children and divorce, consultation with your attorney, divorce process, DuPage County divorce attorney, cost of divorceGoing through a divorce can be a confusing and emotionally taxing time in a person’s life. There are many decisions to be made about how life will move forward after the divorce, and one of the most important decisions to be made is who to hire as your divorce attorney.

It is a good idea to meet with several attorneys, if possible, before making a final decision. Moreover, it is additionally important to prepare for each initial meeting.

Depending on how you want to handle your divorce, you can ask your divorce attorney if he or she has experience with mediation and arbitration. Take the opportunity to learn about mediation and what steps the attorney would implement if mediation does not work. Remember, however, that medication will not be an option if your spouse refuses to mediate.

You should also ask about the average or estimated cost of the divorce, and how the attorney will charge you. Whether the attorney charges a flat fee versus a per hour fee can make a difference to the overall cost of the divorce. Along this line, ask the attorney who else will be working on your case, and how the services for that person’s work will be charged. Remember to ask whether the fees the attorney charges will be required in one lump sum, or if you can work with a payment plan.

Communication with your attorney is very important when you are going through a divorce, especially if you have children. Therefore, it is important to ensure that you can reach your attorney at reasonable hours during the work day, and in an emergency. You should ask the attorney how he or she prefers to communicate—by email or telephone—and how long he or she regularly takes to return calls from a client if he or she is unavailable when the client calls.

Additionally, if you have children, you want to find out if the attorney has any experience dealing with child-related issues in a divorce. Child-related issues can sometimes be the only factor that parents cannot agree on when it comes to settling the divorce. It is important to have an attorney who has experience in these matters so you can find out more about your chances of having primary parental responsibility when it comes to your children.

Contact Us for Legal Assistance

If you have made the decision to file for divorce, or have been served with papers indicating your spouse has filed for divorce, you need to hire an experienced divorce attorney as soon as possible. To schedule a consultation with our compassionate and experienced DuPage County divorce attorneys at Momkus McCluskey Roberts LLC today for assistance.


Posted in DuPage County Family Law Attorney | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

business owners, DuPage County business law attorney, private sector employees, small business owner, unionizationThe right of employees in the private sector to unionize is something that business owners cannot ignore. Unionization can sometimes affect a business negatively; however, it does not have to in all situations. Business owners should be familiar with the basics of their employees’ rights to unionize.

Most private employees are covered by the National Labor Relations Act, which allows private employees to form or join unions and participate in union activity. This law covers various employees whose employers engage in interstate commerce that brings in a certain amount in revenue every year.

If you are the owner of a small business that conducts its business entirely in Illinois, without conducting any Internet sales, then the issue of private employee unionization under the National Labor Relations Act is not likely to affect you. The Illinois Labor Relations Act mainly applies to public employees who are not covered under the National Labor Relations Act.

There are a range of other employees who are not covered under the National Labor Relations Act—for example employees who are employed by a spouse or parent or those who work in the agricultural sector as laborers. Supervisors are generally not covered under the National Labor Relations Act, except if they are fired for refusing to violate the act—for example, refusing to discipline an employee for participating in union activities. Independent contractors are also not covered.

Employees who engage in certain activities without being part of a union are also protected under the federal law. If two or more employees engage in concerted activity aimed at improving workplace conditions or improving their pay, the employees cannot be fired for participating in these activities. If one employee approaches the employer as a representative of the other employees to express the concerns of other employees, the employer cannot fire that employee for engaging in that activity.

Employees also have a right to not join the union or engage in union activities, and although the employee may be required to pay some dues to the union, the employee should not be pressured to join the union. Fair share dues usually apply to public sector employees and are used to cover the costs incurred by the union in representing non-union members. Employers should note that under federal law, employees cannot be forced to pay to support a political cause they do not believe in, even if it is part of their union dues.

Contact an Experienced Business Attorney

If you are a small business owner and you are seeking guidance on this issue and other employee related issues that face your business, contact a skilled DuPage County business law attorney with experience in employment law at Momkus McCluskey Roberts, LLC for a consultation today. We are eager to assist you throughout each step of your case.


Posted in Business Law | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

DuPage County Employment Law Attorney, sexual harassment, unwelcome sexual advances, workplace harassment, sexual harassment policyThere have been numerous allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct reported by the media against men in the entertainment and political arenas recently. Following the revelations, a lot of people have been asking how they can change the social climate to reduce the instances of sexual harassment in the workplace and other places.

Employers should take the opportunity to evaluate their current policies and see if the policies are effective at reducing or eliminating instances of sexual harassment, and encouraging employees who are harassed to report the harassment. Under the Illinois Human Rights Act, no one should face sexual harassment in the workplace. This law applies to private employers who employ more than 15 employees. The sexual harassment protections afforded under Illinois law extend to employees as well as to unpaid interns.

Sexual harassment refers to unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors or any conduct of a sexual nature under three conditions or circumstances:

  1. When the person making the unwelcome sexual advances, either implicitly or expressly, makes submission to the sexual advances or requests for sexual favors a condition of employment.

  2. When accepting the unwelcome sexual advances is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting the person the advances are directed towards. The employment decisions do not have to be negative for it to be considered sexual harassment.

  3. The unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an employee’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment. The employee here does not have to be the actual employee to whom these demands are made. An employee who hears the demands can be negatively affected and be exposed to a hostile work environment.

A person who complains about sexual harassment cannot legally be fired in retaliation. To do so would open a business to civil liability. In some cases, sexual harassment can turn into a criminal matter if it involves actions that can be prosecuted as criminal offenses under Illinois law—sexual assault, stalking, harassment, or battery.

Whether the victim of the sexual harassment reports it as a civil issue or a criminal offense, it could have negative consequences on a business that is seen as not having done enough to create a safe workplace.

Contact an Experienced Employment Law Attorney

Sexual harassment should be taken seriously by any business operating in Illinois. Having a well thought out and understandable sexual harassment policy can be a good first step to creating a safe work environment for all employees. For more information on what the law requires, or for a review of your existing sexual harassment policy, contact an experienced DuPage County employment law attorney at Momkus McCluskey Roberts, LLC for help today.


Posted in Employment Law | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

co-parenting, DuPage County child custody lawyer, parental time sharing, parenting time, parental responsibilityAvoiding conflict with a former spouse is arguably more preferable to constantly fighting over everything related to raising children together. However, in some situations, constantly taking actions or making decisions with the sole focus of not making the other person upset can be a negative thing.

Catering to a former spouse who refuses to cooperate unless he or she gets what he or she wants can set up some unrealistic expectations. It can also lead to the submissive person becoming increasingly frustrated at having to bend to the other person’s demand while getting little to nothing in return.

The situations that can lead to this kind of dynamic involve the management of parental time sharing. If one parent is constantly demanding changes in the visitation schedule and the other parent always acquiesces, the parent making the demands may come to expect that he or she will always get the children whenever he or she demands it.

While the acquiescing parent is probably agreeing to constant changes in the schedule in order to be more accommodating, and perhaps hoping to get the same understanding if he or she she needs a change, then he or she is also creating a problem. The parent making the constant changes may try and use the fact that he has the children more and more to go back to court and seek more parental responsibility or time sharing.

Some parents try to push the other parent into agreeing to change parenting schedules with threats of going back to court to modify the order, or by bullying them with accusations of parental alienation. Instead of folding under the pressure of threats or bullying tactics, it is important to always fall back on the parenting plan that was approved by the court.

The court approves the terms of a parenting plan based on a consideration of the best interests of the child. Therefore, a parent’s decision to follow the plan regardless of the accusations that he or she is being too controlling is always the best thing to do.

In addition, modifications of the parenting plan are not easily granted. There is a waiting period before changes can be made, and there generally has to be a change in circumstances to warrant a change in which parent gets majority time sharing.

Cooperating in the interest of raising your children together should always be encouraged. However, the parents should deal with each other on equal footing, and remember that the cooperation and compromise goes both ways.

Contact an Experienced Family Law Attorney

If you are unsure of how you can negotiate a parenting agreement with your spouse as you go through a divorce, you should speak to an experienced family law attorney as soon as possible.

Parenting agreements are extremely important when it comes to co-parenting after the divorce. Contact an experienced DuPage County child custody lawyer at the Momkus McCluskey Roberts LLC law firm to speak to an attorney today.


Posted in Child Custody | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

DuPage County estate planning attorney, pet trusts, trust beneficiaries, Illinois Pet Trust Act, Illinois estate planningGenerally, people who have pets consider them part of the family and often want to ensure that if they outlive their pets, then the pets will be well cared for throughout the remainder of their lives. A pet owner who wants to take care of his or her pet in this way can make a bequest to the pet in a will. However, this is not the best way to ensure that a pet is cared for after an owner dies.

Unfortunately, the law considers pets property, and it is difficult for a pet to inherit directly from a will. However, pets are allowed to be named as beneficiaries under the Illinois Pet Trust Act. A pet owner can use this law to create a trust and name a pet as the trust beneficiary. The owner would also have to select a trustee to administer the trust and manage the trust assets for the benefit of the pet.

If the pet named as a beneficiary is not living by the time the owner dies, the trust assets cannot be transferred to another pet. The trust would be terminated at that point because its terms cannot be fulfilled.

The trustee to be selected to administer the pet trust should be selected with as much care as a trustee for any other kind of trust. While the law has some safeguards to ensure that a trustee does not use trust assets for his or her own uses, it is best to have a trustworthy trustee who would only use and manage the assets for the benefit of the named pet beneficiary.

The pet owner may wish to leave his or her entire estate to the pet through the trust. However, depending on the value of the estate, whether the pet owner has other heirs, and other factors, a court can reduce the amount left to a pet to what is reasonably enough to care for the pet.

Once the pet dies, if there are any assets still left in the trust, it is distributed according to the trust documents. If the trust documents do not leave instructions on how the assets are to be distributed, the assets would be distributed according to the will or any other documents that may show the testator’s intent as to how the assets should be distributed. The testator’s heirs are usually the ultimate beneficiaries of left over assets from pet trusts. If the pet owner does not wish the heirs to get the assets, he or she should include a clause detailing who should get the assets after the pet dies.

Contact Us for More Information

To discuss how you can use a trust to take care of your pet after you pass away, and get more information about trusts in general, contact Momkus McCluskey Roberts LLC. Our skilled DuPage County estate planning attorneys are eager to assist you today.


Posted in Estate Planning | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment