Illinois Child Support Modification Explained | What is a "Substantial Change in Circumstances" for Modifying Child Support?
When Can Child Support Be Modified in Illinois?
There are several ways that a divorce case can be resolved: litigation, arbitration, mediation, attorney-assisted mediation, collaborative divorce, and cooperative divorce. In this article, we will explain collaborative divorce and cooperative divorce as alternative dispute resolution techniques in marital dissolution cases, and compare the pros and cons of each.
Mechanics Liens in Illinois are governed by the Illinois Mechanics LIen Act (770 ILCS 60/0.01, et seq.). The purpose of the Mechanics Lien Act is to ensure that contractors and subcontractors who provide labor, materials, fixtures, or machinery to improve real estate receive payment for their services and materials.
The Mechanics Lien Act provides a mechanism whereby contractors and subcontractors can place a lien on property that they work to improve in the amount of the value of their services and materials. The lien prevents the owner of the property from transferring the property without first paying the contractor or subcontractor who holds the lien. A Mechanics Lien also allows the contractor or subcontractor who holds the lien to foreclose on the property and have it sold in order to satisfy the lien.
We were asked the following question on our Learn About Law Youtube Channel:
Q: My ex does not work but her husband makes twice what I make. Under the new law will they take his income into consideration?
Prior to July 1, 2015, the amount and duration of spousal maintenance awards in Illinois divorces, also known as alimony or spousal support, were determined at the discretion of the court by the judge weighing several factors specifically listed in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5/101, et seq.) (the "IMDMA"). However, in 2015, law was passed that changed this calculation.
According to the new law, the court will weigh these factors to determine whether maintenance is appropriate. However, if maintenance is appropriate, the court is now instructed to use specific formulas to determine both the amount and the duration of the award in most cases. In certain cases, courts are permitted to deviate from the statutory formulas, in which case the divorce court will use the statutory factors to determine the amount and duration of the maintenance award.
In this article, we will provide an in-depth explanation of the factors courts consider in determining whether maintenance is necessary and the amount and duration of alimony payments when the statutory formula is not applied. We will also discuss when the spousal maintenance formula is to be applied and explain the calculations used in the formula.
In this article we will explain how to use special needs trusts in order to maximize social security benefits for individuals with disabilities. This article is the seventh in a series of nine articles explaining the Eight Goals of a Good Estate Plan.
In Illinois, a disabled individual is entitled to receive up to $733.00 per month inSupplemental Security Income (“SSI”) if two things are true:
This article is the sixth in a series of nine articles explaining the Eight Goals of a Good Estate Plan. In this article we will explain estate tax and discuss some tools used to avoid it or minimize it.
What is Estate Tax?
In addition to the taxes that you pay during your lifetime, both the federal and the Illinois state governments require your estate to pay a tax before passing to your heirs. The good news is that both the federal and state estate taxes are subject toexemptions. If the value of your estate is less than the applicable exemption the estate tax in question will not apply. Only amounts over and above the applicable exemption are taxable.
What is a living will? In this article we will discuss using a Living Will to provide for end of life instruction. This article is the fifth in a series of nine articles explaining the Eight Goals of a Good Estate Plan.
In our previous article, we discussed using a Healthcare Power of Attorney to appoint an agent to make healthcare decisions on your behalf if you are mentally incompetent. A Living Will is a tool used to make the decision, while you are still mentally competent, to terminate life-sustaining treatment in the event that you are in an irreversible vegetative state. The Living Will takes this decision out of the hands of your healthcare agent.
The purpose of this article is to summarize Illinois laws relating to paternity. We will begin by discussing the different types of paternity cases that exist in Illinois, and continue by explaining the procedure and burden of proof in paternity suits. We will conclude by talking about the child support and child custody ramifications of paternity cases.
How to Prevent a Guardianship Proceeding Using Healthcare Powers of Attorney | Illinois Estate Planning
This article is the fourth in a series of nine articles explaining the Eight Goals of a Good Estate Plan. In this Article we will discuss using Powers of Attorney to avoid the necessity of lengthy and costly guardianship proceedings if you become mentally incompetent.
What is a guardianship proceeding?
If you become mentally incompetent, whether through injury, disease, or simply old age, your spouse or next of kin cannot simply take over the management of your financial affairs and major life decisions. If your loved one would like to sell your house or access your accounts for your benefit, or check you into a long-term care facility, he or she will not be able to do so unless either:
In a previous article, we discussed the first stage of a real estate sale, Attorney Review and Modification of the Contract. In this article, we will provide a checklist of tasks that the seller (or the seller's attorney) must handle between the execution of the contract and the closing date.
Employing a trust is a wonderful technique to avoid probate, and control your estate beyond the grave. One consideration, prior to drafting a trust, is whether or not to name the trust as a beneficiary for a retirement plan, such as a 401(k), 403(b), IRA, or Roth IRA, and if so, how to properly structure the trust. Although retirement plans achieve the objective of avoiding probate through title if living beneficiaries are named, there are some benefits to naming a trust as a beneficiary. See below for a few advantages and disadvantages of naming a trust as the beneficiary of a retirement plan.
This article is the third in a series of nine articles explaining the Eight Goals of a Good Estate Plan. In this article we will discuss using a trust to ensure that your estate avoids probate when you pass.
If you or a loved one is likely to need long term care within the next few years, you should begin your planning as soon as possible. Because of the high cost of long term care, many individuals rely on Medicaid to pay for this service. As discussed in our previous article, Transferring Assets to Qualify For Medicaid, in order to be eligible to receive Medicaid benefits for long-term care, you must be able to show that you have already "spent down" the majority of your own assets.
We also discussed the 5-year look back period. Generally, if you transfer your assets for less than fair market value within 5 years prior to applying to Medicaid, your eligibility will be delayed by a penalty period. The length of the penalty period will depend on the amount of assets you transferred during the 5 years prior to applying for Medicaid.
This article is the second in a series of nine articles explaining the Eight Goals of a Good Estate Plan. This article will explain how an estate plan can help you with the first goal of a good estate plan: Appointment of Fiduciaries and Distribution of Assets. For the sake of readability, I have broken this article into two parts. This “part A” will discuss distribution of assets. Next week’s “part B” will discuss appointment of fiduciaries.
A. Distribution of Assets
In Illinois, if an individual dies without a will or a trust, state statute determines what will be done with her assets. This is called dying intestate. When an individual dies intestate, the assets will be distributed in equal shares to the first of the following groups that contains a living member:
This article is the second in a series of nine articles explaining the Eight Goals of a Good Estate Plan.
This article will explain how an estate plan can help you with the first goal of a good estate plan:Appointment of Fiduciaries and Distribution of Assets.
For the sake of readability, I have broken this article into two parts. Last week’s “part A” discussed distribution of assets. This “part B” will discuss appointment of Fiduciaries.
In Illinois, in order to become the legal guardian for an adult, you must be appointed by the court through a guardianship proceeding. A guardian may be appointed for anyone who is unable to make or communicate responsible personal or financial decisions due to mental illness, deterioration or disability; physical incapacity; or "gambling, idleness, debauchery, or excessive use of intoxicants or drugs."
The first step in becoming a guardian is to obtain a report certifying that the individual for whom guardianship is sought suffers from one of these conditions. The report must be filled out and executed by an expert, such as a physician. Form versions of this report can be downloaded from most probate court websites.
This article is the first in a series of nine articles explaining the Eight Goals of a Good Estate Plan. The next eight articles in this series will each examine one of the Eight Goals of a Good Estate Plan in detail and explain the tools we use to accomplish that goal.
The purpose of this article is to provide you with a road map of the goals and the tools we use for each.
Medicaid in Illinois: Protection of the healthy spouse's assets and income | Community Spouse Resource Allowance
Most people are aware that in order to apply for Medicaid for long-term care you are required to spend down the majority of your own assets. In Illinois, in order to be eligible for Medicaid assistance, the recipient must have less than $2,000.00 in non-exempt assets. But what happens when the Medicaid recipient has a healthy spouse? States have recognized that, due to the financial burden of long-term care, there should be a mechanism for one spouse to receive Medicaid benefits while the other spouse (called a "community spouse") retains enough income and assets to live on. This is the purpose for the "community spouse resource allowance" in Illinois.
When you sign a contract for the purchase or sale of residential real estate, you will typically have 5 days to review the contract with your attorney in order for your attorney to modify its terms. Check out our previous article, Attorney Modification of Residential Real Estate Contracts, for more on this topic. In this article, we will discuss the top 5 things you should be on the look out for when reviewing the contract with your real estate attorney.
One of the primary responsibilities of a good divorce attorney is to attempt to settle the major issues in a divorce case prior to trial. If this can be accomplished, both sides will save on attorney fees, and there will be more marital assets remaining for division among the parties. If the parties are unable to resolve all of the major issues in their divorce, the outstanding issues will be resolved through a trial, and the judge will issue an order of dissolution setting forth his or her rulings on these issues. The alternative to a trial is a Marital Settlement Agreement.
Illinois Probate: What is the difference between independent administration and supervised administration?
The purpose of this article is to explain the difference between supervised administration and independent administration for probate cases in Illinois. For some foundational information about the probate process, please check out the "Further Reading" section below.
Probate cases can be handled in one of two ways: Supervised Administration and Independent Administration. Supervised Administration requires the executor or administrator of the estate to seek court approval for most decisions that he or she makes. Independent Administration, on the other hand allows the executor to potentially appear in court only twice: once at the opening of the probate estate, in order to be appointed executor; and a second time at the closing of the estate in order to file his or her final report with the court, close the case, and be discharged as executor.
This week, I received the following question from a reader.
Q: Hi I read your blog about funding a revocable trust. My husband and I are talking about getting them, but all we have of significant value (besides house, and a money market ($500,000), is life insurance on his life ($2M). Your article says you should keep the beneficiary of a life insurance policy first to a wife then to a trust. Why?
Illinois Law Blog: Learn About Law
O’Flaherty Law is based in Downers Grove, Elmhurst, and Naperville, Illinois. Our team has expertise in many areas of law including but not limited to bankruptcy law, business & corporate representation, civil litigation, criminal defense, estate planning, divorce & family law, immigration; probate, guardianship & elder law; and real estate law. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a free consultation, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (630)324-6666.
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O'Flaherty Law has experience in legal services in the following legal practice areas: estate planning and probate; featuring wills and trusts, powers of attorney, living wills, estate tax avoidance and probate practice; real estate law; featuring commercial and residential sales and leases, foreclosure defense, short sales, REO closings and consent foreclosures, mechanic's liens and landlord and tenant disputes; family law; featuring divorces, child custody, child support, paternity, adoption and orders of protection; criminal law; featuring DUI, traffic and criminal defense; business representation; featuring entity selection, incorporation and s-corp election, bylaws and operating agreements, annual reports, annual meetings of shareholders, employment agreements, handbooks and warning and termination letters, business contracts, independent contractor agreements, trademarks and copyrights, regulation and licensing compliance and dissolution and mergers; business and personal bankruptcy; featuring Chapter 7, Chapter 11 and Chapter 13 cases; litigation; featuring commercial contract and tort law, employment and labor law, personal injury and collections; and immigration law.
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