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Four Strategies for Financial Success in Your Divorce NegotiationsSavvy divorcees view their division of property as a strategic accumulation of assets instead of a struggle to obtain as many valuable properties as possible. Some assets have a potential value that their current value does not reflect. Just as importantly, other properties may be more costly to hold onto than they are worth. You should prepare for your divorce negotiations by identifying goals. Here are four considerations for obtaining long-term financial success from your divorce agreement:

  1. Assess the Future Value of Your Marital Assets: You should use more than a property's current value when calculating an equitable division of property. Some properties can appreciate in value, such as market investments, real estate, and business interests. Identifying these potential growth assets will help you in choosing which assets you want to keep and preventing your spouse from taking advantage of you. You should ask for additional compensation if your spouse wants an asset that may be worth more than its current value.
  2. Balance Risk and Reward: Relying on the growth of your divorce assets may backfire if the assets do not appreciate in value as estimated. Many growth factors are outside of your control, such as the state of the economy and business markets. You should measure an asset’s potential for growth by both its high-end outcome and likelihood of growth. Protect yourself by keeping some marital assets that are certain to maintain their current value.
  3. Include Expenses in Property Valuation: Real estate, such as the marital home, is an enticing marital property because of its value and use. However, it also comes with many expenses, such as property taxes and upkeep. You should evaluate whether keeping a real property is worth the cost. Are you asking for the marital home because you need the home or because you want to keep a valuable property? You can receive several other properties in exchange for your marital home.
  4. Prioritize Your Vital Properties: Some marital properties are more important to you than to your spouse. Maintaining complete ownership of your business protects your primary source of income. Later in your life, you will rely on your retirement benefits to support your living expenses. You may need to give up other marital properties in order to have complete control over these vital assets.

Making a Plan

You should discuss your financial strategy for your divorce with your attorney before you begin your negotiations. A McHenry County divorce attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can help you identify key properties and advise you on how to keep them. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-338-3838.

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Workers' Compensation Covers Repetitive Trauma InjuriesNot all workplace injuries originate from a single event. Actions that put continued stress on your body can gradually cause health conditions called repetitive trauma injuries. Most major workplace injuries occur at jobs that require physical labor or use dangerous equipment or materials. Workers at any type of job can develop a repetitive trauma injury because the movement causing the injury can be minute. Repetitive trauma injuries are the most difficult injuries to prove in a workers’ compensation claim because of their gradual development.

Examples

A repetitive trauma injury is often a pain or weakness in a muscle or joint that develops after years of putting stress on that part of the body. Examples of repetitive trauma injuries that occur at work include:

  1. Carpal tunnel syndrome: Continued use of your hands causes swelling that pinches your nerves and creates pain and numbness.
  2. Tendonitis: The tendons that connect muscles to bones can become inflamed and potentially rupture if they are overstretched or overused.
  3. Bursitis: The bursae sacs between bones and tendons can become inflamed, most commonly in the hips, elbows, and knees.
  4. Back injuries: You can strain your lumbar vertebrae and vertebral discs through heavy lifting or by poor posture while sitting.
  5. Stress fractures: Repetitive motions, such as running or walking, can create tiny fractures in a bone, especially if you are not wearing supportive shoes.

Filing a Claim

It can be difficult to prove that a repetitive trauma injury arose from your work because you cannot give an exact date for when the injury occurred. To create a strong workers’ compensation case for your repetitive trauma injury, you should:

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Which Factors Correlate with More Pedestrian Fatalities?Pedestrian fatalities in the U.S. increased between 2007 and 2016 and became a larger percentage of the overall number of vehicle-related fatalities, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. There were 5,987 pedestrian deaths in 2016, which accounted for 16 percent of the total fatalities. The statistics do not include the number of pedestrian injuries, which may also be increasing. Studying the subcategories of pedestrian fatality statistics uncovers interesting correlations. Pedestrian fatality rates were higher, depending on when they happened and who was involved.

Time of Day and Season

Three-quarters of pedestrian fatalities occurred while it was dark, which is not surprising. Nighttime drivers deal with decreased visibility and are more likely to be impaired. Fatalities were most frequent between 6 p.m. and midnight, which is the time of night when the most people are active. The time of year seems to determine at which point during that 6 p.m. to midnight time period that fatalities are more likely to occur:

  • During the fall and winter months, more fatalities occurred between 6 and 8:59 p.m. than between 9 p.m and midnight; and
  • During the spring and summer months, more fatalities occurred between 9 p.m. and midnight than between 6 and 8:59 p.m.

These statistics make sense because of the extended daylight hours during the spring and summer. Pedestrians are also less likely to be out at night when the weather is cold.

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Illinois Limits Voluntary Intoxication as a Criminal DefenseA criminal suspect’s intoxication can be involved in offenses other than driving under the influence. For instance, being intoxicated may cause someone to act violently, which can result in an assault or battery charge. The defendant may argue that he or she was not in control of his or her actions, but Illinois does not recognize intoxication as a legal defense unless it was involuntary. There are criminal charges that require the suspect to have a specific intent, and citing intoxication may help prove that a suspect lacked the awareness to have such an intent.

Recent Case

In the case of People v. Slabon, an Illinois man was convicted of aggravated battery of a nurse and sentenced to 50 months in prison. The defendant appealed the trial court's decision, claiming that the court erred by:

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How Your Children's School Can Help Them During Your DivorceIt is important to remember that you are not alone when you are trying to help your children adjust to your divorce. Family, friends, and professionals can all play a role in getting your children through the sadness and uncertainty that comes with the sudden change in their lives. Your children’s school can be a vital resource during your divorce. Your children may spend more time with their teachers than with any other adults, outside of yourself and your spouse. With the new school year starting, now is a good time to talk to teachers and counselors at your child’s school about how they can help your child during your divorce.

Teachers

When children are in elementary school, they spend most of the day with one teacher, who is in charge of their education and development. Your child’s teacher should know about the divorce because:

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