The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.

630-409-8184

1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

Yorkville Office By Appointment

Initial Consultations via ZOOM Available

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North Aurora divorce attorney property division

When you and your spouse reach the point where you are ready to begin allocating property among yourselves, one of the first things you will have to do is determine what is and is not subject to division during your divorce. When a couple goes through a divorce in the state of Illinois, their assets are divided into two categories: marital and non-marital property. Marital property is the only type of property subject to division and consists of any property you or your spouse acquire during the marriage, with a few exceptions. One such exception is for gifts, which can be considered both marital and non-marital property, depending on the circumstances of the situation.

Gifts as Marital Property

Most of the time, the items that you receive as gifts during your marriage will be considered non-marital property. However, there may be circumstances in which your spouse will argue that the gift should be considered marital property and therefore subject to division with your other assets. Here are a few common examples of how gifts can be considered marital property during your divorce:

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Oswego divorce attorney child support

Every child has a right to financial support from their parents, no matter if their parents are together or not. In Illinois, child support is awarded when the parents of a child file for a divorce or are no longer in a relationship with one another. Illinois uses what is called an “income shares” model of calculating child support. This means a variety of factors are taken into consideration when a child support determination is being made. These factors include both of the parents’ incomes, how much time the child spends with each parent, and how many children are being supported. Child support obligations usually end once a child turns 18 years old or when he or she graduates from high school, but Illinois law also provides limited guidance for support obligations for adult children with disabilities whose parents are separating.

Establishing Child Support for an Adult With a Disability

For the most part, child support typically stops when the child reaches the age of 18. However, there are a few different types of non-minor support that exist in Illinois, such as requiring a parent to pay for educational expenses for a non-minor or providing support for an adult with a significant disability. In many cases, adults with physical or mental disabilities need financial support from their caretakers, who are often their parents.

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North Aurora gray divorce attorney

In the United States, the number of people getting divorced later in life has risen dramatically over the past couple of decades. Some sources, such as the Pew Research Center, have reported that the divorce rate nearly doubled among adults over the age of 50 and almost tripled among adults over the age of 65 between 1990 and 2015. These later-in-life divorcees often have many more issues that they must focus their attention on, such as dealing with retirement funds and modifying estate plans, along with all of the typical issues that all divorces carry, like making the typical property decisions and determining spousal support. If you are over the age of 50, there are certain steps you should take to prepare for your Illinois gray divorce.  

Gather Your Financial Information

One of the biggest concerns with divorcing after the age of 50, also known as gray divorce, is the financial side of things. The people going through gray divorces are doing so much later in life than others. This can affect crucial assets, like retirement savings, which they do not have much time left to replenish. This is why it is so important to be on top of your finances when you are getting a gray divorce. You should have copies of all important financial documents pertaining to all of you and your spouse’s assets, liabilities, income, and expenses. 

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Yorkville divorce attorney

When the new year rolls around and everybody is done celebrating, many people often find themselves making resolutions and quitting bad habits. While some people are committed to living a healthier lifestyle or spending less time on their phones, others are looking forward to a much bigger and more significant life change. According to many divorce lawyers and news outlets, January has been dubbed, “divorce month,” because of the increase in the number of divorce cases that are initiated at the beginning of the year. There are several reasons that have been pinpointed as being possible for the spike in the number of divorce cases that are filed during the first few months of the year. These reasons may include:

  • Spending one last holiday season as a family. For many couples, one of the biggest reasons they choose to stay together and wait until January to file for divorce is simply to preserve the magic of the holiday season. This is especially likely for couples who have children, as they will want to prevent any stress or disruptions from spoiling the holidays for the kids. 

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DuPage County divorce attorney parenting time

For some couples, the last step of the divorce equation is finished when the judge signs the divorce decree on the dotted line. You can walk out of that courtroom knowing that will be the last time you ever have to see your former spouse again. However, for parents who get divorced, things are not so easy. Having children with someone creates a relationship that you cannot dissolve with a signature. When you and your ex-spouse do not agree on certain issues, especially core issues such as the allocation of parenting time and decision-making responsibilities, it can be a stressful situation for everyone, including the children. Co-parenting is the default parenting agreement that most parents decide to follow, but parallel parenting can also be utilized in high-conflict situations. Both types of parenting plans have their benefits, but an Illinois child custody lawyer can help you choose the right fit for your family.

Co-Parenting Requires Cooperation Between Parents 

Co-parenting is typically the default option that most parents automatically go to when it is time to determine what their parenting plan will look like. However, the traditional co-parenting model is not for all families. The basis of a successful co-parenting relationship is good communication between the parents and a willingness to cooperate and compromise with one another. If you do not have both of those items, you cannot hope to co-parent successfully.

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Yorkville divorce attorney parenting time

One of the most challenging relationships you may ever have to manage is the co-parenting relationship between you and your child’s other parent. The divorce process can be stressful and tedious, often bringing out the worst in people. Even if you wish you never had to see your ex-spouse again, you will always be somewhat connected for life when you have children together. Working together and compromising with the help of an attorney who is well-versed in divorce issues can go a long way in a successful co-parenting relationship.  

Getting Along for the Children’s Sake

The new year is not only a time for a change in the calendar year, but it is also the perfect time for implementing a change in your habits and behaviors. Making a commitment to improving and maintaining your co-parenting skills is a simple way to set yourself up for co-parenting success in the upcoming year. Here are a few useful co-parenting resolutions to consider making for the upcoming year: 

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Yorkville divorce attorney

Addiction is a destructive disease, both for the person with the disease and for the friends and family members present in their lives. It can be painful for family members, especially a spouse, to watch a loved one grapple with the effects of drug and/or alcohol addiction. For many marriages involving addiction, there is hope for recovery if both spouses are willing to work toward it; however, not all relationships can heal from the damages and issues that addictions can cause. It can be difficult for the non-addicted spouse to make the decision as to when and if it is the right time to divorce. Do you stay and support your spouse out of loyalty and love, or do you divorce him or her so you can place your own mental health as a priority instead of the substance abuse? The following are a few things to ponder if you are contemplating or have decided to divorce an addicted spouse.

Addiction Is Toxic for a Marriage

When a spouse has an addiction, there are many things about that addiction that can cause issues in the marriage. Over time, the addiction eventually causes the very essentials that built the marriage to break down, such as the element of trust. Spouses with an addiction tend to lie to their partners about their usage, how much they may have spent on their addiction, or broken their promises about quitting their addiction.

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Batavia divorce attorney asset and property division

One of the largest and most valuable assets that is often present in a divorce is the family home. For many couples, the house is a highly valued and sought-after possession, both for financial and personal reasons. The decision surrounding the marital home is often one of the most difficult financial decisions you will have to make during your divorce, especially because there are likely to be many emotional ties and sentiments attached to the home. There are always advantages and disadvantages to every situation, especially as it pertains to something as large as selling your family home. 

Advantages of Keeping the Home

For many people, the obvious advantage to keeping the home, rather than selling it, is just that -- keeping the home. If you have found your dream home, the home in which you have raised your children and watched them grow up, you may not want to sell all of those memories. For many parents, children are a major factor in the decision to sell or keep the marital home. Keeping the family home ensures the kids continue attending the same schools, see the same friends, and live in the same house, at least part of the time.

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DuPage County divorce attorney parenting time

Many parents who are divorced or who have never been married often worry about the impact that transitioning between two households has on their children. Some children seem rather unbothered by going from one house to the other, while many kids become frustrated, upset, and stressed. Even months down the road, transition days can be difficult for your children. After all, a day that they are coming to stay with you is a day that they are leaving and saying goodbye to their other parent. These emotions can be difficult for children to deal with and could end up causing issues later in their lives, too. As a parent, there are things you can do to help make transitions between households much easier for your children.

Create a Routine and Stick to It

One of the best things you can do for your children is to find a routine that works for them and stick to it. Kids in general do not do well when their typical routines are disrupted. Once you are settled into a visitation schedule, you should then manage a consistent routine that you can use to help your children adjust to the transitions.

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Geneva divorce attorney parenting time

When you are a parent, one of the greatest joys in life is spending time with your children. The holiday season is a magical time, especially for children, and seeing the happiness on their faces is a pleasure for many parents. When you share parenting time with your children’s other parent, you are also bound to have to share holiday time with them, too. Spending the holidays without your children can be difficult after you have been used to seeing your children on each and every holiday throughout the year. Unfortunately, having to spend holidays apart from your children is often an inevitable reality for many divorced or separated parents. Even though spending what is supposed to be “the most wonderful time of the year” away from your children does not feel like that at first, it does not have to be as awful as you may think. If this is your first year spending the holidays apart from your kids, here are a few tips to help you through the season:

  • Let yourself experience your emotions. You should not be afraid to grieve the first holiday season without your children. This can be a very emotional time for some parents, but the important thing is recognizing your emotions and allowing yourself to process them. This may include crying or talking to a friend or counselor about your feelings. It is helpful to get them out instead of keeping them bottled up inside, which could lead to resentment and bitterness.

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DuPage County divorce attorney collaborative law

For hundreds of years, or perhaps even longer, the concept of divorce has carried a negative connotation. Even in today’s society, divorce has become more commonplace and many people have no issue with it; however, there are still people who firmly believe that divorce is inherently negative. It is true that divorce can leave lasting negative effects on you and your family, but there are things you can do to mitigate those effects and prevent them from ever happening in the first place. One of the most basic changes to many modern-day divorcees is simply the method by which the divorce is completed. Forms of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), such as the collaborative divorce process, have proven to be effective and beneficial, especially for families with children. Unfortunately, not every couple is suited for ADR or the collaborative divorce process, in which case you will need an experienced Illinois divorce attorney to help you.  

Understanding the Collaborative Divorce Process

A collaborative divorce, or any type of ADR, is a viable option that any couple should consider when choosing a method for divorce. Collaborative divorce has been becoming increasingly popular in the past couple of decades, likely because there are many benefits that are especially attractive to families with children. In a collaborative divorce, not only do you and your spouse each have your own divorce attorneys, but you also have a team of various professionals to help you reach an agreement on all pertinent issues while keeping the negotiations out of the courtroom.

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Batavia divorce attorney property division

In any divorce, dividing the marital assets can be a stressful process. Many spouses focus on the large and obvious assets, such as the marital home or the vehicles. Couples may forget that there are numerous other assets that should be considered when coming to an agreement on property division, including bank accounts, investment accounts, retirement funds, and even everything that you own inside your home. Property division can be complicated, but things can become even more complicated when a business is involved. If you are getting a divorce and you are a business owner in Illinois, it is important that you speak with an Illinois divorce attorney about your case.

Considerations to Keep in Mind About Divorce and Your Business

When you are a small business owner, your business is likely one of the most important and valuable assets that you own. As such, you are going to want to be sure that you do everything in your power to ensure a fair distribution of the business. There are also certain things that you should keep in mind about the structure of your business and how day-to-day operations will be run after your divorce is final. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when divorcing as a business owner:

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Yorkville divorce attorney division of assets

If you are in the process of going through a divorce, you are already aware of the plethora of issues that you must negotiate with your spouse. You are likely sick of hearing about the pages-long list of issues, such as allocating your marital property and determining whether or not spousal support is necessary, which all need to be reconciled with your spouse before you can finalize your divorce. With so many other issues at the forefront of your concerns, many people end up forgetting about one very important aspect that should be taken care of during the divorce -- your estate plan. If you ever had a will or you and your spouse ever started to plan for the future, you will want to be sure to update your estate plan accordingly before your divorce is finalized. Here are a few things you should keep in mind about your estate plan when getting a divorce:

  • Understand what documents you currently have in place. The first thing you should do is to understand what type of estate plan you have in place already. Every estate plan is different and tailored to each person’s specific needs, so you should familiarize yourself with your current estate plan if you are not familiar with it already. You may already have estate planning documents, such as:

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Kendall County divorce attorney

After Thanksgiving, the holiday season is officially in full swing, but with the “most wonderful time of the year” comes what can also be considered the most stressful time of the year. When you are going through the divorce process or have just freshly finalized your divorce, there are many changes to which you and your family must adapt. The stress of these changes can be exacerbated during the holiday season, especially the first year after your divorce. With the holidays being so family-oriented, it can be difficult to cope, especially for your children. However, there are things that you can do to help your children have a happy and peaceful holiday season.

Discuss Your Parenting Time Situation in Advance

A good rule of thumb about holiday parenting time is to plan for it well in advance. Do not wait until the week before the holidays to begin discussing how you want to split the time with your co-parent. Many parents already have holiday parenting time schedules built into their parenting plans, but not all. You should be sure to communicate with your co-parent ahead of time so as not to spring plans on him or her at the last second.

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Yorkville divorce attorney

Divorce is a common occurrence in our country, but many people do not truly understand what divorce actually entails. Most people spend months, or even years contemplating or perhaps even agonizing over the decision to get a divorce because of the huge legal and financial impact it can have on your life. However, many people do not realize that divorce also contains an emotional aspect that is just as strong as the legal and financial aspect, if not stronger. Getting a divorce is one of the most stressful events that a person can encounter in his or her life, second to the death of a loved one. If you are going through a divorce, it is crucial that you keep an eye on your mental health and take steps to protect your well-being.

Take Care of Your Physical Health

During a divorce, healthy habits can become forgotten, intermittent, or just ignored altogether. Practicing habits such as getting between six and eight hours of sleep every night, drinking enough water, making healthy food choices, and exercising regularly can greatly enhance your mood. These habits are the primary basis for your own self-support system and can greatly reduce the effects of stress.

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Batavia divorce attorney

Getting a divorce is a complicated legal process that is further complicated by the stressful and emotional nature of the issues at hand. Even so, many people believe that they can file for divorce by filling out the court forms and representing themselves in court, saving time and money. This is often referred to as a do it yourself (DIY) divorce. However, many people also fail to realize just how confusing and troublesome it can be to actually have to be in control of your divorce case. For most people, their best interests are served when they hire a divorce attorney who can help them navigate through this difficult period in their life. The following are four benefits of hiring a reputable divorce lawyer instead of representing yourself during your divorce.

An Attorney Has Valuable Experience

When you file for divorce, it only makes sense to hire a person who has experience with the legalities of divorce cases to help you through your own. Handling various divorce cases at varying stages is what a divorce lawyer does all day, every day. Just like you go to the doctor when you are sick, you should hire a divorce attorney when you want to legally dissolve your marriage. 

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Yorkville divorce attorney parental relocation

For many divorcees who are parents, one of the biggest disappointments they face is how little time they feel they have to spend with their children after all is said and done. In Illinois divorces, both parents must come to an agreement as to how parenting time will be split among the two of them, often leaving at least one parent feeling as if they are lacking. The idea of one parent moving and taking the child with them can be extremely distressing to the other parent, especially if they are concerned about protecting their parenting rights. In this situation, a knowledgeable family law lawyer can help you understand the procedure and rules that must be followed when a parent wants to relocate with a child, as well as how those laws apply to your situation.

When the Other Parent Must Notify You

According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), there are certain rules that a parent must follow if they are relocating with their child. A parent who has equal parenting time with the other parent or the majority of parenting time can move with the child and must provide notice to the non-moving parent if the move is considered a “relocation.” In Illinois, a move is considered a relocation if the new residence is more than:

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Batavia divorce attorney spousal maintenance

In many marriages, it is not uncommon for one spouse to have a higher income than the other spouse. In these situations, the lesser-earning spouse relies on the higher-earning spouse to facilitate and maintain the way of life they are used to. In some cases, the lesser-earning spouse may not even be employed and may have been a homemaker and contributed to the household that way. When couples who have a significant imbalance in income get a divorce, the lesser-earning spouse is often awarded spousal support in Illinois, which is also known as spousal maintenance or alimony.

Receiving Spousal Maintenance

Spousal maintenance is never guaranteed in any divorce. However, some people are still required to pay spousal support because of a previously entered marital agreement. If you and your spouse have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, the court will examine these documents to ensure that they are valid. If they are found to be valid, you will have to abide by the terms of the agreement you agreed to prior. If your agreement is deemed invalid or you did not have an agreement, the court will determine whether or not spousal maintenance is appropriate by looking at a variety of factors. These elements can include things such as you and your spouse’s age, health, occupation, education, work history, contribution to the marriage, and more.

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Kendall County divorce attorney deposition

Getting a divorce is never enjoyable or simple -- everyone knows that. In a best-case scenario, you and your spouse will be able to settle most of the major issues of your divorce without any conflict or with very little conflict. However, for many couples, this just is not the reality of the situation. In many divorce cases, there will be at least one issue that the couple does not agree upon and that needs a little bit of extra attention to work out. For some, this can be property division or other financial issues, while for others it may be child-related issues, such as allocating parenting time or decision-making responsibilities. If your spouse is less than agreeable, you may end up having to resort to the discovery process to gather information and to ensure you are receiving complete and accurate information. Depositions are just one of the tools available during the divorce proceedings that can help gather information.

What Is a Deposition?

A divorce deposition is similar in many ways to giving a testimony in a court of law. However, in many ways, it is also different from giving testimony. Simply put, a deposition is an oral question-and-answer session conducted between you and your spouse’s attorney. As when you give a testimony, a court reporter is present during the deposition to transcribe the conversation and you must sign an oath stating you are being truthful and are subject to perjury otherwise.

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North Aurora family law attorney guardianship

For many people, making the decision to establish legal guardianship over someone is a rather difficult and emotionally stressful decision to make. However, establishing legal guardianship of your loved one can often be the only way to ensure that he or she is safe and protected in some situations. Guardianship is a way of establishing legal authority over another person in the event that he or she becomes incapacitated or is unable to make decisions. In Illinois, guardianship can be established over a minor who is under the age of 18, or an incapacitated adult. If you are contemplating establishing guardianship over a family member or friend, you likely have questions about guardianships in Illinois and the process of establishing it. The following are a few frequently asked questions and their answers about Illinois guardianship.

Who Is Eligible to Have a Guardian Appointed to Them?

When a person turns 18, he or she is automatically presumed to be of sound mind and able to make responsible decisions for himself or herself. However, a person can be appointed to serve as someone’s guardian if he or she is disabled because of mental deterioration, physical handicap, mental illness, or developmental disability.

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The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.

630-409-8184

1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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