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IL divorce lawyerAlthough there is light at the end of the tunnel with a vaccine for coronavirus being administered now, the economic impact may be felt for some time. Many non-essential businesses such as bars, restaurants, casinos, fitness centers, and salons were closed to stop the spread of COVID-19. As a result, workers across the country, including Illinois, had to file for unemployment for the first time in their lives. The financial impact of this can be especially difficult for a divorced person.

In some cases, an individual may either pay spousal maintenance (alimony) or receive it as determined in the divorce decree. Spousal support refers to the legal obligation to provide financial support to an ex-spouse in a legal separation or divorce. The purpose of this maintenance is to help the ex-spouse eventually become self-supporting. However, if either spouse loses his or her job, it is important to understand how this unemployment can impact the support payments moving forward.

Spousal Maintenance 101

According to Illinois divorce law, spousal maintenance is intended to help the supported spouse maintain a similar financial situation as he or she had during the marriage. It is often awarded to the lesser-earning spouse or one who did not work outside of the home. Before this type of financial support is awarded, the court will review certain factors, including each spouse’s income, if child support will be paid, and whether one spouse needs financial assistance. A judge can order maintenance for a short or indefinite period with a periodic review depending on the details of the marriage and divorce. For example, if a couple was married a long time and one person has medical issues that prevent them from working, the support may be permanent.

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IL real estate lawyerA commercial lease agreement is a written contract used to rent an office, retail, or industrial space. This legally binding document outlines the terms and conditions associated with renting the space. These types of leases are generally more involved than a residential lease because commercial properties cost more to maintain. The contract is typically between a party who owns a commercial property (landlord) and a tenant who rents the property or building space in order to operate a business, usually in the retail, office, or industrial fields. Per Illinois real estate law, there are certain issues that must be addressed in a commercial lease agreement in order for it to be valid.

Finding the Right Fit for Your Business

Commercial leases are important since they provide income for the property owner or landlord and also provides the business owner with a safe and secure place in which to do business. In addition, these agreements establish rules for how the business can be conducted, as well as the rights and responsibilities of each party. Specific details about what kind of business will be conducted should be clearly stated so as to avoid any illegal activity. Standard residential leases usually last one or two years, while a commercial lease can be 10 years or more, especially if the business is thriving.

Similar to other states, Illinois has three main types of commercial leases:

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IL estate planning lawyerEstate planning includes several different legal documents that outline a person’s future wishes through the creation of a will or a trust. Making decisions ahead of time can alleviate the uncertainty and potential disputes after someone passes away. Probate is the judicial process in which an individual’s will is proven in a court of law and accepted as a valid public document that is the true last testament of the deceased. In addition, it is also the process by which the estate is settled according to the laws in the state of residence of the deceased person at his or her time of death if he or she does not have a will (intestate).

Understanding the Executor’s Role

An Executor is named in a Last Will and Testament to oversee the probate of his or her estate. In many cases, this individual is named in the will, but any competent adult can volunteer to be the personal representative (PR) of the estate. The duties and responsibilities of the executor should be taken seriously. Here are a few tips for successfully completing them:

  • Consult an experienced estate planning attorney to ensure that you perform your duties and responsibilities correctly.
  • Identify the estate assets immediately after the death and determine if they are probate or non-probate assets.
  • Keep detailed records and documentation of everything you do as executor.
  • Obtain the assistance of a real estate professional to appraise and/or sell property or a certified public accountant (CPA) to prepare the estate gift and tax return.
  • Do not release any estate assets without your attorney’s approval because if you make an error, you could be personally liable.

It is important to note that the state of Illinois issues an estate tax in addition to the gift and estate taxes from the federal government.

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Becoming a business owner can be a major endeavor, regardless if you are launching your own start-up or purchasing a franchise company. For those looking to start their own business, a franchise with proven systems and processes in place can provide an extra sense of security. Research shows that franchises have a better success rate than start-ups; however, embarking on a franchise business can still pose risks. That is why it is important to consult with a skilled attorney who is well-versed in Illinois business law before you decide if opening a franchise is right for you.

What Benefits Does a Franchise Offer?

Most franchises have been around for a long time, meaning they have a successful business model that enabled them to expand and open other branches or locations. One of the main advantages of a franchise is the collaboration and network that comes with a corporate entity. In addition, a franchise can offer the following benefits:

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After a couple finalizes a divorce, they can often go their own separate ways, never having to see each other again. However, if children are involved, they will be co-parenting together. This can be difficult under any circumstances, but even more so during a global health crisis like COVID-19. In an effort to stop the spread of the contagious virus, many non-essential businesses have been closed, while students have been learning remotely and parents working from their homes. Navigating this new normal presents different challenges for co-parents. This means some divorced parents may need to modify their existing co-parenting arrangements or  parenting time orders.

Co-Parenting and Parenting Time Schedules

In Illinois divorces, parents must create a parenting plan that outlines how parental responsibilities (child custody) and parenting time (visitation) will be shared or divided. If spouses cannot agree to the terms of this plan before their divorce is finalized, the court will become involved. In these cases, a judge will make decisions on what is in the best interest of the children. Arrangements can be tailored to fit parents’ work schedules as well as children’s school schedules. Sharing may be in the form of one parent having the kids stay with him or her for one week, then the other parent having the kids the next week. In other situations, one parent may have the majority of parenting time with the co-parent only having the children every other weekend and one night a week.

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