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IL divorce lawyerPeople usually envision their wedding day as being a moment full of hope and joy. And while for many couples it is exactly that, the days and months following the wedding may be equally full of surprises and disappointments. It can be hard to know someone without living with them, and even then, people can be surprisingly good at covering up important information when it suits their purposes. In times like these, it can be useful to know when it may be possible to declare your marriage invalid. Also known as getting a marriage annulled, a declaration of invalidity of marriage can end your relationship without going through the hassle of a divorce.

When Can Someone Get an Annulment?

Not everyone who gets married and quickly regrets it can get an annulment. Unlike a divorce, in which someone does not need to declare grounds at all, there are only four grounds for annulment in Illinois. These are:

  • Illegality - A marriage is illegal if one spouse was already married or if the spouses are too closely related. Siblings and first cousins cannot get married in Illinois unless the first cousins are over 50 years old or are infertile. Although most annulment grounds have time limits, a couple who discovers they are too closely related can annul their marriage at any time.
  • Age - If one spouse was under age 18 and did not have parental consent, the marriage may be declared invalid. Even with parental consent, someone cannot get married in Illinois before age 16. An annulment must take place before the age of legal adulthood or parental consent.
  • Consent - If a spouse was incapable of consenting because of mental illness or drug or alcohol use, a marriage can be annulled. This occasionally happens when a drunk couple decides to wed in a spur-of-the-moment ceremony, but it can also happen when a partner was having a psychological breakdown or was unmedicated and did not understand the full implications of getting married. An annulment for lack of capacity to consent must take place within 90 days.
  • Lack of consummation - If a couple gets married and discovers that one spouse is not capable of consummating the marriage through sexual intimacy, as long as the other spouse did not about the physical incapacity, the marriage can be annulled. An annulment for lack of physical capacity must take place within a year.

Call a Wheaton, IL Annulment Attorney

At Stock, Carlson & Asso. LLC, we know that sometimes the unexpected happens. That is why our DuPage County annulment attorneys are committed to helping you explore the available options to end your marriage as soon as possible. Schedule your comprehensive consultation by calling us today at 630-665-2500. We are available for consultations over the phone, in person, or by teleconference.


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Selling a home can be a stressful, chaotic experience. On top of making expensive changes to a home to make it more attractive, sellers are typically also busy looking for a new residence, negotiating with both the potential new homeowner and the owner of the home they wish to buy, and managing kids, careers, and more. While both the homeowner and a prospective buyer have time to request changes, negotiate the price, and make up their minds once and for all, once a purchase agreement is signed, things get real.

But what happens if a buyer suddenly pulls out of a deal, leaving the seller scrambling to clean up the mess? If you are in this situation, it is important to act quickly. Read on to learn more about what you can do, and then contact an Illinois real estate law attorney.

What Happens if a Buyer Backs Out of a Residential Real Estate Contract?

Whether a buyer can face legal consequences for backing out of a home buying contract will depend on several factors. For example, buyers can back out of real estate contracts if either the seller or buyer did not meet the contingencies in the contract, such as a satisfactory home inspection, financing terms, or required repairs.


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IL estate lawyerParents of children with disabling special needs must navigate a complex array of Illinois laws to ensure their children are taken care of as part of their estate plan. In addition to managing the financial resources a family can provide for their disabled loved one, government assistance may also be available to support a disabled adult. A family that can set up the right special needs trust can maximize their options for providing a stable, reliable source of income for their loved one that combines available government support with family assets.

How Do Special Needs Trusts Work?

A special needs trust is part of an overall estate plan that allows parents of children with disabilities to give their child money while still allowing the child to receive government benefits like social security. There are three kinds of special needs trust that vary slightly in certain respects. They are:

  • Self-Settled Special Needs Trust - This type of trust is available to an individual under age 65 whose personal resources exceed the maximum limits allowed for Medicaid eligibility. The Self-Settled Special Needs Trust will pay any remaining funds in the trust after the beneficiary’s death to reimburse the state for any Medicaid the beneficiary received.
  • Third-Party Special Needs Trust - This type of trust is established and funded using the assets of the trust’s settlor. Any assets which are not used by the beneficiary will revert back to the settlor, rather than the government, upon the beneficiary’s death.
  • Pooled Special Needs Trust - This type of trust must be managed by a nonprofit organization and can have funds that belong to many beneficiaries, which are pooled for investment and administrative purposes. Each individual has their own account and receives their share of the fund’s earnings.

Determining which type of trust makes sense for your loved one and your overall estate plan will depend on your assets, the beneficiary’s age and assets, and many other factors which an estate planning attorney can help you review.


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IL labor lawyerA bill called the Illinois Freedom to Work Act was amended last year and the new changes took effect on January 1, 2022. The amendment addressed several common issues involved in non-compete agreements, including setting minimum salary thresholds for when such agreements are legal, parameters to ensure they are fair, and conditions to protect employees laid off, fired, or furloughed for Covid-19-related situations.

Non-compete contracts can be highly restrictive and it may be in your best interests to negotiate or dispute them. If you are considering signing a non-compete clause, speak with an experienced Illinois business law attorney first. If you have already signed a non-compete clause, a business law attorney may still be able to help you challenge an unfair or illegal contract.

What is a Non-Compete Clause or Agreement?

Depending on the type of agreement, a non-compete clause can restrict an employee from working for another employer in a similar capacity, working in a specific geographic area, or working at all for a specific period of time. These clauses often contain vague language around when the clause can kick in, including being fired or laid off for any reason. Violating the terms of a non-compete agreement can result in serious financial consequences for the employee.


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IL family lawyerThe last thing most engaged couples are interested in talking about is how they will treat each other if their relationship ends. In the excitement of wedding planning and the blush of early love, the idea that a relationship could end in divorce seems impossible and deeply unromantic to discuss. Yet considering the statistics about divorce, couples would be wise to plan ahead and discuss the most important issues they will face. Doing so presents great opportunities for intimate conversations and may even prevent an ill-fated marriage from happening in the first place. Before you tie the knot, talk about these four things - and then approach a skilled prenuptial agreement attorney to create a great premarital contract that protects your priorities.


Not everybody wants children, yet couples with mismatched priorities get married all the time. An individual’s preference for children is highly unlikely to change over time, and when a partner who wants children is coupled with a partner who does not, divorce is often the inevitable outcome. In addition to discussing simply wanting children, engaged couples should discuss how many children they want and their parenting philosophy when it comes to discipline, which parent may need to make career sacrifices, and how major expenses like college will be paid for.


Couples frequently get divorced because of incompatible philosophies around spending and saving money. Set a budget, identify long-term financial goals, and discuss career ambitions well before you set a wedding date. Having a prenuptial agreement is a great way to address financial issues like property division and spousal support that could be very contentious in a divorce.


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