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Washington Illinois Family and Real Estate Law Blog

Planning for retirement and divorce

There are many different hurdles you may be working through if you are planning on ending your marriage, whether you have strong emotions, are worried about how your finances will be impacted by the split, or are unsure of how to tell relatives about the divorce. However, these matters can be even more challenging if you have recently retired or plan to retire soon. If you are in Washington or any part of Illinois, our law firm knows the diverse challenges you may be experiencing.

Retiring can affect you financially and it can also have a significant impact on your day-to-day schedule. Likewise, divorce can also affect your daily schedule and finances, which makes it even more important to go over your circumstances carefully if these two major life changes are happening around the same time. If you prepare yourself for some of the different difficulties that could arise in court, and if you understand your rights and potential obligations (such as child support or alimony), you may be able to handle future family law issues better. Moreover, you should also be ready for the possible financial consequences of splitting up with your marital partner and retirement. For example, you may want to think about how your assets could be distributed or how your retirement could affect your child support payments.

What you should remember when it comes to short sales

If you are curious about properties that are listed as short sales in Illinois, you may be interested in avoiding common mistakes that can result in disappointment when dealing with these types of real estate. At Essig Law Office, we are well-versed in the complexities of buying and selling real estate, and we have helped many folks just like you to coordinate successful outcomes. 

Short sales are unlike other types of real estate investing and can be particularly risky especially if caution is not used throughout the process. According to, there are several serious missteps that can take your potentially exciting and lucrative investment and completely turn it upside down. These mistakes include the following:

  • Expecting to close quickly: No matter what kind of real estate property you are buying, the closing process takes time and requires attention to detail. However, when managing a short sale, this process could become prolonged as the bank who owns the mortgage will require time to approve the terms that created the short sale in the first place.
  • Bypassing a home inspection: Home inspections are always a good idea to ensure that the property you are interested in is not going to cost you more than your investment. While you may be fairly confident in your personal assessment of the property, a home inspection can uncover problems that may be well-hidden, potential hazards or shoddily fixed by previous owners. 
  • Disregarding property history: The property you are interested in will have a history of its own in regards to insurance and legalities. Disregarding the property's past could prove damaging to your investment outcome. For example, take the time to guarantee that any renovations, additions or remodels have been completed in compliance with city permits to avoid getting entangled in lawsuits and fines down the road.

Is my relationship headed for divorce?

After several years of marriage and the birth of one or several kids, you may feel like your relationship is progressing along nicely. There may be times where you feel like your spouse could become more involved with your marriage and help around the home more, but overall you have no complaints. Many people in Illinois who end up getting divorced from their partners were under the impression that their marriages were fine. They were blindsided to learn that their relationships were not as happy and healthy as they thought. 

You do not want to find yourself in their shoes one day. Regardless of how everything seems now, you should take time periodically to evaluate your relationship. If you notice any of the following signs, divorce may be a possibility for you to prepare for. 

Maintaining financial stability through a divorce

Each year, many Illinois couples turn to divorce as the most viable option of settling relationship woes and regaining personal happiness and independency. For many people, while a viable solution, divorce can wreak havoc on finances. Understanding how to avoid debilitating financial setbacks can help divorcing couples maintain stability and reassurance. 

The Huffington Post suggest some specific ways for people to protect their financial future during a divorce. These include the following:

  • Avoid secrecy: Individuals who set out to hide their past, neutralize potential witnesses and discard evidence are asking for trouble. While such actions can clearly be taken as suspicious and potentially incriminating, they can also cost people significant money especially if they are caught and have to pay fines and fees for trying to cheat the system.
  • Prioritize: A crucial action for any divorcing couple to take is for each to prioritize and make a list of things that are really important. Doing so allows couples to focus on their future in an organized and efficient manner rather than wasting time in minute details that rarely make a difference in the long run. Efficiency has the ability to save anyone a significant portion of money especially during legal proceedings. 
  • Communication: If someone is working through a divorce, it is imperative that he or she stay on top of communication between involved parties. Time lapses, unfinished documents, rescheduled meetings and even deliberate ignorance can result in a significant waste of valued resources like money.

Should you hire a lawyer when you buy a house?

The largest purchase that most Illinois residents make is buying a house. After spending a significant amount of time finding the house that's perfect for you, the last thing you want is to find out after the purchase that a mistake happened, the seller failed to make a disclosure or the title has issues.

You may be thinking that you know plenty of people who bought a house without an attorney. On the other hand, you may know at least one person who either had issues with the purchase or found out later that something was wrong with the house or the title. You can take steps to make sure your purchase goes smoothly.

The eviction process in Illinois

Landlords in Illinois may run into a situation where they need to evict a renter. The eviction process is highly regulated by the law. It is essential for a landlord to follow the law during the process to protect his or herself from legal liability. Doing something illegal could cause a landlord to face a lawsuit. It could also lead to difficulties in removing the tenants.

According to Illinois Legal Aid Online, there are specific rules for when a landlord can evict a tenant. Tenants cannot be evicted based on any characteristic that is protected by equal housing laws, such as marital status, sexual orientation, race or religion. Landlords also cannot evict a tenant based on his or her military status or because the tenant uses a rental assistance program. A tenant who makes valid complaints to an inspector is also protected from being evicted due to this action. If the tenant has left the property due to domestic violence, he or she also cannot be evicted for not paying rent.

Coping with emotional turmoil during a divorce

For many divorcing Illinois couples, the decision to separate is not one that is taken lightly or without deep thought. However, despite the feeling that terminating a marriage is the right choice and will allow both parties to regain a sense of personal satisfaction, divorce is rarely navigated without significant emotional turmoil and strain. 

According to the Huffington Post, there are certain steps that divorcing couples can take in an effort to positively recognize, manage and cope with the range of emotions each may feel as the result of their divorce. These include the following:

  • Maintain a realistic perspective: Couples should do their best to remember the reason they sought a divorce in the first place. While it can be easy to get caught up in the minute details and day-to-day drama, doing so can retract from the focus of divorce proceedings. With time, the details will get ironed out. In the meanwhile, couples will benefit from maintaining a realistic perspective of the big picture.
  • Practice flexibility: Divorce, while beneficial for some, also requires compromise and flexibility to reach decisions that will benefit all parties involved including children. Couples may experience a more positive transition, more satisfactory agreements and less dramatic proceedings when flexible thinking is practiced.
  • Recognize emotions and their triggers: While it may be tempting for couples to suppress their emotions and try to ignore feelings of sadness, anger and anxiety, doing so can be damaging. Each person's efforts to recognize their emotions and what triggers them, as well as analyze their reaction to certain outcomes can lead to more positive interactions based on mutual understanding and respect.

Getting rid of a troublesome renter is not always easy

Property ownership and management has its rewards and drawbacks. Whether you have owned rental property for years or are just beginning your career as a landlord, you probably discovered quickly that you can never be entirely prepared for what may happen. As a variety of people rent from you, you will experience many unique situations that require your attention.

Problem tenants can be a nightmare for landlords. You have likely had your share of renters who use their rental unit for illegal reasons, destroy property or refuse to pay rent on time. Perhaps you imagine the satisfaction of going into the renters' units and tossing their belongings onto the sidewalk. However, you likely understand that this is not a legal eviction, and the consequences of such actions could go badly for you.

Does back child support affect taxes?

Whether you are a non-custodial parent who is obligated to pay child support or you are responsible for raising a child and are not receiving the child support that you are owed, you may be going through different challenges on a daily basis. It is important for parents who are struggling with child support to be aware of some of the consequences that come with child support delinquency. For example, if you have fallen behind on child support in Washington, or another Illinois city, you should know that your taxes could be affected.

According to material published by the Internal Revenue Service, back child support can affect one's tax refund. In fact, your refund could be offset by the Bureau of the Fiscal Service if you have failed to pay child support. In the event that this garnishment occurs, you will receive a notice. Moreover, you should also recognize some of the other ways that child support delinquency can affect your life, whether you plan on applying for a passport or are worried about your wages being garnished.

Financial support should not be a gender issue

In marriage, spouses in Illinois may have to make some major compromises in their careers for the sake of their relationship. When the relationship ends, though, the effects of those decisions do not. Spousal support is intended to provide balance so that neither spouse suffers a significant standard-of-living decrease after the divorce.

According to the Illinois General Assembly, the court may award alimony to either spouse without regard to gender. It is based on many factors in the relationship, but the calculation of the amount is made using pre-set percentages of the spouses' earnings. The length of time that the support lasts is calculated based on how many years the couple was married.

Our Testimonials

  1. The Essig staff are courteous and helpful, and the attorneys are professional and knowledgeable. They are very efficient, with prompt turn-around times on title orders and real estate closings. I would highly recommend this office to others!

    -Donna Jones Craig Jim Maloof Realtor

  2. The Essig staff are courteous and helpful, and the attorneys are professional and knowledgeable. They are very efficient, with prompt turn-around times on title orders and real estate closings. I would highly recommend this office to others!

    -Donna Jones Craig Jim Maloof Realtor

  3. The Essig staff are courteous and helpful, and the attorneys are professional and knowledgeable. They are very efficient, with prompt turn-around times on title orders and real estate closings. I would highly recommend this office to others!

    -Donna Jones Craig Jim Maloof Realtor

  4. The Essig staff are courteous and helpful, and the attorneys are professional and knowledgeable. They are very efficient, with prompt turn-around times on title orders and real estate closings. I would highly recommend this office to others!

    -Donna Jones Craig Jim Maloof Realtor

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Washington Office 135 Washington Square Washington, IL 61571 Phone: 309-481-2431 Fax: 309-444-1916 Map & Directions

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