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Belleville Legal Issues Blog

Mortgage applications and back child support

Buying a home is a goal for many people in Illinois. Unfortunately, such a purchase can be more difficult for those who owe back child support. It is best to pay off child support arrearages as soon as possible since non-payment carries harsh penalties. If this is impossible, however, qualifying for a mortgage may still be within reach.

Back child support payments are counted as debt and may hurt a mortgage applicant's chances of being approved for a loan. However, child support arrearages will not automatically disqualify a loan applicant. Someone who owes back child support is more likely to be turned down for government programs like FHA than other types of loans.

How to get child custody back

Losing custody of a child can be emotionally difficult. This is true whether the child was placed in custody of the other parent, a relative or the state foster care system. There are several steps an Illinois parent who is in this situation can take to improve their chances of getting custody of their child back.

One of the first things a parent who has lost custody of a child should do is to consider why the judge ruled the way they did. If there was an accusation of abuse, neglect or other circumstances that contributed to the judge's decision, it is important for a parent to be honest with themselves about the problem and explore any potential solutions.

Is it possible to modify a child support agreement?

Are you someone who is having difficulty making payments from a court ordered child support arrangement? It is not uncommon for situations to arise where you are unable to stay current on payments. Situations like loss of employment, serious injury or even a change in marital status can disrupt your life enough to cause financial problems. If you are not aware, it is possible to modify the agreement

Durable and effective signage promotes workplace safety

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers in Illinois and around the country have a legal obligation to keep workplaces as safe as possible. Signage plays an important role in communicating hazards and encouraging safe behaviors. Advances in sign technology and durable materials have provided employers with more options than ever before to inform workers about safety procedures. When employers choose signage, they should look for materials that will withstand the work environment and select messaging that resonates with workers.

Messaging on signs should be concise and eye-catching. Companies have access to a large selection of sign and label products. Posters, signs, digital message displays, safety tags and color coded materials enable employers to choose the most appropriate signage for their specific challenges. Some workplaces might need mobile signs that can be positioned in new spots.

What happens when older adults divorce

Since 1990, the likelihood that people 50 and over will get a divorce has increased significantly. Now, the rate is twice as high for this demographic as it was then, and for people 65 and over, the rate has tripled.

Research has shown no correlation between divorces in this age group and major life transitions such as children moving out of the home or retirement. Instead, studies show that like younger couples, older couples tend to divorce when they feel unfulfilled and unhappy in their relationships. Unfortunately, social ties for older adults may already be weakening because of friends dying or moving away, and divorce can increase that sense of isolation. Divorce can also create additional financial burdens. Living separately costs more than maintaining a single household. Women may be particularly vulnerable. Those 65 and older are 80 percent likelier to live in poverty after they divorce than divorced men the same age.

One indicator to predict divorce

Illinois couples who are struggling in their relationship might be concerned about what signs can predict divorce. According to therapists and experts, one big indicator for divorce is the feeling of hopelessness in relation to the marriage for one or both spouses.

Hopelessness, or feeling disillusioned or disappointed in their spouse and in their marriage, means that either one or both spouses have given up on working on their marriage and are going through the acceptance phase of the end of the relationship. Sometimes, only one partner is going through this with an attitude of indifference instead of rage at the issues in the marriage. In other cases, both partners are in the same emotional place. In some situations, spouses admit that indifference and hopelessness are the result of having unrealistic expectations about marriage. The feelings might be accompanied by a sense of depression as well. A 1992 University of Washington study confirmed this, finding that couples who were hopeless at the beginning of the study were more likely to be divorced three years later.

Keeping the home after a divorce

Over the years, several studies have shown that women in Illinois and elsewhere tend to suffer financially following a divorce. In fact, one 2008 study found that the average divorced woman sees her income fall by more than one-fifth, while the average man's post-divorce income increases by one-third.

However, a study released in June by the Boston College Center for Retirement Research found that women who come out of a divorce with the ownership of a home can stay on solid financial footing. Specifically, researchers found that divorced women have better luck accumulating assets than women who have never been married. This is because divorced women are more likely to own a home than those who never tied the knot.

Do your crimes qualify for expungement in Illinois?

You made criminal mistakes years ago, and you wish that your crimes were no longer recorded on your record. With an employers’ ability to access your criminal history in background checks, you feel as though you have missed out on positive job opportunities.

In Illinois, you may have the ability to have your crimes removed permanently from your record through a process called expungement. If you believe your crimes require expungement, you want to speak with an experienced attorney who can help you develop a sound document to apply for an expungement. Know that if your charges ended without penalties, your crimes may prove eligible for the process immediately. Removing charges from your record can help you move forward in life without worrying about your background check results.

Amazon employees allege improper treatment in the workplace

An investigation by the Guardian reveals that the online retail giant Amazon has been improperly treating many of its employees after they have been injured on the job. Many injured former employees even are left without an income, benefits and a home. This is important news considering how there are more than 140 Amazon warehouses across Illinois and the rest of the U.S.

Many former employees reported that the warehouse environment left them exhausted and fatigued and that they had to quit so as not to risk having an accident. One former employee in Pennsylvania says she was permanently disabled in a workplace accident but was refused the necessary paperwork to file a workers' compensation claim. Her short-term disability benefits were cut off after five weeks when she should have received them for 26 weeks.

Using a prenup to protect a small business

Illinois business owners who are planning to get married may want to consider a prenuptial agreement. It can protect the venture in the event of a subsequent divorce.

Without a prenup, the business may be considered marital property. This means that the non-owner could maintain an interest in the business after divorce. A prenup would waive this interest. If there are business partners, they might also sign the prenup. People who are using a prenup to protect a business should make sure they cover all their bases. For example, the prenup may need to address business appreciation. In some cases, if the business was started before the marriage, it could be considered separate property, but the amount the business appreciates after the marriage might be considered shared marital property. A prenup can state that this is not the case.

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