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Jerry A. Tuffentsamer

Jerry Tuffentsamer’s Answers

281 total


  • Is there anyway for him to establish any paternal rights or court order for visitations?

    The biological mother of a child never told the biological father about the child until he was 4 yrs old. By this time she was married and her wife legally adopted the child. He has told me that all the lawyers he talk to are not interested in his...

    Jerry’s Answer

    Like everyone has said, this depends on the specific facts of the case, including whether certain notices were given, how long it's been since the father found out, and several other facts. It is possible for the father to obtain parental rights, but it would depend on facts that are not known or disclosed in your post. I had a somewhat similar type of case a couple of years ago, so under certain circumstances it is possible.

    Again, as others have said, consult with an attorney. There are attorneys out there, he should just keep looking. Don't get discouraged.

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  • Am I due a settlement?

    I was hurt at work, during the regular course of a day I tore a bicep tendon. I had surgery a week later and was off work for weeks on opiate painkillers. Is there a standard settlement for such and injury?

    Jerry’s Answer

    Yes, if you were injured at work,you have a claim under the Worker's Compensation Act and would be entitled to a settlement or an award. As others have said, there is no standard settlement. However, experienced workers compensation attorneys know where a good settlement would be.

    Nevertheless, insurance companies aren't always reasonable and willing to settle for a fair amount. Thus, you should have a workers compensation lawyer who is willing to take the matter to trial in front of the arbitrator if the insurance carrier won't be reasonable.

    Finally, attorney fees and rates are also set by the Workers Compensation Act as well, so you will not have to pay your attorney anything upfront. The attorney will simply certain amounts not above the statutory amount upon your recovery.

    I strongly recommend you retain an attorney to pursue your claim. Insurance companies won't deal with you fairly until you have an attorney.

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  • What can we do about this and can she do this?

    My son is not married to his ex girlfriend, but they have a child together. She has told my son that she will not let him see his son and she is moving out of state. She made him move out Christmas Eve and now 2 days later moved out of the house w...

    Jerry’s Answer

    Your son needs to file a petition to establish parentage and for determination of parental responsibilities and parenting time (formerly custody & visitation) before the mother moves out of state. Once your son establishes parentage in Illinois, he will likely at a minimum get frequent regular court ordered parenting with the child(ren). The mother will also have to seek court approval to move outside the state of Illinois or more than 50 miles inside the state of Illinois.

    Your son needs to act quickly in order to establish his rights and prevent the mother from moving or further harming/interfering with his relationship with the child(ren).

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  • Would this qualify for a simplified divorce that we could do ourselves without legal retainers and payments? Did I missanything?

    Wife and I have been married just over a year (14 months). We don't see eye to eye on nearly anything. We are both willing to sign divorce papers and move on. I purchased a home prior to our marriage and our principal payment is only roughly $75 a...

    Jerry’s Answer

    The Circuit Clerk's Office (including Peoria and Tazewell Counties) have forms available if you are wanting to complete the divorce paperwork pro-se without an attorney.

    That being said, I never recommend attempting a divorce without the assistance of a lawyer at least to make sure all the paperwork is done correctly. As others have said, it will not costs thousands for a simple uncontested/agreed divorce. Many local attorneys have fairly reasonable prices for such cases, (I know firsthand).

    You just have to call around. It is also cheaper to get it done correctly the first time, since mistakes later on always cost a lot more to fix in my experience.

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  • What do I have to do to collect a Plaintiff's pension under the PENSION/RETIREMENT clause of my divorce decree?

    I am curious as to how I collect my ex spouse's pension under a Divorce decree. My ex spouse is a few years from retirement and I am unsure on how to obtain the 50% payout due to me. Do I submit a copy of the divorce decree to her employer now, ...

    Jerry’s Answer

    As everyone has said, preparing a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) is a complex process as the form of the order will vary depending on the retirement fund manager. Additionally, a mistake in the order could cause an incorrect calculation of your share of the pension/retirement account. You should definitely consult with an attorney to have QDRO prepared.

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  • My 14 yr old daughter, which I have sole custody of, wants to move with her father out of state. Is there any way I can stop it?

    About 8 yrs ago I moved out of state and my ex subpoenaed me back and made it to where I cant leave the state til she is 18. A few yrs ago he moved to IN and I recently found out he has been trying to talk our daughter into moving. She hasn't want...

    Jerry’s Answer

    Unless your Ex files a Petition to Modify Custody, Visitation, and to Remove the Child from the State of Illinois and is successful in obtaining court orders for the same (which would not be an easy or inexpensive task), you have complete control over where your daughter resides. Do not give in to the threats of you ex. Simply wait until he Petitions the Court and then obtain an attorney to handle your defense.

    Finally, as others have said, you could also be successful in petitioning the court to allow you to move out of state now since your Ex also resides in another state. However, if you file such a petition now, you may cause your Ex to counter petition for custody and removal as well. Thus, you may simply wait and see if you ex takes any action over this matter and actually retains an attorney to correctly petition the court for custody and removal. Its going to take some action, effort, and money on his part to even begin the process.

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  • How long am I going to lose my license?

    I'm 17 & recently got three tickets. I got a speeding ticket for 45 in 30, & no insurance on demand. Then about two weeks later in a different county, I was with some friends and wasn't driving my vehicle but still was charged with illegal transp...

    Jerry’s Answer

    As a person subject to the Illinois Graduated Licensing Program you should retain an attorney to make sure that what you have been charged with has the least impact on your license as possible. Many attorneys are very reasonable for traffic matters. Although your citations are serious, an attorney would be able to resolve your fears and worries.

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  • What is the chance a non-custodial parent who moved out of state can get sole custody from the custodial parent.

    I have been divorced for 5 years. I have sole custody of our 13 yr old son, and my ex has every other weekend. 5 mo ago the non-custodial parent moved out of state does not exercise his every other weekend visitations. He now wants sole custody st...

    Jerry’s Answer

    According to 750 ILCS 5/602, Courts determine custody in accordance with the "best interest of the child." In determining the "best interests of the child," the court shall consider all relevant factors including:
    (1) the wishes of the child's parents;
    (2) the wishes of the child as to his custodian;
    (3) the interaction and interrelationship of the child with his parent or parents, his siblings and any other person who may significantly affect the child's best interest;
    (4) the child's adjustment to his home, school and community;
    (5) the mental and physical health of all individuals involved;
    (6) the physical violence or threat of physical violence by the child's potential custodian, whether directed against the child or directed against another person;
    (7) the occurrence of ongoing or repeated abuse as defined in Section 103 of the Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986, whether directed against the child or directed against another person;
    (8) the willingness and ability of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the other parent and the child;
    (9) whether one of the parents is a sex offender; and
    (10) the terms of a parent's military family-care plan that a parent must complete before deployment if a parent is a member of the United States Armed Forces who is being deployed.

    Thus, in your situation, if the child really does desire to go live with his father it would be a major factor in determining the best interests of the child. However, it is not the only factor, and courts do not always simply let the child chose wherever they want to go. After all they are children and do not always make the best choices. The courts must also examine all the other factors as well. Therefore, the court will examine everything to determine if the child is truly making a choice that is in the child's best interests.

    Additionally, although the child may want to agree to go living with the other side at first (a lot of times because they do not want to upset the other parent or are being bribed or coached), when everything is fully explained to the child, the child will many times change his/her mind about wanting to leave with the other parent. In the end, you must do what you think is right for your child, including fighting for his/her bests interests.

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  • Can my ex-husband prohibit me from taking our kids to church?

    My ex-husband is an atheist. During our marriage, neither one of us attended church. After divorcing, I began attending a Lutheran church and being baptized. I took my kids to Easter service at my church. Just today I got the wrath from their fat...

    Jerry’s Answer

    No judge around here is going to prohibit you from taking a child to church. Let him take you back to court, hes only going to be wasted his time and money.

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