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Kane County Family Law Attorney AdoptionWhen parents face an unplanned pregnancy or a pregnancy during divorce, they have three options: parent, terminate the pregnancy, or place the child up for adoption. Choosing the latter option, adoption, does not mean that a parent is “giving up;” it means they are making the best possible decision for everyone involved in their situation at that time. This decision belongs to the biological parents, particularly the mother, and no one else. However, even a decision made to place a child up for adoption remains unenforceable unless certain specific prerequisites are met.

A Biological Parent’s Rights Regarding Adoption at the Time of Birth

When a situation, such as a pending annulment or divorce, changes the dynamic of a family, a mother sometimes determines she does not want to be a single mother, or that it is not the appropriate time for her to raise a child. The birth mother has all of the rights and responsibilities as a parent to her child until she officially relinquishes her rights.

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Posted on in Divorce

McHenry County divorce lawyersDivorce is a difficult process any time of the year, but the holidays can be especially challenging. Many experience loneliness and depression. Others feel more overwhelmed than usual and may be more prone to mood swings. Whatever the situation, however you are feeling, know that there are ways to cope. The following information may be able to help.

Surround Yourself with Friends and Family The holidays are a time when people are used to being surrounded by friends and family, so reach out to those that you love. If your circle has become significantly smaller, try and make some new friends. Support groups, colleagues at work, and even your neighbor are all great places to look. Some might even surprise you – that person you might have overlooked at the office who went through a divorce last year, or the single mom a few doors down that you might not have even noticed. Go to holiday parties, even if you do not feel like it. Whatever you decide to do, try to surround yourself with people and try to immerse yourself in holiday cheer. Give Back to Your Community If meeting new people seems too exhausting, maybe some charity work can help to put you in the holiday spirit and heal your soul a little. After all, there is little that can lift the spirit like feeding the homeless, volunteering at a domestic violence shelter, reading to kids in a hospital, or playing board games with someone in a nursing home. Not sure where to look? Try your local church, bulletin boards, or newspaper. If you cannot find anything there, try talking to friends or just pick up a phone and call your local shelters to ask if they could use some help. Be Gentle with Yourself and Practice Self-Care Surrounding yourself with people and giving back are all great ways to cope with divorce during the holidays, but probably the most beneficial thing you can do is to be gentle with yourself and to practice self-care. If you find yourself crying a lot, that is okay. Your grief and sadness are normal. If you do not feel like putting up your tree or lights, try purchasing just a small live one that does not take as much effort – and do not let yourself feel guilty for doing so. Keep the decorations put up if you like, soak in warm baths, make hot chocolate or tea, read a book, or buy a box of candy canes and a present for yourself. In short, do what makes you happiest this holiday season. Seek Assistance with Your Divorce If you are filing for divorce but have not obtained legal assistance, now might be the time to reconsider. Not only can a divorce attorney help to ensure you avoid unnecessary mistakes, they can handle the legal details so that you have the time and energy to grieve and care for yourself. You also have an increased chance of receiving a fair settlement in your case if you have an attorney on your side. At the Thomas Law Office, we offer compassionate and personalized services to suit your needs. Dedicated and experienced, our McHenry County family law attorney can protect your rights and will always make your best interest our top priority. Schedule your consultation to ask how we can help with your case. Call us at 847-426-7990 today. Sources:

http://www.fox2detroit.com/good-day/weekend/218714775-story

http://www.socialworktoday.com/archive/111511p22.shtml

Posted on in Bankruptcy

McHenry County bankruptcy attorneyWhile the decision to file for bankruptcy should never be taken lightly, it is important to distinguish the difference between fact and fiction. For example, prospective filers are often told that they will lose home in the process. However, this is not always the case. Learn more about what happens to your home in a bankruptcy case, and discover what an experienced attorney may be able to do for you.

Understanding the Basics

Bankruptcy is a process in which a debtor comes to the court, asking to be released from their obligation to their creditors. It is, in many ways, a fresh start. Keep in mind, however, that it does not come without cost. Your credit does take a hit (though not quite as severely as people make it out to be). You may also lose some (or most) of your assets, but homesteads are protected. As such, they are treated quite differently in bankruptcy than other assets.

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McHenry County divorce attorneyTechnology and medicine have made massive advancements over the last several years. In fact, things have progressed so quickly that the law has fallen behind. Consider, for example, the numerous cases involving frozen embryos, many with different outcomes. One of the most recent cases involves the awarding of “joint custody” to a divorcing couple in Missouri. Learn more about this recent case, some of the previous rulings, and how all this could impact your divorce case if there are frozen embryos involved.

St. Louis Appellate Court’s Recent Ruling The problem with embryos is that they are not, under most laws, considered human. They are not property either though – not really. They do not have monetary value. They cannot be split. Instead, the couple must attempt to come to an agreement about the fate of the embryos. When unable to do so, the court is forced to make sense of this confusing but unique legal situation. Historically, courts have ruled that embryos must be thawed and destroyed. However, there have been some rulings that granted “custody” of the embryo to one spouse or the other. Generally speaking, such rulings have only taken place in marriages where one spouse may have been deemed infertile, and the only chance to conceive is held within the embryos. Of course, this creates a sticky situation: a person who no longer wants to have a child with their ex-spouse is essentially forced to do so against their will if the embryos are granted to a party that wants to conceive. This is exactly what originally happened in the St. Louis case. According to the St. Louis Dispatch, the wife had originally been given “custody” of the embryos, but her husband appealed the divorce court’s decision. He did not feel comfortable with the idea of having a child with his ex-spouse. The appellate court saw where he was coming from and decided to grant the couple “joint custody” of the embryos. They will not be destroyed. They will continue to be stored. However, neither can use the embryos without the other’s permission. Unfortunately, gaining consent may not be easy for the would-be mother. Facing an Embryo Dispute? Contact Our McHenry County Divorce Lawyer Embryos in divorce are a complex matter that can easily lead to contention. The Thomas Law Office may be able to help. Dedicated and experienced, our McHenry County divorce lawyer can work with you to devise a creative solution that can hopefully satisfy all involved parties. In every situation, we pursue the most favorable outcome. Call 847-426-7990 and schedule your personalized consultation with us today. Sources:

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/divorced-st-louis-county-couple-s-frozen-embryos-are-property/article_396ca794-e3d3-5166-9e29-485feff8e6d4.html

https://www.theatlantic.com/notes/a-custody-battle-over-embryos/514934/

Illinois bankruptcy lawyerA discharge in bankruptcy releases debtors from the personal liability they hold in certain types of debts. In other words, the debtor is no longer obligated to pay the creditor, and the creditor is barred from taking any further legal action against or communicating with the debtor. However, there are some important things that borrowers should know about the bankruptcy discharge process, including its limitations, exclusions, and the time frame it takes to reach this point.

Discharge Time Frame A discharge does not occur immediately after filing for bankruptcy. Instead, the debtor must complete the bankruptcy process. It is also important to note that the time frame in which the process is completed will vary, based on the type of bankruptcy being filed and the specifics of each case. For example, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy debtor usually receives a discharge once the time-period for creditor objections has expired (60 days after the 341 meeting). In contrast, Chapter 13 bankruptcy debtors must fulfill all their obligations under their repayment plan before their bankruptcy can be discharged. If the debtor fails to complete any provisions of their filing, including the instructional courses required by law, their discharge may be denied by the courts. Creditors Can Still Enforce Liens Although a debtor is no longer obligated to pay their lender once discharge has occurred, the creditor may still have the right to enforce a lien on secured property. For example, if you are filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and have a financed vehicle, the creditor may still recover the vehicle. You would no longer be obligated the pay the outstanding balance for the car, but you would not have the vehicle. For more specific information on how bankruptcy may impact your ownership of secured property, and advise on how you can maintain certain secured property despite bankruptcy, speak to an experienced lawyer. Not All Debts are Discharged While bankruptcy does cover many types of debt, it does not cover all debts. Certain categories (a total of 19, in all) are excluded from the discharge process. Examples might include debt obtained while drunk driving, most student loans, alimony, child support, and certain tax claims. To determine if you have any debts that cannot be discharged, and for assistance in determining how to handle these debts, contact an experienced bankruptcy attorney. Contact Our McHenry County Bankruptcy Lawyer If you are considering bankruptcy, contact the Thomas Law Office. Our seasoned McHenry County bankruptcy attorney can examine your case, advise you on your options, and help you navigate through the complex bankruptcy filing process. Dedicated to your best interest, we always strive for the most favorable outcome. Schedule your personalized consultation by calling 847-426-7990 today. Source: http://www.uscourts.gov/services-forms/bankruptcy/bankruptcy-basics/discharge-bankruptcy-bankruptcy-basics