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Illinois Legal Issues Blog

Shoplifting Comes In Many Forms, And All Are Illegal

A recent incident at a store in Wheaton illustrates the creative strategies that people use to steal items from shelves.

According to an article from Wheaton Patch, an individual took a pricey Louis Vuitton purse, leaving a worthless knockoff in its place. It is important to note that trades like these may still be charged as retail theft under Illinois law, and the accused could be subject to the same penalties that they would be subjected to had they stolen the item outright.

Finding a child's best interests is imperative to growth

When a couple makes the decision to divorce in Illinois, their choice can have a ripple effect on a lot of people. Among those most significantly affected are their children who may be left reeling with emotions and questions about why their parents are no longer married. Helping children cope and find healthy ways of acknowledging the changes in their life is important to give them a chance to express their concerns and to establish a new routine that will become accepted over time. 

A common term associated with child custody is "best interests." This term suggests that a child's best interests be considered in determining which parent receives sole custody, if parenting will be split and who will be the primary caretaker among other decisions. According to, some of the aspects that are taken into consideration include consistency in the child's schedule, how old the child is and whether or not they will be safe in certain environments. Courts also pay attention to each parents' ability to provide responsible care in raising their children, as well as how a new routine will affect the child's ability to perform in school and social environments. 

Coordinating a parenting plan that benefits everyone

When a couple makes the decision to separate and get a divorce in Illinois, their decision instantly becomes more complicated if they have had children together. While the logistics of separation and co-parenting may not seem too complicated at first, if differences are not addressed immediately, long-term strife and contention may soon overtake any promise of a beneficial relationship. 

One of the first tasks that parents will need to accomplish is coordinating a parenting plan that plays to the individual needs of each party. As the creation of their plan is underway, parents should pay critical attention to the ages, needs and desires of their children, as well as the kind of relationship they maintain with each of their parents. While disagreements will be unavoidable in many instances, parents who take a flexible, open-minded and submissive approach to making a parenting plan, will often have a greater chance at coordinating something that will encourage good relationships and continual support.

Uncontested divorce filing may be a wise option in Illinois

You are ready to part ways with your spouse and embrace single life. In fact, your spouse feels the same way. In this situation, it might make sense to move forward with an uncontested divorce filing.

Uncontested divorce filings offer the benefit of saving both money and time, due to the streamlined court procedures associated with them. Here is a look at what an uncontested divorce is and why it may be a smart option for you in Illinois.

How does law enforcement respond to domestic violence calls?

If you have found yourself in a situation of domestic violence, it can be very scary. However, you should trust that Illinois law enforcement is there for you and will offer you protection. While law enforcement cannot make the situation go away, they have certain responsibilities to you when you call them for help.

According to the State Police, officers arriving on the scene of a domestic violence call will carefully assess the situation to gather evidence of the abuse. They will arrest the abuser if they find sufficient evidence to support your claim. Even if they do not make an arrest, they will help you to get your personal items and leave the home. They will even help you get transportation if needed. You have the right to file chargers against you abuser and the officer should explain this to you and help you to file charges if you would like. Finally, if you have a protection order against the abuser, they will arrest that person regardless of evidence of current abuse as long as the person is in violation of the order.

Can you get a job after having served time in jail?

Being released from jail is liberating and allows you the chance to regain your footing and make drastic changes to your life. One of which, is finding a reliable job that allows you to make money and sustain your personal needs and lifestyle. Often, the biggest challenge you will face is the ability to find an employer in Illinois that will hire you considering your record and the fact that you have served time in jail. Fortunately, there are alternatives that you can consider as you put your best foot forward in the hunt for a job. 

According to Chron, there are many resources you can use to learn about how to format your resume, write a compelling cover letter that appropriately addresses your past and even get leads on potential job openings. As you begin the process of finding a job, here are some steps you may consider to give yourself a better chance at finding a job: 

  • Find out what you need to do to be eligible to have your record expunged. If you committed a serious offense, you may be able to get your sentence reduced at the very least. 
  • Seek professional help from people who are committed to getting you a job. Look for resources that will allow you to relearn and strengthen critical skills that you will need to maintain for a job. 
  • Learn more about tax credits and tell your employer about the chance they have to receive tax credits for hiring you despite your criminal past. 

Understanding how to make a child support payment

When a couple has made the decision to pursue a divorce in Illinois, they will immediately need to make some critical decisions about the care and needs of their children. In many cases, one or both parents decide to relocate, financial obligations are allocated and court-ordered requirements are laid out for how child care will be paid for and who is responsible for the primary care needs of the children in the relationship. 

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, parents looking to collect child support payments to fund the needs of their children, must first complete some general requirements. These include the following:

  • Paternity must be established: Using a DNA test or documents that verify the child's parents, paternity must be clearly established. This guarantees that the financial responsibilities do not fall on the shoulders of someone who is not involved in the relationship. 
  • A child support order must be organized: Often, this process requires intervention by professional parties to negotiate, mediate and decide on the long-term agreement for how the children will be cared for. Parents should pay attention to varying agreements so they can include a modification clause should they ever need to make changes to the arrangement. 
  • The child support order should be enforced: Once the child support agreement has been established, the court will guarantee that it is enforced. People who choose not to make payments could face serious consequences including liens on their property, withheld tax refunds and income, and denied passports or suspended driver's licenses. 

Can you relocate if you do not have custody of your child?

Dealing with a divorce is a tough situation. If you have children, then it is even more difficult. Either you or the other parent will likely move out of your family home before the divorce is final and custody has been decided. If you wish you to move and you are the one the children have been with, you could face issues. This is especially true if you decide you want to move out of Illinois.

The law actually addresses this issue specifically once custody is decided. According to the DuPage County Bar Association, any move more than 25 miles from the location of the family home is considered an issue for the family court. However, if you do not have a custody decree, it can muddy the waters.

Understanding the long-term consequences of a criminal conviction

When people are facing the immediate consequences of having a criminal conviction, their first goal may be to simply pay their dues so they can move on with their life. However, what many individuals do not realize is the long-term side effects that having a criminal conviction can create. Depending on the severity of the crime in Illinois, people can spend anywhere from several hours to several years behind bars. 

According to Time Magazine, the consequences of having a misdemeanor conviction is not much different than having a felony on one's record. Even though jail time is not always required for people who have been charged with a misdemeanor, it can certainly affect their record and present consequences that can hinder a person's success over the long run. For example, folks may struggle to be approved for loans, to acquire desirable housing rights and to be awarded specific family rights. In all, between federal and state requirements, there are over 45,000 consequences. 

Being an effective parent when raising your child by yourself

Despite the circumstances that lead to you needing to raise your child alone, the uncertainty of parenting without the help of a spouse can oftentimes be overwhelming and scary. While there may be periods when you have the assistance of other family members or even another parent, you are ultimately left to care for your children by yourself. At Fawell & Fawell, we have helped many Illinois parents to negotiate effective child support agreements to benefit the best interests of their children. 

Your attitude can affect a lot of things, but especially in parenting. When you are upset, distracted, stressed and overwhelmed, your children will sense this and are often prone to the same behaviors. According to the Mayo Clinic, you can still be an effective parent even if you are raising your children alone. Some of the things you may consider include the following:

  • Establish clear limits that discuss the type of behavior you expect in your home. You should also make your children aware of the pending consequences they may be subject to if they are disobedient to your rules. 
  • Follow a routine that has a degree of flexibility, but is also consistent and expected from day-to-day.
  • Take time for yourself to participate in an activity you enjoy or to sit and relax. Giving yourself time to recharge will help you to be patient and attentive when your children require your help.
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