Family Law & Divorce
Child Related Issues
Will My Children Be Expected to Contribute to Their Own College Expenses After My Divorce?
A child of divorced parents may be required by the court to contribute toward their own college expenses. These contributions may take the form of scholarships, grants, or the child’s wages, as well as funds saved in a 529 college savings plan. The court’s decision is based on the financial situations of both parents and the child.
Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), parents who are divorced or who are going through the process of a divorce may be ordered to help their child with college expenses. Whether such contributions are required and how much each parent must contribute depend upon the financial resources and needs of each parent.
Amendments to the IMDMA in 2016 also require a court to consider the financial resources of the child or student as well. The court has the authority to order the child to contribute toward his or her own post-high school expenses. For the purposes of this determination, a child’s financial resources may include any scholarships or grants for which the child is eligible, in addition to any income generated by the child’s employment. Any money that is being held in a 529 college savings plan is also considered part of the child’s financial resources. (See our FAQ video that addresses 529 college savings plans.)
Illinois law allows the court to order contributions toward a child’s college expenses as a special form of child support for a non-minor child. There are many factors that the court will consider in making its decision, and it is important to know your rights throughout the process. An experienced DuPage County family law attorney from MKFM Law can help you understand your situation and build a case designed to protect your best interests and those of your child. Contact our office by calling 630-665-7300 today.
Can I Be Arrested for DUI Based on My Prescription Medication?
It is possible for you to be arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) based on a medication that you are taking as prescribed by your doctor. If a police officer has probable cause to believe that your ability to drive has been impaired by any drug, including a prescription medication, you could be arrested and charged with DUI.
Millions of Americans rely on prescription drugs to help them treat and control a nearly endless list of health conditions. Many prescription medications are known to have side effects that include drowsiness and decreased alertness. In fact, some prescription drugs have warning labels that remind patients not to operate heavy machinery while on the medication. These types of medications can also affect your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle, and having a valid prescription will not automatically prevent you from being charged with a DUI.
If you are arrested and charged with a DUI related to your prescription medication, it is important to contact a qualified DUI defense attorney right away. Your attorney can help you understand the charges against you, as well as the possible consequences of a conviction. If you are facing a license suspension, your attorney can assist you in obtaining driving relief while your case is pending.
While a valid prescription does not guarantee that the charges against you will be dropped, it could be difficult for prosecutors to prove that you were impaired. There is no equivalent of a breathalyzer to determine impairment caused by a prescription drug. As a result, your attorney can also help you build an aggressive yet responsible defense to the charges against you.
A conviction on charges of DUI can change your life forever. If you have been arrested and charged in connection with a legal prescription medication, contact the office of MKFM Law. Call 630-665-7300 for a confidential consultation today. We serve DuPage County, Kane County, and surrounding areas.
My Teenager Has Been Charged With an Ordinance Violation. Do We Need an Attorney?
If your teenaged child has been issued or charged with an ordinance violation, it is important to enlist the help of a qualified defense attorney, even if your child actually committed the offense. A lawyer can assist you in finding options that avoid a permanent mark on your child’s record and protect your child’s future.
Many cities, towns, and villages in Illinois have adopted parts of the state’s criminal laws into their own municipal codes. Violations of the municipal code may be prosecuted as ordinance violations instead of criminal offenses. Technically, an ordinance violation is not a criminal matter, and most are punishable by fines only. The practical consequences, however, may be more severe. And, while you may want to allow your child to suffer the consequences of their actions, it is important to consider the long-term impact.
Shoplifting is an offense that is often handled as an ordinance violation. If your child, for example, was stopped by store security for stealing merchandise and the police are called, there are three basic options. Your child could face prosecution by the county State’s Attorney for a misdemeanor charge of retail theft, or your child could be arrested, booked, and released with an ordinance violation. As a third option, the police could issue an ordinance violation on the scene—similar to a traffic ticket—with a date to appear in court.
In all three situations, a permanent record is created, and with very few exceptions, the records are accessible to the public. This means they could show up on a background check during the application process for a job, housing, educational programs, or loans.
By retaining an attorney right away, you and your child can avoid making hasty decisions that could follow your child for many years to come. An experienced lawyer can help you explore options that might allow your child to avoid pleading guilty through diversion or deferral programs. Your child may still face certain consequences, but the impact on the future could be reduced.
Contact our office to learn more about our firm and how we can help. Call MKFM Law at 630-665-7300 today. We serve DuPage County, Kane County, and surrounding areas.
Are There Other Options Besides Jail If I Was Charged With a Crime?
If you have been charged with a crime, there may be alternatives to jail time. Those alternatives depend on the circumstances of your case, but courts in Illinois have begun to recognize the value of focusing on rehabilitation instead of punishment in appropriate situations. A skilled criminal defense attorney can help you explore your options.
Not everyone who breaks the law is a career criminal, and good people can make bad mistakes from time to time. Sometimes, those mistakes are due, at least in part, to mental health concerns and/or substance abuse issues.
Many county court systems have established unique programs for defendants whose mental health may have contributed to the commission of a crime. DuPage County, Kane County, and Cook County all have programs to help such offenders avoid traditional prosecution—which often includes jail time as a penalty—in favor of intensive treatment.
Similarly, DuPage County, Kane County, Cook County, and other counties throughout Illinois have also established specialized drug courts. Drug abuse has become a national problem of epidemic proportions, and it can be nearly impossible to break the cycle of dependence. Drug courts are designed to allow eligible offenders dealing with addiction to get the help they need.
There are also specialized courts that may be available to military veterans facing mental health, substance abuse, and other issues related to the commission of a crime. Veterans’ courts are modeled after the specialty courts described above but customized to address concerns unique to those who have served.
If you are facing criminal charges, a skilled attorney can assist you in exploring your options for avoiding jail time and other serious penalties. Contact MKFM Law to discuss your situation today. Call 630-665-7300 for a confidential consultation. We serve DuPage County, Kane County, and surrounding areas.
Can My Spouse Drop the Domestic Battery Charges Against Me?
Once domestic battery charges have been filed against you, the victim or complaining witness does not have the power or the right to get the charges against you dropped. Criminal charges can only be filed by the State’s Attorney for the county where the incident occurred, and only the State’s Attorney can drop the charges.
Under Illinois law, domestic battery is usually a Class A misdemeanor, and a conviction carries maximum penalties of up to $2,500 in fines and up to 364 days in county jail. Court supervision is not an option in domestic battery cases, which means that finding of guilt will result in a conviction that can never be erased or expunged.
During your first court appearance for charges of domestic battery, the judge will lay out these terms to ensure that you fully understand them. It is not unusual for the person who originally filed the complaint—e.g. your spouse, your ex, or another family member—to hear the severity of the situation for the first time and then want to drop the charges against you. At this point, however, it is already too late.
The victim or any complaining witnesses are only part of a criminal prosecution. The rest of the case depends on evidence gathered by law enforcement and presented by prosecutors. In fact, your case will be entitled “People of the State of Illinois vs. You” rather than “your spouse vs. you” or "your ex-boyfriend vs. you.” This means that your case is being prosecuted on behalf of every resident of Illinois, not just the family member who originally accused you. Victims of domestic battery have rights, but the right to dismiss the charges against you is not one of them.
If you are facing charges related to domestic violence, it is important to get qualified legal help right away. Contact MFKM Law by calling 630-665-7300 today. We serve clients throughout DuPage County, Kane County and surrounding areas.