of non-violent offenders that are in prison, and it would put the state more in line with retail theft laws across the nation.

Contact a Joliet, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

The new Illinois bill mentioned above has the potential to alter the nature of retail theft charges soon. Regardless of whether this new legislation is passed, experienced legal guidance is a necessity if you have been accused of retail theft. A felony conviction for retail theft could result in serious consequences, including prison time and steep fines. The Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C., can help you develop a strong defense in court to protect your personal and professional reputation. Schedule a free consultation with a Will County retail theft attorney by calling us today at 815-666-1285.




Plainfield, IL traffic violations attorney

All drivers should be alert and focused when operating their vehicles. Cars, trucks, and motorcycles are heavy and can cause a lot of damage if they collide or strike pedestrians on the road. To avoid collisions, motorists should not only stay away from alcohol before driving but also make sure they are not drowsy or at risk of falling asleep behind the wheel. Drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated. Much like alcohol, sleep deprivation hinders people from performing simple actions. If motorists feel too tired to drive, they should allow one of their passengers to take the wheel. If they are driving alone, they can pull off on the side of the road and sleep for a bit before continuing their travels. Otherwise, fatigued drivers run the risk of causing car accidents with serious injuries, which can also lead to criminal charges in Illinois. 

Dangers of Fatigued Driving 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) surveyed a group of drivers and found that 37 percent of the group admitted to falling asleep at the wheel. Of that group, 60 percent admitted to dozing off while on the highway while traveling at a speed of 55 miles per hour or higher. Drowsy motorists put their lives and those around them in danger because if they fall asleep, they cannot see and therefore have no control whatsoever of their vehicles. Instead of trying to complete their destination and risk hurting others, tired drivers should recognize when they are tired and pull off of the road.

Signs of fatigued driving can include:

  • Yawning more often than usual

  • Rubbing eyes

  • Mind wandering or becoming easily distracted

  • Missing an exit or a turn

  • Head nodding or bobbing

  • Blinking slowly or eyelids feeling heavy

If a driver recognizes these signs and still continues to drive, he or she can be responsible for any collision or accident that occurs as a result of this dangerous driving behavior.

The Reality of Drowsy Driving

Illinois considers drowsy driving as a reckless behavior because it puts innocent lives in danger for no reason. Therefore, those who cause an accident -- even if it is just a single car accident -- will be charged with reckless driving, a misdemeanor offense that comes with a fine and jail time. If others are involved in an accident caused by a drowsy driver, the offending driver will be responsible for:

  • Compensation for medical bills

  • Compensation for repairs to damaged cars

  • Compensation for the family if someone is killed 

In addition to reckless driving charges, if a drowsy driver injures or kills someone during the accident, he or she could be charged with vehicular assault or reckless homicide.

Contact a Will County Traffic Violations Lawyer

When we are tired, it is natural to want to get to our destination as quickly as possible. However, it is safer to get adequate rest before operating a motor vehicle. If you or someone you know is facing charges related to drowsy driving, a knowledgeable lawyer from Tedone & Morton, P.C. can help build a solid defense against serious punishments. To schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced and dedicated Plainfield, IL criminal defense attorneys, call our office today at 815-666-1285.




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