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Beginning in 2019, maintenance payments will no longer be tax deductible.  Pursuant to the newly passed federal tax bill, maintenance payments, which were for decades tax deductible by the payor and charged as income to the payee, will no longer be deductible as of January 1, 2019.

This creates a significant problem in the calculation of maintenance awards in family court, because deductibility is a major factor in the calculation.  For this year, it is still possible to finalize a divorce where maintenance payments are tax deductible, but the clock is ticking.  If you are in a situation where maintenance is to be paid by you, it is to your benefit to conclude your divorce before December 31, which will ensure that your divorce decree expressly addresses the issue of deductibility.  If your divorce is not finalized by the end of this year, then you should consult an accountant or other tax professional before negotiating or advancing a proposed maintenance payment.

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Unless you have been through the process of making a claim for injuries, you most likely (and reasonably) believe that winning your negligence trial is the end of the road, and that your check is on the way. Unfortunately, in the great majority of cases, your successful verdict, (or reasonable settlement), is merely the beginning of the next step of the process—negotiating the outstanding liens.

In the context of personal injury claims, a “lien” is a legal claim upon the recovery the injured party receives, whether by settlement or verdict and judgment after trial. As a practical matter, a lien is a financial obligation that must be satisfied before the injured party can recover any proceeds from his or her settlement or judgment.  There are various types of liens that may attach to your personal injury claim, but the first that comes to the attention of the injured party is often the Health Care Provider Lien.

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The Illinois legislature passed a new law, effective January 1, 2018, which prohibits hospitals from maintaining a list of individuals who may not be admitted for treatment.  Supporters of the legislation urged its passing to ensure access to medical care within hospital systems regardless of ability to pay, prior medical/mental health history, or any other reason that warrants inclusion to a list to deny care.  The law does provide hospitals and medical staffs with flexibility to determine the appropriate treatment and setting for treatment for incoming patients.

Generally, you have the right to bring a witness to testify on your behalf at your social security hearing. However, the Administrative Law Judge has the discretion to pick and choose which witnesses he sees, if any. For this reason, you may want to ask your witnesses to also prepare written statements about your day-to-day struggles and limitations for presentation at the hearing. These should be submitted to the Administrative Law Judge in the event that he or she does not meet your witnesses.

If you decide to bring witnesses to your Social Security Disability appeal hearing, it is extremely important that you select reliable individuals who can speak truthfully about the effects of your disability. It is important to choose credible individuals who interact with you on a daily basis, and who can speak honestly about your condition. Your witnesses will not be present when the Administrative Law Judge questions you and they will not know what you have already said. If your witness exaggerates, lies, or provides inconsistent information, the judge may deny your claim.

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Bicyclists in Illinois can now put a red tail light on the rear of their bike, instead of, or in addition to the traditional red reflector.  Bicycle groups laud the new law as a recognition of changing technology, which will provide for greater visibility, and thus greater safety, for bicyclists on the road.

Two other new bicycling laws took effect in Illinois as of January 1, 2018.  One allows motorists to pass a bicyclist on the highway in a no-passing zone. The other recognizes riding a bicycle on a highway shoulder as a legal practice.

Will County Bar Association Illinois State Bar Association Lions Minooka AV 2019 Rotary DuPage County Bar Association
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