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Areas of Practice

The Law Office of Berry Tucker is proud to provide services in these areas:



Divorce & Family Law

Estate Planning / Wills & Trusts

Real Estate

Personal Injury

Elder Law

Medical Malpractice

Experienced Family and Divorce Lawyers in Oak Lawn, IL and Southwest Chicago Area

Not Just Legal Advice – A Partnership to Share Your Vision

The family divorce lawyers of Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. has over 50 years of experience in a number of legal matters, including but not limited to: family law, divorce law, child custody, personal injury, real estate, bankruptcy, medical malpractice, and more in Oak Lawn, IL and the surrounding southwest Chicago area. Our private practice has allowed us to give clients the most undivided attention, applying years of experience and knowledge of current law to unique cases. At Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd., you can expect complete attention, commitment, and assertion from our experienced family and divorce attorneys.

Divorce Law

When it comes to divorce law in Oak Lawn, IL, nobody knows this are of practice like our attorneys. Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. takes divorce law matters very seriously, handling each case with care and attention to detail while asserting the needs and rights of our clients. Within our divorce law services, we handle all of the following: Pre- and post-nuptial agreements, alimony, child custody and support, domestic violence, visitation, division of property, and post-decree issues. With our experience and resources, we will ensure that your rights are heard to negotiate the solution that is most favorable to you.

Child Custody and Support

Many states will automatically favor joint custody for divorcing couples, and Illinois is one of them. This will quickly make the fight for time with your child stressful if an agreement can’t be made outside of the court. But the child custody and support lawyers at Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. in Oak Lawn will ensure that your parental rights and responsibilities are heard, fighting for both your and their best interest.

Personal Injury Attorneys

As an established law firm in Oak Lawn, our personal injury attorneys have experience with a broad range of accident cases in the Southwest Chicago area. Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. understands the pain and suffering as a result of other’s wrongdoing and/or negligence, which is why we will use an assertive approach to advocate your rights. Regardless of the type of injury you have suffered, our lawyers will commit themselves to get you the compensation you deserve.

Real Estate Lawyers

From first-time sellers and buyers to experienced property investors, Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. in Oak Lawn can provide keen insight to both buying and selling real estate transactions. Our real estate attorneys focus on efficiency, communication, and diligence in order to attain the best solution for both the client and real estate agent. We are also currently offering a $195 special on typical single family sales transactions!

Bankruptcy Attorneys

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. can help you determine whether or not this is the right path for you. Our Oak Lawn bankruptcy attorneys have assisted clients who have been struggling with debt for a number of reasons, including divorce, hospital bills, credit cards, foreclosures, and more. We can help you climb out of this financial turmoil by educating and guiding you through the option that works best for you.

**Please note that the following is subject to withdrawal without notice; terms and conditions apply. Please talk to our office for a specific quote.


Berry K. Tucker & Associates Ltd.

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May 22, 2023Deciding that it is time for a divorce is a major step and the way you go about filing for divorce can have an impact on you, your spouse, your children, and your families.  In most cases of divorce, both parties hire a divorce attorney to protect their rights and provide legal guidance throughout the process. However, many divorcing couples may be hesitant to hire attorneys for several reasons, including the cost of an attorney and the stress it can add to the situation.  It is common for divorcing couples to wonder if the divorce proceeding can be done without an attorney, and in Illinois, there are a few different ways it can happen.  You can file for a no-fault divorce, or an uncontested divorce, which does not require the assistance of an attorney, or work with a divorce mediator. Deciding Whether to Use a Divorce Attorney Keep in mind that if you choose to go through your divorce without divorce lawyers, there are certain conditions that must be met for the proceedings to go smoothly.  If any points of contention come up during the divorce proceeding, you may need the help of an attorney to resolve them.  Before you decide to go through the divorce without one, make sure you and your spouse meet the following conditions: Both Parties Want a Divorce: This is a necessary condition for a divorce to occur without attorneys. If one spouse wants a divorce and the other does not, the spouse filing for divorce will need an attorney to serve the proper divorce papers to the unwilling spouse.  The divorce process will go much smoother without attorneys if both spouses agree to divorce. Both Parties Must be Active in the Proceeding: Whether you are filing for a no-fault divorce or using a mediator, both parties must be ready and willing to participate in the process. Both spouses will be expected to complete certain tasks and compile financial documents that are necessary for the divorce process.  If one spouse does not do the work or provide the necessary documents, the other spouse will have to hire a divorce lawyer to make sure all parties comply. Both Parties Must be Willing and Able to Make Decisions: It is much easier to get through a divorce without attorneys if both parties are of sound mind and able to make major decisions competently. If one party is mentally incapacitated or consistently under the influence of drugs or alcohol, that person is not in a condition to make sound decisions on their own.  These situations need a divorce attorney to ensure that the settlement agreement is not rejected by the courts, or that the impaired party does not challenge the outcome in the future. Both Parties Must Agree to Full Disclosure of Assets and Liabilities: An open and honest dialogue between the divorcing spouses is crucial for the divorce to occur without an attorney. This includes full disclosure of all financial assets and liabilities.  If one spouse does not comply, a lawyer will be needed to subpoena the necessary financial documents. No-Fault Divorce (Uncontested Divorce) A no-fault divorce, or an uncontested divorce, is a divorce proceeding allowed in Illinois in which neither spouse is accusing the other of wrongdoing that ended the marriage.  For a no-fault divorce to happen, there cannot be any legal opposition to the divorce from either spouse during the proceedings.  However, a spouse can still contest certain conditions of the divorce agreement such as property division or child custody in a no-fault divorce.  Therefore, a no-fault divorce is not always an uncontested divorce. The State of Illinois does have a few residency requirements that must be met in order for a couple to file for a no-fault divorce.  If both spouses agree to the divorce in writing, they must live apart for at least 6 months before filing for a divorce.  If just one spouse wants to file for a no-fault divorce, the couple must live apart for 2 years. The no-fault divorce process in Illinois consists of the following phases: Filing the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage To begin the divorce process, you must go to your local Circuit Court and file the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.  The forms may differ between counties, which is why you must go to your nearest Circuit Court.  After the petition is filed, it is served to the other spouse by the county sheriff or a private process server.  The other spouse also has the option of filing their papers individually.  Once the petition has been filed and both parties have submitted the necessary forms, the divorce proceeding will begin. Temporary Phase The temporary phase is the time period immediately after the petition is filed in which any issues are resolved temporarily before the proceedings begin in earnest.  These issues are typically dealt with informally by the spouses themselves.  Some cases, such as those involving a restraining order due to domestic violence, may require an attorney.  If a spouse is not a threat to harm the other spouse or children, then that spouse is not legally required to leave their living situation. Discovery Phase The discovery phase is where the contested issues come into play.  Contested issues may include anything from assets and property division to child custody.  Divorcing couples that have very little to contest can skip this phase by waiving their right to formal discovery.  In most cases, spouses may submit formal discovery requests for financial documents so they can be sure of the assets, property, and debt of the other spouse. Determining child custody is a major part of the discovery phase for divorcing couples with children.  Both spouses must come up with a child custody agreement during this phase, and if they are choosing to go through the process without a divorce attorney, they may need to work with a mediator or a “Guardian Aid” who is appointed by the court to work in the best interest of the children. The discovery phase will vary widely from case to case as couples with little assets and no children can practically skip this phase while couples with children may spend the most time in this phase. Resolution Phase In most cases, both parties agree on a settlement in the resolution phase that is reached through compromise.  Once a settlement is reached, both spouses must prepare and sign the settlement documents and appear in front of a judge for a brief hearing.  The judge will approve the settlement if it is deemed fair, and on rare occasions, the judge may deem the settlement unfair to one spouse and reject it.  When this occurs, the case goes to trial without a jury and the judge will make decisions regarding property division and child custody based on the evidence and documents gathered in the discovery phase.  The entire divorce process can be completed in several months if there is little contention and the judge approves the settlement. Divorce Mediation in Illinois If couples filing for a no-fault divorce in Illinois want a third party to help settle the divorce without hiring a lawyer, they can hire a divorce mediator.  The divorce mediation process consists of the following steps: Both spouses must agree to mediate the divorce. In Illinois, you can only go through the divorce mediation process if both spouses agree to it. Choose a professional divorce mediator who will work well with you and your spouse. After choosing a mediator, you and your spouse will have to provide the mediator with forms, financial information, and other important documents for the discovery phase. The mediator will review the documents gathered in the discovery phase and schedule meetings with you and your spouse to discuss the settlement. During these meetings, the mediator will work through contested issues such as child custody and property division with the couple to help resolve these issues peacefully. In some cases, it may take several sessions to fully resolve these issues. The mediator will record all agreements in a document called the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). Once you have completed the mediation and obtained the MOU document from the mediator, you and your spouse can file for a no-fault divorce without attorneys. Work with a Divorce Attorney Divorce can be a long, highly stressful process for all involved, and going through the process without divorce attorneys can help save some time and money.  When filing for divorce in Illinois, couples have the option of filing no-fault divorces, which does not require spouses to hire divorce lawyers.  However, the situation must meet several important criteria for the process to go smoothly without a lawyer. If you are going through a divorce in Cook County and would prefer representation from an experienced divorce attorney, contact Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd.  Our divorce lawyers have years of experience dealing with matters of divorce including property division, child support, domestic violence and other areas regarding family law. [...]
May 12, 2023If you have a scheduled consultation coming up and you’re clueless as far as what to ask your divorce attorney, you’ll definitely want to figure it out ahead of time. In fact, getting as much information as possible during the consultation can save a lot of time and money in the divorce process. Here are some vital questions for which you will want answers if you are going for your first consultation: What is Your Fee Structure? The first and one of the most important questions you will want to ask is what is their fee structure. Do they charge for each hour spent on your case or one flat fee? Keep in mind that divorces can also last years, so it is important to also ask about any financial implications. What are the Divorce Procedures? Every state will have different divorce procedures in which must be followed by both you and your attorney. The exact length of time necessary to complete the divorce will depend on the complexity of your situation (child custody, property division, disagreements with both parties, etc.). Be sure to inform the divorce attorney of all aspects in your divorce so they can give you the most accurate estimate and timeline of your divorce. Keep in mind that if you work full-time or have other needs that require the majority of your time, knowing the requirements and commitments of the divorce ahead of time will help while you prepare. What if I Need Alimony? Each state will differ in regards to allowing a spouse to seek alimony from the other. Some cases will depend on the length of the marriage, whether a spouse stays home with the child, or the difference in income between the spouses. Whether you are seeking alimony or your spouse is seeking it from you, let your attorney know during the initial consultation so they can inform you of any liabilities that can occur during the divorce. What about Child Custody? If you are not able to agree with your spouse as to who will have custody of your children, ask about the factors that are most important to the judge when determining custody. This can include income, the amount of time spent with the child, how involved they are in their children’s lives, their ability to provide for the children, and more. You should also ask about your chances of having custody of your children. It is often child custody issues can prolong the divorce process, so it would be good to know which issues to surrender to and which to challenge. You can also ask about alternative dispute resolution, such as a mediator or arbitration if you want to avoid going to trial. How Should We Split Marital Assets? Many states will differ in regards to marital assets, but their process is pretty simple as far as allocating joint assets to each spouse. Generally, they will state the ownership of each spouse. Just make sure to ask your attorney about the procedure for splitting marital assets in your state. How Long Have You Been Practicing Divorce Law? Having an experienced attorney is extremely important, especially if your situation is more complicated. Knowing how many years they have been practicing, their specialties, with which attorney you will be working, the number of cases they have won, and other general information about the firm. Who Will be Working on My Case? And Will You Be Involved as Well? An experienced family law attorney will often work with a team to gather as much information as possible. But it is important to know who exactly will be working on your case and to have their contact information if you have any updates or questions throughout the divorce. You will also want to know who will be in charge and how you will be billed for that work. If I Call and Nobody Answers, How Long Will it Take to Get a Response? Asking this question during the consultation might seem silly, but some firms are busier than others. It would be good to pay attention to the amount of clients present in the office and if the attorneys always seem busy. A good divorce lawyer will answer all emails and calls within 24 hours, or will have their staff respond earlier. How Familiar Are You with the Local Courthouses and Judges? If you are in a situation where mediation is not an option, having an attorney who knows the local judges and court system well is important. Having someone who knows what judges favor, their process, and even the best times to reach them can be very helpful to your case. Will I Get Copies of Documents Generated Throughout My Divorce? A good attorney will provide you with all copies of documents generated during the divorce process. They also shouldn’t be forgetting to send documents to you after receiving a settlement offer from your spouse’s attorney. Is There a Retainer and How Much Is It? This is extremely important as well as having the money to pay the fee upfront. Ask what it covers and if you reconcile or switch attorneys, ask whether the retainer will be refunded or not. Some attorneys also charge additional retainers when the initial one is depleted. Work with An Experienced Divorce Attorney in Oak Lawn, IL Finding an experienced attorney that stays within your budget can be difficult but not impossible. Generally, it is recommended to find one that you can trust, has experience in cases similar to yours, and is responsive to your emails and calls. One such law firm that can provide these to you is Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. Our divorce attorneys have over 50 years of combined legal experience, working with clients in unique situations while working to establish the best solutions. Our specializations cover many aspects, including child custody, domestic violence, property division, father’s rights, pre-and post-nuptial agreements, alimony, post-decree issues, and more. If you are contemplating getting a divorce, or if your spouse has served you with a divorce, you will definitely want to work with an attorney. Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. can provide you with the answers you need while determining what is in your best interest. Give us a call at (708) 425-9530 for more information about our law firm or to schedule your consultation. We are located in Oak Lawn, IL, and look forward to serving you soon! [...]
April 20, 2023A skilled estate planning attorney manages your assets and affairs in preparation for your eventual demise or incapacitation. Estate lawyers have numerous invaluable functions. Given these professionals have detailed knowledge about your assets, goals, and family needs, choosing a suitable estate planning attorney is crucial to your present peace of mind and your loved ones’ future. The Power of Estate Planning Attorneys Estate planning attorneys wear multiple hats. Your last will and testament are likely drafted by an estate planning attorney. Such a lawyer also creates living trusts. While looking toward the future, your estate planning lawyer will work to prevent creditors from pursuing your beneficiaries after your death. They can also help you avoid estate taxes. An estate planning attorney can help you in several ways: Protecting your assets: Estate planning attorneys can help you protect your assets from creditors, taxes, and other potential threats. Ensuring your wishes are carried out: An estate planning attorney can help you create a plan that ensures your wishes are carried out after your death. This includes creating a will or trust, naming beneficiaries, and outlining your final wishes. Minimizing taxes: Estate planning attorneys can help you minimize taxes on your estate and avoid probate, which can be time-consuming and expensive. Planning for incapacity: Estate planning attorneys can help you plan for incapacity by creating a power of attorney and a healthcare directive, which appoints someone to make decisions for you if you become incapacitated. Aside from managing financial matters, an estate planning attorney has the power to prepare health care directives. In the event mental incapacitation gets a stronghold in your life, this legal professional will arrange to have your affairs kept in good order. Estate planning attorneys can help you create a comprehensive plan that protects your assets, ensures your wishes are carried out, and provides peace of mind for you and your loved ones. A lawyer who specializes in estate planning should be your top choice. General legal practitioners are unlikely to offer niche services to guide you through your unique financial matters. Requirements for Estate Planning Attorneys Your ideal choice should also stay abreast of the current laws of the state in which you reside. In the unfortunate event, you pick an estate planning attorney who fails to keep up with changing state laws, your estate plan could be deemed null in court. If you feel comfortable sharing the particulars of your life, assets, death, and possible future disability with a potential estate planning attorney, you may have struck gold. A compatible lawyer listens to your concerns with the precise intent to develop an estate plan that fully satisfies your expectations. Finding a remarkable professional to carry out your estate plan takes a little digging. You’ll find the most success by asking for referrals. Professionals you already trust, people like your financial advisor, your accountant, and your attorney, can lead you to a fitting estate planning attorney. While referrals are an excellent starting point, you can also achieve your goal by scouring legal ads. Print, television, and radio are inundated with ads from lawyers. It helps to know that states regulate attorney ads to deter lawyers from guaranteeing unattainable outcomes. Your local bar association or state bar offers a list of certified attorneys who specialize in estate planning. You may stumble upon a certified referral service from a city or county bar association. Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, perhaps based on specialization or location, prepare to take advantage of the lawyers’ consultations. During the initial meeting, ask questions. The attorneys’ answers will direct you to a qualified and well-suited professional. What to Look for in an Estate Planning Attorney 1. Experience Any attorney can legally claim the title of an estate planner, even if he has no direct experience with the specialty. A simple estate plan can be carried out by an estate planning attorney with just two to three years of experience. Complex estate plans should be handled by an experienced lawyer, one with seven to ten years of handling trust law, probate as well as estate planning. 2. Full Time Ask your potential estate planning attorney how much time he allocates to estate planning. The ideal response is “full time”. Effectively navigating the sophisticated field of estate planning requires specialized expertise and dedication. 3. Accredited Estate Planner The National Association of Estate Planners & Councils awards the AEP. Professionals who receive this designation are licensed attorneys who are active in estate planning, have five years (minimum) of direct experience working in estate planning, and have at least 15 hours of continuing education in estate planning within the past 24 months. 4. Payment While seeking the cheapest lawyer is tempting, it is imperative to avoid the most inexpensive estate planning attorneys for two reasons: Low-cost estate planning lawyers tend to utilize standard documentation, thereby failing to take into account your unique needs Lawyers who charge less may offer the least experience; and, when your assets are complex, an experienced lawyer is more likely to provide you and your loved ones with the desired services. 5. Communication An attorney’s seamless communication and explanations regarding the multifaceted aspects of estate planning are major pluses when you are on the hunt for a qualified estate planning professional. As a client, it is crucial that you comprehend the documents you sign. 6. Advisor or Salesman? An estate planning attorney’s job is to advise you on important matters regarding your estate, rather than sell services or tools. An appropriate setup occurs when you have trust in the advice of your estate planning lawyer, enough to reveal your goals and familial concerns. Work with Experienced Estate Planning Attorneys in Chicago The well-being of your family is important. When you are planning to seamlessly disperse your assets among your loved ones, a qualified estate planning lawyer is critical. The attorneys at Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. offer over 30 years of experience in estate planning. About Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. estate planning attorneys will take steps to fully understand your unique financial situation. Estate planning documents are then drafted and executed to meet your and your family’s needs. Our lawyers stay up to date on all current Illinois laws, so expect peace of mind in knowing your estate plan will be accepted in court. Included in the comprehensive estate planning services provided by Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. are will and trust creations. When it comes to trusts, our reputable team of lawyers offers experience with life insurance trusts, charitable trusts, and living trusts, among many others. Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. serves the Oak Lawn, Illinois, community with dedication. We are committed to offering top-notch estate planning services to clients in the surrounding areas. Schedule a Consultation for Estate Planning Give us a call at (708) 425-9530 or fill out a contact form to schedule your consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney. [...]
April 12, 2023Buying a new house is definitely an exciting feeling, even after signing a mortgage agreement. But how do you know if the one you are interested in today will accommodate your lifestyle in the future? There are also other details to keep in mind, such as the current condition of the building materials, electrical wiring, plumbing, appliances, and other fixtures; it is important that you are informed of all issues, updates, and maintenance checks in order to avoid any surprises down the road. Check out these tips on what to look for in buying a house so that you and your family will be satisfied in the long run: Identify your Priorities When buying a home, many will have the bells and whistles, such as granite countertops, a 2-story garage, a home alarm system, a finished basement, etc. But these can seem like an easy distraction when you are searching for the must-haves, such as 3 bedrooms, ranch style, updated plumbing, etc. Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. has years of experience in real estate law and can help you during the transaction process to make sure that your new house covers everything on your list. Although you will want to make sure that the building materials, furnishings, and appliances are in good condition (they don’t have to be brand-new). Investigate the Details While these may not be the most exciting to review, they can save you thousands of dollars in the future after purchasing the home. Unless you plan on remodeling or having numerous repairs to the property, you will want to inspect the following list to ensure that they are in good condition: Appliances. It is ok to ask the real estate agent how old are each of the appliances. If there is a gas leak behind an old stove or if the washing machine is leaking, they must be fixed before you move in. Roofing. If there is a leak in the roof that you don’t know about, water damage can be a nightmare, depending on how long it has been left untreated. Be sure that it is found and fixed before signing any documents. Inspect the vegetation. How old are the trees? Anything that is not alive will not have any support and can easily blow over onto the house in the event of a large storm. Also, make sure that there are no large roots that can wrap around the underground water line. Sewer system. Especially if you are moving into an older home, the sewer pipes must be in good condition because any backups can create a messy, dangerous, and expensive mess to clean up. When reviewing the condition of these features, be sure to talk to the inspector about any issues with the home. This way you will be properly informed of its condition as a whole and avoid any surprises after signing the mortgage contract. Ensure it Matches Your Lifestyle Especially for first-time homeowners, it can be exciting to think about all of the new amenities you will have, such as more space, a yard, a basement, etc. But these new features will also come with the responsibility of maintenance and updates. For example, if this new home has a large deck where you can invite your friends and family over for backyard grilling, you should know that it will need to be cleaned of debris and stained to keep it in good condition. If you have a basement, consider the fact that you will always face the risk of flooding, even if the sump pump is working properly. A flash flood can seep into the foundation faster than the machine can pump it out. Next thing you know, there is a pool in your basement. Of course, this is not to say that you should not have a house with a deck or basement, rather, just be prepared for the responsibilities of taking proper care of everything on the property. Find the Best Location Neighborhood. Nothing is more important than the safety of your family; this should be considered as the most important factor when investigating and researching the neighborhood. Also, be mindful of any vacant lots that can be purchased and go under construction, creating loud noises and disturbing the peace. If you are moving into a more remote location, make sure that your smartphone receives coverage from the cell towers as it can be frustrating not to have service if the internet is down. School Districts. If you have a family with kids, make sure to look at the condition of the neighborhood and school districts. Do some research of the schools that your children will be attending for the amount of time you will be living there. Proximity to Work. Finding a nice home that is close enough to work for you and your spouse can be tough. You will want to talk with them to discuss the distance that each of you will be comfortable with for driving to work. Some families have a working situation in which the partner that works closer to home will pick up the children from daycare while the other faces a longer commute. Local Businesses. The distance of local stores, restaurants, and other businesses can also affect a purchasing decision. If your kids are old enough to ride bikes to the pool in the summertime, it can be a nice advantage instead of worrying about them being bored at home while you are at work.   Whether or not the location of the new home is a good fit for a family will ultimately depend on their current situation, such as work, age of the children, income, etc.; it is important to check out the local area as it will significantly impact their future. Make sure to do all of your research and talk to your real estate attorney before signing any documents. Consider the Difficulties of Re-Selling This situation of reselling a house is often overlooked by many property owners. If there is something unique that you are planning on adding to your home, such as painting Power Rangers on the siding, consider the difficulty of trying to sell it afterward; the future buyers probably don’t want to have it in their new home. It is crucial to think about any significant features the home currently has before you buy it, such as it is the only house in the neighborhood to have a pool. While it is definitely a luxury, a swimming pool will increase the overall value of the home, which will then supersede those of other houses in the neighborhood. Future buyers can use this against you when debating the price in the transaction process. Any house that is located at the bottom of a slope or hill should not even be considered for purchase because the foundation will become flooded every time there is a significant amount of rain. During a storm, the water will easily flow down the hill and create a pool around the home. Contact a Real Estate Attorney for Help Due to the amount of detail and factors involved during the purchasing process, buying a home to live in for the next few years is a big decision. While it is essential that everything runs smoothly, it is best to have a real estate attorney on your side to oversee the process, review all documents, and guide you to make the best decisions for you and your family. The attorneys at Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. have years of experience in the real estate industry and will help you during the purchasing process to make it as cost-effective as possible. They will ensure that your needs are being met both physically and financially while establishing a strong partnership that is based on trust and respect. Overall, we can provide valuable assistance throughout the real estate transaction process, helping to avoid potential legal issues and protect our client’s interests. Call Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. at 708.425.9530 [...]
March 13, 2023During a marriage, the individual lives of the couple become intertwined and they build relationships with in-laws and friends that they know through their spouses.  When a divorce occurs, it can have a major impact on these relationships.  Divorces have been known to turn relationships with in-laws sour which can complicate the proceedings and post-divorce life, especially if there are children involved.  It is normal for a divorcing spouse to sense tension or awkwardness when dealing with in-laws after a divorce.  However, it is in the best interest of the children to keep a civil relationship with the in-laws who are their grandparents, aunts, and uncles. The following information is provided for help managing your family relationships after divorce: Stay in Touch with In-Laws There are certain situations in which divorcing couples decide that they would rather not have any contact with their former spouse or in-laws.  This arrangement is fine if there are no children involved, but difficult to do when a divorcing couple has children.  Your in-laws are still family to your children and they will rightfully want some involvement in your child’s life.  Staying in touch with your in-laws will make this easier and set a good example about the importance of keeping family relationships for your children. Establish Visitation with Grandparents Under Illinois state law, grandparents have the legal right to visit with their grandchildren.  If one of the parents tries to block their former in-laws from visiting with their children, the grandparents can go to court and petition for visitation.  Going through this legal process is a bad look and a terrible example for the children.  You must set aside any differences or animosity that you have with your former in-laws and establish visitation times for your children to visit their grandparents. Always Consider your Children’s Best Interest It is very easy for divorcing couples to forget about the interests of their children as they deal with the divorce proceedings and the emotional toll that comes with it.  However, the interests of your children should be a priority to help them through what is a very difficult experience.  This means keeping a good relationship with the in-laws and acting civil around your children to help their emotional and mental state.  Focusing on the best interests of the children makes it easier for divorcing couples to set aside their differences and find favorable solutions to certain issues such as visitation. The effects of a divorce often spread well beyond just the divorcing couple and they can put a serious strain on family relationships.  When divorcing couples have children, the situation becomes even more complex.  You must consider the best interests of your children in the aftermath of a divorce which will help make it easier to manage family relationships.  If you are considering divorce, talk to an experienced divorce attorney at Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd.  Our attorneys have years of experience in family law and we can help you work out solutions that consider the best interests of your children. Contact Berry K. Tucker and Associates, Ltd. at (708) 425-9530 to speak directly with one of our attorneys. [...]
January 26, 2023Divorce is expensive, almost as expensive as getting hitched at the altar in a celebratory wedding. When it comes to proclaiming a lifetime union, couples in the United States spend on average $33,391 on a wedding. Divorce, on the other hand, costs spouses at least one-third of the dizzying cost of nuptials. Costs to separate from a once-beloved spouse vary widely across the country. Out of all 50 states, California is the most expensive state in which to get divorced. The average divorce filing fee in the Golden State is $435, with average attorney’s fees hovering around $13,800. In contrast, one of the least expensive states in which to get divorced is North Dakota, with average divorce filing fees of $80 and average attorney fees of $8,200. Illinois is not an economical state in which to legally separate from a spouse. Our state is in the top 10 states with the priciest divorce fees. The Cost – $13,800 On average, the cost to divorce in Illinois is $13,800. Include child custody and support, alimony, and property division into the mix, and financing a divorce sharply climbs to an average of $35,300. Filing Fee – $289 The average fee to file for divorce in Illinois is $289, which is above the national average; while the average divorce attorney fees amble around a stark $10,900. Couples who race toward the divorce finish line must begin their journey by filing for a divorce. The simple but necessary act of filing itself costs a few hundred dollars. Under certain circumstances, like when individuals have insufficient income to pay the divorce filing costs, the fee may be waived. Children – $20,700 Bring children into the picture, and divorce costs skyrocket to $20,700 on average in Illinois. Disputes over child support as well as child custody battles increase the costs of divorce proceedings, especially when a judge resolves the issues. Divorcing spouses save costs significantly when they are able to settle divorce issues involving children before the case goes to trial. Alimony – $19,100 Alimony also drives the cost of divorce upwards, in Illinois as well as in every state. Spousal support or spousal maintenance are interchangeable terms for what is known as alimony. In the Land of Lincoln, alimony spurs the costs of divorce to $19,100 on average. Spouses with unequal earning power tend to fight out alimony battles, leading to soaring divorce costs. The purpose of awarding alimony is to allow the lesser-earning spouse to live as comfortably as he or she did during the marriage. A few situations warranty alimony: 1. After a long marriage 2. When one spouse gives up a career to support the working spouse 3. When a spouse stays at home to raise the couple’s children. The cost of alimony increases due to the necessary involvement of vocational analysts and financial experts. Child support and alimony are two completely separate entities. Child support is intended to benefit the couple’s minor children, with financial aid going to the spouse who has custody of the children. Alimony is strictly reserved to provide financial assistance to the lesser-earning spouse until he or she becomes self-supporting. Property Division – $19,400 High-income couples will have a high-cost divorce. The steep rise of costs in a divorce that includes property division occurs when multiple assets are involved. Couples entangled in the dissolution of marriage will zealously safeguard their retirement accounts, savings accounts, cars, brokerage accounts and real estate. Tax experts, property appraisers, and the financial analyses necessary from legal professionals are sought out to fairly divide the assets between the divorcing parties. A judge who resolves property division matters makes this type of divorce more expensive. When property division issues achieve resolution out of court, the cost to divorce drops significantly. On average, Illinois divorcees can expect to pay $19,400 in divorces that include property division. Faults Increase Divorce Costs Filing for divorce based on fault will ensure the cost of divorce is higher than average. Spouses who claim faults, like impotence, abandonment, infidelity, drug, or alcohol abuse or cruelty will witness the price of their divorce proceedings ascend markedly. Attorney’s Hourly Rates – $260 Illinois divorce lawyers charge an hourly fee of $260 on average to proceed with the divorce. Spouses’ payments include fees for any paralegals involved, legal staff, court filings, financing the costs of expert witnesses, financial analysts, appraisers and professional child custody evaluations. Those starting on the legal path to divorce can expect to pay the attorney’s hourly rate multiplied by the total number of hours the attorney spends to complete the divorce. Work with Experienced Attorneys As intimidating as these costs can be, working with an attorney often proves to be the best option at the end of the day. Especially for complicated situations or if your ex-spouse is working with an attorney, it is highly recommended to work with one yourself. This way, you will be able to secure your assets and establish an effective solution that works in your best interest. You will also be saving more money by working with an attorney to avoid a large percentage of income sent to your spouse for the remainder of your working years. Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. The family law firm of Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. is experienced in helping couples navigate through and complete their divorce. Both contested and uncontested divorces are expertly handled by the divorce lawyers at our Oak Lawn firm. The combined wealth of experience between the divorce attorneys at Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. totals over 50 years. The divorce lawyers at Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. are experienced in several aspects of divorce proceedings. Parental responsibilities are included in our services to help win child custody battles. Child support agreements are negotiated as are visitation rights for parents. Our divorce lawyers also help our clients through property division issues, including homes, pets, stock and vehicles, to make sure they walk away with assets to which they are fairly entitled. Experienced with Divorce Cases We are also experienced in settling for the most favorable level of spousal support or spousal maintenance. When post-decree issues, such as changes in income, marital status or employment, arise after the divorce is finalized, the divorce attorneys at Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. will represent you to ensure your needs are met. The Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. firm of divorce lawyers offers a detailed case evaluation to spouses on the brink of divorce. Our lawyers are skilled and experienced in divorce practices and knowledgeable in current laws, so that you receive the best representation during your divorce proceedings and even post-divorce. [...]
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