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When is it time to file for divorce?

You talk it out. You fight it out. You may even go to therapy. However, there comes a moment when you realize nothing is working, and you wonder if your marriage is over. Making the decision to divorce is seldom easy. There is always the chance that you can recover and things will improve. After all, you may have fond memories of your early years together, and you may wonder how you got so far away from the couple you were back then.

So, how do you know when it's time to throw in the towel and give each other a chance at happiness? Some marriage experts believe there may be definite signs that a marriage cannot be salvaged.

Hands free phones may still distract you on the road

A cell phone in the hand of a motorist is a recipe for increased risk of an auto accident on Illinois roads. This is why some people consider a hands free phone, which allows a motorist to keep both hands on the wheel while holding a conversation, as a viable safety alternative. However, some studies show that hands free phones are not a cure for distracted driving.

An article by the website Medical Daily described a 2015 University of Sussex study that found Bluetooth devices used for cell phones, while they could keep the hands of drivers on the wheel, still could not keep a motorist’s full attention on what was occurring on the road. A senior psychology lecturer at the University of Sussex, Dr. Graham Hole, claimed in a statement that drivers create an “inner world” while they converse with a person through a cell phone, and that drivers may ignore aspects of the real world and focus instead on that inner world.

What should I do when approached by a strange dog?

While there are leash laws about dogs in Illinois, there may come a time when you are approached by a dog who is off leash and unattended. This can be a scary experience because you never know a strange dog's demeanor. Often the dog will be super friendly and all fear will disperse, but in some cases, the dog may be cagey or even aggressive. It is important to know what to do in these cases to prevent any injuries and get away from the dog safely.

USA Dog Behavior notes there is no one exact thing you should do when a strange dog approaches you. You really need to assess the situation and react accordingly. If the dog is strolling towards you and not running or moving quickly, you can often just turn and walk away. The dog will likely lose interest and go elsewhere. If the dog is aggressively moving towards you, your best option is to put a physical barrier between you, such as a fence, a garbage can or something large that will get between you and the dog. 

How does equitable distribution work?

One of the major questions divorcing couples in Illinois face is how a judge will divide up the assets owned by the two spouses. Without a prenuptial agreement in place, a judge will have to determine how to distribute the assets in a legal proceeding. Illinois, like a vast majority of the United States, follows a set of rules known as equitable distribution to guide how assets are divided in divorce cases.

A piece written by the Huffington Post describes the general process of equitable distribution. Basically, a judge looks at a divorcing couple and determines the most equitable way to divide the assets between them, based upon the circumstances of each partner. This is in contrast to the community property laws of nine other states, which divide up property equally between the partners, although a judge will still take age and employment status into consideration in some cases.

What is black ice?

Illinois roads in wintertime can put motorists increasingly at risk of a road accident due to snowfall and ice. However, there is one particular road danger that many Illinois drivers may not be aware of. Black ice, like other slippery surfaces, is a road hazard that can result in car accidents and personal injury to motorists. 

An article posted on the U.S. Army website describes black ice as a thin sheet made up of dark ice that forms on a roadway when drizzle or light rain impacts a surface that is colder than 32 degrees Fahrenheit, or if droplets from highly cooled fog gather on overpasses and bridges. Unlike regular ice or white powered snow, black ice is difficult for motorists to detect while they are actually driving on a black iced road. Generally, black ice makes a road look wet when the outside temperature has dropped below freezing.

Winter driving could mean more danger for motorists in Illinois

Winter-like weather has already hit many parts of the United States, and Illinois is no exception. When weather changes and road conditions change, it could also increase the chance that you may be involved in an accident. During this time of year, it could be prudent to know how to drive more carefully and to remain vigilant.

Unfortunately, many people do not know how to drive safely in winter weather conditions, and some even continue to drive recklessly on icy, snowy or otherwise dangerous roads. If you are the victim of another driver's irresponsible decisions, you generally have the right to seek compensation for your injuries.

Could your child’s coat reduce car seat effectiveness?

One thing you probably do every time you get into the car is put your child in his or her car seat. You know it is required by Illinois law, but more importantly, you know it is essential to keeping your child safe in the event of a crash. Unfortunately, what you may not realize is another thing you do to keep your child safe--putting him or her in a warm winter coat--could drastically reduce the effectiveness of the car seat to keep your child safe.

Large winter coats may keep your child warm against the cold of winter, but they also prevent the car seat's straps from fitting properly. According to Consumer Reports, when a child is wearing a puffy coat, it causes the car seat straps to need loosening. When you loosen the straps, it becomes a safety issue. In an accident, the coat compresses. The straps are then loose enough for your child to slip out and become airborne in a crash. 

What are some trends in truck accidents?

Accidents involving large trucks in Illinois often are quite serious. The size and weight of these vehicles increase the chances for critical injuries, death and property damage. When a truck causes an accident, it becomes something that requires study. Even if the truck is merely involved in the accident and did not cause it, this still requires looking into because finding why truck accidents occur can help to prevent them in the future.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration tracks information about truck accidents and provides it to you. Learning more about such accidents can help you to be safer around trucks on the road and learn what you could do to avoid getting into an accident with one. 

What rights do Illinois grandparents have?

Grandparents’ rights have a complex history in Illinois, and related laws have undergone many changes over time. Nowadays, however, you may, as an Illinois grandparent, lawfully seek visitation through filing a lawsuit in the state, but there are particular things you must demonstrate in order for the courts to consider granting it to you.

According to The Spruce, one of the primary things you must prove as a grandparent seeking formal visitation in Illinois is that you have been subject to “unreasonable denial of visitation” with your grandchild, who must be at least 1 year old. You may seek visitation through an existing divorce, custody or visitation suit, or you may also be able to do so through filing a separate petition.

Will your dog be put down after biting someone?

If your dog bites someone in Illinois, you have quite a bit to be concerned about. You have to ensure the person is okay and gets the proper medical treatment. You also have to be concerned about what this could mean for your property or rental insurance because a claim is almost certain to be made. You also need to think about your dog's well-being. 

According to Illinois Legal Aid, your dog will likely not be put down or euthanized if it has not been ruled a vicious dog. The court can label your dog as vicious if it believes it poses a danger to the public. If this happens, you must follow strict guidelines for how you contain your dog and for when you take your dog in public. This includes getting your dog spayed or neutered, keeping it muzzled when it is off your property, keeping it contained behind a six-foot fence and behind a locked gate and using a leash that is six feet long or shorter. If a vicious dog gets loose, it could be put down. 

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Law Office of Kerley & Associates
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Springfield, IL 62703

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