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Recent Blog Posts

How Does Bankruptcy Affect Property Division in an Illinois Divorce?

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Bankruptcy

McHenry County bankruptcy attorneyGetting a divorce can be stressful, not only emotionally, but financially as well. If one spouse did not work during the marriage, the thought of being on his or her own can be particularly daunting. In some marriages, one spouse may have dissipated or hid assets, or even accumulated a significant amount of debt. In addition to property and assets, any marital debt will need to be divided equitably in an Illinois divorce. If you are struggling to make ends meet, filing for bankruptcy before your divorce may put you in a better financial situation in the future. However, although the Illinois divorce court can determine issues such as child custody, parenting time, child support, and spousal maintenance, it cannot divide property in the bankruptcy estate. In some cases, bankruptcy proceedings can delay the division of property in divorce proceedings.

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Understanding if Bankruptcy Is Right for Your Situation

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Bankruptcy

McHenry County bankruptcy attorneyThe word bankruptcy may bring about feelings of financial ruin or destitution. However, more people file for bankruptcy than you might expect, especially during these uncertain times. A lot of people have lost their jobs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic since many non-essential businesses are closed. There are remedies when it comes to resolving financial problems. Bankruptcy has many advantages, such as reducing or eliminating your debts. It can also protect your home from being foreclosed on and keep bill collectors from constantly contacting you. However, there can be long-term consequences to your credit score, which may hinder your ability to take out loans in the future. It is important to understand the bankruptcy process to determine if it is a viable option for you.

Chapter 7 & Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Individuals typically file for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Chapter 11 bankruptcy is primarily used for businesses. Most people file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which is also known as a straight bankruptcy or a liquidation. The court designates a trustee who has the authority to sell your property and use the profits to pay back any creditors, upon which the debts are discharged. However, certain types of property that are considered essential or necessities can be exempt from liquidation, such as a vehicle, clothing and household items, tools of a trade, pensions, and a home’s equity.

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How Has COVID-19 Affected Illinois Divorce Orders?

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Divorce

Kane County divorce attorney child supportCOVID-19 caused a global health crisis in addition to an economic downturn. In Illinois, non-essential businesses closed to stop the spread of the contagious virus. As a result, many people found themselves out of work or facing reduced hours and income. Depending on the industry, some companies have permitted their employees to work remotely from home. Similarly, many schools have switched to e-learning, with teachers and students participating online through video conferencing apps such as Zoom or Google Meets. With everyone adjusting to this new normal, divorced parents may be wondering if they can modify their current divorce orders for child support and child custody and visitation (now referred to as the allocation of parenting time and decision-making). Under Illinois law, it is possible to request changes to these types of orders in certain situations.

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What Is a Parallel Parenting Plan in an Illinois Divorce?

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Divorce

Kane County child custody lawyer for parallel parentingAlthough couples typically do not enter into marriage thinking they are going to get divorced down the road, it can and does happen. Whether two people have been married a few years or a few decades, life circumstances can change, impacting their relationship. Sometimes, partners simply grow apart, or one spouse may have an extramarital affair. In many contentious divorce cases, a couple may want nothing to do with each other once the ink dries on their divorce decree. However, if a couple has children, they may struggle to share child custody if they are unable to communicate with each other in a civil manner. In these cases, parents may choose an alternative parenting plan. Parallel parenting is a type of arrangement where divorced co-parents have limited contact with each other. Depending on the situation, it may work better than the typical co-parenting option.

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How Long Can Spousal Maintenance Last After an Illinois Divorce?

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Divorce

McHenry County divorce attorney spousal maintenanceWhen two people decide to legally end their marriage, it can dramatically change their lifestyle. If one spouse earned a high salary and the other partner stayed home to raise their children, for example, this can impact the divorce settlement. In Illinois, maintenance or spousal support, which was previously called alimony, refers to payments made by one spouse to the other after a divorce to allow both spouses to live at a standard similar to what they enjoyed while married. Typically, spousal support is awarded in cases where there is a significant difference between the spouses’ incomes. If a couple cannot come to an agreement on their own regarding spousal maintenance, the court may intervene. A judge will look at several factors when determining if this type of financial support is appropriate.

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COVID-19 Update

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Uncategorized

Below is a brief summary of the various COVID-19 programs available to individuals and businesses during this difficult time.  This is simply to assist you in determining which program might apply to you.  All of the information was gathered from other second-hand sources, so I did the best that I could to make it easier to wade through the vast amount of information out there.  I hope this is some help to you.

Sincerely,

Colleen G. Thomas

U.S. Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loan

  • Up to $2 million loan amount
  • Only when determined by SBA that cannot qualify for a private loan
  • Up to 4% annual interest rate (3.75% small businesses)
  • Up to 30-year loan term

CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program

  • Loan forgiveness for retaining employees by temporarily expanding the traditional SBA 7(a) loan program
  • Keep on the payroll for 8 weeks

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Am I Eligible for a Loan Modification in Illinois?

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Bankruptcy

Illinois loan modification lawyerYou may take out loans to purchase various items throughout your lifetime, such as a car, a house, or to pay for your child’s college tuition. A loan modification involves modifying the terms of an existing loan, typically to make it more affordable for you as a borrower who might be in danger of defaulting, sometimes due to a scheduled rate increase or a job loss. For instance, you might want to pursue this route to avoid foreclosure on your house. It is important to note that a loan modification is not the same as refinancing a mortgage. In certain situations, you may also be allowed to file for bankruptcy. By combining these efforts, or by simply electing one of these options, you may be able to keep your home by lowering mortgage payments, avoiding default, and obtaining a way out of debilitating debt. A skilled lawyer can help ensure you take the correct legal steps to secure a promising financial future.

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How Can I Obtain a Legal Separation in Illinois?

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Legal Separation

McHenry County legal separation lawyerThe decision to divorce is not an easy one to make for many people, especially if a couple has been married for a long time. In certain situations, spouses may opt to try a legal separation before officially divorcing. Following an order of legal separation, estranged spouses will agree to live independently of each other, separating both their physical residences and their finances. The couple will remain legally married, and neither spouse can remarry unless they get a divorce.

As the old adage says, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” For some partners, living apart allows them time to work on their marital problems. However, they may also find that they are thriving on their own and enjoy living separate lives. If you are considering which option is best for your situation, it is important to know the legal requirements for legally separating in Illinois. In the state of Illinois, some of the same issues that are addressed in a divorce will need to be resolved in a separation.

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What Is the Difference Between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Bankruptcy

McHenry County bankruptcy attorney chapter 7 13There are many ways a person can build up debt that he is unable to repay. An individual may accumulate multiple high-balance debts, such as a mortgage, auto loans, medical bills, or credit cards. Whether it is due to poor luck or decisions that did not work out as planned, when a person gets in over his head, he has the option to file for bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy allows a person to have a second chance if he no longer has the resources to repay his debts. While there are benefits to bankruptcy, such as the forgiveness of some debts, it will negatively affect a person’s credit score and his ability to borrow money in the future.

There are two common types of bankruptcy available to individuals, and each one has different requirements and regulations:

  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: This method of bankruptcy will discharge most outstanding debts. Some debts, such as student loans or obligations to pay child support or spousal maintenance, cannot be discharged. When filing for Chapter 7, a person’s non-exempt assets will be liquidated by the bankruptcy trustee to pay off some of his debts. Some examples of assets which are exempt are tax-exempt retirement accounts, necessary clothing, educational texts, and prescribed health aids. In some cases, a filer may be able to maintain ownership of a home and/or a car that is below a certain value. This method provides a clean slate and fresh start by eliminating most debts.

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How to Obtain Guardianship of a Child in Illinois

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in McHenry County Family Law Lawyer

McHenry County minor guardianship lawyerWhen a baby is born, the parent of that child has the immediate authority to make decisions on behalf of that child. Formal adoption of a child will also grant the same parental ability. However, unfortunate circumstances sometimes require the child to be cared for by someone who is not a biological parent, such as the death of both parents. In these cases, a guardian is appointed to care for and make parental decisions on the child’s behalf.

What Is a Guardian?

When both parents are unable to care for their child, a guardian will be appointed to step into the parental role. A guardian does not have to be related to the child, but the guardian must be 18 years or older and a resident of the United States. A potential guardian must not have any legal disability preventing the ability to care for the child or a felony conviction that would endanger the child. In most cases, the circuit court appoints a guardian. The difference between adoption and guardianship is that guardianship ends when the child turns 18 years old.

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