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Posted on in Family Law

illinois lawyerWith the beginning of the new year, the state of Illinois passed several new laws that will impact the lives of the state’s residents. Here are a few new laws of interest in 2022: 

Minimum Wage Increase (Public Act 101-0001)

Illinois is one of the states set to raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025 which means that in 2022, the state minimum wage will increase to $12 an hour. The increase in minimum wage applies to all standard workers and any workers under the age of 18 who work more than 650 hours per calendar year. For workers under 18 who work less than 650 hours per calendar year, the minimum wage will increase to $9.25 an hour. Tipped employees may be paid 60% of the minimum wage. However, if these workers do not earn the minimum wage after receiving tips, the employers must make up the difference. 

Amendments to Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program Act

This Act, which was initially implemented in 2018, requires any employers of 25 or more employees to contribute to Roth IRAs for its employees through payroll deductions. This does not apply to employers who already offer an employer-sponsored retirement plan. An amendment to this Act which took effect January 1, 2022, will now qualify an “employer” as one who has more than 5 employees employed during every quarter of the previous calendar year, has been in business for at least 2 years, and has not offered a qualified retirement plan in the preceding 2 years. Employers with fewer than 25 and more than 15 employees will be required to enroll in the program by September 1, 2022, and employers with at least 5 employees but no more than 15 employees will need to enroll by September 1, 2023. 

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Kane County cohabitation agreement attorneyThese days, more and more unmarried couples choose to live together instead of or before getting married. Consequently, they often buy property such as a house or a car together. However, unmarried couples do not fall under the same property division laws as married couples in Illinois. In order to protect both parties’ interests and assets in case of a breakup or death, it is important to have a formal agreement in place before buying property together. Often known as a cohabitation agreement, this type of arrangement is similar to a prenuptial agreement. When creating this type of agreement, an experienced family law attorney can ensure that all legal issues are addressed correctly.  

If a couple is not married, it can be easier to break up and “go their own way,” since they do not have to go through the legal proceedings involved with a divorce. However, the question of who gets what property in the separation can be a difficult and sometimes contentious decision. If only one name is on the mortgage or car loan, that person is solely responsible for the financial obligations that come with those types of loans, and they will typically remain the sole owner of that property, even if both parties participate in making loan payments. If two names are on a loan or title, both people are held accountable, and the couple may also need to decide between themselves how ownership will be handled when dividing any assets or property.

Tips for a Cohabitation Agreement

A cohabitation property agreement should describe the ways in which their property will be divided, such as by one person buying out the other’s share, as well as the process used to resolve any ownership disputes that may arise. The percentage of the property owned by each party can also be designated. These stipulations should be put in writing, since property might not all be divided equally, depending on how much money each person put in when buying the property.

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