Areas & Topics

December 2018 Archives

Missed construction deadlines: 4 common reasons

One of the biggest reasons for a construction dispute is when the project goes well over its estimated deadline. This can often cost a lot of people a lot of money on commercial projects, and it can leave prospective homeowners without anywhere to live.

Employer not liable for Penalties after failing to Withhold Wages for Child Support Because Employee Made Some Payments Directly to his Ex-Wife

The Illinois Income Withholding for Support Act imposes a penalty of $100 per day, in addition to liability for the amounts not withheld, on Employers which "knowingly" fail to withhold a percentage of wages to meet child support obligations of their employees.  The Appellate Court recently refused to impose the penalty (but not liability for amounts not withheld) on an employer that failed to withhold, after notice of the child support obligations, because the employee had made some payments directly to his ex-wife during the same period.  The employer did not know about the direct payments, but nevertheless failed to withhold wages.  The Court interpreted "knowingly" strictly, concluding the employer did not "knowingly" fail to withhold wages because it did not know about the direct payments.  The concurring opinion relied on a section of the Act that required the ex-wife to keep the authorities informed of any payments received---something she failed to do. In Re: Schmidgall (Ill. App. 3d dist., Sept 11, 2018)

3-car crash closes highway and leads to serious injuries

Authorities had to close down the northbound lanes of I-270 in St. Louis County after a serious car accident. Three different vehicles were involved in the crash, leading to significant injuries, and authorities had to block the road to assist the injured and clear the wreckage.

What is a phishing scam?

Consumers face a battery of different scams and unethical behaviors. Some have been around for decades or even centuries. Others have sprung up with the growth of the internet. Either way, it is important for consumers to know what these scams look like and what to watch out for.

Prenuptial Agreements are Invalid if Unconscionable, or if Assets are not Disclosed

The Illinois Prenuptial Agreement Act provides that prenuptial agreements are not enforcible if they are unconscionable (unfairly one-sided), or if a party fails to reasonably disclose his/her assets before marriage, unless the right to disclosure is waived in writing.  However, a wife's attack on a prenuptial agreement was rejected where she voluntarily signed the agreement without reading it, and the husband made a fair, but not full, disclosure of his assets and liabilities before marriage.  An agreement is not unconscionable just because it is one-sided.  A valid prenuptial agreement replaces the marital rights of the parties under the law.  Marriage of Woodrum (Illinois Court of Appeals, 3rd district, Sept 20, 2018).

Lawyer Does Not Qualify as Innocent Spouse for Tax Purposes

The IRS determined that a husband-wife attorney team owed $207,000 in back taxes and $77,000 in penalties.  The husband was a tax attorney.  The wife had a law degree and taught school.  After the Tax Court affirmed the decisiosn of the IRS, the wife, an attorney with MBA and Doctorate degrees in addition to her law degree, petitioned the Tax Court for relief from the tax bill under a section of the Tax Code that allows relief for "innocent spouses".  She testified that she did not understand the joint tax return, financial matters, checking accounts or credit card statements.  The Tax Court ruled that her testimony was not credible and that she did not qualify as an innocent spouse for that reason and because she had participated in the original tax case by sitting at the table for parties and their attorneys.  The Court of Appeals affirmed.  The attorney-wife was represented by her tax-attorney-husband throughout.  Frances Rogers v. The IRS (U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, Nov., 2018).

David M. Duree and Associates, P.C.
312 South Lincoln Avenue
O'Fallon, IL 62269
Phone: 618-589-0956
Fax: 618-628-0259
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St. Louis, Missouri 63177