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Frequently Asked Questions About Family, Criminal, Business Law in Illinois

Answers from a knowledgeable North Shore attorney

Client education is important to us at the Law Offices of Paul Chatzky because we believe that well-informed clients are able to take a more active and helpful role in their cases. We understand how complicated the law can be and are dedicated to providing answers to your questions so that you, our client, can be a partner in your case. We’re pleased to offer answers here to some of the most frequently asked questions we receive regarding divorce, family law, business law and criminal law. If you have other questions or need more information about how our firm can help, please contact us at your convenience.

Family law

Business law

Criminal law

Call our North Shore offices for answers to your legal questions

Whether you are facing marital conflicts, business issues or criminal charges, call the Law Offices of Paul Chatzky for answers to your specific questions and concerns. We will listen to you and assess your situation to determine the next appropriate steps. Contact our offices today at 847-416-1646 or online. We are located minutes from the Skokie Courthouse.

Family law

I live in Illinois, but my husband lives in another state. Can I still file for divorce?

As long as one spouse is a resident of this state, you can file a petition for dissolution of marriage.

What are grounds for divorce?

By amendment effective January 1, 2016, fault-based grounds for dissolution of marriage were abolished in Illinois. Pursuant to applicable statute, the court shall enter a judgment of dissolution of marriage when at the time the action was commenced one of the spouses was a resident of the State (of Illinois) or was stationed in the State (of Illinois) while a member of the armed services, and the residence or military presence had been maintained for 90 days next preceding the commencement of the action or the making of the following finding: Irreconcilable differences have caused the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage and that efforts at reconciliation have failed or that future attempts at reconciliation would be impracticable and not in the best interests of the family.

Do I need to hire a lawyer to get a divorce?

The state does not require a lawyer to file for divorce. You may submit a petition for dissolution of your marriage. You and your spouse may also draw up documents for separation of assets/property. However, it is prudent to hire an attorney at least to review these documents so you are protected. An experienced family attorney can help you navigate the divorce process and courts, ensuring that all paperwork is filed properly and processes are complete.

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Business law

What is the process for incorporating a business in Illinois?

It is not difficult to incorporate. The forms can be found online. However, filing successfully with the state is all in the details. For example:

  • You must specify the type of corporation, company, etc.
  • Subsequent to type, you must determine stock shares, election of officers, etc.
  • You must also hire a registered agent.

Having a qualified business attorney minimizes risk for you, your company and your future business transactions.

What happens if an employee violates the law?

If an employee was acting within the scope of his or her employment, the company may be liable for the accused criminal acts, whether the company was aware of the actions or not, and whether the act was voluntary or involuntary.

If you are facing business criminal or civil charges, it is imperative to seek the counsel of a business law attorney who can create an aggressive litigation strategy to effectively manage your risk.

What type of nondisclosure agreement is best?

A nondisclosure agreement (NDA) protects your business’s proprietary and intellectual property. When entering a business agreement with another company or hiring an employee, it is best to have your business attorney create and implement an NDA specific to your business practices and corporate principles.

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Criminal law


What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?

Illinois classifies criminal charges into two categories: misdemeanors and felonies. Although certain crimes are considered felonies, like murder and certain possession and intent drug crimes, most often the determining factor is the sentencing. Sentences of less than one year are typically misdemeanors. Sentences of more than a year with fines up to $25,000 are considered felonies.

What is the difference between burglary, theft and robbery?

All charges involve the intent to deprive someone of his or her property. However, there are differences and the seriousness of the crimes varies.

  • Theft — The simplest and least serious of the charges. It involves taking something from another person with no intention of returning it. Sentencing would be based on the amount of the property taken.
  • Burglary—More serious and carries a heavier sentence. It involves breaking into a building without consent and with the intent to commit a crime.
  • Robbery—The most serious. It involves specific intent not only to deprive someone of property, but also to threaten or commit an act of violence.

If you are under 21, does a drunken driving charge affect your permanent record?

Under the zero tolerance law (blood alcohol content, or BAC, of .01 percent or greater), a minor’s driving record is public only during the suspension period. Otherwise there is no permanent public record as long as there is no subsequent suspension.

If there is a DUI conviction (BAC of .08 percent or greater), the conviction is permanently on your public driving record.

What is the statutory summary suspension law?

This law allows a police officer to immediately suspend your driving privileges under two conditions:

  • A BAC of .08 percent or greater, which results in a mandatory six-month license suspension
  • Refusal to submit to a field sobriety test or chemical test, which results in a 12-month suspension

Subsequent offenses result in your license being suspended for one year if your BAC is .08 percent or greater, and three years for refusal to submit to a chemical test.

If my license is suspended due to a DUI charge, can I get a temporary license to get to work?

A Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP) is conditionally available for eligible suspended drivers charged with DUI.

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