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Anthony R. Scifo is a bi-monthly columnist for the Kane County Chronicle. The column is entitled “In Your Court.” The columns are posted online every other Friday and are often in print on the following Saturday. The goal of this column is to help educate the public regarding the court system and the law. If you have any general legal questions, please feel free to contact him. Click to read all "In Your Court" articles by Anthony Scifo or enjoy some of the selection here. Mr. Scifo also writes articles for other area publications highlighted below.


Stop or My Mom Will Sue You!

Published: March 15, 2016. Kane County Bar Brief, Anthony Scifo, Esq.

"If you're playing a poker game and look around the table and can't tell who the sucker is, it's you." - Paul Newman

In Illinois, there's some good news if the only luck you have is bad luck. There is a long-standing law in Illinois, codified for some time now as the Illinois Loss Recovery Act ("Act"), which allows you to regain your gambling losses against the winner if you file suit within the six month statute of limitations. Even better, if you don't file suit within that time period, then anyone can file suit for treble the amount of your losses!

Uncontested divorces

Published: Jan. 9, 2015, Kane County Chronicle, Anthony Scifo

Not every divorce is a knock-down, drag-out brawl costing tens of thousands of dollars. In fact, there are a fair amount of divorces that only cost a thousand or two to settle. These are known as “uncontested divorces.”

An uncontested divorce is generally described as a divorce without any issues. This means that the parties have come to a resolution in regard to the division of property, marital or otherwise. Further, if there are minor children involved, the parties will have come to an agreement as to which parent will be the residential parent, and they also will have agreed upon a liberal visitation schedule for the non-residential parent.

The phases of litigation

Published: Oct. 10, 2014, Kane County Chronicle, Anthony Scifo

One of the most common questions I receive at the consultation is, “How long will my case take?”

There really is no answer to this question, as there are far too many variables to consider, especially at the beginning of the case. What are the issues of the case? Will the defendant appear and defend himself or herself? Will the defendant raise additional issues (otherwise known as counterclaims) or defenses? Are the parties willing to settle? If so, when will the parties settle? Will the parties agree or be ordered to mediation or arbitration? Additionally, what is the availability of the court and the judge?

Divorce and retirement plans

Published: Oct. 23, 2014, Kane County Chronicle, Anthony Scifo

Recently, attorney Veronica Silva was a guest speaker for the Kane County Bar Association’s Family Law Committee on the topic of qualified domestic relations orders, otherwise known as QDROs. She was gracious enough to take a few moments to answer some general questions I thought would interest our readers.

Anthony Scifo: What is a QDRO?

Veronica Silva: A QDRO is the document necessary to enforce the division of retirement assets (pension benefits and accounts) that was ordered or agreed by the parties in a divorce.

Why parents of young children need wills

Published: Sept. 8, 2014, Kane County Chronicle, Anthony Scifo

Young individuals and newlyweds, in my opinion, typically do not need wills. Statistically speaking, it is unlikely for younger people (individuals in their 20s, 30s and 40s) to pass away. Additionally, most young individuals or newlyweds have little to no assets, and the assets they do possess often pass outside of probate as an operation of law or in accordance with the Probate Act’s rules of descent and distribution.

However, my opinion changes drastically when minor children are involved. Yes, the statistics still are very low that both parents will pass, but it does happen. And, unlike property, the law does not provide an automatic guardian for the minor children. So, what happens in the instance when both parents pass and they did not appoint an eligible and willing guardian in writing?

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