Latest from Sherer Law Blog - Page 2

If you’ve ever received a letter from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) you’ve likely wondered to yourself, why is this happening, what do I do now, and what effect is this going to have.  Sherer Law Offices is here to answer your questions and try to provide you with some clarity during a tumultuous time. DCFS investigations usually begin with someone making a call to the abuse and neglect hotline. [1] The person who answers the call will then decide whether the reporter makes sufficient allegations to warrant an investigation.  Further, the hotline operator must determine…
In Illinois, a party is entitled to terminate maintenance when a former spouse “cohabitates on a continuing conjugal basis” with a new partner.[1] However, the phrase “continuing conjugal basis” is a standard that must be interpreted by courts when determining whether a former spouse is entitled to terminate maintenance.  A recent appellate case out of the third district has offered guidance. In re Marriage of Churchill focused on the ex-wife’s new relationship and whether her actions permitted her ex-husband to terminate maintenance.[2] In Churchill, the parties were divorced in September of 2016.  In October of 2017, the ex-husband…
The Illinois Senate has introduced a bill that would lower the compulsory age that children are required to attend school from 6 to 5.[1]  Senate Bill 2075 was introduced last February and, if passed, would require children in the State of Illinois who are 5 years of age or older to be enrolled in school by the 2020-2021 school year.  In addition, it would also require all schools to provide kindergarten classes for 5-year-olds.  The bill passed through the senate by a vote of 39-16 on April 11, 2019 and is currently sitting in the House awaiting further action.…
On May 31, 2019, Illinois took a monumental step toward legalizing recreational marijuana use by passing HB 1438.  The bill passed through the Senate by a vote of 38-17 on May 29th  and then through the house on May 31stby a vote of 66-47 . [1]  It was signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker on June 25, 2019 and Illinois has officially become the 11thstate in the U.S. to legalize the purchase and possession of small amounts of marijuana. Governor Pritzker has expressed ongoing support for legalization since his campaign. HB 1438, or the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, allows…
All the papers are signed, the arguments are over, and a judgment has been entered, what are the next steps you should ensure your attorney is taking? There are a variety of administrative tasks that need to be accomplished once a judgment is entered in order to make sure your future interests are being protected. One such concern is the removal of a spouse from the title of real property owned during the marriage. This can be achieved by filing a quit claim deed, either during the proceedings or after, which removes the other spouse’s name and legal claim to…
While a child’s birth parents are initially guaranteed certain parental rights and responsibilities, situations may arise where a parent loses or has these rights terminated. Some parents voluntarily terminate their rights. A voluntary termination requires approval of the court and is typically only granted when an adoptive parent is ready and willing to take over parental responsibilities.  This is due to the fact that courts want a child to have the support of two parents whenever possible.  If voluntary termination is granted, that parent is completely absolved of all responsibilities to the child.  However, they also lose their rights for…
Scott’s Law was enacted in 2002 in response to a fatal traffic accident that occurred on December 23, 2000, in which Chicago Fire Lieutenant Scott Gillen was struck and killed after responding to a car crash.  In response to this, Illinois legislatures passed what is known as Scott’s Law, or the “Move Over law.” Originally, this law required all drivers to slow down and move over when approaching a police car or other emergency vehicle on the highway.[1] In 2017, the law was expanded to apply to require drivers to slow down and move over when approaching any vehicle…
Payment of maintenance or child support can – and often does – occur through direct deductions from an individual’s paycheck.  A person owed support is able to submit an Income Withholding for Support order to the court, which is then given to the employer of the person who owes the support. These forms can be used for both current and past-due support. An employer who receives this form is required to withhold the required support amount from the employee’s paycheck and pay the funds directly to the Illinois State Disbursement Unit.  The State Disbursement Unit (SDU) then pays the individual…
It’s happened to nearly everyone: you look in the rearview mirror and realize the red and blue flashing lights are aimed at you. From minor traffic infractions to more serious cases, being pulled over by the police, no matter the situation, causes panic. It is important to know your rights if this happens to you. In Illinois, an officer must have reasonable suspicion to pull someone over, a standard that comes from the Fourth Amendment.  Reasonable suspicion means that a reasonable police officer would be generally suspicious of some illegal activity, ranging from a traffic violation to a more serious…
Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its ruling on Murphy v National Collegiate Athletic Association last year, which provided a framework for state-sanctioned sports betting, many lawmakers have been lining up to take advantage.  So far, seven states have passed some form of state-regulated sports betting: Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey, Mississippi, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island.  It appears Illinois may follow suit. Slightly different “Sports Wagering Act” bills have been introduced in both the Illinois House of Representatives and Senate. Each bill would allow sports wagering at authorized gaming facilities.  However, they differ as to how sports betting would…
On April 8, 2019, Governor Pritzker signed legislation officially raising the legal age to purchase tobacco in Illinois from 18 to 21.  House Bill 345, otherwise known as the “Tobacco 21” bill, states that no person under the age of 21 may purchase tobacco products, electronic cigarettes, or any other alternative nicotine product, and imposes various penalties on businesses that do not follow the new law.[1]  While the bill raises the age to purchase tobacco products and imposes penalties on businesses who sell these products to people under 21, it also eliminates the penalty for underage possession of…
Crime Free Housing, a relatively recent phenomena, has begun to spread through Illinois as well as many other states.  However, what does that mean for local residents?  Why has it proven so divisive?  Sherer Law Offices is here to walk you through why some people are praising the Crime Free Housing initiative while others condemn it. The Crime Free Housing program is essentially a partnership between the city, landlords, and their tenants.  The program is designed to reduce crime rates around residential rental properties and allow landlords to evict tenants found connected to those crimes.  Property owners do this by…
The exchange of engagement and wedding rings is a symbolic and important part of many relationships, but what happens to them if a marriage or engagement ends? [1] ENGAGEMENT RINGS Illinois courts identify engagement rings as gifts made in the contemplation of marriage.  Courts recognize that, since an engagement ring is a gift given in the contemplation of marriage, once the promise to marry is broken, the person who breaks the promise is not entitled to retain the ring. [2].  Illinois law does not look at fault in determining if a ring should be returned in this situation.  For this…
Non-payment of court ordered child support can significantly affect the well-being of a child. Across the nation, only 58% of one-parent households have a court ordered support agreement, and of that percentage, only one-half receive the full support they are owed. [1] In Illinois, non-payment of child support is a serious offense and a series of laws exist to collect delinquent payments and ensure future payments. In the past 25 years, Illinois has substantially reformed child support laws. Illinois repealed the statute of limitations on the collection of past-due child support. Additionally, past due payments are now subject to statutory…
Relocation is one of the more complex areas of Family Law.  Relocation issues arise when one parent wants to move the children a significant distance, whether in the state of Illinois or to another state.  When the children’s parents are separated, relocation requires specific authorization from the court before the children can be moved. This past February, Rep. Natalie A. Manley introduced house bill 2186, which proposes to change the definition of relocation as it relates to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA). [1]While this might seem trivial, if passed, it will seriously alter when court…
Published in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletinby Andrew Maloney A civil union did not confer parenting rights to a woman whose partner died, a downstate appeals court has ruled. The 5th District Appellate Court panel held that a person in a civil union does not qualify as a stepparent to their partner’s biological child under state law. The appellate panel in Mount Vernon ruled in an April 11 opinion that Kris Fulkerson did not have standing to seek visitation and responsibilities for her deceased partner’s child, A.S., under the Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. Justice Judy L. Cates wrote…