Legal FAQ | Legal Questions | Illinois State Bar Association

Legal FAQs


As a general rule, never pay upfront for help with student loans. If someone approaches you to assist for a fee, it is probably a scam. There are many legitimate services that provide help at no charge, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the National Consumer Law Center and the U.S. Department of Education. After learning about your loan repayment options, contact your service provider or debt collector if you’re behind on payments. More information is available on the Illinois Attorney General’s website at


A new Illinois law makes it easier for adoptees to find out more about the medical history of their birth parents. It expands on the Birth Certificate Law, enacted in 2010, which gave adopted adults access to their original birth certificates without obtaining a court order. A birth certificate can be obtained by contacting the Division of Vital Records, Illinois Department of Health.


In most states, the law defines pets as property. More cases are popping up, however, where judges do allow special testimony about the pet and make rulings that involve “visitation” rights. When considering who gets custody and/or visitation rights, the judge looks at several factors, such as who cared for and spent the most time with the pet, how well the pet was taken care of and where the parties will live after the divorce. If children are involved, the pet almost always remains in the home of the custodial parent.


Yes. Beginning in early 2015, a new Illinois law will allow the use of medical marijuana to provide relief for those suffering from epileptic seizures. Adults will be able to smoke the substance, but children will need to take a non-smokable form.


In addition to their own warranties, many home builders offer third-party warranties, partly as an extra incentive to shoppers. The warranty provides an extra layer of protection not typically available in first-party warranties. If the builder were to go out of business, for example, a homeowner will still be insured.


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