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St. Charles Illinois Legal Blog

Domestic violence is not always physical

A common misconception about domestic violence is that it involves one spouse hitting the other. However, this is only one example of domestic violence.

Generally, domestic violence is when a family or household member commits an act of abuse. This abuse could be physical, such as hitting, pushing, forced sex or not allowing a household member to leave. Abuse can also be harassment, stalking, threats of abuse, denying a disabled person access to care, forcing someone to do something he or she does not want to do or forcing someone to watch abuse occur.

Family law choices can impact a person's golden years

More people age 50 and older are choosing to divorce than ever before. Due to longer life expectancy and reduced stigma over the issue of divorce, many older couples are choosing to seek happiness and personal fulfillment in their later years. Illinois readers know that any significant family law decisions made later in life can have a significant impact on a person's retirement and his or her long-term financial stability.

If not handled in the right way, a divorce can devastate a person's financial future and dismantle retirement plans. Fortunately, there are a steps an older person can take to keep his or her hopes and dreams for the golden years intact after a divorce. One beneficial step is to take a full financial inventory, including all income streams, bills, liabilities and more. This can help a person adequately understand what is needed for daily living and how soon he or she may need to access long-term savings. 

DUI defense could affect outcome of charges in fatal crashes

The unfortunate fact is that accidents happen. Whether anyone here in St. Charles or elsewhere would like to admit it, some people suffer serious or fatal injuries as a result of mistakes that are not rooted in criminal acts. When drunk driving is suspected, criminal charges could follow, but a good DUI defense could remove that potential factor from the table, leaving only mistake and negligence as the cause for an accident.

Whether this will be the case in a recent crash involving the death of a pedestrian remains to be seen. It was a recent Saturday when reports indicate that a pickup truck struck a 23-year-old woman shortly after 2:40 a.m. Sadly, the woman passed away at the scene from the injuries she suffered in the impact.

Missteps in family law decisions can affect long-term interests

The divorce process is both confusing and stressful, which may lead to a person making decisions that are not really in his or her best interests. If an Illinois reader is considering moving forward with a divorce, it is smart to take steps to avoid common family law mistakes that can affect future interests. With preparation and careful consideration, it is possible to avoid certain missteps

In a divorce, both parties must make full disclosure of all marital assets. This ensures a fair property division settlement, which is why it is important for a person to seek all the paperwork and documentation necessary to make smart decisions. Important paperwork includes information about Social Security, retirement assets, home improvement receipts and more.

Be aware of signs to walk away from real estate purchase

Purchasing a new home often requires a great deal of trust. The buyer may have only a few brief chances to examine the property for defects or shortcomings, and the excitement and nervousness of the event may make it easier to miss important details. Certainly, an Illinois homebuyer can benefit from a thorough inspection, but some real estate experts suggest there are other indicators that the buyer should walk away and look for another deal.

If the seller or the seller's agent seems too eager to make the deal quickly, the buyer has cause to be suspicious. Rushing a sale or encouraging a potential buyer to skip the inspection may be a sign of serious damage. A seller should be forthcoming about any repairs or improvements as well as any defects or problems. If the seller is hesitant or unwilling to produce the appropriate paperwork, such as title and permits, the deal may be too good to be true.

Government shutdown slows immigration courts

The effects of the partial U.S. government shutdown affects thousands of federal workers. However, many in Illinois only began to feel some inconvenience as the impasse reached its second week. The immigration courts have been especially impacted as they now will have to face an already backlogged docket of cases once the government's budget matters are resolved.

About 400 judges handle immigration cases across the country, including those for people seeking asylum or whose visas have already expired during the long wait for a hearing. Before the shutdown, those judges had over 800,000 cases before them, and those cases are now moved indefinitely into the future. In Chicago, the average wait time for an immigration hearing is longer than four years, among the longest wait in the country. The average wait in the United States is nearly two years.

Seeking DUI defense after alcohol-related accident

Driving a car after drinking alcohol is always a hazard, whether risking injury to oneself or others, or the chance of being arrested and charged with DUI. Penalties for DUI are severe in Illinois, especially if an accident or injuries are involved. Those who face these penalties often rely on a strong DUI defense to ensure police have not violated their rights and to challenge the evidence against them.

One man is currently facing charges after an accident that reportedly occurred just after the man had left a bar. The man supposedly admitted to police he had consumed three vodka beverages and was on his way to pick up a pizza to take home. As he made a left turn, his car collided with a police car, injuring the officer who was driving and damaging both vehicles.

Can I change my child’s last name as part of my divorce?

If you plan to go back to using your maiden name after divorce, you are able to legally make this change in the divorce process. Depending on your situation, it may make sense for you to change your child’s last name too. However, this cannot be done as part of your divorce.

Changing a child’s last name is its own legal process, which must be initiated separate from your divorce. It is important to know up front that the child’s father will have to be notified of the hearing. However, if he does not want your child’s name to be changed, his disapproval will not be the only factor a judge considers when deciding the outcome of your case.

Criminal defense for man accused of felony robbery

The moments during which a crime takes place can be terrifying, especially if weapons are involved. Even if the person committing the offense is standing directly in front of a witness, the witness may be looking at the weapon and not be able to give police a clear description of the suspect. Illinois police investigations based on eyewitness accounts or even surveillance video may be flawed, and those facing charges would do well to build a strong criminal defense.

One man is in jail on a $100,000 bond after his arrest in connection with two separate robberies. The latest incident occurred at a gas station just before 4 a.m. The clerk at the store reported that a man had tried to buy a pack of cigarettes when his credit card was declined. Witnesses say the man reacted with threats before pulling a gun from his waistband and demanding the cigarettes. The clerk complied, and the man ran out of the store with the cigarettes.

Family law issues include avoiding tax burdens after divorce

If divorce is looming, an Illinois spouse likely has many concerns about how to manage financially. Like any financial issue, it helps to do some careful planning to reduce the chances of struggling in the future. Family law analysts say that those who are divorcing typically have three areas to focus on when it comes to their finances: tax ramifications, asset division and income reduction.

The new tax law eliminates the deduction for those who pay alimony. Those who finalize their divorces before the end of the year and are ordered to pay alimony will still benefit from the tax deduction, so it may be advantageous to settle quickly if alimony is on the table. However, while taxes can have a major effect on one's future, it is never good to rush a divorce settlement without proper consideration of all the ramifications.

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