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Three Questions That Help You Decide on Your Marital HomeIt can be difficult to choose whether you should keep or sell your marital home during a divorce. Keeping a home can be expensive, but selling it would be losing possibly your most valuable asset. To know the right answer to this dilemma, you need to know the right questions. Other aspects of your divorce and your personal life will likely determine whether you should keep your home. Here are three important questions to answer about your marital home:

  1. How Much Would It Cost to Keep the Home?: Keeping your marital home may be impractical if you cannot afford it. Homeowner expenses are more than making mortgage payments. You are also responsible for paying utilities, maintenance, and property taxes. A homeowner tax exemption or spousal maintenance could offset some of the cost. You also must consider what you will be giving up during the divorce in exchange for the home. If your home is the most valuable property from your marriage, your spouse will need to receive assets of similar value. Losing those assets could diminish your ability to afford your home.
  2. How Much Value Would You Receive from Selling the Home?: You should always appraise the value of your marital home as if you were planning to sell it. You need to know your home’s actual value, whether you are selling it or including it in the division of property. Your home’s assessed value will tell you how much money you need to receive in a sale to make selling your home worth it. The housing market and location of your home can affect how much potential buyers are willing to offer for your home. It may be wiser to hold onto your home if you cannot receive acceptable value for it.
  3. Are There Reasons to Keep the Home That Are Not Money-Related?: Finances are not the only consideration when making property decisions during a divorce. Your children may benefit from staying in their family home. You may have a personal history or emotional attachment to the home. Looking for a new home on top of your divorce may be overwhelming. Whatever the reason is, you must weigh whether it is worth the cost of keeping the home.

Contact a Barrington Divorce Lawyer

You should decide whether to keep or sell your home only after you have discussed the consequences of both decisions. A Barrington, Illinois, divorce attorney at Joseph M. Lucas & Associates, LLC, can assess your situation to help you reach a decision. To schedule a consultation, call 847-381-8700.

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How Your Landlord Is Liable for Negligent SecurityA rental property owner is not always liable if you are the victim of criminal activity, such as an assault or battery. There are some incidents that unfortunately could not have been foreseen or prevented. However, the property owner is responsible for providing reasonable security if it should know that a lack of security would put you in danger. Its burden increases if you live in an area with high levels of crime. You may be able to collect personal injury compensation from your landlord if you can show that your landlord had a duty to protect you and that a lack of security enabled an act of violence against you.

Failed Promises

Landlords will often include a list of property security measures within their leases, such as:

  • Locks on doors and windows;
  • Lights in parking areas and at entrances;
  • Security cameras; and
  • Security guards.

Landlords are not required to provide all of these security measures but create a legal obligation to maintain them once they have promised them in a contract. They should not allow lights or cameras to fall into disrepair and should act quickly to fix them once they realize that there is a problem. They are also responsible for the professionalism of security guards on the premises. If there is a system for contacting security in the event of an emergency, you should expect an immediate response from someone trained to help you.

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What Qualifies as a Change of Circumstances When Modifying Child Support?The child support payments that are established during a divorce are meant to be modified as the needs of the children and means of the parents change over time. Illinois allows co-parents to petition to modify their child support agreement every three years or when there has been a significant change of circumstances. How do you define a significant change of circumstances to know whether you qualify for immediate modification? Incomes and expenses can fluctuate frequently, but a court will not grant an immediate modification for minor changes. To modify your child support payments, you will need to prove that the payments are unbalanced or unfair, based on the current circumstances. Here are four changes of circumstances that typically allow immediate modification:

  1. Loss of Employment: A parent losing their job will significantly reduce their income. Unemployment benefits or severance pay are only temporary sources of income, and there is no guarantee that the parent will find a new job with the same pay. A long-term reduction of income will significantly affect the child support income shares formula. The co-parents will have less income available for child support, and the employed parent may need to pay a greater share of the obligation.
  2. Promotion or Raise: Increased income for either parent can allow a change in child support payments. The total child support obligation is based on the combined incomes of the parents and divided according to the parents’ proportionate incomes. Courts allow an immediate modification of child support if the increased income would have changed the family’s standard of living if the parents were still married.
  3. Change in Child Needs: The cost of supporting a child can increase or decrease depending on the child’s age and whether he or she develops special needs. A parent can argue that child support payments should be modified because the actual cost of supporting the child is different than the child support obligation.
  4. Child Becomes an Adult: A financial obligation to a child ends when that child turns 18 or graduates from high school – whichever happens later. The paying parent can call for an immediate reduction in child support if there is one less child that he or she is supporting. However, child support can continue past high school if the child requests help to pay for college.

Contact a Barrington Divorce Attorney

If your request for modification is approved, the court can retroactively change the child support payments, starting from the date when you first filed the petition. A Barrington, Illinois, family law lawyer at Joseph M. Lucas & Associates, LLC, can help you start your petition for child support modification and guide you throughout the process. Schedule a consultation by calling 847-381-8700. 

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How Third Parties Can Be Liable for Construction Worker FallsFalls cause more deaths at construction sites than any other work-related accidents. Construction workers are sometimes positioned high in the air, making any fall a life-threatening event. Even falls with little or no elevation can be dangerous if the worker falls onto a piece of equipment or hard surface. When seeking compensation for their injuries, many construction workers must file a workers’ compensation claim because their injuries occurred as a result of performing their job duties or negligence by their employer. However, there are situations where a third party was responsible for the fall and is liable in a personal injury lawsuit.

Faulty Equipment

Construction workers use equipment from third-party manufacturers to reach high places and protect themselves while up there. You could file a personal injury lawsuit against the manufacturer or seller of the equipment if its failure caused your injuries, such as a ladder that collapses or a safety harness that fails to secure you. To hold a third party liable for a faulty product, you must prove that:

  • There was a flaw in the product’s design;
  • The materials used to build the product were substandard;
  • The manufacturer was negligent in constructing the product; or
  • The seller knew of the product’s flaws when you or your employer purchased it.

Unsafe Conditions

You and your employer may lack control over the conditions of the work site if you are working with a subcontractor or other third party. Leaving equipment strewn across the ground or spilling a slick substance may cause you to fall from tripping or slipping. Because this is a third party claim, you must prove that:

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Five Keys to a Peaceful Divorce ResolutionThe decision to divorce is often born from a conflict between two people, but the actual process does not need to be tenuous. It is advantageous for you and your spouse to have an amicable divorce because the process will be quicker and you are more likely to be happy with the resulting agreement. The reason for your divorce and each of your personalities can determine whether the process will be peaceful. Infidelity or abuse may make you bitter and defensive towards your spouse. However, you can decide to behave in a way that encourages an amicable divorce:

  1. Be Respectful: You should enter each negotiation session with a spirit of civility and respect. If you are struggling to respect your spouse, you can at least respect the negotiation process. Set the tone for the negotiations by being calm and non-combative, and do not respond if your spouse tries to incite an argument.
  2. Do Not Dwell on Past Mistakes: Talking about the problems in your marriage that led to divorce is a waste of time and can derail your negotiations. You have already decided to divorce. The purpose of your negotiations is to determine how you will separate your lives. Continuing to argue about who was to blame for your divorce is distracting you from your goal.
  3. Choose Your Arguments: There are parts of your divorce that you should be able to quickly agree on, such as who will keep certain properties. However, some divorcees turn every detail of divorce into an argument, which needlessly lengthens the process. Save your arguments for issues that are important to you.
  4. Be Amenable: You will sometimes disagree with your spouse during an amicable divorce but should try to remain reasonable. Understand the give-and-take nature of a negotiation. Giving up one thing in a divorce may allow you to keep another thing that you value more.
  5. Know When to Take a Break: If you find yourself becoming emotional and irrational, suggest pausing the negotiations and returning after you have calmed down. Allowing your emotions to escalate may cause a larger argument that leads to a breakdown in negotiations.

Contact a Barrington Divorce Attorney

A high-conflict divorce can be expensive and leave you with emotional scars after the process is over. An amicable divorce is possible if both sides agree to be civil and willing to cooperate towards a common goal. A Barrington, Illinois, divorce lawyer at Joseph M. Lucas & Associates, LLC, can advise you on the best tactics for having a peaceful divorce. To schedule a consultation, call 847-381-8700.

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