COVID-19 and Your Legal Matter - FAQs

Exceeding Your Expectations


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and current “Stay-At-Home” Order, the Circuit Courts in Illinois are rescheduling court dates and our office appointments are being conducted via PHONE or VIDEO conferencing for your safety and convenience. Please see FAQ’s for more information or call (815) 838-1000 or email for individual questions or concerns.

Illinois Attorney Handling Real Estate, Family, Criminal, and Traffic Matters

Legal matters are stressful and complicated. They can strain your personal relationships, wreak havoc on your financial security, and interfere with your work life. When you are facing a legal matter, it is important to choose an attorney who has experience, knowledge, and integrity. Hiring a Joliet real estate lawyer who makes your case a priority is essential when you are closing a real estate transaction, and capable legal counsel also makes a huge difference if you are going through a divorce, fighting for custody of your children, facing a DUI charge, or merely fighting a traffic ticket to protect your driver’s license. At the Kearney Law Office, we are dedicated to providing aggressive, knowledgeable representation to clients. We know that your legal matter is important to you, and it’s important to us too. We will work closely with you from beginning to end, making sure you understand the process, strategy, and goal of your representation. We will explain the law and procedures and guide you through your matter, doing our best to make it as painless as possible. Whether you are a “just tell me what to do” type of person, or someone who wants to be consulted and informed of every nuance, we will tailor our service to ensure that you are getting the quality representation that you deserve. The Kearney Law Office has represented hundreds of people just like you facing some of the most stressful and difficult periods in their lives. We care. About you, your family, your children, and your time. We will provide solid legal advice, aggressive strategy, and compassionate representation that provides a layer of comfort between you and the “system” that so many feel has let them down.

Criminal Defense

Crimes can be felonies or misdemeanors in Illinois. Felonies are more serious. In Illinois, a felony carries a potential sentence of one year to life in prison, while misdemeanors carry potential sentences of one month to one year in the county jail. If you are convicted of a felony, or if you accumulate multiple offenses on your criminal record, the penalties may be harsh. In addition to jail time, you may be required to submit to the supervision mandated by probation, pay significant fines and restitution, undergo substance abuse treatment, and complete community service.


Drunk driving charges can be complicated. A DUI may be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor, based on various factors. Factors that determine how a DUI is charged include prior criminal and traffic history, driving privileges, motor vehicle insurance at the time of the arrest, whether an incident involved an accident, and whether someone was injured or killed. Sometimes multiple charges are brought in connection with a DUI. These charges may be based on having a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher, being under the influence of alcohol, being under the influence of intoxicating compounds, being under the influence of drugs, or being under the combined influence of alcohol and drugs or another intoxicating compound.

Real Estate

Whether residential or commercial property is involved, it is important to retain a skillful and experienced attorney. Illinois laws governing the rental market, the seizure of real estate to pay debts, and the purchase and sale of real estate can be complicated and nuanced. Our firm handles a range of complex residential and commercial real estate matters, including purchases and sales, financing, landlord-tenant disputes, homestead protection from creditors, and related issues. There are important differences between commercial and residential real estate, including differences in how commercial and residential tenancies are handled. Often, commercial tenants assume that they have the same rights as residential tenants, but commercial leases usually have different clauses. For example, they may not have a requirement of habitability, but they often have a quiet enjoyment clause. A real estate attorney can help Joliet residents and other clients make sure that they understand the terms of their lease.

Residential Real Estate

For many people, the purchase or sale of residential real estate is one of the most expensive transactions of their lives, and it is critical to receive sound legal counsel. We represent buyers and sellers of residential real estate. Numerous legal requirements must be met in a residential real estate transaction in Illinois. For example, a seller must make certain disclosures to a buyer in writing before signing the sales contract. A seller must disclose municipal code violations, environmental problems, disputes over a boundary line, material defects, and other matters. We make sure that a buyer receives a fair credit from a seller for property taxes. We also help evaluate financing and mortgage terms, arrange for real estate inspections, and address issues related to title. Our firm has thorough knowledge with regard to short sales and bank-owned properties or as-is properties. Our Joliet real estate attorneys also can explain options such as rent-to-own or seller financing.

Family Law

Family law proceedings can disrupt existing family dynamics. We try to minimize this turmoil. In an ideal world, spouses or parents are able to negotiate an agreement about how to divide property and how parenting time and responsibilities should be allocated between them. When the parents agree, they can put into writing a parenting plan that specifies each parent’s time with the child and responsibility for the major decisions in the child’s life. However, emotions may run high in family law matters, and representation by an experienced and knowledgeable attorney can make a difference as to whether you reach a settlement or whether you reach a favorable outcome in a court proceeding.


In Illinois, you can file for a divorce if you have lived in the state for at least 90 days. You can petition for a divorce in the circuit court of the county where either your spouse or you reside. If you are filing for a divorce, you will need to serve your spouse with the divorce petition. If your spouse has not lived in Illinois or is not otherwise under the court’s jurisdiction, the court can grant the divorce, but it may not be able to order your spouse to pay child support, pay debts, or transfer property. There is a streamlined divorce procedure when certain conditions exist in the marriage, such as having combined net assets worth less than $10,000 and having no children.

Child Custody

Child custody disputes can relate to the legal custody or physical custody of a child. Legal custody dictates who can make important decisions for a child’s welfare, including his or her medical care, religious practices, and education. Physical custody dictates with whom a child lives and the kind of visitation that a non-custodial parent receives. Under Illinois law, if your child is 14 or older, they can choose which parent will live with them, but a judge is empowered to overrule a child’s decision when the decision is not in the child’s best interest. When we represent you in a child custody matter, the welfare of your child or children is our priority.

Discuss Your Legal Needs with Our Experienced Attorneys

When the stakes are high, there is no substitute for knowledgeable and personalized legal counsel. At Kearney Law Office, we represent clients throughout Will, DuPage, Grundy, and Cook Counties. Call us at (815) 838-1000 or contact us via our online form if you need to speak with a real estate lawyer in the Joliet area or seek assistance with a family, criminal, or real estate matter.

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