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IL divorce lawyerEnding a marriage through divorce will involve multiple types of legal and financial issues. A couple will need to separate multiple different aspects of their lives that have become intertwined while they were married. As they make decisions about how to divide the property they own and the debts they owe, each spouse will want to take steps to make sure they will be able to support themselves and live comfortably once their marriage has ended. However, this can sometimes be difficult for those who rely on a spouse’s income or who do not have significant financial resources. In some cases, a person may be able to receive ongoing financial support from their spouse that will help them meet their needs. By understanding when this form of support (which is known as spousal maintenance, spousal support, or alimony) may be appropriate, spouses can make sure they will be able to address this issue correctly during the divorce process.

When Will Spousal Support Be Awarded?

A person will not automatically receive spousal maintenance following divorce, and this form of support will generally only be appropriate in situations where one spouse earns a significantly higher income than the other. If a spouse has been a stay-at-home parent during the couple’s marriage, or if they only work part-time so they can devote more time to childcare and other household responsibilities, they may ask for spousal support so that they will be able to cover their ongoing financial needs after getting divorced while also working to ensure that they will be able to support themselves in the future.

A couple may agree that spousal maintenance will be paid when they create a divorce settlement. If an agreement cannot be reached, the party seeking support can ask the judge in their case to decide whether spousal support should be awarded. When considering this issue, a judge may look at how much income each spouse currently earns, the income they should be able to earn based on their education and work experience, and their ongoing needs. Other relevant factors that may play a role in these decisions include whether the spouse seeking support has made sacrifices to their income or career in order to focus on family responsibilities and whether a person has made monetary or personal contributions that have helped their spouse increase their income level or pursue career opportunities.

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IL real estate lawyerThere are multiple different situations where construction may be performed on real estate property. Homeowners may plan to make improvements or renovations to their homes, or a person may plan to build a new home after a residential real estate purchase. Real estate developers may plan construction on commercial real estate property, either by making improvements to existing buildings or adding new buildings that can be leased to commercial tenants. Construction projects can be complicated, and the parties involved in these projects will need to make sure they understand their rights and obligations as they enter into construction contracts. By understanding the types of contracts that may be used in these projects, property owners, developers, and contractors can determine the best options that will protect their rights and interests.

Terms of Construction Contracts

The contracts used during construction projects will typically fall into one of the following categories:

  • Fixed-price/lump-sum contracts - A contractor may submit a bid in which a total amount will be paid for a construction project. While this may allow contractors to maximize profits if they are able to complete the project under budget, it can result in losses due to miscalculations, errors made during construction, or unexpected costs.
  • Cost-plus contracts - A property owner or developer may agree to pay for the actual costs of construction, as well as an additional amount that will allow the contractor to make a profit. These contracts allow for more flexibility if changes need to be made during a project or if unexpected expenses arise.
  • Time and materials contracts - A contractor may be paid for the materials used during a construction project, as well as an hourly rate for the time they have worked. While these contracts allow for modifications as needed, they require detailed tracking of time, and they can sometimes be inefficient.
  • Unit price contracts - A project may be divided into several phases or components, with different prices being established for different types of work. This may make it easier to make changes or additions while a project is ongoing.
  • Design-build contracts - This type of contract will combine the design of a construction project with the actual work being performed. This may be a good solution if a single contractor will be providing architectural designs and ensuring that work is completed properly.
  • Guaranteed maximum price (GMP) contracts - An owner or developer may wish to ensure that the total cost of a project will not exceed a certain price. These types of contracts may lead to increased risk for contractors, and they are typically used for projects that involve repeat work with a low possibility of delays or unexpected costs.

Contact Our DuPage County Real Estate Construction Contract Lawyers

At Stock, Carlson & Asso. LLC, we have represented in multiple types of real estate transactions and development projects. With our understanding of real estate law and contract law, we can help draft and negotiate construction contracts that will protect the rights and interests of the parties involved. Contact our Wheaton real estate attorneys at 630-665-2500 to arrange a consultation and get legal help with issues related to construction contracts.

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Il estate lawyerThere are a variety of estate planning tools available to families that will allow them to protect their assets, use these assets to provide for themselves and their loved ones, and determine how matters should be handled after a person’s death. While most people are familiar with wills, they may not be fully aware of the role that trusts can play in an estate plan. Revocable living trusts can be especially beneficial, and understanding how these trusts may be used will ensure that a family will be fully prepared for the future.

What Is a Revocable Living Trust?

Trusts are legal instruments that will allow a person’s assets to be managed by a trustee, who will follow specific instructions for how assets should be distributed to a person’s beneficiaries. When a trust is created, ownership of assets will be transferred to the trust itself. This can ensure that certain assets will be protected, and it will also make sure these assets will be used correctly. If a trust is revocable, the person who created the trust can update its terms at any time.

With a revocable living trust, the trustmaker will usually be able to maintain control of their assets during their lifetime. The trustmaker may serve as the trustee, and a successor trustee will also be named who will assume control of the trust after the trustmaker’s death or if they become incapacitated. A trustmaker can make decisions about how the assets in a trust will be distributed to their family members or other beneficiaries after their death. They can also name themselves as a beneficiary and use the trust’s assets to provide for their own needs throughout their lifetime.

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IL business lawyerMany businesses rely on non-compete agreements to ensure that employees or former employees cannot use a company’s trade secrets or other protected information to engage in unfair competition. These agreements may be included in employment contracts, severance agreements, or other types of contracts, and they may prohibit a person from working for a direct competitor, starting a competing business, or engaging in other competitive activities within a certain geographical area and during a specific time period. However, a recent change to the laws in Illinois may affect a business’s ability to use non-compete agreements in the future. To ensure that they are following the applicable laws, a company can work with a business law attorney to create valid and enforceable non-compete agreements whenever appropriate.

Restrictions on New Non-Compete Agreements

The Illinois Freedom to Work Act was amended in 2021, and the changes went into effect on January 1, 2022. Certain restrictions will apply to non-compete agreements that are created or updated after this date. These restrictions include:

  • Employers can only enter into non-compete agreements with employees that earn more than $75,000 per year. This limit will be increased to $80,000 in 2027, and it will increase by an additional $5,000 in 2032 and 2037.
  • Non-compete agreements are prohibited altogether for people employed in the construction industry or other workers who are covered by a collective bargaining agreement. However, this prohibition does not apply to employees who primarily perform functions related to management, engineering, architectural design, or sales.
  • Employees must receive adequate consideration in return for entering into a non-compete agreement. Consideration may include wages or benefits, bonuses, severance pay, or other forms of compensation. If an employee works for an employer for at least two years after signing a non-compete agreement, this will be considered adequate consideration.
  • To be valid, a non-compete agreement must be necessary to protect an employer’s legitimate business interests. To determine whether the restrictions included in a non-compete agreement are appropriate, multiple factors may be considered, including an employee’s understanding of an employer’s relationships with customers and other employees, an employee’s knowledge of trade secrets or other confidential information, and whether restrictions on when and where an employee can work will be reasonable.
  • Employers are required to advise employees in writing that they should consult with a lawyer before signing a non-compete agreement. Employers must also allow an employee at least 14 days to consider a non-compete agreement before employment begins or before the agreement must be signed.

Contact Our Wheaton Non-Compete Agreement Lawyers

If you believe that non-compete agreements are necessary to protect your business’s interests, you will need to make sure your agreements are in compliance with Illinois law. At Stock, Carlson & Asso. LLC, we can advise you of your rights and the restrictions that may apply to your business, and we will work to draft and negotiate non-compete agreements and other types of contracts that will provide you with the protections you need. Contact our DuPage County business contract attorneys at 630-665-2500 to set up a confidential consultation and learn how we can assist with your legal needs.

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IL divorce lawyerThere are many reasons why a couple may want to create a prenuptial agreement before they get married. If either party owns significant assets, or if one party earns a higher income, they may want to take steps to protect themselves financially in the case of a divorce. A prenup may also be used to ensure that children from a previous relationship will have the financial resources they need. This type of agreement can help a couple avoid uncertainty in the future, and by making decisions about how matters will be handled if they choose to get a divorce, they may be able to minimize potential conflict. For those who are considering a prenup, it is important to understand what types of decisions an agreement can and cannot include.

Issues That Can Be Addressed in a Prenup

A prenuptial agreement will generally be limited to addressing issues related to a couple’s property and finances. The terms of a prenup may include:

  • Each party’s rights and obligations regarding the property they own together or separately. This may include details about a person’s rights to buy, sell, use, manage, control, or dispose of different types of assets, such as financial accounts, real estate property, vehicles, or other valuable items.
  • Whether different assets are considered marital or separate property. Separate property generally includes any assets owned by either party before getting married, and a spouse will be able to retain ownership of these assets if their marriage ends in divorce. Marital property must be divided between spouses in the case of divorce.
  • Decisions about how property will be divided in a divorce. A couple may agree on how property division will be handled, removing uncertainty about ownership of different types of assets and avoiding conflict about these issues.
  • Modification or elimination of spousal support. During a divorce, one spouse may ask for financial support from the other spouse. To avoid conflict about this issue, spouses may use a prenup to decide the circumstances when spousal maintenance will or will not be paid or to specify the amount and duration of spousal support payments.

A prenuptial agreement may also address any other issues that a couple believes are relevant, as long as these terms do not violate the law or go against public policy. However, a prenup generally cannot make decisions about the custody of a couple’s children, since these issues will be decided based on what is in the best interests of the children rather than the wishes of the parents. A prenup also cannot include any terms that would affect a child’s right to receive child support that will provide for their ongoing needs.

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