David Giffin

David Giffin

  • Family Law, Divorce, Estate Planning ...
  • Illinois
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Claimed Lawyer ProfileQ&A
Practice Areas
    Family Law
    Child Custody, Child Support, Father's Rights, Guardianship & Conservatorship, Paternity, Prenups & Marital Agreements, Restraining Orders
    Divorce
    Collaborative Law, Contested Divorce, Military Divorce, Property Division, Same Sex Divorce, Spousal Support & Alimony, Uncontested Divorce
    Estate Planning
    Guardianship & Conservatorship Estate Administration
    Traffic Tickets
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
Illinois
Supreme Court of Illinois
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Languages
  • English: Spoken, Written
Professional Experience
Associate Attorney
Tapella & Eberspacher LLC
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Education
Wake Forest University School of Law
J.D. (2016) | General Legal Practice, Constitutional Law
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Honors: Third Place, 1L Trial Bar Competition; Third Place, Zeliff Mock Trial Competition
Activities: Wake Forest University Trial Bar; Wake Forest Journal of Business and Intellectual Property Law
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Candler School of Theology, Emory University
Masters in Theological Studies (MTS) (2013)
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Emory University
B.A. (2010) | Religious Studies, Ethics
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Professional Associations
Coles/Cumberland Bar Association
Member
Current
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Federalist Society for Law & Public Policy Studies
Member
Current
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State Bar of Illinois
Member
Current
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Legal Answers
2 Questions Answered
Q. Back in 1997 I was married and my then husband purchased a house.
A: Under Illinois law, married couples can be held jointly responsible for certain debts that arise during a marriage, even if only one spouse signs off on the debt. Solely waiving your homestead rights would likely not affect or limit this legal rule. Assuming you or your family lived in the home your then-husband purchased, you may still be legally on the hook for the debt. I suggest that you find the documents and court filings from your divorce case and review them carefully. The circuit court where your divorce was finalized will likely have copies in its archives. Hopefully, the final court orders (either a judgment or approved settlement agreement) contain language stating that your ex is solely responsible for the mortgage debt associated with the home. If so, that is potentially helpful to you. But if the orders don't say that, or if the company still refuses to address the issue for some other reason, you may have more problems. You may want to hire a commercial attorney or family attorney to assist you. There could be other legal defenses or options out there that are not apparent from the facts you shared in your question. You should act quickly, as some defenses may have time limits, and your credit score will likely continue to drop until this is handled. Good luck.
Q. Can a judge rule that a parent can only take their children to one church and no other church?
A: I'm sorry to see you are dealing with this kind of sensitive and challenging issue. In my opinion, your girlfriend's biggest obstacle is that she entered a written settlement that the court approved. When parties make an agreed parenting plan, so long as the plan is not against a child's best interests, the court must accept it. The specific language of that written agreement is what the court is bound to enforce. Even if your girlfriend subjectively thought she would only have to take the kids to CCD classes, if the language is more broad or all-encompassing, she may have agreed to take the kids to Mass as well. Based on the facts you shared, it could be difficult for her to claim she misunderstood the terms or that she signed under duress. It is somewhat concerning that the court completely barred your girlfriend from taking the kids to other churches, even if she also took them to regular Mass. However, without more details, it is not clear whether there is a viable claim that the court's order violates the First Amendment. An attorney with constitutional law expertise would likely need to review transcripts of the hearings and copies of the written filings to be sure. If your girlfriend wants to challenge the order, there are a few options. First, if the order was entered less than 30 days ago, she may be able to either appeal to a higher court, or file a motion to reconsider asking the trial court judge to rethink their legal conclusion about the parenting plan. Second, if over two years have passed since the entry of the original settlement agreement, she may be able to file a motion with the court seeking to modify the terms of the parenting plan. Third, if the parenting plan has a mediation provision, following the steps in that provision and obtaining a mediator could be helpful for airing the disagreement with her ex-husband and negotiating an agreed modification to the parenting plan. This situation will be difficult for your girlfriend to handle by herself. She should definitely contact a family law attorney local to her area for help. Good luck.
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Contact & Map
Wozniak and Associates
108 East Anthony Drive, Suite A
Urbana, IL 61802
Telephone: (217) 367-1647
Fax: (217) 367-2945
Monday: 8 AM - 5 PM
Tuesday: 8 AM - 5 PM
Wednesday: 8 AM - 5 PM
Thursday: 8 AM - 5 PM (Today)
Friday: 8 AM - 5 PM
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed
Notice: The office is closed from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM on weekdays during lunch hours.
Wozniak and Associates
104 N. 14th Street
Mattoon, IL 61938
Notice: Office hours in Mattoon, Illinois are by appointment only. Please call the Urbana, Illinois office to schedule an appointment.