Illinois’ New Collaborative Divorce Law

On August 18, 2017, Governor Rauner signed into law Public Act 100-0205 which became the Illinois Collaborative Process Act.  The Act took effect on January 1, 2018 and legislatively authorizes the collaborative divorce practice in Illinois.  The Act is codified at 750 ILCS 90.

Collaborative divorce is a legal process which allows couples who want to end their marriage to work with lawyers, but to avoid the uncertainty and costs of litigation.  Advocates of collaborative divorce argue that the process allows parties to achieve settlement that better meets the specific needs of both parties and, if applicable, their children.

The process is voluntary and no court can order parties to enter the collaborative process.  The process starts when the parties sign an agreement to enter into the collaborative process.  The lawyers who participate in the process are precluded from representing either party in litigation on the same matter.

The collaborative process can be used to facilitate a broad range of family law issues, including divorce, allocation of parenting time and responsibilities, support and pre- and post-nuptial agreements.  If you are interested in the collaborative process, the attorneys at Allison & Mosby-Scott can help.  Please visit our website or call us at 309-662-5084.

Postnuptial Agreements in Illinois

A postnuptial agreement is a legal contract between spouses who intend to stay together that spells out what happens if their marriage ends. There are many different reasons that couples may want to consider entering into a post-nup. If you are thinking about entering into a post-nuptial agreement, wanting to challenge a post-nuptial agreement, or need to defend a post-nuptial agreement, the attorneys at Allison & Mosby-Scott can help. Please call us at 309-662-5084.  Also, please see this article on our website to learn more about postnuptial agreements.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act became Public Law No. 115-97 on December 23, 2017 when it was signed into law by President Trump.  The Act amends the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and is biggest change to US tax law since the 1986 law was passed.  The Act makes substantial changes to tax law for both individual and corporations.  Allison & Mosby-Scott has prepared this summary to help our clients understand the changes in the Act that impact our clients.  If you have any questions on how this affects your business or you personally, please call the attorneys at Allison & Mosby-Scott at 309-662-5084.

Happy New Year!

Allison & Mosby-Scott would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year.  Thanks to all our clients who allowed us to serve their legal needs in 2017.  We look forward to helping our clients meet their personal and business goals in 2018.

Pet Custody Coming to Illinois in 2018

Effective January 1, 2018, a new Illinois divorce law will let a judge decide who is the best owner for a family pet.  Under the current law, pets are treated as property and are divided without regard to what is best for the animal.  On January 1st, a judge will now be able to consider who is responsible for the day-to-day care of an animal, who buys the pet food, who stays on top of vaccinations, who walks the dog, etc., and what is in the best interest of the animal.  The law does not apply to service animals.  The law will be applied to cases currently pending and any cases filed in 2018.  Click here to find out more.

New Tax Law Changes How Spousal Maintenance Works Beginning 2019

Is Spousal Maintenance Deductible?  Yes, but things change in 2019.

Under current federal tax law, amounts paid to a spouse or former spouse under a divorce or separation instrument may be considered alimony for federal tax purposes and deductible by the payer spouse.  Alimony received must be included in income for tax purposes.

Currently a payment is considered alimony if the following requirements are met:

  • The spouses don’t file a joint return with each other;
  • The payment is in cash;
  • The payment is to or for a spouse or a former spouse and made under a divorce or separation instrument;
  • The divorce or separation instrument doesn’t designate the payment as not alimony;
  • If the spouses are legally separated under a decree of divorce or of separate maintenance, that aren’t members of the same household when the payment is made;
  • There’s no liability to make the payment after the death of the recipient spouse; and
  • The payment isn’t treated as child support or a property settlement.

Some payments are not considered alimony under federal tax law, including:

  • Child support;
  • Noncash property settlements, whether in a lump-sum or installments;
  • Payments that are your spouse’s part of community property income;
  • Payments to keep up the payer’s property;
  • Use of the payer’s property; or
  • Voluntary payments.

Finally, if a divorce instrument provides for the payment of alimony and child support and the payer spouse pays less than the total required, the law presumes that the payment applies to child support first and only the excess amount paid above the child support obligation is deductible as alimony.

In Illinois, Alimony is known as spousal maintenance.

Changes Are on the Way

Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed into law by President Trump on December 23, 2017, the deduction for alimony paid is eliminated beginning for divorces finalized January 1, 2019 and after.  Specifically, for parties who divorce after December 31, 2018, Section 1309 of the Act eliminates the deductibility of alimony.  The Act would also apply to modification of alimony after 2018, but only if expressly provided for by such modification.  Basically, under the new law, alimony will no longer be deductible for a payer spouse and will no longer be income for the recipient spouse.

The theory for eliminating the deduction is that those who pay alimony are usually in higher tax brackets than those receiving alimony.  Therefore, current law moves income from higher tax rates to lower tax rates.  The new law eliminates this “divorce subsidy,” although the House estimated that eliminating the alimony deduction will only raise $8.3 billion in tax revenue over 10 years.

Allison & Mosby-Scott

If you are currently going through a divorce or have questions about spousal support, the attorneys at Allison & Mosby-Scott are here to help.  Please visit our website for more information on our services and spousal maintenance in Illinois.

Merry Christmas

We hope your days are filled with peace, hope, and joy this Christmas.

As always, we want to thank our clients for their business, trust and loyalty.  To our friends and family, thank you for your ongoing support.

Merry Christmas.

Happy Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving we’re thankful for the trust and confidence of our clients and the continued support of our friends and family. Best Wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving from Allison & Mosby-Scott.

Small Business Guide to Cybersecurity

According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), half of all small and medium sized businesses (those with under 250 employees) in the U.S. experienced a data breach in the past year, and 55 percent experienced a cyberattack. The III also says that almost 40 percent of businesses have experienced a ransomware attack in the last year with one third of those losing revenue as a result. Moreover, Carbonite estimates that a single data hack could cost a small business between $82,200 and $256,000. Allison & Mosby-Scott wants to be your partner in helping your business succeed, as such we’ve put together this Small Business Guide to Cybersecurity to help your business improve its cybersecurity.

Allison & Mosby-Scott would like to congratulate Tim Eckhardt and welcome him to the Illinois Bar


Allison & Mosby-Scott would like to Congratulate Tim Eckhardt and welcome him to the Illinois bar.  Tim was sworn in as an attorney at law this morning by Illinois Supreme Court Justice Rita Garman.  Tim will focus his legal practice primarily on family law, criminal defense and employment law.  The entire team at Allison & Mosby-Scott is extremely proud of Tim and know that he will be a valuable asset and outstanding advocate for our clients.

Happy Veterans Day

Allison & Mosby-Scott would like to thank the men and women in uniform, past, present, and future.  We are so grateful for your sacrifice, dedication, bravery and service in protecting our freedoms.  God bless you!

We’d also like to remind veterans with disabilities that they are eligible for property tax exemptions in Illinois on their primary residence.  The following laws provide exemptions:

  • Veterans with Disabilities Exemption (35 ILCS 200/15-165);This exemption may be up to $100,000 reduction on the assessed value for certain types of housing owned and used exclusively by a veteran with a disability in which federal funds have been used for the purchase or construction of specially adapted housing. The exemption is valid for as long as the veteran, the spouse, or the unmarried surviving spouse resides on the property. Federal and state financial assistance is provided for service-connected veterans with disabilities for the purpose of acquiring or remodeling suitable dwelling units with special fixtures or moveable facilities made necessary by the veteran’s permanent and total service-connected disabilities as determined by the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs.Beginning with the 2015 tax year, the exemption also applies to housing that is specifically constructed or adapted to suit a qualifying veteran’s disability if the housing or adaptations are donated by a charitable organization, and the veteran has been approved to receive funds or the purchase or construction of Specially Adapted Housing through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. This exemption is also available on a mobile home owned and used exclusively by a veteran with a disability or his or her spouse.For a single tax year, the property cannot receive this exemption and the Homestead Exemption for Persons with Disabilities or Standard Homestead Exemption for Veterans with Disabilities. For further information, please contact your local Veteran Service Officer.
  • Homestead Exemption for Persons with Disabilities (35 ILCS 200/15-168);This exemption is an annual $2,000 reduction in the EAV of the primary residence that is owned and occupied by a person with a disability who is liable for the payment of property taxes.The initial Form PTAX-343, Application for the Homestead Exemption for Persons with Disabilities, along with the required proof of disability, must be filed with the Chief County Assessment Office. The exemption must be renewed each year by filing Form PTAX-343-R, Annual Verification of Eligibility for the Homestead Exemption for Persons with Disabilities, with the Chief County Assessment Office. The property cannot receive this exemption in the same year it is receiving the Veterans with Disabilities Exemption for Specially-Adapted Housing or the Standard Homestead Exemption for Veterans with Disabilities.
  • Standard Homestead Exemption for Veterans with Disabilities (35 ILCS 200/15-169).Beginning in tax year 2007 and after, this exemption is an annual reduction in equalized assessed value on the primary residence occupied by a qualified veteran with a disability. This veteran with a disability must own or lease a single family residence and be liable for payment of property taxes. The property’s total EAV must be less than $250,000 after subtracting any portion used for commercial purposes. The amount of the exemption depends on the percentage of the service-connected disability as certified by the United States Department of Veterans’ Affairs. A qualified veteran with a service-connected disability of at least 30% but less than 50% will receive a $2,500 reduction in EAV; if the veteran has a service-connected disability of 50% but less than 70%, the annual exemption is $5,000; and if the veteran has a service-connected disability of 70% or more, the residential property is exempt from taxation.Note: An un-remarried surviving spouse of a veteran who was disabled and is now deceased can continue to receive this exemption on his or her spouse’s primary residence, or transfer this exemption to another primary residence after the original primary residence of a veteran with a disability is sold, provided this exemption had previously been granted to the veteran with a disability.The surviving spouse must occupy and hold legal or beneficial title to the primary residence on January 1 of the assessment year and submit a Form PTAX-342, Application for the Standard Homestead Exemption for Veterans with Disabilities, available from your local assessment office, to transfer this exemption to themselves.Beginning in tax year 2015 (property taxes payable in 2016), an un-remarried surviving spouse of a veteran killed in the line of duty will be eligible for a 100% reduction in the EAV on his/her primary residence, even if the veteran did not previously qualify for or obtain the SHEVD.

    For a single tax year, the property cannot receive this exemption and the Veterans with Disabilities Exemption for Specially Adapted Housing or the Homestead Exemption for Persons with Disabilities.

Veterans with disabilities can claim only one of these exemptions for a single tax year.


New Changes to Illinois Family Law Coming January 1, 2018

Since 2014 the Illinois Legislature has made significant changes to Illinois family law. The first change was in 2014 when it modified the way spousal maintenance was calculated (effective January 1, 2015).  Then in 2015, it repealed the Parentage Act of 1984 and replaced it with the Parentage Act of 2015 and made extensive modifications to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA).  These changestook effect January 1, 2016. The next change was in 2016 and changed how child support was calculated effective July 1, 2017.  Summaries of these changes can be found on our web-site. Now the Legislature has passed HB 2537 which became Public Act 100-0520 on September 22, 2017.  Public Act 100-0520 again makes changes to the Illinois spousal maintenance law and streamlines the process for name changes.  Public Act 100-0565 now makes the law effective January 1, 2018.  If you have any questions about any of these changes, the attorneys at Allison & Mosby-Scott can help.  Please visit our website or contact us at 309-662-5084.

Year End Checklist for Small Businesses

Halloween has come and gone and the busy holiday season will soon be upon us. But if you are a small business owner there are some things you need to consider as the end of the year approaches. Allison & Mosby-Scott has put together this year-end checklist to help your business close out the year. Of course, Allison & Mosby-Scott wants to help your business succeed. If you want to find out more about our business practice or are in the need of legal assistance for your business, please visit our web-site or call us at 309-662-5084.

Open Enrollment Period for ACA Begins today

There’s been a lot of discussion this year about “repeal and replace” of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and President Trump has signed some Executive Orders recently regarding the ACA. But the ACA is still the law in the United States and the “individual mandate” or “individual shared responsibility provisions” are still in place requiring taxpayers to either have qualifying health coverage called “minimum essential coverage” or qualify for a health coverage exemption. If you haven’t had coverage in place for all 12 months of 2017 and don’t meet the requirements of exemption, you will have to pay a “fine” with your 2017 taxes. For tax year 2017, the penalty is 2.5% of your total household adjusted gross income, or $695 per adult and $347.50 per child, up to a maximum of $2,085. If the law is not repealed or replaced, you will also need coverage for 2018.

For 2018, if you don’t have coverage through your employer or a private plan, you may want to buy coverage through the government run Health Insurance Marketplace ( Open Enrollment for 2018 runs from November 1, 2017 to December 15, 2017. Clients may want to “wait and see” if there are any developments regarding the ACA before they make a decision on 2018 coverage. If you choose to “wait and see” and are planning on using the Health Insurance Marketplace, you should diary December 15th as that is the last day of the open enrollment period.

If your business has questions regarding its obligations under the ACA or employee benefits in general, please contact the attorneys at Allison & Mosby-Scott at 309-662-5084. Allison & Mosby-Scott wants to help your business meet its strategic goals.