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Winfield bankruptcy lawyerWhile many people have debts that they owe, some people end up in a difficult financial situation and become unable to pay back their debts while meeting their ongoing needs. Bankruptcy laws are intended to give individuals a second chance to get their finances in order. By filing for bankruptcy, you are signaling to the court that you cannot pay off your debts. When filing for bankruptcy, you will need to describe all your property and assets. You will also disclose your financial situation, including all your debts. There are multiple different types of bankruptcy to file depending on what fits the needs of an individual or business.

Types of Bankruptcy 

The most common types of bankruptcy for individuals are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. 

  • Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy will lead to all of the individual’s non-exempt property being liquidated in order to cover as much of their debt as possible. Illinois law provides exemptions for some types of property, including vehicles under a certain value, tools of the trade, and some personal belongings. Chapter 7 bankruptcy will result in the debt being discharged after all non-exempt property is sold.
  • Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be filed when an individual wishes to keep their property and use their income to pay off their debts. With Chapter 13, a payment plan for a period of three to five years will be put in place by the court, after which any outstanding debts will be discharged.  

Businesses will most commonly file Chapter 11 bankruptcy:

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Wheaton Domestic Abuse AttorneyDomestic violence in a relationship is a serious issue that millions of people face every day. For many, the warning signs are ignored or rationalized, but nobody deserves to live in an abusive situation. Physical violence does not have to occur to qualify as domestic violence. A pattern of mental or emotional abuse can emerge over the course of time, leading a person to feel unsafe in their relationship. Whatever the form of abuse a person suffers, they can achieve safety by obtaining an order of protection issued by a judge.

The Process of Obtaining an Order of Protection

If you reach a point in time when you feel the need to escape an abusive relationship, the first thing to do is make sure you are safe. The most common time for a victim of domestic violence to be attacked is when they attempt to leave the person who is abusing them or when they reach out to somebody for help. While getting out of an abusive situation and protecting your safety is important, you should also consider what may happen after you leave. If you are in danger, do not hesitate to contact law enforcement.

Once you are prepared, you will need to fill out a form to apply for an order of protection, making sure to include all relevant information regarding the abuse. Once the form has been completed, it will need to be filed. You may be able to file the form online. Instructions for filing an order of protection form online can typically be found on the local circuit court clerk’s website. If not, the form will need to be filed at the courthouse in the county where the abusive party resides or where the abuse occurred. 

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Naperville adoption lawyer single parentIn the United States, non-traditional families are becoming more common and more widely accepted. These types of families include those with step-parents and step-children, same-sex couples, and grandparents raising their grandchildren. Also included in the non-traditional category are single-parent families in which either the mother or father solely raises the child. Traditionally, adoptions usually took place when a couple was married, but now more adoption agencies are helping non-traditional families to adopt as well. Pursuing adoption as a single parent can be extremely challenging and can test your dedication, which is why it is important to consider the following questions and fully understand how your life will change if you choose to adopt.

1. Do You Have a Support System?

It has often been said that it takes a village to raise a child, and in the case of the single parent, this could not be more true. Your support system will be crucial to your parenting success. The support of your family and friends can be invaluable when issues arise, and the help they can provide may include:

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Naperville child custody lawyer parenting planWhen you get a divorce in Illinois, and you have children, you are strongly encouraged to come to an agreement with your spouse about how parental responsibilities and parenting time will be divided between you. The court does not decide these things for you unless you and your spouse cannot come to a mutual agreement (known as a parenting plan), but leaving the decision up to a judge is not always in your family’s best interests. Often, the court will order mediation to assist you and your spouse in coming to an agreement about a parenting plan, which must be filed with the court no longer than 120 days after a petition for the allocation of parental responsibilities is filed. Creating a parenting plan can be tedious, but having all of the right elements in your plan will ensure success when implementing it following the finalization of your divorce.

Court-Required Parenting Plan Elements

According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, there are certain things that must be addressed in a parenting plan. The plan can contain other information pertaining to the care of the children, but it must at least address the following issues:

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Wheaton divorce lawyer parents childrenIt is never easy to break the news of divorce, especially to children. Depending on their age, they might not really understand what getting a divorce means or why it is happening. How you bring up the decision that you and your spouse are getting a divorce can make a difference in how your children understand and react to the news. Here are five tips on how you can talk to your children about divorce and break the news to them in a healthy way:

1. Know the Right Time to Tell Them

You should make sure that you figure out the best time to tell your children that you are getting a divorce. If you and your spouse have been toying around with the idea of divorce, you should not bring your children into your conversations. You should wait until your divorce is in full swing or in its final stages before you bring it up with your children.

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Naperville adoption attorneyOne of the inevitable parts of adopting a child is the requirement that you and your family participate in an adoption home study. Though the process for the home study is different depending on which type of agency you adopt from (public or private), you must complete a home study all the same. Conducting home studies not only allows agencies to gather more information about your family and evaluate the ability of the family to care for the child, but a home study also allows prospective parents and families to learn more about the adoption process and prepares them for the new addition. 

Components of a Home Study

There are many parts to a home study, and they are all included for good reasons. Home studies are meant to be as thorough as possible to facilitate successful adoptions. Prospective adoptive parents should prepare for the following steps:

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DuPage County divorce attorneyIf you are going through a divorce, you have probably heard plenty of advice and consolation, such as “Just think of how much happier you will be,” or “You always deserved better than that.” While these words can show how many people are around to support you, they do not erase the pain that a broken marriage brings. While divorce is never fun, you do not have to suffer. These tips can help you prepare yourself for divorce so you can come out on the other side peaceful and content:

1. Get Your Priorities Straight

You should sit down and take some time to figure out what you actually want out of the divorce and what your emotions are telling you that you need. Make a list of specific assets that you absolutely need and ones that you can live without. A list like this can help you focus on what is important once you begin negotiations with your spouse.

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Oak Brook divorce attorney co-parenting tipsSummer is every child’s favorite time of the year--they get a break from going to school, waking up early, doing homework, and studying. But for parents, especially divorced parents, summer can prove to be the most challenging time of the year. During the school year, the kids are at school for a good portion of the day, so parenting plans are usually well-regimented and have agreed transition days for kids to move from the care of one parent to the other. But during the summer, everything changes, so it is important to plan ahead to keep the stress at a minimum.

1. Coordinate Your Schedules

While you have likely already scheduled vacation time and trips with your children, you should also work together with your ex-spouse to determine your and your children’s day-to-day schedules. This will help avoid disputes over who gets to spend time with the child and when. Summer months offer more than enough time for everyone to plan their vacations--it is just a matter of coordinating them. 

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DuPage County DCFS adoption attorneyAdoption is a common way for many prospective parents to add to their family. The way the majority of adoptions in the United States take place is through a public agency, such as the foster care system. The public agency in Illinois that helps match children with families is called the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). DCFS places children in foster homes, and if they are not able to be rehabilitated into their original homes, they are placed for adoption. Many children who are waiting to be adopted through DCFS are part of sibling groups, or children from the same family who need to be placed in a home together.

Keeping Siblings Together

Children who are put into the foster care system go through a great deal of change in almost every aspect of their lives. These children’s siblings are often the only thing that has remained the same in their life. Children in foster care often come from abusive and neglectful homes where the parents might not have always cared for them in the same way that a sibling did. In these situations, it is important to keep siblings together, so they are able to develop and emotionally mature. Separating siblings leaves the younger sibling to fend for themselves in an unfamiliar environment, and older siblings tend to feel responsible for younger siblings, even if they are not placed together.

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Naperville divorce attorneyEvery time you appear in court, you are being analyzed. The judge will observe you to determine whether or not you should be taken seriously and if your arguments are valid. If you appear to be disrespectful and ignorant of courtroom rules and conduct, you might not be taken as seriously as you want to be. This can make a big difference in divorce cases, because those who are not taken seriously by the judge are less likely to receive a judgment that is in their favor. Understanding what is expected of you when you go to court to litigate your divorce is crucial to a successful outcome. Here are some tips for following proper etiquette when in divorce court:

1. Dress Appropriately

You want the judge to focus on your legal case, not your appearance, so it is important that you dress appropriately and respectfully when you go to court. The basic rule of thumb is to dress as if you were going to work in an office. Business casual attire means skirts or dress pants, blouses, button-down shirts, slacks, khakis, and nice shoes. You should not wear T-shirts, jeans, sneakers, dirty clothing, or clothing with holes in it. 

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Wheaton adoption lawyer consentAdopting a child is an exciting time in many prospective parents’ lives. Making an addition to the family through adoption can be a stressful and tedious process, especially since there are many legal steps that must be taken before the adoption can be finalized. One of those steps is gaining consent to adopt the child. The consent must come from the child’s birth parents or adoption agency and, in some cases, the child themselves. Giving consent means that the parents or agency responsible for the child relinquishes all rights and duties relating to that child to the adoptive parents. If you are planning to adopt in Illinois, it is important to understand how Illinois laws will affect your adoption.

Who Needs to Consent to Adoption?

Illinois law requires that the birth mother and birth father (who has established paternity) consent to the adoption of their child. In some situations, the birth parents no longer have legal rights to their child. In these cases, the legal requirement for consent can fall to other entities, such as:

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Wheaton contested prenup attorneyPrenuptial agreements are legal documents that are designed to help couples avoid contentious disagreements and extensive litigation if they decide to get a divorce. In reality, you may still need to go to court if your prenuptial agreement (or “prenup”) is contested, meaning that a spouse has challenged the terms or the validity of the agreement. It is important to understand what constitutes a valid prenuptial agreement and the potential reasons why a prenup can be found invalid, including:

1. It Is Not a Formal Document

Illinois law states that prenuptial agreements must be in writing for them to be acceptable and valid. Both parties must also sign the agreement for it to be valid. The best way to ensure that your prenuptial agreement is valid is to hire an attorney to draft the agreement for you. A skilled lawyer can ensure that your agreement meets the legal requirements for enforceability while including the terms that will provide you with the protection you need.

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Aurora divorce attorneyJust like people, divorces come in all shapes and sizes. There are multiples types of divorce that are recognized in Illinois, including mediated divorce, collaborative divorce, and litigated divorce. Each type of divorce has its own pros and cons, and each type can be right for the right couple. If you choose the right divorce for your situation, you can save yourself and your family an unwanted headache.

Mediated Divorce

In a mediated divorce, a third party is brought in to act as a mediator to help the couple come to a divorce agreement. The mediator is responsible for identifying issues that need to be resolved and helping both parties come to an agreement. Benefits of a mediated divorce are plentiful, and this type of divorce can:

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Naperville divorce attorney child custodyThough not all married couples have children, a lot of them do. When these married couples get divorced, they will have different legal issues to address than couples who do not have children. All parents can agree that children are one of the top priorities in their lives, and they will want to protect their children’s best interests during their divorce. Here are three reasons why divorce with children is not the same as divorce without children:

1. There Are More Topics to Discuss Legally

Obvious issues that need to be discussed in divorces that involve children are custody arrangements and child support payments. These issues may also affect other decisions, such as who gets the house (since a parent may wish to continue living in their home with their children), vehicles (which are used to transport children), and other property (such as children’s toys).

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Glen Ellyn family law attorney grandparents' rightsDivorces are often difficult, and they can become even tougher when children are involved. Many times, for whatever reason, a parent can deny their child the right to visitation with a grandparent or other family member. Often, a child’s relationship with their grandparents, step-parents, or siblings is pertinent to their well-being. According to the state of Illinois, as long as visitation is in the best interest of the child, grandparents, siblings, and other non-parents have the right to seek visitation.

Who Can File a Petition for Visitation?

There are many instances in which a person might want to establish legal visitation with a child. In the state of Illinois, people who can file for visitation with a child are:

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Glen Ellyn divorce lawyerDivorce is stressful for everyone in the family, especially the children. Parents are not perfect--they can, and probably will, make mistakes. However, understanding common mistakes that parents make during a divorce can increase your chances of avoiding them.

1. Making the Child the Messenger

When you are going through a divorce, you probably do not want to talk to your ex. Since the child is the common factor between both of the parents, they are often told to deliver messages to the other parent. This can be stressful for the child and often makes them feel like they are in the middle of everything. Your parenting relationship will continue with your ex for a while, and maintaining decent communication between the two of you will make things easier for everyone.

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Naperville divorce and family law attorneyWhen a couple goes through divorce, the whole family is affected. Often, there are children involved in divorces, and because they are still developing physically and emotionally, they can be strongly affected by a divorce. While not every child is the same, and each child will react differently, there are some general tendencies that happen in children of specific age groups. Understanding how your child may react to the news of a divorce can help you comfort them through this tough time.

Infants

Even though infants are not completely aware of the situation, they do notice and react to the increased tension that a divorce can bring into a household. A stressed infant can exhibit symptoms such as:

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Wheaton adoption lawyerMore than 110,000 adoptions took place in the United States in 2014, according to the National Council for Adoption. Making additions to your family is an exciting time, and many Americans are choosing to make those additions through adoption. The adoption process can be overwhelming, stressful and emotionally draining, with long waiting periods and mountains of paperwork. However, the process can be broken down into simple steps, all of which an experienced attorney can guide you through.

1. Choose an Adoption Provider

There are many different outlets through which you can adopt a child in the United States. The most common outlets are:

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Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County divorce mediatorEnding a marriage is a complicated process, requiring spouses to separate nearly every aspect of their combined life and partnership. During divorce, couples must resolve a wide variety of legal issues, including how to divide marital assets and debts, how to allocate parental responsibility, and whether one spouse will pay spousal maintenance or child support to the other. Disagreements over these issues are likely to occur, and resolving these disputes in court can result in a great deal of financial strain and emotional difficulty. Luckily, there is another solution: mediation.

Successful Divorce Mediation

During mediation, spouses will work together with an impartial third party who will help them address and resolve the outstanding issues in their divorce. Mediation is completely confidential, and the decisions spouses make are only binding if both spouses agree to them in writing.

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DuPage County premarital agreement lawyerWhen a couple is planning to get married, the possibility of divorce is likely the last thing on their mind, and planning for what should happen if their relationship ever ends may seem distasteful. However, it is often a good idea to create a prenuptial agreement which can provide both spouses with legal and financial protections if they should ever decide to divorce. Here are some reasons that you may wish to have a prenuptial agreement before you get married:

  • Income disparity - When one spouse earns a higher income than the other, this may put the lower-earning spouse at a disadvantage if they decide to divorce. A prenuptial agreement can be used to decide whether one spouse will pay spousal maintenance (alimony) to the other if their marriage ends.
  • Ownership of assets - The property that a person owns prior to getting married is considered non-marital property that is not subject to equitable division between spouses during divorce. However, marital and non-marital property can often become commingled, making it difficult to determine what should be divided between divorcing spouses. A premarital agreement can be used to specify how ownership of certain assets will be handled during divorce.
  • Significant debt - If either spouse has a large amount of debt when they are getting married, a prenuptial agreement may specify that the other spouse will not be responsible for paying any of this debt after divorce.
  • Business interests - A business owner will want to ensure that they will be able to continue operating their business, no matter what happens during their marriage or divorce. A premarital agreement can determine how business ownership will be handled if the marriage ends.
  • Blended families - Spouses who have children from a previous relationship will want to be sure their children are provided for. In these cases, they may use a prenuptial agreement to safeguard certain assets and ensure that they are used to support their children.
  • Inheritances - If either spouse expects to receive an inheritance from a family member during the course of their marriage, they may use a premarital agreement to protect inherited assets from division during divorce.
  • Reputation - In today’s connected world, information posted online can have consequences to someone’s personal life and career. Spouses may wish to use a prenuptial agreement protect their reputation by stating that they are not allowed to post disparaging comments, pictures, or videos about each other on social media.

Contact a DuPage County Family Law Attorney

If you are planning to get married, and you have concerns about what will happen if you ever get divorced, the attorneys of Anderson & Associates, P.C. can help you create a prenuptial agreement that protects your rights and financial interests. Contact a Wheaton prenuptial agreement lawyer at 630-653-9400 to schedule a free consultation.

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