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Madison County Legal Issues Blog

Choosing among 3 different ways to divorce

When it comes time to end a marriage, Illinois couples have choices. They can choose among three primary ways to handle their divorces, and the way they choose could affect their individual futures, especially if they have children. Traditional litigation, collaborative divorce and mediation all provide couples the tools they need to get through the divorce process. The question is, which one will best serve a particular couple.

In traditional litigation, couples allow an Illinois court to make decisions for them when it comes to issues such as property division and child custody. This method often works best when there are numerous points of contention between the parties. In most cases, couples who choose this method of divorce are unable to move past their conflicts. It happens, and even though the parties may not retain control over the outcome, it may still be the best option under the circumstances.

How to talk to kids about divorce

When you are facing a divorce, fewer things can feel more challenging than figuring out how to break the news to your children. Even after the kids know about the impending separation and divorce, ongoing proceedings can be difficult to discuss with them.

By following a few basic tips on how to talk to kids about divorce, you can increase your confidence and help your children through this trying time. A conscious approach to your communication style can help them make sense of things in a healthy way.

Buyers in real estate transactions often rely on title searches

After finding a home to buy here in Glen Carbon, buyers must go through numerous steps prior to taking possession of the keys. One of those tasks involves conducting a title search. This crucial part of real estate transactions helps make sure that the buyer will actually own the property free and clear.

Many people assume that the current owner of a property is the only one with rights to it. In many cases, that turns out not to be true. A number of circumstances could keep a buyer from having a clear title to the property. For instance, a prior owner may have a judgment lien, tax lien or mechanic's lien still on record that never got taken care of before the current buyer's transaction.

Home inspections: An important part of real estate transactions

Buying a home is one of the most important decisions Illinois residents will make, and probably the most expensive as well. Due to the importance of this purchase, most people want to know as much as possible about the home before they buy it. One way to do so is through home inspections, which are an important component of real estate transactions.

Many people include a contingency in their purchase contracts regarding the outcome of the home inspection. It may be possible to make the sale price contingent upon the home inspection. For instance, if repairs are needed to the home, the seller may lower the purchase price to cover the cost of the repairs.

Letting loved ones know how estate administration should happen

Illinois residents know that they have the right to choose what happens to their assets after they pass away, but far too few people actually take advantage of this right. An estate plan allows them to let their loved ones know how they expect estate administration to go. Otherwise, it will be up to the state and the courts.

Maintaining that control may be attractive to many Illinois residents, but they may not be clear on where to start. Before doing anything else, it may be useful to figure out exactly what they are worth. Taking an inventory of assets, including real estate, personal property and accounts helps to create a clear picture. Thereafter, creating an estate plan that distributes those assets in accordance with their wishes can be done.

Deciding how the probate process will go

Many people still question why they need estate plans. One of the primary reasons for going through estate planning is to have some say in how the probate process will go. Otherwise, the state of Illinois makes the choice of how things proceed and who receives what of a decedent's estate.

The ability of Illinois residents to express their wishes for what happens to their assets after death is an important part of the estate planning process. Being able to protect family members for the future may be one of the biggest draws of creating an estate plan. Of course, most people do not feel comfortable contemplating their own demise, but the fact is that no one knows when that will happen, and being prepared helps ensure that family members are taken care of when the time comes.

Kevin Federline wants more child support from Britney Spears

Illinois residents may have read reports that indicate Britney Spears has come a long way since the days when she shaved her head and attacked someone with an umbrella. Even so, her ex-husband, Kevin Federline, retains custody of their children. Up until now, Spears has paid Federline approximately $20,000 a month in child support, but now, her ex wants more.

Federline says that he can no longer support the children with that amount and wants it increased to $60,000 per month. He blames his waning career for needing a modification to the current support order. As part of his request, Spears was recently subpoenaed to testify about her financial situation.

Dirty tricks your ex might play to hide marital assets

With a large home, a cabin on the lake, recreational vehicles and plenty of bonuses, you and your husband enjoyed a comfortable life. Unfortunately, your comfort may be nearing an end with your impending divorce. The property you and your husband accrued during your marriage should be divided in a way that is fair and beneficial to both of you, according to Illinois law, but you worry that your soon-to-be-ex might not be honest about his assets and income.

This is a valid concern, since you stayed home during the marriage to raise the children and manage the household. You have been out of the job market for years, and your employment skills are outdated. You worry that you and your children’s quality of life will suffer, especially if your ex is dishonest about reporting assets. This could have a negative impact on the amount of spousal and child support you receive.

Contingencies are vital to real estate contracts

When buying a home here in Illinois, buyers will need to make sure that if something goes wrong, they can get out of the deal. This is why contingencies are vital to real estate contracts. These provisions usually outline certain events that could make the deal null and void.

Most Illinois residents will need to obtain financing in order to complete the purchase of a home. If something should happen and a buyer becomes unable to procure the necessary mortgage loan, a contingency in the purchase contract would allow him or her to exit the deal with his or her earnest money. Such a provision could be as specific as the parties need them to be.

Take it slow when it comes to estate administration

Even when the death of an Illinois resident is not sudden or unexpected, surviving family members still need time to grieve. Some people may even panic, even if only a little since they may have relied on the decedent for support. Starting the estate administration process does need to happen within a decent time frame, but there is no need to rush into it in the first few days.

It may take that long or longer to receive the death certificate, which family members will need numerous certified copies of in order to conduct estate administration activities. Some sources recommend getting at least 20 copies to be on the safe side. If the deceased family member was employed at the time of death, the employer will need to be notified as soon as possible.