Multi-Family Adjustment in Child Support

multi family adjustmentIllinois law governs the method of calculating child support in a dissolution or parentage proceeding. The method of calculating child support was modified in July 2017. Since then, parties and attorneys alike have been adjusting to the new method of determining child support.

One of the interesting points of the July 2017 changes to child support calculations is something called the multi-family adjustment. This adjustment allows for a deduction when determining a party’s income for child support purposes based on the fact that they have other children whom they support.[1]These other children can be children from a prior or a subsequent relationship.

There are two types of multi-family adjustments. The first type is for those with an order to support another child. In cases where a party has a court order to support another child, the amount of support being paid for the other child is deducted from that party’s net income calculation because the person paying child support is credited for their payments towards their other child’s support.[2]

The second type of multi-family adjustment is for those without an order to support another child. When a person is supporting another child or children but there is no court order requiring such, there are standard deductions taken from the supporting party’s income in order to account for that support.[3]This comes up most often in cases in which parties have separated and one party has entered into a relationship with another person, had another child and is still in a relationship with the other parent of the subsequent child. In these cases, although the parent is supporting the subsequent child in a two-parent household and therefore not paying child support, they are still given credit for the funds they must use to support the subsequent child.

Because the multi-family adjustment can make a significant impact to any child support determination under Illinois law, it is important to inform your attorney if either you or the other party have any children from prior or subsequent relationships.

If you have any questions about how the multi-family adjustment for child support may effect your case or other child support or family law issues, please contact Sherer Law Offices at shererlaw.com or 618-692-6656.

The information provided on this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice.  You should consult with an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, emails, and communications.  Contacting our offices does not create an attorney-client relationship.  Please do not send any confidential information to us unless and until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

Past results do not guarantee future results. Every case is different and is decided on its own merits. Any testimonials or endorsements regarding services do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter. 

The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertisements.

[1]750 ILCS 5/505(3)(F)(I)

[2]750 ILCS 5/505(3)(F)(I)(i)

[3]750 ILCS 5/505(3)(F)(I)(ii)

Illinois Cracking Down on Driving with Electronic Devices

driving with electronic devicesEffective July 1, 2019, Illinois will take a more aggressive stance on driving with electronic devices. [1]  Beginning this summer, driving while using a cell phone or other electronic device is a moving violation.  Fines for driving with an electronic device will remain the same, costing $75 for the first offense, $100 for the second offense, $125 for the third offense, and $150 for a fourth of subsequent offense.

Previously, Illinois law provided that only second time or subsequent offenders could be found guilty of a moving violation. Moving violations appear on your driving record, whereas nonmoving violations do not. While this may not seem like a radical change from the previous version of the law, it may prove to have a significant impact on Illinois motorists for several reasons.

First, moving violations are often considered by insurance companies. Because moving violations appear on your driving record, insurance companies are able to see them and may adjust your rates based on violations for driving with an electronic device.

Second, receiving numerous moving violations can result in the loss or suspension of your license. Your driver’s license can be suspended or revoked if you receive three or more moving violations within a twelve-month period. [2]  If you are under the age of twenty-one, your license can also be suspended or revoked if you receive two or more moving violations within a twenty-four-month period. Depending on the nature of the violations, a suspension may last between two and twelve months.  If the violations are more serious or continue, your license can even be revoked.

Third, moving violations can have serious implications for people with a commercial driver’s license (CDL).  The Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999 provides for CDLs to be suspended or revoked for certain moving violations and even holds that drivers with a CDL may have their CDL revoked or suspended if they are convicted of certain types of moving violations in their personal vehicle. [3]  Because of this, it is very important for a CDL holder to avoid moving violations at all costs.

For more information regarding the new electronic communication devices law or other traffic matters, call Sherer Law Offices at (618) 670-0626.

The information provided on this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice.  You should consult with an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, emails, and communications.  Contacting our offices does not create an attorney-client relationship.  Please do not send any confidential information to us unless and until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

Past results do not guarantee future results. Every case is different and is decided on its own merits. Any testimonials or endorsements regarding services do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter. 

The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertisements.

[1]http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocNum=4846&GAID=14&DocTypeID=HB&LegId=110

209&SessionID=91&GA=100

[2]http://www.ilga.gov/commission/jcar/admincode/092/092010400000300R.html

[3]https://www.drivinglaws.org/resources/traffic-tickets/commercial-license/illinois-commercial-drivers-

Changes to the Illinois Car Seat Law in 2019

Illinois car seat lawThe new year will bring changes to the Illinois laws regarding child safety seats. As of January 1, 2019, Illinois will require up to age 2 to be secured in a rear-facing car seat, unless the child weighs more than 40 pounds or is taller than 40 inches.[1]  This amendment to the Illinois Child Passenger Protection Act was signed into law by Governor Bruce Rauner in August of 2018.  The amendment is intended to ensure the safety of children riding in cars and educate parents on the risks of using improper car seats.

Previously, Illinois only required drivers to use an approved safety seat for children under 8 years of age, but did not specifically require a rear-facing seat for children under the age of 2.  The new law brings Illinois into compliance with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Recommendations on car seats. Children needing a rear-facing car seat may sit in a rear-facing only car seat or in a convertible car seat that is installed to be rear-facing while the child is using it.

The AAP recently issued an updated policy statement recommending children remain in a rear-facing car safety seat as long as possible, as research has revealed this to be the safest position for children in the event of an accident.[2]   Their report was supported by biometric research, crash simulations, as well as data collected from some European countries, which have required young children to ride in rear-facing car seats for several years.

Their research has shown that placing children in rear-facing car seats protects children’s head, neck and spine in ways front-facing car seats cannot.  This is primarily because the hard shell of the rear safety seat is designed to absorb most of the crash force if a car is in an accident.  When riding in a forward-facing seat, although the child’s body is appropriately restrained, the child’s head can jolt forward during a crash, possibly leading to spinal, head, and neck injuries.  In fact, one study has shown rear-facing car seats for children between 12-24 months are approximately 532% safer than forward-facing seats.[3]

While the act requires all children under the age of 2 to ride in rear-facing car seats unless the child weighs more than 40 pounds or is more than 40 inches tall, it also requires all children under the age of 8 to be properly secured in a United States Department of Transportation approved child restraint system. This means that children between the ages of 2-4 must use a car seat with a harness restraint, and children over the age of 4 may generally use a belt-positioning booster seat.  Weight and height requirements remain for each type of car seat, and you should always follow the car seat system that is in line with your child’s current height and weight.  It remains the parent or guardian’s responsibility to provide any driver transporting their children with an appropriate car seat.  First time violators will be fined $75, and second time violators with be fined $200.[4]

Illinois offers programs to help you with the proper installation of car seats. The Secretary of State’s office offers educational presentations regarding basic car seat installation and information regarding child passenger laws.[5] There are also car seat fitting stations throughout the state, which provide car seat inspections by certified child safety seat technicians.[6] Further, most local fire departments will help you install child car seats in order to ensure the proper installation.

For more information and help regarding this or other traffic matters, please contact Sherer Law Offices at (618) 692-6656.

The information provided on this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice.  You should consult with an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, emails, and communications.  Contacting our offices does not create an attorney-client relationship.  Please do not send any confidential information to us unless and until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

Past results do not guarantee future results. Every case is different and is decided on its own merits. Any testimonials or endorsements regarding services do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter. 

The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertisements.

 

[1]625 ILCS 25/4

[2]https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/Pages/AAP-Updates-Recommendations-on-    Car-Seats-for-Children.aspx

[3]https://wereparents.com/illinois-car-seat-laws-2018/

[4]https://herald-review.com/news/local/public_safety/new-illinois-law-kids-under-must-be-in-rear-facing/article_c9300a39-10ca-5e89-beb8-2bb37ec37eb4.html

[5]IOffice of the Illinois Secretary of State, “Child Passenger Safety Requirements,” https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/drivers/childsafety.html (accessed Nov. 30, 2018).

[6]Id.

Pet Visitation In The State Of Illinois

pet visitationIt is common knowledge that when parties divorce, they have to figure out how to share time with their children and divide their personal property, among other issues. However, one thing that may not be regularly considered, except perhaps by some pet lovers, is determining which party will keep a pet.

On a temporary basis, Section 501 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act permits either party to request, on a temporary basis, sole or joint possession of and responsibility for a companion animal, or pet, that is owned jointly by the parties.[1] In determining who should get possession of the pet, the court considers the well-being of the pet.[2]

Illinois law also provides a provision for determining ultimate ownership of pets at the finalization of a divorce. Section 503 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act provides that if the court finds a companion animal of the parties to be a marital asset, the court will allocate sole or joint ownership of and responsibility for the pet.[3] Again, in making this determination, the Court is to consider the “well-being” of the companion animal.[4] It is important to note here that the definition “companion animal” does not include service animals.[5] Because of the nature of their work, service animals remain with the individual who requires their service.

Prior to 2018, family pets were simply treated as property to be divided up between the parties at the time of divorce. In fact, in 2015, the First District Appellate Court decided a case, In re Marriage of Enders,  in which the trial court had entered an order temporarily granting “joint custody” of the parties’ dogs.[6] However, the wife denied the husband visitation of the dogs and he filed for visitation of the dogs prior to the final trial.[7] The trial court found that, despite the order granting joint custody, the husband had no visitation rights under the law at that time and the Appellate Court affirmed such.[8] The Appellate Court’s reasoning in 2015 was that under the Animal Control Act the wife was the “owner” because she was the one who “keeps or harbors” the dogs and has them in her care.[9] Interestingly, the EndersCourt warned that awarding pet visitation “would only serve as an invitation for endless post-divorce litigation,” citing a New York Supreme Court case.[10] Despite this warning, Illinois changed its laws in 2018 to allow for sole or joint possession of pets, as described above.

Because these changes to the statute are still relatively new, we do not yet know how courts will treat ownership of pets going forward.  There are many questions that will be answered in the coming years as the courts clarify the role of pet visitation and ownership in a divorce proceeding. Some of these questions include, how will the Court determine the “well-being” of the animal, will parenting plans need to be prepared for the schedule of the animals, will the parties have to agree on a course of treatment if an animal is sick or injured, and many more.

If you have any questions regarding pet visitation, divorce, or other legal matters, please contact our office for help at shererlaw.com or 618-692-6656.

The information provided on this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice.  You should consult with an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, emails, and communications.  Contacting our offices does not create an attorney-client relationship.  Please do not send any confidential information to us unless and until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

Past results do not guarantee future results. Every case is different and is decided on its own merits. Any testimonials or endorsements regarding services do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter. 

The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertisements.

[1]750 ILCS 501(f)

[2]Id.

[3]750 ILCS 503(n)

[4]Id.

[5]Id.

[6]In re Marriage of Enders, 48 N.E.3d 1277 (1stDist. App., 2015).

[7]Id.

[8]Id.

[9]Id.

[10]Id.

Understanding Estate Planning & Why it is Important

estate planningEstate planning is essentially the process of filling out the correct paperwork and working with an attorney to ensure your final wishes are carried out. While it may seem confusing at first glance, with the proper help and knowledge, estate planning can be taken care of with relative ease.

It is important that everyone take the time to properly plan their estate now, so you can take the proper time to plan out what you would like to do with your estate. One of the most basic and necessary steps to ensure you have properly planned your estate is to execute a last will and testament.  Unfortunately, many people do not have a valid will.  In fact, a 2017 survey showed that nearly 6 out of 10 Americans have not completed a will.[1]  Don’t let yourself fall into this group.

Your last will and testament is not only your way of ensuring that you dictate how your estate will be distributed to the people you want, but it can also stand as the final authority on who will take care of your children or your pets after you are gone.  It can avoid timely and costly probate battles over who inherits from you, which can result in unnecessary tension and legal costs for those you love.

If a person passes away without a will, sometimes called “intestate,” the laws of the state where they live determines how all of their property is disbursed. Typically, these laws distribute your estate in varying proportions to people who are closest to you by marriage or blood.  Leaving the distribution of your estate to the laws of the state is often time consuming. Your loved ones can end up spending time going back and forth about the proper distribution of your property. These laws also typically look only to spouses and blood relatives, which can lead to distant relatives receiving property you would rather have given to a good friend or charity.  For these reasons, creating a will is perhaps the most important step to take in estate planning.

Power of attorney is another tool that everyone should consider during estate planning.  Granting someone power of attorney allows them to act on your behalf when it comes to financial and medical decisions.  Depending on the scope you grant to the person with your power of attorney, they will be able to make those types of decisions on your behalf. A medical power of attorney allows someone to make these decisions for you only when you are no longer able to do so.  This can be useful if, for example, you have recurring payments or financial decisions that need to be made, even if you become incapacitated, or want to be sure that someone specific is in charge of making medical decisions on your behalf if you are incapacitated and cannot make these decisions yourself.

Another important aspect of estate planning is what is called a living will. A living will is similar to a medical power of attorney in some way, in that both handle how decisions about your health are made if you cannot make the decisions yourself.  A living will is a “written declaration instructing his or her physician to withhold or withdraw death delaying procedures in the event of a terminal condition.”[2]  This is a way to tell a doctor which procedures they can provide, and which procedures should be withheld.  While no one likes to think this could happen to them, having a living will may reduce an already heavy burden placed on family members during such a trying time and allow you to make decisions about your health now, while you are able to do so.

Trusts may also prove a useful aspect of estate planning.  A trust allows an individual called a trustee to hold money and property on behalf of a beneficiary.[3]The trustee is in charge of distributing the things in the trust to the beneficiary, typically based on certain parameters you put in place.  A common misconception with trusts is that they are only used by people with large sums of money.  There are many types of trusts and ways to set up trusts and they often makes sense in situations where, for example, you want to gift property to young children or would like to provide for someone to receive money in smaller amounts over a long period of time, rather than receiving everything at once.  The trustee will ensure the property or money is properly looked after and that the beneficiary receives these things based on your desires.

Sherer Law Offices is experienced in helping people work through the estate planning process. For more information and help to start your estate planning or other matters, please contact Sherer Law Offices at (618) 692-6656.

The information provided on this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice.  You should consult with an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, emails, and communications.  Contacting our offices does not create an attorney-client relationship.  Please do not send any confidential information to us unless and until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

Past results do not guarantee future results. Every case is different and is decided on its own merits. Any testimonials or endorsements regarding services do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter. 

The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertisements.

[1]https://www.caring.com/articles/wills-survey-2017

[2]755 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 35/1 (LexisNexis)

[3]https://www.fidelity.com/life-events/estate-planning/trusts

2019 Changes to Illinois Maintenance Laws

changes to Illinois Maintenance lawsStarting January 1, 2019, the Illinois maintenance guidelines are undergoing changes that may impact your pending divorce.  Under both the current and new maintenance guidelines, the law sets out certain calculations to be used in determining the amount of maintenance. These calculations apply when the gross annual income of both parties is less than $500,000.00 and the person who will be paying the maintenance is not under an obligation from a prior relationship to pay child support, maintenance, or both.[1]  In cases where a party is already obligated to pay child support or maintenance from a previous relationship, or when the gross annual income of the parties is more than $500,000.00, the court will determine the amount of maintenance, if any, by looking at things such as the parties’ age, health, work history, length of marriage, and other factors.

Under the current 2018 guidelines, maintenance is calculated by taking 30% of the payor’s grossannual income minus 20% of the payee’s gross annual income. Regardless of the calculation, the final maintenance amount is not to exceed 40% of the combined gross income of the parties.

However, this calculation will change after December 31, 2018.  The calculations to be used when the parties’ combined gross annual income is under $500,000 have undergone some significant changes. Starting January 1, 2019, maintenance will now be calculated by taking 33 and 1/3% of the payor’s net annual income minus 25% of the payee’s net annual income.[2]

Another major change for maintenance payments beginning in 2019 is that maintenance payments will no longer be deductible for the payor and the payee will no longer claim such payments as income tax.  Keep in mind, however, that if your maintenance order was entered prior to January 1, 2019, the old tax rules will apply, unless you later agree otherwise. This means that the payor will still be entitled to deduct those payments and the payee will be required to claim the payments as income, unless the parties expressly agree otherwise.

For more information and help regarding a divorce, maintenance obligations, maintenance tax consequences, or other matters, please contact Sherer Law Offices at (618) 692-6656.

The information provided on this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice.  You should consult with an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, emails, and communications.  Contacting our offices does not create an attorney-client relationship.  Please do not send any confidential information to us unless and until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

Past results do not guarantee future results. Every case is different and is decided on its own merits. Any testimonials or endorsements regarding services do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter. 

The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertisements.

[1]750 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 5/504 Effective until January 1, 2019

[2]750 ILCS 5/504 Effective January 1, 2019

Potential Law to Allow Expungement of Marijuana-Related Criminal Charges

expungement of marijuana On February 3, 2017, freshman House Representative La Shawn K. Ford introduced Illinois House Bill 2367, designed to allow people to ask for expungement of some convictions for possession of marijuana or related paraphernalia.[1]  This Bill provides that “a petitioner may petition a circuit court to expunge records of a conviction or plea of guilty for possession of not more than 10 grams of any substance containing cannabis or possession of drug paraphernalia seized in relation to possession of not more than 10 grams of any substance containing cannabis before July 29, 2016.”  Any one who was convicted or pleaded guilty to one of these charges would be allowed to apply for expungement three years after completing their sentence. Convictions would not be automatically expunged, but rather the court would decide in each case whether to allow this request.

This bill passed the Illinois House by a vote of 67 to 37, taking it one step closer to becoming law.[2]  If approved by the Illinois Senate before the end of 2018, it can then be signed into law by Governor Bruce Rauner.

This bill follows the enactment of a July 2016 Act that decriminalized possession of marijuana, instead allowing only a fine of $100-$200 for possession, now considered only a civil violation.[3]  Before this, possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana was either a Class B or C Misdemeanor, depending on the amount, and could result in possible jail time, among other things.

The bill was introduced to address the fact that while marijuana laws have changed, individuals who were prosecuted before decriminalization may still have criminal records showing convictions for actions that would now only result in a civil violation charge, rather than a criminal charge.  Illinois is not the only place looking at expungement of past marijuana-related charges.  Colorado, California, and Vermont, among others, have all engaged in similar efforts to remove past marijuana convictions from people’s permanent criminal record.[4]

For more information and help regarding the changing landscape of Illinois marijuana laws or other matters, please contact Sherer Law Offices at (618) 692-6656.

The information provided on this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice.  You should consult with an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, emails, and communications.  Contacting our offices does not create an attorney-client relationship.  Please do not send any confidential information to us unless and until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

Past results do not guarantee future results. Every case is different and is decided on its own merits. Any testimonials or endorsements regarding services do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter. 

The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertisements.

 

[1]http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocNum=2367&GAID=14&DocTypeID=HB&LegId=103003&SessionID=91&GA=100

[2]http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/votehistory/100/house/10000HB2367_11292018_016000.pdf

[3]https://www.illinoispolicy.org/marijuana-convictions-soon-might-come-off-illinois-criminal-records/

[4]https://www.westword.com/marijuana/denver-mayor-opens-expungement-options-for-over-10000-marijuana-convictions-11043778.

Can I Be Required to Pay for College and Post-Minority Support After My Divorce?

pay for collegeIs Post-Minority Support Unconstitutional?

Divorcing with college-age children may lead to the inevitable question of who will pay for college expenses of the child. In Illinois, Section 513 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act controls this question. Section 513 provides that the Court may require either party to contribute to the educational expenses of a child over the age of 18. These educational expenses may include tuition and fees, housing expenses, medical expenses, living expenses of the child, and the cost of books and supplies. The important thing to note here is that this section says “may,” because parents are not required to contribute the post-secondary expenses of their children with the same certainty as when the child is under the age of 18.

This statute has been challenged in the past and found to be constitutional. Specifically, in 1978, the Illinois Supreme Court decided a case challenging the constitutionality of Section 513. The Court said the statute was constitutional and discussed their belief that children of divorced parents were less likely to receive assistance from their parents for college education than children of married or single parents.[1] In 1988, the Second Appellate District said that this rationale also applied to cases where the parents had never been married. [2]

The reasoning behind these 1978 and 1988 cases may seem outdated now. In Illinois the “average” family, statistically, is no longer a two-parent married household, in fact in 2011 only 46% of children under age 18 lived in a two-parent married household. [3]

A recent DuPage County case brought these changing norms to light when it again challenged the constitutionality of Section 513. [4] In this case, Yakich v. Aulds, both parents were ordered to pay 40% of the college expenses for their daughter and the daughter was ordered to pay the final 20%. However, the mother paid the daughter’s portion of the expenses.  The father, Yakich, argued that parental decision-making with respect to college contribution exists for married persons, but this input ends for non-married couples, and he was therefore unable to give meaningful input into his daughter’s college decision-making process. He further argued that because of this lack of input, non-married parties can be forced to bear a burden with respect to their child’s college expenses when they had no say in where their child went to school or how much tuition cost. This obligation, he argued, does not exist for parties who are married or single, who are not required to contribute to their children’s college expenses, violating the equal protection clause. The Court largely agreed with the father in this case and found that divorced or never married parents are not provided the same input and ability to educate their children as married persons are permitted. Further, because the Court found that there is no rational basis for this difference, it determined that equal protection was denied to the father in this case and Section 513 was unconstitutional as applied to him.

This case does not completely abolish Section 513, as it only decided regarding one specific situation.  However, it puts this statute on the chopping block if other Courts were to agree with the Yakich v. Aulds Court and find other circumstances in which a party being required to pay college expenses would be unconstitutional.

TheYakich v. Auldscase is currently on appeal. We will keep this blog updated when the higher courts give their ruling.

The information provided on this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice.  You should consult with an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, emails, and communications.  Contacting our offices does not create an attorney-client relationship.  Please do not send any confidential information to us unless and until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

Past results do not guarantee future results. Every case is different and is decided on its own merits. Any testimonials or endorsements regarding services do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter. 

The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertisements.

[1]Kujawinksi v. Kujawinski, 71 Ill.2d 563 (1978).

[2]Rawles v. Hartman, 172 Ill.App.3d 931 (2d Dist., 1988).

[3]Yakich v. Aulds, 15-F-651 (DuPage Cnty May 4, 2018) (citing Livingston, Gretchen “Fewer than Half of U.S. Kids Today Live in a ‘Traditional’ Family,” PewResearch Center, December 22, 2014, http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/12/22/less-than-half-of-u-s-kids-today-live-in-a-traditional-family.

[4]Yakich v. Aulds, 15-F-651 (DuPage Cnty May 4, 2018).

 

The State Of Illinois Turns 200

Illinois2018 marks the 200th anniversary of Illinois’ statehood, as well as the creation of our Supreme Court. With this milestone in mind, Sherer Law would like to take the opportunity to step back and reflect on our history and some on the great legal minds who have shaped our State.

On December 3, 1818 Illinois was promoted from a United States territory to the 21stState to join the Union.  However, in order for Illinois to be granted full statehood status, we first had to adopt our own constitution.  Our constitution shaped our current judicial system, creating our Supreme Court and providing for trial and appellate state courts to be created.[1]Originally, our Supreme Court consisted of a Chief Justice and only three Associate Justices.

The first Illinois Supreme Court Justices were appointed by the General Assembly, commissioned by the Governor, and elected for life. In 1848, our constitution was changed to require that the Supreme Court Justices would be elected by popular vote for a term of service.[2]  In 1870, our appellate court system was established. This was composed of circuit court judges appointed by our Supreme Court.

Currently, our Supreme Court is presided over by 7 Justices: Chief Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier and Justices Robert R. Thomas, Thomas L. Kilbride, Rita B. Garman, Anne M. Burke, Mary Jane Theis, and P. Scott Neville Jr.  Each of whom will serve a 10-year term before being up for reelection. [3]

Many of the changes to our judicial system over the past 200 years are due to some of the great legal minds who have called Illinois their home.  Most of us will be familiar with the famous attorney and legal crusader from Illinois, Abraham Lincoln, our 16thPresident of the United States. In fact, four of our Presidents have roots in Illinois.  Ronald Reagan, the only U.S. President born in Illinois; Ulysses S. Grant, who lived with his family in Illinois for some time; and Barack Obama, also an attorney, who lived and taught in Illinois.

George Leighton, a Federal District Court Judge who passed away this year, was another great legal mind from the state of Illinois.  Mr. Leighton was the son of immigrants, and he himself never graduated high school.[4]  He was forced to leave before graduation in order to work on an oil tanker to help provide for his family.  Nevertheless, he continued to study independently and eventually received his college diploma from Howard University.

From there he entered Harvard Law School in 1940.  His schooling was interrupted by World War II, during which he served in the United States Army and was awarded the rank of Captain and received a Pacific Service Metal and a Bronze Star. After he completed his service, he returned to Harvard Law School and earned a Bachelor of Laws in 1946.

After graduation, he moved to Chicago, Illinois where he fought to desegregate juries and schools, represented those who could not afford an attorney, and advocated for people facing the death penalty.  On December 19, 1975, President Ford nominated him to serve as a judge for the United States District Court of the Northern District of Illinois.  He served as a judge until retiring on November 30, 1987 and returning to private practice.  The Honorable Judge Leighton continued to work as an attorney until retiring at the age of 99.[5]After he passed away on on June 6, 2018, he was fittingly laid to rest in Arlington Nation Cemetery.

[1]http://www.idaillinois.org/cdm/ref/collection/isl2/id/167

[2]https://ballotpedia.org/Judicial_selection_in_Illinois

[3]http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/SupremeCourt/meetsupremecourt.asp

[4]http://www.jonathanpollard.org/2001/100501c.htm

[5]https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/obituaries/ct-met-george-leighton-dies-20180606-story.html

The information provided on this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice.  You should consult with an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, emails, and communications.  Contacting our offices does not create an attorney-client relationship.  Please do not send any confidential information to us unless and until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

Past results do not guarantee future results. Every case is different and is decided on its own merits. Any testimonials or endorsements regarding services do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter. 

The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertisements.

Why And How To Establish an LLC

Establish an LLCIf you’re starting a small business, one of your first questions is probably whether you should establish your company as an LLC. It can be a bit of a bureaucratic nightmare and it’s another expense you have to consider, along with all the other costs associated with getting your business up and running (business cards, a website, etc. It all adds up). When you’re just starting out, you’re on a tight budget, which leaves you with the question: Is it worth it to establish your business as an LLC?

Protect Yourself from Liability

LLC stands for “limited liability corporation” and one of the main benefits of establishing your business as an LLC is to protect yourself from any personal liability in the event something goes wrong with the company. For example, if the company gets sued, they won’t be able to use your personal assets – only the company’s assets.

This is especially beneficial if you’re married. If you don’t establish an LLC and you get sued because of something related to the business, not only are your personal financial assets up for grabs, those of your spouse might be as well.

Taxes

An LLC does not have to pay federal taxes. This does not mean you and your employees and/or business partner(s) don’t get taxed for the income you bring home – it just means the business itself does not get taxed. That income gets distributed to all the members of the LLC, each of whom then has to pay federal and state income taxes on that money.

The reason it’s beneficial to not have the company itself get taxed is because not all of the money the business brings in will go straight into your pocket – there will be business expenses you’ll have to cover and it will give you peace of mind knowing you won’t have to pay taxes on that money before paying for things like rent and utilities for your office, not to mention your employees’ salaries. It also means you won’t have to pay the government twice by paying corporate taxes, followed by your own income taxes.

But just because you don’t have to pay federal taxes doesn’t mean you should forget about state taxes. Depending on where you live, your LLC might have to pay state taxes. For example, in Illinois LLCs do have to set aside 1.5% of their net income to pay the personal property replacement tax.

What Do I Need?

To establish your company as an LLC, you need to file an article of organization, which you can find at your local secretary of state’s office (these days you can probably find it on their website). Once you have completed the form, you need to file it with your secretary of state’s office in order for the LLC to legally come into existence.

Keep in mind that any mistakes on the form could result in a delay in getting your LLC established while you go over the form trying to figure out where you went wrong. This is why it’s so important to have a qualified attorney at least look over the form and help you file it. Ideally, they should be with you every step of the way so you can avoid do overs.

The attorneys at Sherer Law Offices have been providing legal representation for real estate cases, criminal cases, and all types of family law for more than 25 years. Our experienced divorce attorneys will take the time to really listen to your unique situation so that they can plan strategies that can best protect your best interests. 

The information provided on this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice.  You should consult with an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, emails, and communications.  Contacting our offices does not create an attorney-client relationship.  Please do not send any confidential information to us unless and until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

Past results do not guarantee future results. Every case is different and is decided on its own merits. Any testimonials or endorsements regarding services do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter. 

The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertisements.

The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertisements. See additional disclaimers here.