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IL divorce lawyerWhen married parents get divorced, their divorce decree will function as a legal court order that details how they will share child custody, and in most cases, one parent will be required to pay child support to the other. Child custody and child support orders may also be created in cases where parents are unmarried. These court orders will remain in effect until children reach adulthood. However, there may be some situations where one or both parents may wish to make changes to these orders. In these cases, it is important to understand what types of modifications can be made, when a parent can request changes and the procedures that will need to be followed to put modifications in place.

Modifications Based on Changed Circumstances

There are a variety of reasons why a parent may request changes to child custody. Parental relocation, in which a parent with primary or equal custody of children wishes to move to a new home, is one of the most common reasons for a modification. However, parents may also request modifications based on a desire for more parenting time with their children or because they are concerned about issues that affect children’s health and safety when they are in the care of the other parent.

Changes to the allocation of parental responsibilities (also known as legal custody) cannot be made within two years after a child custody order has been issued unless these changes are necessary to protect children’s health and well-being. However, changes to parenting time schedules may be made at any time. In general, a parent will need to demonstrate that their requested modifications are necessary because they or their children have experienced a significant change in circumstances. For example, adjustments to a parent’s work schedule may conflict with their parenting time, and they may request a modification to ensure that they will be able to continue spending time with their children on a regular basis.

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IL real estate lawyerThe COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on people throughout the United States, and many landlords have struggled to determine how they can continue to earn profit through leasing property to residential or commercial tenants. While some tenants have experienced financial issues that have affected their ability to make rent payments, landlords were prohibited from performing evictions for much of 2020 and 2021. The eviction moratorium in Illinois has ended, and landlords may once again be able to use the legal tools at their disposal to address the non-payment of rent by tenants. However, there are some cases where landlords may be hesitant to perform evictions, since this may place residential tenants at risk of harm, and finding new residential or commercial tenants may be difficult during the ongoing pandemic. As an alternative, landlords may consider making lease modifications that will protect their financial interests while allowing tenants to continue using the property.

Types of Lease Modifications

Tenants who have experienced financial difficulties will likely be looking to find ways that they will be able to avoid being evicted while also meeting their ongoing obligations. In some cases, tenants may ask landlords to make concessions, such as forgiving a percentage of past-due rent or temporarily lowering the amount of rent payments. In return for these concessions, landlords may negotiate lease modifications such as:

  • Modifying the term of a lease or other tenant option rights - A landlord may wish to extend the amount of time a lease will last, or they may prefer to limit the term of a lease in order to seek out different types of tenants. Other options may also be addressed, such as a tenant’s right to renew a lease or their option to purchase the property.
  • Additional security deposits - To protect their financial interests, a landlord may ask that a tenant pay a certain amount on top of their existing security deposit, or some of a previous security deposit may be put toward delinquent rent payments.
  • Liens against property - A landlord may ask a tenant to agree to have a lien placed on certain assets they own, such as a vehicle or the equipment owned by a business. This will protect the landlord’s financial interests and ensure that they will be able to recover some of what is owed if the tenant is unable to pay rent in the future.
  • Government relief - There are multiple forms of emergency rental assistance that may be available to residential or commercial tenants. A landlord may require tenants to apply for state or federal relief or make use of local programs. Any benefits a tenant receives can be put toward paying rent that is owed or addressing other expenses related to the property, such as utilities.

Contact Our DuPage County Landlord Representation Lawyers

Landlords will want to make sure they understand their options for addressing tenants who have experienced financial hardship during the pandemic. At Stock, Carlson & Asso. LLC, our lawyers can help landlords take steps to protect their rights and financial interests, including negotiating lease modifications or performing evictions. Contact our Wheaton commercial real estate attorneys today by calling 630-665-2500.

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IL estate lawyerFor many people, the process of creating an estate plan will involve decisions about how a person’s assets will be passed to their heirs after their death. However, estate planning may also address a person’s needs throughout the remainder of their life, including ensuring that they will receive the proper medical and personal care and that their finances will be managed correctly. One way of doing so is through durable powers of attorney. By understanding how these agreements can be used and the benefits they provide, a family can make sure a person’s wishes will be followed, no matter what happens.

Reasons to Create Durable Powers of Attorney for Healthcare and Finances

A power of attorney is an agreement in which a person (known as the “principal”) will give someone else (known as their “agent”) the authority to make decisions for them. A power of attorney for healthcare will address issues related to the medical care a person receives and other personal needs, while a power of attorney for finances or property will address issues related to a person’s income, assets, financial resources, and expenses. Powers of attorney are considered to be “durable” if they contain provisions that state that the agent’s authority will remain in effect even if the principal becomes incapacitated. That is, if a person becomes unconscious due to an illness or suffers from dementia or other mental health issues that affect their ability to make their wishes known, their agent will continue to have the authority to make decisions on their behalf.

Benefits of a durable power of attorney include:

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IL business lawyerIf you are a business owner, you probably have entered into multiple different types of contractual agreements, such as vendor or supplier contracts, employment contracts, licensing contracts, or contracts to provide goods or services to customers. These agreements are meant to protect your rights and interests by ensuring that both parties fully understand their obligations, the timeframes for completing work or delivering products, the restrictions that apply to either party and the amounts and methods of payment. If one party to a contract fails to meet their contractual obligations or otherwise violates the contract’s terms, the other party may pursue business litigation to address the alleged breach of contract.

Issues Addressed During Breach of Contract Litigation

To be valid, a contract must include an offer made by one party, the acceptance of that offer by the other party, and consideration provided by one party to the other. This consideration may include a monetary payment or any other benefits received in exchange for agreeing to the contract’s terms.

A contract will fully detail the obligations that apply to each party, and any failure to meet these obligations will be considered a breach of contract. Litigation will typically involve material breaches of contract in which a party’s failure to uphold the terms of the contract defeated the purpose of the contract. However, litigation may also address a minor breach of contract in which a party only violated some of a contract’s terms or an anticipatory breach in which one party will be expected to fail to uphold some or all of their obligations.

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IL divorce lawyerProperty division is one of the key issues that spouses will need to address during the divorce process. All of a couple’s marital property, which includes any assets or debts they acquired during their marriage, will need to be divided. While Illinois law does not require property to be divided equally between spouses, each spouse should receive a fair and equitable share of the marital estate. As spouses determine how to divide property in a way that will provide for their ongoing needs, ownership of their family home will be one of the most important matters to address. By understanding their options, spouses can make decisions that will allow them to move forward with their lives while maintaining financial stability.

Options for Ownership of a Family Home

Real estate property is likely to be one of the most valuable assets owned by a couple. Both spouses may have emotional connections to their home that may make it difficult to decide how to handle ownership going forward. It can often be beneficial to receive an appraisal of the home to ensure that the spouses fully understand its value. After gaining a complete understanding of the full value of the marital estate, spouses can make decisions about how ownership of the home and other assets will be handled.

When addressing homeownership during the divorce process, spouses can generally choose from one of the following options:

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