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IL family lawyerWhile annulment and divorce are often categorized together, both processes have their own distinct criteria and need to be considered separately. Divorce is the end of a valid marriage, whereas annulment ends the marriage due to its lack of validity. Contrary to popular belief, annulments are not easily acquired and require specific criteria to obtain. A DuPage County family law attorney can make this process much smoother and represent your annulment case.

Annulment is a challenging process with strict deadlines, however, it will help spouses avoid difficult proceedings such as property division and shared marital debt. Additionally, the judgment leans toward returning to the lives of both parties prior to marriage.

Grounds for Annulment in Illinois

In the state of Illinois, the annulment process is referred to as a judgment of invalidity. There are four ways in which you can be granted this type of judgment in Illinois.

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IL real estate lawyerWhen an individual falls behind on his or her mortgage payments, the lender may foreclose on the home and the home may be sold at auction. If you are interested in buying a home, you may be interested in participating in one of these foreclosure auctions. The process of buying a home at an auction is much more complicated than it may seem. It is important for anyone considering this option to fully evaluate the possible risks and benefits associated with buying a home at auction.

You May Not Be Able to See the Home Before You Buy It

One of the biggest risks associated with buying a house at auction is that potential buyers often have little information to go off of. The auction notice may offer some property information. However, there is no way to know exactly what type of condition the property is in. Potential buyers cannot have the home inspected. In most cases, they are not even allowed to walk through the home to evaluate the interior of the house. Many enthusiastic buyers have been shocked to realize that a home they thought was a great deal actually needs tens of thousands of dollars of cleaning and repairs. Because you cannot see the condition of the home, it is very difficult to accurately estimate the value of the home and offer a reasonable bid.

The Property May Contain Liens or Encumbrances

Another major risk associated with buying a foreclosure is that the property may have liens or encumbrances on it. If the home was foreclosed because of unpaid property taxes, the foreclosure may eliminate any liens on the property. If a home is foreclosed because of a delinquent mortgage, superior property liens may survive the foreclosure. Banks may pursue the home’s new owners for a lien settlement. Consequently, it is essential for potential buyers to perform a title search to learn about any liens and obligations the buyers will be responsible for. If you are thinking of buying a foreclosed home, working with a skilled real estate attorney is the best way to ensure that you do not end up responsible for liens and encumbrances you did not know about.

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IL probate lawyerAt some point, we will all have someone in our lives that passes away. When you have a close friend or family member pass away, you may be the person responsible for managing their affairs after they are gone. All of the things that they left behind are part of their estate, which must be settled after they pass away. Many people believe that probate is a long and tedious process. While it is true that it can be complicated, the probate process can also be simplified with help from a skilled Illinois probate attorney.

What Is the Probate Process?

When a person dies, someone will be responsible for settling that person’s estate. One of the ways that this can happen is through the probate process. Probate is a legal process that some assets must go through in order to settle a person’s estate. In the simplest terms, probate is the process that the court uses to confirm that a person’s estate is being distributed as intended in their will.

When Is the Probate Process Required?

Not every person’s estate will be put through the probate process. The determination of whether or not an estate will have to go through probate depends on the type of assets that they owned, among other things. For the most part, the probate process is only required if the person had any assets that were held solely by them and no other owners and the total value of all of their probate assets is greater than $100,000.

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IL business lawyerBeing laid off or fired is disappointing and may even be confusing - Was it something that you did? Was it something that you did not do? Especially in cases when an employee has done nothing wrong, employers often opt to have the employee sign a severance agreement before they sever ties. A severance agreement is a legal contract that employers use to maintain some sort of post-employment control and to prevent the employee from suing. Because Illinois is an at-will state - meaning as an employer, you can fire an employee at any time, and an employee can quit at any time - severance agreements are most commonly used when a contract was signed prior to employment. Before you give the agreement to your employee, you should have an experienced attorney look over the contract and pay special attention to specific clauses.

Severance Pay or Money the Employer Owes

Sometimes, due to an existing employment contract or company policy, your employee is already entitled to severance pay, so a clause included in the severance agreement is not necessary. If you owe your employee any money, such as for unreimbursed job expenses, it should be noted in the agreement, along with a date by which you will pay.

Employee Benefits

Your agreement should outline which benefits your employee is entitled to following termination, like medical benefits or stock options. Your employee has the option to stay on health insurance through your company’s insurer for up to 18 months after termination, thanks to the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1995 (COBRA). You should also include who is responsible for insurance premiums if the employee does choose to remain on the company’s health insurance plan.

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IL family lawyerWhen it comes to children, the court’s job is to make sure that the children’s best interests are protected at all times. In some cases, this may mean that a parent loses custody of his or her children for a while, but in some cases, a person may lose their parental rights altogether. A parent can only lose their rights to their child if they are considered to be an “unfit” parent by the court’s standards. Unfortunately, this can be the outcome of many situations when custody is contested or when couples get divorced.

What Makes a Parent “Unfit?”

Unlike years ago, most people believe that a child grows up happiest and healthiest when they have a relationship with both their mother and father. In most cases, the goal of the court is to make sure that the child has a relationship with both parents by any means necessary. If a parent’s actions are of concern to the court, they may choose to restrict the amount of time that they spend with the child or restrict some of the decision-making responsibilities that they have.

In some cases, the court may determine that the best course of action is to cut ties between the parent and the child completely. In these cases, they must be able to come to a determination that the person is unfit to be a parent. A person can be considered unfit if they have:

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