Here are several legal articles on divorce, bankruptcy, employment and estate planning that I have written. If you want more information about any area of law we practice in, just ask.

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July 30, 2015.
The Federal Court agreed with Jeffrey M. Jacobson that his client was retaliated for claiming discrimination.  Jeffrey M. Jacobson’s client, a DuPage deputy sheriff has a disability.  When he notified the Sheriff that he was disabled, they refused to accommodate him, and instead retaliated against him.  The accommodation would have cost the Sheriff no money, and it was a quick and simple swap.  But, he chose to insist that my client litigate it in court.  Now the State’s Attorney is going to spend 100x what the actually cost is to accommodate the deputy. See KOTY v. ZARUBA, CASE NO. 15 C 2600, Federal Court, Illinois, Northern District.

New Illinois speeding law

Until July 1, 2013, anyone guilty of speeding under 31 miles per hour could get supervision.  Now if you are speeding over 25 miles per hour, the court CANNOT give you supervision.  See 730 ILCS 5/5-6-1 for more information.

Short sale

At midnight 12/31/2012, the tax law for buyers and sellers of short sales may change.  Currently there is a law that protects the tax liability of a seller of a home that is being sold for less than the mortgage amount.  This is commonly called a Short Sale.  If you sell your house in a Short Sale and you do not have to pay the mortgage company the difference, that is considered income by the IRS.  Until midnight December 31, 2012, if you sell your home for less than the mortgage amount with no deficiency, you do not pay taxes on the difference.  For example, if you had a mortgage of $400,000 and you sold your house as a Short Sale for $300,000, and the lender is not suing you for the $100,000 the IRS considers that $100,000 profit to you.  Of course when the IRS considers something a profit, it wants you to pay taxes.  In 2007, Congress passed a law that the deficiency of a home you lived in would not be taxed to you.  So, in the above example, you do not have to pay taxes on the $100,000.

The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act and Debt Cancellation has a lot of information on what this means to you.  If you are thinking of selling or buying your house, contact an attorney immediately to discuss how this affects you BEFORE 12/31/2012.  Our number is 331-222-9529.  Do not delay.

Cohabitation agreements in Illinois : Basics

Written by: Jeffrey Morris Jacobson PRO
Naperville Divorce / Separation Lawyer
Today, not every couple is getting married or having a civil union. While Illinois law gives married couples or civil unions’ rights and sets forth how property is divided, unmarried couples do not have the same benefits. I will use the word married to indicate married or civil union. However, these couples that are not getting married are still acquiring assets and debt like a married couple. They are buying houses and cars, have a joint checking account, credit cards, and other financial instruments. So, how is everything divided? A cohabitation agreement can prevent costly and unnecessary litigation when the couple decides that the relationship is not working.

A cohabitation agreement is nothing more than a partnership agreement. It sets forth all of the terms on dividing assets and debts, and how to wind down the relationship. It is designed to cover most anticipated events. Nothing can cover every conceivable event. It will not cover anything to do with children. A well drafted cohabitation agreement is essential to reducing litigation and resources if the relationship ends. It is said that a cohabitation agreement is the map to a great relationship, and may help keep the relationship on track. In my 20+ years, I found that a great partnership includes a great business plan. A cohabitation agreement or partnership agreement is essential once you make any financial decisions together!

What are my rights

Written by: Jeffrey Morris Jacobson PRO
Naperville Divorce / Separation Lawyer

Clients are always asking what their rights are in a divorce. This Legal Guide discusses some of the basic rights

Division of property
If the parties agree on the splitting the property and debts, the court usually will order that agreement.  The property and debts of the marriage are divided by the Court if the parties cannot agree. There are several legal issues that must be addressed, but after practicing for 21 years, there are practical pointers. If the marriage is short and the money has not been commingled, the Court can give the assets back to the original purchasers. The longer the marriage was, the more likely the Court will divide the assets and debts 50/50. If there are children involved, then there is a slight chance that the custodial parent will get a little more. Especially if the child(ren) are young, and the parent taking care of the minor children cannot work. The Court will consider the earning potential of the parties when there are children. A short marriage is much easier to divide the assets and debts based on who produced the income. However, inheritance, gifts and assets brought into the marriage, are the property of the person that received it. There are several exceptions.

This depends upon the best interest of the child. The first thing to look at is who is taking care of the child now. Also, why is this person taking care of the child.  This person will be in a better position. I have represented clients that were not taking care of the child, yet I managed to get them custody of their child.  If there is something wrong with that person, such as they use drugs, etc. then the other person may be in a better position. Also, if the child is old enough to express their interest, then that may carry some weight. Usually, it does not until the child is at least 14. There are a lot of facts and issues concerning custody that cannot be expressed in this short guide. For more information, contact me.

For determining visitation, you should consider how much time you think is appropriate for you and the other parent.  This is not an easy decision, and one that you should put a lot of thought into it.  Some of the judges that I know have found that allowing both parents to have equal time with their child is best for the child.