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Geneva Illinois Law Blog

Should joint custody be an option for you?

As a resident of Illinois who is going through a divorce while you have kids to take care of, the entire situation can feel incredibly high stakes. At the Law Offices of Johnson & Buh, we're here to help you deal with stresses like determining what your custody situation will look like.

Child custody and visitation can also be known as parental responsibilities and parenting time these days. This is because of a general shift that has occurred over the years. Before, primary custody was usually given to one parent. The other would then follow a visitation schedule that allowed them to spend time with their child for a certain number of days out of a week or month.

Uncontested vs. contested divorce in Illinois

A divorce can often be a complicated process, but a couple who agrees on the issues regarding their separation can avoid a lengthy and more costly process by proceeding with an uncontested divorce.

Both types of divorce - uncontested and contested - end a marriage but in different ways and under different circumstances. Both are filed the same with the state, but for different reasons. Knowing the differences will help you know which route best fits your situation.

Who keeps the dog after divorce?

Divorce is an emotionally complex process with many hot-button issues between spouses. The more common heated topics couples face during a split are child custody and property division, but another frequently contentious issue is who gets to keep the dog. Many couples worry about pet ownership as they start divorce proceedings.

Humans have strong bonds with their pets and some even consider them to be “one of the kids”, so it’s no wonder that pet ownership is an issue that causes much anxiety during the divorce process. Families have long considered the pet to be a member of the family and in the last year, Illinois law has made changes to accommodate that.

Reasons to modify your child custody arrangement

Illinois parents who decided on a custody arrangement years ago may be living in very different situations now. Child custody orders don't naturally grow and change with a changing family dynamic, but they can be modified to suit a person's current situation.

Verywell Family points out that not every reason for a custody modification will be accepted. The child's best interest will always be the most important thing, and if the court decides the disruption to the child's life outweighs the possible benefits, the changes won't be made. Legitimate reasons for a modification can include dangers in the child's home environment, such as the threat of abuse. The relocation or death of a parent can also qualify, especially if the parent is moving a far distance away.

Is shroom legalization next?

Marijuana isn't the only Schedule II drug with claims of medical benefits. In recent years, some have claimed that taking tiny doses of psilocybin -- a practice called "microdosing" -- can boost focus, creativity and problem-solving without harmful effects.

Now, as the Silicon Valley trend spreads, so do rumors of its supposed mental health benefits.

How children can benefit from joint-custody arrangements

As an Illinois parent, chances are, you want to maximize the amount of time you get to spend with your children before they head off to college or otherwise begin life on their own. Once you divorce your child’s other parent, however, this can become decidedly more difficult, and you may find yourself adjusting to a joint-custody arrangement. At the Law Offices of Johnson & Buh, we understand that joint-custody arrangements are not always desirable for all parties involved, but we also recognize that such arrangements can have positive effects on children.

Per Time, children of divorce whose parents have joint-custody arrangements tend to fare better overall than their peers who are also children of divorce, but live exclusively with one parent or the other. This contradicts a commonly held belief about joint-custody arrangements, as many believe that transitioning between two homes might prove more problematic and stressful than it is worth.

What is embezzlement?

"Embezzlement" is a term you may have read in Illinois newspapers or heard on TV. You may already know that it is a white-collar crime and involves stealing from your employer. However, according to FindLaw, what distinguishes embezzlement from simple theft is that you must be in a position of responsibility for the assets that you have allegedly taken. 

Employers often place assets in the care of an employee, who is then responsible for using, managing or monitoring the assets according to the best interests of the owner. For example, if you are a salesperson or a customer service representative, your employer might provide you a company laptop with which to do your job, or you may be a bank teller or cashier monitoring monetary transactions. In either case, you are in a position of trust with regard to the company's assets. If you misappropriate the property entrusted to your care and use it for your own benefit instead, you may face prosecution for embezzlement.

How do I pay my reinstatement fee online?

Losing your driver's license is a huge inconvenience, but getting it reinstated is not in Illinois. The Office of the Illinois Secretary of State created a system to allow you to pay your reinstatement fees online. This means you no longer have to physically go somewhere to pay the fees. Since this is often the last step you take before getting your driver's license back, having the ability to do it so easily from the comfort of your own home is very nice.

To access the system, you need to go to the Secretary of State's website. You have to have a credit card to pay with. You can pay only one fee at a time. For every payment you make, the system charges a 2.35 percent fee. To get to your records and ensure you pay the correct fee and amount, you need to have either your driver's license number or your full name and birthdate. After you pay, you get a receipt by email.

What to know about marital property division in Illinois

When it comes to the division of marital property, Illinois is an “equitable property” distribution state, meaning a marital estate is divided equitably by a court. Equitable distribution isn’t always equal down the middle, but relative to each situation.

While some states divide property 50/50, a judge In Illinois will consider many factors when dividing a marital estate. Firm guidelines don’t exist per se, so instead, each case is handled individually based on its own set of circumstances and the court has the discretion to decide what’s fair.

Eyewitness misidentification: What you should know

If you have been accused of committing a crime in Illinois, you may be asked to participate in an eyewitness identification lineup. Witnesses are then asked to choose the suspect from the line of potential perpetrators. The problem lies in the fact that the eyewitness identification process can lead to errors, which may cause innocent people to be convicted of a crime they did not commit. According to the Innocence Project, 362 people were freed from prison after DNA evidence found they were actually innocent of committing a crime. Eyewitness misidentification was involved in more than 70 percent of these cases. What causes witnesses to choose the wrong people from a lineup?

First, inadvertent gestures and comments made by the lineup administrator may prompt witnesses to choose a certain person from the lineup. Administrators should be blind to the case, and not know any details of what is going on with the matter. Furthermore, poor organization of the lineup can lead to mistakes as well. For example, if the perpetrator is said to have had a beard and a tattoo on his arm, there should be more than one person in the lineup with a beard and tattoo. If there is only one person matching the description, the witness is most likely to choose this person, regardless of whether they are guilty or not.

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