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Split or Sell: What to Do With Luxury Items in DivorceGetting a divorce means accounting for every marital property of value and figuring out what you want to do with them. In a high-asset divorce, you may have numerous valuable properties to divide that you would classify as luxury items instead of necessities. They may be:

  • Recreational vehicles;
  • Collector’s items;
  • Fine art;
  • Club memberships; and
  • Vacation homes.

You must decide together who will keep each luxury item and whether you want to sell any of the items.

Valuation

Whether you divide your luxury items or sell them, you first need to know what you have and how much each item is worth. You should hire your own assessor to value the luxury items based on their condition and what someone would likely pay for them. Some collector’s items may require an assessor that specializes in evaluating that type of item. Do not assume that your spouse will tell you an accurate value because he or she has an incentive to understate the value a property that he or she wants to keep.

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How Pedestrians Can Protect Themselves During the WinterThere are typically fewer pedestrians during the winter months, but winter conditions can make walking near streets more hazardous for those who brave the weather. Drivers bear most of the responsibility for preventing accidents involving pedestrians. As a pedestrian, you can take extra precautions to protect yourself and help drivers:

  1. Visibility: Daylight hours are shorter during the winter, and the snow can make it harder for drivers to see you. Wear bright colors during the day and reflective clothing at night. Walk in well-lit areas. Your own vision may also be diminished by the conditions and your need to bundle up. Make sure you are able to see around you in order to avoid potential hazards.
  2. Eye Contact: If you are at an intersection with a stopped vehicle, make eye contact with the driver before you cross. Do not assume that the driver notices you and knows that you plan to walk in front of the vehicle. By making eye contact, you are acknowledging that you see each other and understand who has the right-of-way.
  3. Footwear: Have on boots or shoes that are appropriate for the conditions you will be walking through. Your footwear should protect your feet from being numbed by the cold and give you enough traction to walk on slick surfaces. Slipping in or near an intersection puts you at greater risk of being hit by a vehicle.
  4. Stopping Time: Suddenly walking into an intersection forces a driver to react quickly. Vehicles need more time to stop in slick conditions, and slamming on the brakes may cause the driver to lose control. Be more cautious about when you enter an intersection because you know the driver may have difficulty stopping for you.
  5. Staying Out of the Road: You may be tempted to walk in the street if you reach an area of sidewalk that has not been cleared of snow. However, walking in a driving lane puts you at much greater risk of being hit because drivers are not expecting pedestrians in the road. If the pedestrian walkway is impassable, you should find an alternate route that does not involve walking in the street.

Contact a Barrington Personal Injury Lawyer

Being cautious may not prevent a pedestrian injury in all cases, but it eliminates needless risks. Behaving recklessly may also mean that you share responsibility for the accident, which can lessen your award in a personal injury case. A Barrington, Illinois, personal injury attorney at Joseph M. Lucas & Associates, LLC, can help you receive compensation when you have been injured in a pedestrian accident. Schedule a consultation by calling 847-381-8700.

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Why Illinois Has Not Passed an Equal Parenting Time LawIllinois fathers’ rights groups are pushing for a legal presumption of equal parenting time, but a majority of Illinois' lawmakers are unwilling to change this aspect of the state’s divorce laws. Last spring, an equal parenting time bill stalled in a committee of the Illinois House of Representatives. Illinois law presumes that it is in the best interest of a child for one parent to have a majority of the parenting time unless a parent can prove otherwise. Fathers and some lawmakers want to reverse that presumption so that 50-50 parenting time is the default arrangement.

Arguments in Favor

Though there is no gender bias written into Illinois’ parenting laws, mothers are still far more likely to receive a majority of parenting time after a divorce than fathers. Mothers are traditionally the primary caregivers in a family, which makes them the logical choice if one parent must have a majority of the parenting time. Parenting agreements often divide parenting time into a 70-30 split. Fathers argue for the equal parenting time law because:

  • It could give fathers more parenting time, which would benefit the children;
  • It is difficult to get a court to approve equal parenting time with the current law; and
  • It would still allow courts to award a majority of parenting time to one parent if it is in the best interest of the children.

Arguments Against

Illinois presumes unequal parenting time because courts often believe that an equal parenting time schedule is overly disruptive to the children. It is in a child’s best interest to have a stable living situation with minimum traveling between parents. With 50-50 parenting time, the children:

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Recognizing Brain Injuries After an AccidentDiagnosing a traumatic brain injury after an accident is more complicated than diagnosing other serious injuries. You will not take long to realize something is wrong when you have broken a bone or torn a ligament. Symptoms of a brain injury can take days to appear, and you may not immediately understand what they mean or connect them to your accident. If you file a personal injury lawsuit, the liable party may use the uncertainties about brain injuries to deny that the incident caused a brain injury or that your symptoms are severe. You can best prove your brain injury for your case by getting a diagnosis as soon as possible.

Brain Injury Causes

You are most likely to suffer a traumatic brain injury because of a fall, being struck by an object, or a car accident. A brain injury can occur even if your skull is not fractured or penetrated. A sudden impact or jolt can cause your brain to collide with your skull, resulting in damage. Losing consciousness after your accident is a common sign of a brain injury, but you may still have suffered a brain injury if you remained conscious. You should ask your doctor about the possibility of a brain injury and follow up if you notice any symptoms.

Mild to Severe Brain Injuries

Your doctor may categorize your traumatic brain injury as mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the extent of your symptoms. However, even a mild brain injury can have long-term debilitating symptoms. Common symptoms of a mild traumatic brain injury include:

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Posted on in Divorce

Four Alternatives to Traditional DivorceTo most people, divorce means using negotiations or litigation to settle disputes about the division of marital property and allocation of parental responsibilities. This process describes one form of divorce called a contested divorce. Though contested divorce is the most common form of divorce, it is also the most time-consuming and costly process. Most divorcees use contested divorce because they cannot agree on their divorce terms. However, some divorcees are unaware that there are simpler and more amicable divorce options available to them:

  1. Uncontested Divorce: In an uncontested divorce, both spouses agree on the decision to divorce and the terms of their agreement, without the need for litigation or extensive negotiations. The dissolution of the marriage and approval of the divorce agreement can occur in one court hearing. This is a rare form of divorce because two people who have decided to end their marriage often disagree with each other in some aspect of the divorce.
  2. Joint Simplified Divorce: A joint simplified divorce is similar to an uncontested divorce but more restrictive in what it can cover. A simplified divorce agreement in Illinois cannot include child issues, spousal maintenance, or a total marital property value of more than $50,000. There are also limits on the duration of the marriage and each spouse's annual income.
  3. Mediation: Spouses who are still amicable in talking to each other can use mediation as an alternative to traditional negotiations. The spouses will negotiate directly with each other, while a third-party mediator guides the process. The mediator encourages cooperation between the spouses and answers questions about divorce law. A successful mediation can be quicker and less expensive than a contested divorce.
  4. Collaborative Divorce:  Collaborative law differs from mediation because each party brings his or her own lawyer to the meetings. Unlike traditional divorce negotiations, the spouses and lawyers agree to cordial negotiations. If the collaborative negotiations break down, the lawyers must remove themselves from the case.

Choosing Your Type of Divorce

All four of the listed forms of divorce can be cheaper than a contested divorce but may not be right for your divorce. With an uncontested divorce, you risk overlooking your parental and property rights for the sake of a speedy resolution. Mediation or collaborative law can be a waste of your money if the process fails and you are forced to use litigation. A Barrington, Illinois, divorce attorney at Joseph M. Lucas & Associates, LLC, can help you choose the most effective form of divorce for your case. To schedule a consultation, call 847-381-8700.

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