Katzman & Sugden, LLC
Illinois And Missouri Attorneys Focused On Personal Injury And Family Law
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Areas & Topics

What does 'best interests of the child' mean?

Family legal issues involving children can be very complicated for every party involved. These matters are often highly emotional and legally complex. As such, they may not always make sense to people navigating cases like child custody -- especially for the first time.

For instance, Illinois courts are typically directed to make decisions that align with "the best interests of the child." This standard can seem vague and, at some times, conflicting with parental beliefs. In this post, we will provide some more information on what this can mean.

Who besides an owner might be liable for dog bite injuries?

Dogs are animals, and as such, they are capable of doing things like biting people. Provoked or not, they have responses and instincts that we don't always understand and cannot always control. As such, people have a responsibility to take reasonable measures to secure animals and minimize the risk that they could attack or bite anyone.

Often, it is an animal's owner that has the legal obligation to control his or her pet. However, there could be other people liable in the event of an animal attack.

Addressing a pet's care during and after probate

Recently, fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld passed away at the age of 85. Among the many details of his estate, which is estimated to be worth $300 million, is the fact that Lagerfeld reportedly included his cat in his will.

Pet owners here in Illinois may feel inclined to make similar decisions when it comes to their estate plan. As such, while your loved one's pet may not stand to benefit from a multi-million-dollar estate, there will likely be pet-related details you will need to address during probate. Below are some tips to make this a little easier.

How misusing medication in nursing homes harms patients

When a loved one is in a nursing home, we expect the facility and staff to provide the care and environment we cannot. We expect our loved one to receive compassionate, knowledgeable medical attention as well as adequate support and supervision.  And we expect this all to be done with a respect for medical and legal standards.

Sadly, this doesn't always happen. For instance, some nursing homes use powerful medication to chemically restrain patients -- sometimes, without consent.

If your children's needs are met, why must you pay child support?

During your divorce process, there are many things you and your soon-to-be ex need to determine. You will have to figure out how to divide your property, decide what kind of child custody arrangement will work best and agree on child support.

Both of you probably already feel as though you support your children physically, emotionally, spiritually and intellectually. So, if you decide to share parenting time, you may wonder why child support payments might still be necessary.

Important facts to know to avoid dog bites, attacks

Over a third of all households in the U.S. have at least one dog. Meaning that whether you are one of these households or not, you don't have to look very hard to find a dog. 

Considering how easily and often people can encounter dogs, it is crucial to have a basic understanding of how to stay safe around them. This means knowing why dogs bite in the first place, as well as what behaviors you should avoid and how to approach a dog properly.

3 steps to preventing a winter weather crash

The winter weather across Illinois and surrounding states has already contributed to multiple serious car accidents this year. People are slipping, getting stuck, losing control of their cars and crashing into people and objects because of ice and snow. In fact, Illinois ranks as one of the deadliest states for winter weather driving.

However, despite the powerful impact Mother Nature has on our driving, there are steps individuals can take to stay safe and avoid crashes caused by bad roads and weather.

Avoiding driving while freezing

Recently, Illinois and the Midwest endured some of the coldest days we’ve seen in a while. During the “Polar Vortex,” over 20 people lost their lives from either freezing to death or getting in a car accident.

When it comes to hazardous driving conditions in the winter, most drivers probably think about icy roads or snowstorms. However, these temperatures remind us how the cold itself can contribute to dozens of car crashes even if there is little snow or ice involved. It can create further chaos on the road by affecting a person’s concentration and driving habits. These dangerous temperatures cannot just be fought off by putting on an additional layer of clothing. To prevent the weather from negatively affecting your driving, you should begin putting the following habits into motion:

Important tips if you want an amicable divorce

Too many people make the mistake of assuming a divorce has be a highly contentious process. They might hear about a friend or celebrity's ugly split and assume that the process will be the same for them.

However, plenty of people are able to dissolve their marriage amicably. They can work together and stay out of the courtroom, which can save time and money. They can also minimize the adverse emotional toll a divorce takes on themselves and their children. If this sounds like the approach you want to take in your divorce, there are a few important tips for how you can make this work.

Seeking swift probate? Don't make these mistakes

After a loved one passes away, it can take a long time for friends and family members to recover. There is often grief to manage and difficult life changes to which they must adjust. Adding a lengthy probate process on top of all this can be overwhelming.

This is why many people want to expedite probate. As a loved one, you can play a role in this endeavor. Just be sure you avoid the following mistakes that can drag out the process:


Katzman & Sugden, LLC
300 South Charles Street
Belleville, IL 62220

Phone: 618-509-5410
Fax: 618-235-2117
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