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Couples choose to end their marriage for many reasons, including financial problems. Perhaps you were a saver and your spouse was a spender, which caused many arguments or conflicts. Regardless of why you have decided that divorce is your best option, there are many issues you and your spouse will have to resolve before you can legally dissolve your union. Your first thought may be how to divide up your assets and property. However, it is important to remember that any marital debt will also need to be divided before you can finalize your divorce in Illinois.

Debt Allocation in Illinois

When it comes to dividing marital assets, Illinois is an equitable distribution state. This means that each spouse will be allocated a fair amount of the marital estate, including both property and debt. The first step in determining who will be responsible for what is figuring out which assets or debts are part of the marital estate and which ones are considered personal debts. According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), any property or debts that you and your spouse acquired after your wedding day and before the day you filed for divorce are included in the marital estate. If the debt was accumulated before you got married or after you filed for divorce, it is usually considered individual debt.

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Over the years, with the digitalization of nearly everything — from music and movies to books, newspapers, and magazines — you have probably heard the term “intellectual property” or “IP” mentioned countless times. As we all know, especially in the earlier stages of this digital age, it was a lot easier to steal products and even ideas in their digital forms. However, as time has passed, companies and their brands have sought to protect their intellectual properties through the legal system, safeguarding it from being copied, stolen, or otherwise plagiarized. Here is a brief overview of intellectual property and why you should protect it as a business owner.

Intellectual Property: Definition

In its simplest terms, intellectual property represents the intangible creations of the human mind. The word “intangible” here seems to challenge businesses since their entire existence, including bottom lines and team interactions — even their products or services, are based on tangible, physical things that exist in reality and derive financial benefit. However, creations of the intellect are just as valuable, if not more valuable, than physical, tangible objects. In fact, in many cases, physical creations are the manifestation of these intellectual properties or, at the least, the IP serves as an inspiration for something more tangible.

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A commercial real estate development project will often represent a lucrative business opportunity for all parties involved. However, significant construction may be needed before a developer can realize the full potential of a property. Whether a new building will need to be built, an existing building will need to be refurbished, or other types of construction will be needed to ensure that a property will be able to serve its purpose, these construction projects can represent a major investment of time and money. To ensure that work will be completed properly, a construction contract will be needed, and the right type of contract should be selected based on the work being done.

Four Types of Construction Contracts

When parties sign a contract, they are making a legal agreement, and they will both be required to meet their contractual obligations. A contract should fully outline the scope of the work being performed and the responsibilities of each party. It should state the price of the project and how this amount may change if unforeseen circumstances occur, and it should detail a payment schedule and the penalties for late payments. Any relevant documents, such as blueprints and specifications, should be included in a contract.

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When someone dies without a will, or when heirs wish to determine the validity of a will, the decedent’s estate goes through a process known as probate. Probate can be a long and daunting process, and it may even be the source of stress when there are arguments about the estate, but understanding how it works can go a long way in helping you through the process.

Executor or Estate Administrator

During the probate process, an estate executor or administrator manages both the deceased’s assets and debts. If there is a will, this person is usually already named in the will. In the absence of a will, the court will appoint an executor (generally the closest family member). Named executors can decline their duties if they are unwilling or unable to fulfill them.

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Most of us, at some point or another, have had those fleeting thoughts about a product or service that could serve as the foundation for a new business. On the other hand, maybe you have watched another company offer goods and services while knowing that you could do it better. So how does one go from the “idea” phase to the “action” phase of starting the actual business based on the idea? There are, of course, many steps, but the first important one is to determine whether or not the idea is truly marketable.

What Is Your Idea?

Not every business idea is going to grow into the next Microsoft or Google, and that is okay. A successful service or product is not necessarily going to break records or reshape the world as we know it. In order to be profitable, your idea simply needs to solve some type of problem for those you intend to reach.

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