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Recent Blog Posts

When Should Retirees File Bankruptcy?

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Chapter 13 Banruptcy

retirees file bankruptcy, McHenry County Bankruptcy AttorneyRetirement is often considered a chance to sit back and relax—a long-awaited opportunity to spend time with your grandchildren, take a dream vacation, or busy yourself in the garden. However, your pension may not have gone as far as you had hoped, you were burdened with expensive medical bills, or perhaps you just fell on hard times. Sadly, this is all too common and countless U.S. seniors are grappling with overwhelming debt. Filing for a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, however, may be the answer.

According to the The New York Times, bankruptcy is a chance to hit the financial reset button. It is an opportunity to rebuild your life, and to ensure you leave behind money—not debt—for your grandchildren.

Protecting Your Assets 

In tough times, seniors may be tempted to spend their retirement assets. However, retirees risk a downward financial spiral from which they are very unlikely to recover. A better strategy may be to protect those assets by filing for bankruptcy.

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Illinois Child Support Services: Why They Exist and How They Can Help

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Child Support

Illinois child support services, McHenry County Family Law AttorneyThe Illinois Child Support Service division reports that almost half a million children in the state receive public assistance. Taxpayers are responsible for the non-payment of child support, picking up the slack for parents who do not hold themselves accountable financially for the care of their children. While this statistic is sad and unfortunate, the state thankfully has an organized, efficient system in place to address the needs of children and families who struggle with such circumstances.

The Purpose of State Child Support Programs

Due to the overwhelming need of single parents raising children with no support from the other parent, child support programs are utilized to ease the burden and ensure that children are properly cared for, safe and protected. Since the Illinois program began in 1976, the department has successfully collected more than 3 billion dollars for children in need.

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What Happens During the Post-Bankruptcy Debtor Education Course

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Bankruptcy

Kane County bankruptcy attorneysBankruptcy gives you the chance at a fresh, new start, but it is up to you to ensure you make the most of that start. This means you have to do things different and ensure you protect yourself from unnecessary or excessive debt in the weeks, months, and years to follow. Bankruptcy counseling, which is required before and after bankruptcy, can help you obtain the skills and knowledge you will need to restart your credit and maintain it, long into the future.

Why Do I Need Bankruptcy Debtor Education?

The U.S. Bankruptcy Code mandates that you receive two types of bankruptcy counseling: credit counseling before you file, and debtor education after. Although they sound similar, they are actually quite different. Credit counseling examines your financial situation before bankruptcy to determine if a budget or repayment plan can help you avoid filing. Debtor education, done after you file, is designed to help you focus on building credit and healthy debt management practices. Failure to comply and complete either course could result in a denial of your bankruptcy discharge.

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Legal Separation or Divorce – Which One is Right for Your Case?

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Legal Separation

McHenry County family law attorneyEvery marriage is unique. Every couple’s beliefs, goals, and concerns are different. So, really, it only makes sense that, when suffering from irreconcilable differences, some will choose legal separation over the traditional divorce. This is not a “wrong” path. It is just different than divorce. Unfortunately, many couples are confused about those differences and are uncertain when it comes to deciding which option is most appropriate for their situation. The following information can help clarify the difference between legal separation and divorce, and may even give you some insight as to which path is right for you.

Legal Separation

Less extreme, and ultimately less permanent, a legal separation does not dissolve the marriage. It does offer certain benefits, however. For example, during a legal separation, couples can pursue a court order for child support, spousal support, and a determination of parenting time and allocation of parental responsibilities. In addition, legal separation can give couples time apart to decide whether or not they truly want to proceed with a divorce. Some find, after time apart, that their differences were merely situational. Others do eventually decide to move forward with a legal divorce. In either case, the parties are able to walk away, certain that they did everything they could to resolve the issues in their marriage.

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Repairing Your Credit After Bankruptcy

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Bankruptcy

McHenry County bankruptcy attorneyThe decision to file for bankruptcy is not an easy one, and it can drudge up fears about what happens once it is all over. Namely, consumers frequently experience concerns over how bankruptcy will affect their credit. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to answer this question since every situation and case is unique. However, there are cases in which the purported damage of bankruptcy may be negligible, or possibly even non-existent.

Putting Things into Perspective

Despite the common misconception that bankruptcy wreaks havoc on everyone’s credit, it is sometimes actually more beneficial than continuing down a path of late payments and unpaid bills. Each hit to your credit – each missed payment, charge-off, and collection – has a negative impact on your credit. If you have enough of these, and they are frequent because you simply cannot keep up with your debts after a job loss, illness, divorce, or other financial issue, then your credit score is constantly being attacked.

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Residential Custody: Your Child’s Right to Choose

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Divorce

residential custody in Illinois, McHenry County child custody attorneyDetermining child custody in a divorce can be a lengthy and emotionally taxing process. In Illinois, the judge will consider many factors, including the testimonies of each parent, as well as the physical and mental health of the child and parents, when awarding custody.

However, your children will not be voiceless throughout this process. As outlined in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, the judge may take into consideration the child’s wishes.

Children ages 14 or older may choose which parent to live with, but a judge can overrule this decision if he or she decides the child’s choice is not in their best interest. There are a few questions that judges may consider when adjudicating a case where a child has strong preferences toward a particular parent:

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Protecting Your Business During the Divorce Process

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Divorce

Illinois divorce lawyersDivorce is not something that most people plan for, but it is a process that thousands of couples go through each year. Emotionally and financially complex, it can be especially difficult for those who own a business. Learn how to protect yours with help from the following information.

When Divorce and Businesses Mix Business owners must understand the risks that they face in divorce. Not only is there the potential for financial depletion, the company itself could be liquidated to settle the marital estate. Thankfully, some can be saved. It takes ingenuity, strategy, and decisiveness. It also requires you to seek assistance from those that are experienced in handling complex divorces. Protecting Your Company While prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are the most effective way to protect a business and its intellectual property, not all business owners have one. In their absence, other strategies must be used. For example, couples can use mediation and arbitration to work through a settlement that preserves the business and meets the needs and interests of all parties. Accurate valuation of the business is also critical in the divorce process. You should be certain you maintain and provide clear and concise records, including those pertaining to income, debt, and expenditures. Provide all documentation to your attorney in a timely manner so they can plan your strategy appropriately and well in advance. Examining Your Options Some business owners may choose to liquidate their company, using the funds from it to settle their marital estate. Others may decide to “buy out” their spouse - or give up assets that are equal to that of the business to ensure they can preserve the company. Still others may attempt to run it together by defining new terms and roles. Each has its own potential benefits and disadvantages, but only you really know which option is right for you. A divorce lawyer can ensure you have the knowledge you need to make sound decisions about your business. Contact Our Experienced McHenry County Divorce Lawyers If you are planning for divorce, contact the Thomas Law Office for assistance. Dedicated and experienced, we will fight to protect your business, and your rights, every step of the way. Serving the greater McHenry County and DuPage County areas, our Illinois divorce lawyer offers personalized consultations to suit your needs. Call 847-426-7990 to schedule yours today. Source:

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Financial Stress During Illness May Negatively Impact Health

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Bankruptcy

McHenry County bankruptcy lawyerThe cost of medical treatment is one of the most common reasons that Americans file for bankruptcy. Considering the declining health of many Americans, and the lack of access to quality health care for many, this is not a surprising statistic. What is concerning is how researchers have connected poorer outcomes for those who struggle with their finances while seriously ill. If you or someone you love is up against such an issue, the following may be able to mitigate the risks.

Lack of Care Often Responsible for Poorer Health Outcomes Published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the recent study on health outcomes and financial strain examined the financial status and mortality rate of over 230,000 cancer patients. More than 4,700 of those patients filed for bankruptcy at some point in their treatment. Researchers associated this filing with a significantly higher rate of mortality - in some cases, as much as 80 percent higher. Why the link? Experts believe much of the risk is due to a lack of treatment - a problem that starts and is perpetuated by financial strain and the inability to cover treatment ad medication costs. Interestingly enough, this same issue may be experienced by those with other serious illnesses, such as heart disease, diabetes, or obesity. Stress of Financial Strain Also Thought to Be a Factor Stress has long been associated with poor health outcomes - even for healthy individuals. In fact, many patients with heart conditions and blood pressure issues are encouraged to reduce their stress levels. Unfortunately, financial troubles also happen to be one of the leading causes of stress. As such, patients experiencing financial struggles while trying to seek treatment for a serious illness may ultimately exasperate their condition. This is why it is critical patients understand how to mitigate the risks. Mitigating the Risks When you are up against financial strain and a life-threatening illness, you have to choose which thing you want to fight. Do you want to fight the illness, or your financial problems? If you choose the former, then let go of your worries about the latter. Pursue bankruptcy sooner, rather than later, and reduce your stress levels. Seek guided and experienced assistance to ensure you approach the process effectively, and continue your treatment to the best of your abilities. Contact Our Illinois Bankruptcy Lawyer Bankruptcy may be a complex legal procedure, but it does not have to be an unnerving situation. Let the Thomas Law Office guide you through the process. Compassionate and experienced, we will work to resolve your bankruptcy case quickly and we will fight to ensure you have a smooth transition. Schedule a consultation with our McHenry County bankruptcy lawyer to learn more. Call 847-426-7990 today. Source:

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Reducing Costs During Your Divorce

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Divorce

McHenry County divorce lawyerDivorce is one of the biggest financial transactions in a couple’s life. Knowing this, many attempt to take shortcuts that end up costing them more in the end. Avoid this risk by examining how you can reduce cost, without compromising the outcome of your case, with help from the following information.

Never Skip the Attorney There are many ways to cut the cost of divorce, but removing the attorney out of the process should never be one of them. An attorney can do more than just file your paperwork; they can help reduce the risk of financial mistakes. Your attorney can also work as the communication hub between you and your spouse to reduce contention, and they assist with any parenting time or allocation of parental responsibility issues that might arise in your case. Educate Yourself on Your Financial Situation Whether you are in a marriage with a high net worth, middle-class, or nearing retirement, it is crucial that you fully understand your financial situation before the divorce. Budgets to determine your cost of living, statements that give a clear picture of your debts and assets, and an idea of what your living expenses might be after the divorce are all financial matters to consider. If you are in the dark on your financial situation, you may need to do some investigative work. Remember that an attorney can help with this, and should be your first point of contact once you have decided to move forward with your case. Consider Settling Outside of Court While not all cases are eligible for mediation, the process does offer some cost-saving potential to divorcing couples. In fact, it is the court process that often eats up a lot of the marital assets. By opting out of this contentious situation, you and your spouse can work toward a settlement that can hopefully satisfy both parties. Keep in mind that you should still have an attorney at your side to protect your interests and assist with the process. Remember the True Nature of Divorce Although divorce is, undoubtedly, an emotional process, the legal process is more like a business transaction. If you can remove the emotion from the actual process and cope with it outside of the mediation room or courtroom, you can reduce your risk of elevated divorce costs. Support, counseling, and other coping strategies can all be beneficial in helping you accomplish this difficult feat. Contact Our McHenry County Divorce Attorney At the Thomas Law Office, we understand the difficulties that divorcing couples face. That is why we take a personalized approach to each and every case. Learn more about how our dedicated McHenry County divorce lawyer can assist you. Call 847-426-7990 and schedule your consultation with us today. Source:

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Bankruptcy Basics: Understanding the Discharge Process

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Bankruptcy

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