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Division of Retirement Assets in an Illinois Divorce

posted on 6/27/21

When couples get divorced in Illinois, they will divide the marital property they have acquired during the marriage. The marital property includes the accumulated value of the spouses’ retirement assets. When a couple can negotiate their property division, they can agree to a divorce settlement and keep their case out of court. However, when a couple cannot agree, the court will need to step in and decide how the couple's retirement benefits will be divided. Three major types of retirement...

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The Illinois Legislature Amends Sweeping Criminal Justice Reform Law

posted on 6/27/21

Illinois’ General Assembly passed legislation amending and in some cases reversing the changes in their Police reform legislation. The changes addressed concerns about a sweeping criminal justice reform law that came into effect in 2020. This legislation will amend the SAFE-T Act, which was signed into law in February. The SAFE-T Act required a new police certification system, ended cash bail, imposed body camera mandates, and changed the guidelines for police officers’ use of deadly force. Law enforcement groups across...

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Illinois Increases the Penalties for Police Misconduct Charges

posted on 6/18/21

Illinois and many other states have seen a considerable increase in police retirement and leaves of absence. Many police officers feel demoralized by defunding the police movement and are concerned about personal liability. Illinois’s new police reform law adds several different types of police misconduct and makes it more difficult for police officers to justify using lethal force to protect citizens and themselves from criminals in the street. Changes to What Constitutes Misconduct Under the new law, law enforcement misconduct...

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Why Police Officers Need an Attorney Even if They Follow Illinois’ New Law

posted on 6/18/21

Police officers across the country have been relocating, retiring and quitting in record numbers. In Chicago, 560 police officers retired, resulting in 15% more police officers retiring than in 2019. In 2019, police retirements were down by nearly 30%. Many police officers have taken a leave of absence and many are considering relocating to states with more police friendly laws or simply quitting their positions in law enforcement. Some police officers have said that the recent riots and demonstrations, including...

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Can Police Officers Use Chokeholds in Illinois?

posted on 6/11/21

The former Minnesota police officer who knelt on George Floyd's neck during an arrest was recently convicted of second-degree murder and manslaughter. George Floyd’s death brought significant media attention to the use of chokeholds by police officers around the country. As a result, half of the largest police departments in the United States have banned or limited the use of neck restraint since June. Approximately 62% of police departments now explicitly prohibit chokeholds and carotid holds in their policies about...

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How Do Illinois Courts Calculate Spousal Maintenance?

posted on 6/11/21

Going through a divorce can be emotionally trying and confusing for all parties involved. This is especially true of the financial aspects of a divorce, including spousal maintenance calculations. Spousal maintenance, also called spousal support, or alimony, occurs when one spouse must pay the other spouse money on an ongoing basis after a divorce. Family court judges typically order spousal maintenance. However, spousal maintenance can also be agreed upon by the couple in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. Recent Changes...

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When Can a Police Officer Use Deadly Force During a Foot Chase?

posted on 6/6/21

Recently, a teenager and a 22-year old were fatally shot by Chicago police officers during foot chases. In the case of the 13-year-old, the Chicago Police Department has stated that bodycam footage shows he was holding a gun in his right hand. As he turned towards the police officer, he raised his empty hand, and the police officer shot him. They later found the gun behind the fence a few feet from where he was killed. Only two days later,...

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When Can the Police Use Deadly Force Under Illinois’ New Law?

posted on 6/6/21

The question of when police officers can use deadly force has been a significant talking point over the last few years. Many state legislators are pushing for criminal justice reform that makes it more difficult for police officers to use deadly force against suspects. Illinois has taken the lead by passing a comprehensive criminal justice reform law that limits the use of force among police officers. We will discuss what has changed below. The New Law Limits the Use of...

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How Long Will Spousal Maintenance (Alimony) Last in Illinois?

posted on 5/28/21

In many marriages, one spouse earns more than the other spouse. As a result, the spouse who earns less comes to rely on the other spouse for financial support to maintain their shared standing of living. When a marriage ends in divorce, it can be difficult for the lower-income spouse to recover financially. Thankfully, Illinois courts often award spousal support, also known as alimony, in these cases. Spousal support is not a permanent solution, however. We will discuss how long...

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Illinois Creates a New Database for Police Accountability

posted on 5/28/21

Illinois is leading the country in addressing police accountability and criminal justice reform. A significant part of Illinois’ new criminal justice reform law involves making police misconduct records more readily available to the public. Illinois must maintain a Professional Conduct Database maintained by the state board responsible for certifying and decertifying police officers. Illinois’ Police Officer Misconduct Database Illinois’ new law makes several changes to the police officer misconduct database. First, the Illinois State Police Merit board will be responsible...

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No More Mandatory Minimums for Retail Theft Crimes in Illinois

posted on 5/22/21

An 18-year-old girl was recently accepted into the University of Chicago with an athletic scholarship. She is a great student and dedicated to swimming. However, on a recent shopping trip to celebrate their upcoming graduation, her friends suggest it would be funny to steal a pair of wireless earPods from the Apple store. She goes along with them, and they all get caught by the store’s security guard. Now she is facing harsh penalties for the retail theft that could...

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2021 Guidelines for Spousal Maintenance in Illinois

posted on 5/16/21

2021 is shaping up to be another challenging year for married couples and families. Many couples have spent too much time together with few of the outlets for enjoyment and distraction they used to enjoy. With more people working from home and experiencing job loss, household responsibilities have shifted, and many people's anxiety has increased. Nearly 75% of the licensed psychologists who treat patients for anxiety have seen an increase in demand since the pandemic. These pressures have also led...

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A New Bill Would End Police Officers’ Qualified Immunity in Illinois

posted on 5/16/21

In February, Governor Pritzker signed a police reform bill that ended cash bail and significantly reformed Illinois’ criminal justice system. Now, a bill that would end qualified immunity for Illinois police officers is making its way through the House of Representatives. The bill, called the Bad Apples in Law Enforcement Accountability Act of 2021, would allow citizens to sue police officers for depriving “any individual rights guaranteed under the Illinois constitution.” Officers who fail to intervene on behalf of citizens...

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