McCarthy & Allen Madison County Attorneys
We offer flexible appointment hours.

Local: 618-307-4099

Toll Free: 888-847-9322

Madison County Legal Issues Blog

4 reasons why second divorces are more likely to fail

If you are in your second marriage, you may be happy about having a fresh start. Unfortunately, 67 percent of second marriages end in divorce. However, this does not necessarily have to ring true for your relationship.

Why are subsequent marriages more likely to end badly? There are a few common reasons that many failed second marriages share. 

Payment bonds are part of many construction contracts

The one thing that everyone wants when a job here in Illinois is completed is payment in full. Certain provisions and terms are built into most construction contracts to make sure that happens. One of those terms often involves payment bonds.

Payment bonds are used in order to make sure that everyone gets paid at the end of a project. A contractor, owner and surety form a contract that does just that for everyone, including general contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers and laborers. When people are paid, an owner is left with a property free from liens.

Gwyneth Paltrow kept her husband's name in the divorce

When ending a marriage, an Illinois woman may want to decide whether to keep her husband's last name. Being a superstar does not preclude an actor from taking her husband's name when getting married. A star may still be known by her Hollywood name, but on paper and to the neighborhood kids, a woman may be known by her husband's last name. For instance, she may be Gwyneth Paltrow to the rest of the world, but in her circle and to the kids at her children's schools, she's Mrs. Martin.

When she and Chris Martin divorced in 2016 using "conscious uncoupling," Paltrow decided that it would be better for her children to remain Gwyneth Paltrow Martin legally. She retains the same last name as her children, which she feels is better for her children in the long run. Every woman needs to make this decision for herself.

Making the best decisions for the family pet in a divorce

Many Illinois families have pets. In some of those families, the pets are more like children since many couples are either waiting to have children or have elected not to have them. When the marriage ends in divorce, the fate of the family pet often hangs in the balance.

Most states continue to view pets as property. Since you cannot exactly split a pet, and many couples refuse to sell a beloved animal, the process of figuring out which party receives the family pet can become an intense court battle. Even then, even if a judge is sensitive to a couple's plight, he or she may only make decisions in accordance with the law.

Including these in a will could complicate probate

The primary purpose of an Illinois resident's will is to distribute property. While that statement may generally be true, there are certain types of property that a will does not distribute. In fact, including some items in this document could complicate probate and cause surviving family members a great deal of consternation, time and money.

Many types of property pass to heirs and beneficiaries outside of a will and without the need for probate. Some of these assets include retirement accounts and life insurance policies. These assets pass to the individual or individuals listed on the beneficiary designation forms that an Illinois resident filled out at some point, usually when the accounts are opened or the policies are purchased. Any attempt to transfer these assets to someone else through a last will and testament will fail since beneficiary designations override the will.

Another business formation task: Choosing the right retail space

When Illinois entrepreneurs decide to start a new retail venture, many of them will need a location from which to operate. Choosing a retail space is not as easy as finding an empty space in a strip mall, however. Numerous factors go into making the decision, which makes this an important task during the business formation process.

A new company's business plan may provide clues regarding the type of space and location that may best suit a particular retail business. A good place to start is by determining the amount of space and the layout needed. This could help determine whether to search for space in a mall, shopping center or near pedestrian-laden areas such as in the downtown area.

Will my child support spending be monitored?

The family law court has just issued a judgment on how much child support you will receive, and you are looking forward to your first payment. It can be difficult and expensive to raise children as a single parent, and you need all the help you can get. However, you worry that you might need to keep track of your child support expenses, especially since your ex has been telling you to save your receipts. Does the Illinois family law system monitor your child support spending? Can your ex have a say in how you spend the money?

Fortunately, this scenario is very unlikely to happen, as FindLaw explains. As the custodial parent, your children’s physical and emotional well-being is primarily your responsibility. Child support should help you achieve this goal, but you can decide how best to use the funds for your children’s benefit. For example, you might spend child support on basic needs for your kids, such as the following:

  • Food and clothing
  • School supplies and tutoring
  • Hygiene items and household necessities
  • Rent and utility payments
  • Medication and doctor co-pays

When business formation includes budgeting for retail space

Money is often an important part of the planning process for any Illinois entrepreneur. This often makes budgeting a crucial part of any business formation efforts. When a new venture includes finding a retail space, it may help to make sure that everything is considered when creating a budget for it.

Before moving forward, it will more than likely be necessary to figure out how much of the monthly budget can be set aside for rental payments. This will require some research in order to determine the high and low ends of the spectrum in the general locale in which the business will operate. Once those two numbers are obtained, it may be possible to determine an average monthly base rent. 

Use estate planning to make things easier on the family

Most Illinois residents want to make sure their family members do not have to go through anything unnecessary in order to take care of them both before and after death. Estate planning can help make sure that does not happen. Without the proper documentation in place, the state decides where assets go upon death and/or family members must go to court to determine how to handle certain issues.

For instance, an Illinois health care power of attorney appoints a trusted individual to make decisions regarding the maker's medical care if he or she subsequently becomes incapacitated due to an illness or injury. In addition, executing a living will, or advance directive, at the same time may make that person's wishes known not only to his or her agent in the power of attorney, but also to doctors in charge of the care. Otherwise, family members may end up in court regarding how to proceed.

Seniors should beware of estate planning scams

Just as is the case anywhere in the country, anyone here in Illinois can become the victim of a scam, but it is seniors who seem to be the largest target group. Scams come from a variety of sources, even estate planning. People prey on the fact that seniors may not have put a plan into place yet and may feel pressured to execute one.

For example, living trusts can be a useful tool for many people, but they do not fit everyone's circumstances. Anyone pushing this type of estate planning document without first assessing an individual's situation and needs may just be after money. Those who push "one size fits all" estate plans including a living trust are more than likely just looking to take a vulnerable person's money.