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Edwardsville Business, Real Estate and Family Law Blog

Contract negotiation didn't go so well, workers strike

There have been many times in Illinois where a dissatisfied worker walks off the job. This is not all that uncommon in today's business world. However, when 17,000 employees do so together, it's a clear sign that a contract negotiation might not have gone so well.

Unionized workers from AT&T have banded together to make their voices heard regarding several important issues that have negatively affected their jobs. For one, they say they've been performing duties typically assigned to higher paid employees, except they have not been adequately compensated for their efforts. The workers are also reportedly angry about the company's hiring of overseas workers.

Developer sues for millions in breach of contract claim

Vacant buildings dot Illinois urban landscapes as many others do in cities throughout the nation. Such structures can become eyesores if left unattended for extended periods of times. A developer in another state had plans to renovate a particular building and bought it from a city in another state. The same developer has since filed a lawsuit, however, claiming that city officials committed a breach of contract

The $600,000 deal apparently included a contingency that required the city to lease back 14,000 square feet of the building once the developer purchased it. The developer was planning to convert the structure into commercial spaces, as well as private apartment dwellings. The city was reportedly planning to use its rented sections for a visitor's center, economic development office and a cultural affairs department.

Ways to avoid stress during divorce

When you got married, you likely never imagined you'd one day be standing in an Illinois courtroom fighting for custody of your children. While most couples hope their unions will last a lifetime, the reality is that many marriages are at some risk for divorce. What makes one couple decide to stay together and another to divide their assets and go their separate ways is different for everyone.

One thing is certain: divorce is seldom easy. So many decisions have to be made, especially if children are involved. For those who have been married for two or three decades, it can be quite overwhelming to begin single lives after so many years as spouses.

Contract disputes result in shutting down of theater group

In Illinois and elsewhere, behind the scenes of community theater productions is often said to be wrought with as much drama as the stage. From actors that don't get along to sordid love affairs between cast members, one never knows what goes on when the curtain closes. Contract disputes are also not uncommon and, if left unresolved can lead to serious problems.

A theater group known as "Dead Writers Collective" has apparently closed its own curtain for good. It seems a particular situation between a leading lady and the co-founder/director of the group not only was not able to be rectified, but led to allegations of harassment and abuse, which reportedly prompted the co-founder to resign and disband the troupe. It all started when the group was preparing for a major upcoming production, and a key player informed everyone she was taking another job instead.

Business valuation: What is it and how is it determined?

Ending a marriage in court is never any easy process, as many Illinois residents who have gone through it may attest. Extenuating circumstances can complicate matters even further, such as disagreements regarding care and upbringing of children or marital property, etc. When a divorcing couple owns a business together, a business valuation is typically needed before a judge can determine its asset value and how it should be divided, if at all.

How can anyone determine the exact worth of a business? That's obviously nearly impossible, as "worth" is a subjective term. A business might mean much more to one person than another. Thus, the system is set up to scrutinize fair valuation of a business, which generally entails several different approaches.

Biological father fighting for child custody

Several years ago, in a state outside Illinois, a child was removed from the custody of her mother because the mother was deemed incompetent by the court due to drug problems. A married couple took the child in as foster parents. Since then, a situation has developed involving the child's biological father who was recently released from prison and is now fighting for child custody.

In 2013, the biological mother signed an agreement for her daughter to be adopted. The foster parents finalized that adoption in 2015. They are the only parents the 3-year-old little girl has ever known.

Skilled representation often crucial to contract negotiation

Signed agreements are highly customizable documents that are integral components of many Illinois business relationships. Some contracts last several years while others are renewed or terminated sooner. Whether entering an agreement for the first time, or submitting new proposals when an existing contract expires, contract negotiation is typically an important part of the process.

There are often several parties on each side of a contract. Whether management and workers, or customer and service providers, no two contracts are exactly alike. Those involved may push for various stipulations or benefits that align with their needs and goals. When a difference of opinion arises, it may take days, weeks or months to obtain a solution to the problem.

Another state's testimony laws in child custody cases may change

Illinois parents who've divorced understand how challenging it can be to develop new parenting plans that keep children's best interests at heart. Many say children themselves should be consulted more often when it comes to decisions regarding child custody and visitation. In fact, one state is considering changing its current laws pertaining to the testimony of children in family court.

As of now, the state in question's laws limit the age a child may testify in a custody case to 14 or older. Advocates of newly proposed legislation say lowering that age to 10 would benefit most children, who could then clearly voice their own opinions when important issues involve them. This may prove especially beneficial in situations where parents disagree about what their child would prefer.

Teachers end strike, but contract disputes remain unresolved

Illinois teachers can likely relate to a group of educators in another area who have been battling district administrators for months over several unresolved issues related to their contracts. Contract disputes within the field of education can cause negative repercussions for more people than those directly involved. Teachers' strikes often mean there is no one in the classrooms to instruct the children. Sometimes substitutes are brought in for this purpose; however, they are not typically able to teach a full curriculum.

The situation in another state involves a contract that expired on the last of June 2016. In negotiations for a new agreement, teachers' union members requested various improvements in connection with their salaries and health care benefits. District representatives say the teachers have made very unfair demands that would be far too expensive to oblige.

Robin Thicke and former wife fighting over child custody

Actor Alan Thicke unexpectedly passed away in December 2016. His son, Robin, did not invite his former wife to his father's funeral. He later claimed she never liked his father anyway and would only want to be there for publicity purposes. He has also stated that their current child custody battle began when she grew angry at being excluded from her former father-in-law's burial services. Some Illinois readers may relate to such issues.

Thicke's former wife, Paula Patton, has a very different opinion as to the central issues of their current custody battle. She says officials at her 6-year-old son's school told her the child has repeatedly made comments regarding being hit by his father. As per the former couple's current custody agreement, the child stays overnight at his father's house three nights per week.