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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Batavia parenting time attorney

When you get a divorce and you have children, it can feel like the proceedings will never end. Even after all is said and done, and the divorce decree has been issued, the drama can still continue for years. As parents, you will never truly be separated from one another, and the two of you will always be connected by your children. Because of this, it is no surprise that co-parenting can be one of the biggest sources of stress for divorced couples after their marriage has ended. Most couples want to make co-parenting as beneficial to the children as possible, which is why more and more couples are using technological solutions to help manage child custody concerns. Below are some of the most useful and popular apps and websites that can help take some of the worries out of co-parenting.

Google Calendar

One of the most popular ways co-parents stay in touch is by using a shared Google Calendar. This is accessible through a website or an app, and it allows both parents to keep tabs on different events and shared commitments that involve the children. Parents can even use the calendar to keep track of other events that might require a change in schedule.

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Yorkville spousal maintenance attorney

For many couples who are contemplating a split, the divorce process may seem overwhelming and rather complicated. While it is true that the divorce process can be a difficult one, it is not impossible. Getting help from a knowledgeable Illinois divorce lawyer is the easiest way to ensure you receive a fair settlement in your divorce. There are various stages of an Illinois divorce, many of which are multi-faceted and can become lengthy in certain situations. Even though the divorce process can seem daunting at first, a positive outcome is achievable, and divorce can ultimately benefit everyone in your family in the long run.

Filing a Petition for Divorce

The first step in getting a divorce is to file a petition for divorce at the courthouse in the county in which you reside. Filing a petition is simply a way of saying you are asking the court to allow you to dissolve your marriage. To file this type of legal document, you must have lived in Illinois for at least 90 days, and you must pay a filing fee. The state of Illinois only recognizes one “grounds” for divorce now -- irreconcilable differences. This means your marriage has broken down to the point of no return, and attempting to reconcile would not be in the best interests of the family. You can prove this by living apart from your spouse for at least six months prior to filing the petition for divorce.

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DuPage County parenting plan attorney

Many people who are unhappily married with children worry about how a divorce will affect their kids. Some of them end up “staying together for the kids.” It would be naive of anyone to think that a divorce does not affect your children -- studies show that it clearly does. However, those effects are often short-term concerns that, with proper attention, will eventually dissipate. Staying together for the kids often has a more lasting effect on the children, and it can actually do much more harm than good in the long run. As more information becomes available about the impact divorce has on children, more parents are making the decision to split up for the sake of everyone. After the split, you will notice changes in your children as they try to make sense of the event. The following are three tips for parenting after your divorce that can help you manage this transition. 

Never Make Your Children Choose Between You and Your Ex-Spouse

One of the worst things you can do is to force your children to choose between their parents. Not only is this completely unfair, but it can also be damaging to your kids. Even though you and your spouse are no longer together, you are both still and will forever be parents to your offspring. Your children have the right to maintain close and loving relationships with both of you.

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DuPage County asset division attorney

There are many things that you share with your spouse when you are married. For some people, one of the most stressful parts of divorce is figuring out what you and your spouse have to do to finalize the legal process and disentangle your finances. Before you start dividing up your assets and debts, you and your spouse must determine which of your assets are considered marital property and which assets will remain personal, non-marital property. In cases in which one spouse receives an inheritance during the marriage, the inheritance is usually considered to be non-marital property and resides with the spouse to whom it was given. However, this may not always be the case, so it is important to understand how these types of assets are handled in an Illinois divorce.

Marital and Non-Marital Property

In the state of Illinois, there is a distinction between marital and non-marital property. According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, anything that a couple acquires during the marriage is considered to be marital property, aside from a few exceptions. One of those exceptions includes “property acquired by gift, legacy, or descent,” and inheritances fall into this category. In these instances, inheritances are typically not included in the marital estate alongside other property that is subject to division. With that being said, there are still some situations in which inheritance might still be subject to division during a divorce.

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Yorkville gray divorce attorneyDivorce rates are often changing and vary depending on the source of your information. Although the general divorce rate is anywhere between 40 and 50 percent, one statistic that can be agreed upon is that the divorce rate for Americans over the age of 50 has doubled since the 1990s. Gray divorce, or divorce that takes place when someone is 50 or older, can be devastating for many people, particularly because gray divorces often end marriages that can be decades long. Spouses in these cases have special considerations that should not be forgotten when going through the divorce process, especially related to financial matters. If you are going through a divorce later in life, here are a few mistakes to avoid:

Not Understanding Your Finances

In any marriage, it is not uncommon for one spouse to have a better understanding of the couple’s finances than the other. While this type of arrangement might work during a marriage, it will certainly not work in a divorce. If you are the partner whose knowledge of the family’s finances is unclear, you need to get a better picture of what your finances actually look like. Review all of your bank accounts, investment portfolio, and any debts that you owe before you begin dividing your property.

Clinging to the Family Home

There are many reasons why a spouse would want to keep the marital home after a divorce. For some couples, the thought of moving their children out of the family residence is unfavorable. For older couples, the sentiments attached to the home may cause them to hold on when their finances say they should let go. First, get an accurate appraisal of the home’s worth. Then, figure out if you can afford to keep the home on your own.

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Aurora divorce attorney finances

As much as marriage is an emotional and cultural bond, it is also very much a legal and financial partnership. When you are married, as far as the state of Illinois is concerned, what is yours is also your spouse’s, and vice versa. Although keeping finances completely separate is not impossible during a marriage, it is somewhat rare. When you get a divorce, untangling your finances can be a huge headache for both you and your spouse. For some people, divorce can even be the beginning of financial downfall -- but it does not have to be. Below are a few tips you can follow to help yourself maintain a sense of financial stability during and after your Illinois divorce.

Create a Post-Divorce Budget and Manage Your Expenses

One of the first things you should do is create a rudimentary budget to use after your divorce. If you are still early in the divorce process, you may not know exactly what all of your expenses or income will be after your divorce, but you do know that you should expect some changes. Keep in mind that you will have to budget for one income only, and you will probably have to determine new living expenses. This is also a good time to look at your spending habits and see where you can cut back. 

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Oswego spousal maintenance attorney

There many issues that can break up a marriage -- infidelity, lack of communication, a difference in values -- the list goes on. One of the most commonly cited topics of marital stress is money. The stress does not end once the marriage is over, though. The majority of married couples plan their lives around two incomes. When a couple gets divorced, suddenly both spouses now have to figure out how to balance their lifestyles with their newly single-income household. In some cases, one spouse simply does not earn enough to survive or enjoy nearly as comfortable a lifestyle as he or she did before the divorce. In certain situations, spousal maintenance may be awarded, which can help alleviate this financial burden.

Will I Be Awarded Spousal Maintenance?

According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), there is no guarantee that spousal maintenance will be awarded in any divorce case. If you think that you deserve to receive spousal maintenance, you must file a petition with the court to have your case heard. It is up to the judge to decide whether or not a spousal maintenance award (commonly known as alimony) is appropriate for your case. Before the judge makes his or her final decision, he or she will consider all relevant factors in your case. These include, but are not limited to:

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Batavia child support attorney

The “standard” for American families has changed over the years. Even just 20 years ago, the “normal” U.S. family consisted of a mother, a father, and one or two children. Now, families come in all sizes and configurations. According to data from the Pew Research Center, an estimated 18 million U.S. children are living with a single parent. Being a parent can be difficult even when you have another partner, but being a single parent is especially challenging. Here are a few tips you can use to help ease yourself into single parenthood after a divorce:

Get Your Finances in Order

It is no secret that raising a child comes with a rather large price tag. Most married parents have two incomes at their disposal to help pay for some of the expenses associated with raising a child, but after a divorce, you may only have your own income to rely on. This is when child support is typically awarded to ensure that the parent with the greatest share of parenting time will be able to provide for children's daily needs. In some cases, spousal support may also be awarded. It can also help to create a budget for you and your child so you can plan what your monthly expenses will be and relieve some of the worries.

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St. Charles divorce attorney

For centuries, women have been taking the surnames of their husbands after they walk down the aisle. While in the old days, this was for purposes of man and woman “becoming one,” many modern women also take their husband’s surname because it follows tradition and further solidifies the creation of a family. This can be one of the reasons why some women may want to switch back to their maiden name after a divorce. Similar to the process you went through when you initially changed your maiden name to your husband’s last name, the name change process is a legal procedure that can require a significant amount of paperwork and patience. 

Keep Things Simple

With everything that comes along with divorce, going through court proceedings to change your married last name back to your maiden name can seem cumbersome. This is why the state of Illinois also allows you to include name change information in your divorce decree. This is the easiest way to reinstate your maiden name, because there is no extra legwork involved in this. You can use your divorce decree as proof of your name change. If you do not include your name change in your divorce decree, it can still be changed, but you will just have to go through a few extra steps.

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DuPage County child support attorney

Both parents have an obligation to financially support their children, even if one parent is considered “custodial” while the other parent is “non-custodial.” Because of this, child support exists in the majority of cases that involve parents who are divorced, legally separated, or who were never married in the first place. Child support is intended to be used to help pay for the child’s necessities, such as food, clothing, and shelter. If a parent is subject to a child support order, he or she is legally obligated to make the stated monthly child support payments; otherwise, serious consequences could result. When a parent does not abide by child support orders, it can put a financial strain on the custodial parent, but fortunately, there are steps you can take for enforcement if your child’s other parent has failed to make child support payments.

Defining Failure of Support

If a parent is having a bad month financially, and child support payments are late or delayed, typically no action will need to be taken, as long as the paying parent is able to pay the amount due within a reasonable time period. However, if non-payment has become a pattern, and the parent has not made multiple payments, legal action may need to be taken. A parent is considered to have committed failure to support if he or she does any of the following:

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Geneva order of protection attorney

Divorce can be an extremely stressful life event. In fact, it is widely known that divorce or separation is the second most painful transition for a person to experience, only behind the death of a loved one. Even if you and your spouse are on the same page about the split, it still involves quite a bit of emotional and legal stress, which can manifest in different ways. In many cases, however, divorce is not completely mutual, and one spouse can be very opposed to the divorce. In these situations, things can elevate to the point that a person feels that he or she or his or her children are in danger based on the other spouse’s actions. When this happens, it may be appropriate to file an order of protection to feel safe.

What Is an Order of Protection?

An order of protection is a legal document that can help you and your family if you are experiencing abuse or threats of violence from a family or household member. According to the Illinois Domestic Violence Act, a family or household member can include:

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Geneva parenting plan attorney

Getting a divorce can be a daunting task. There are many issues that you must address before you can finalize your divorce, and it can become even more complicated if you have minor children. Divorcing with kids can be overwhelming because of the emotional toll it takes on the entire family. One of the most important issues to resolve is how your children will be cared for after the marriage ends. In Illinois, a parenting plan is required by all couples who file for divorce and have minor children.

Parental Responsibilities in an Illinois Parenting Plan

Before your divorce can be finalized, Illinois law requires that you and your spouse have an agreed-upon parenting plan filed with the court. The parenting plan is a written agreement of how you and your ex-spouse will raise your children now that you are divorced. This legal document contains information about how parenting time will be split between the two of you, but also how parental responsibilities will be handled. At a minimum, Illinois parenting plans should address the following when it comes to allocating decision-making responsibilities:

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Batavia parenting plan attorney

Divorce is filled with issues to settle and decisions to make, which can pose a challenge for some couples, especially if they are not on the best of terms. All couples argue about things from time to time, but divorcing couples have often reached the point where disagreements become heated very quickly and can elevate to all-out wars. When it comes to decisions involving the children, these arguments can become even more hostile, and resolving them can be a very emotional process. If your divorce reaches the point where you have to go to court to come to a resolution on matters related to the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time, you will need to convince the judge that you will be able to provide for your children's best interests. There are certain things that you should avoid doing when you are fighting for a favorable parenting plan:

Resist the Urge to Complain on Social Media

Social media is present in many peoples’ lives these days. In divorce cases, it can become a tool in your ex’s arsenal to use against you if you are posting the wrong type of things on your timeline. Even if you are just sharing a photo of yourself and your new partner, your ex could use it in a negative way, perhaps by claiming that you are more focused on your new relationship than on your children's best interests. Be extremely cautious of what you post online during your divorce proceedings, and above all, do not post anything directly pertaining to your case.

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Aurora dissolution of marriage attorney

Statistics on the divorce rate are often vague and difficult to understand, and they may change depending on the source you consult. While some sources state that more than half of marriages end in divorce, others estimate that the divorce rate is actually somewhere between 40 and 50 percent. While the numbers can be debated, most sources agree on a few of the most common factors that are prevalent in many divorces. While these factors are not a guarantee that your marriage will not stand the test of time, their presence has been linked to the increased probability of divorce. Here are a few of the most common elements that can affect your odds of marital success:

  1. You Were Young When You Got Married

Many studies conducted have concluded that getting married at a very young age can be a predictor that your marriage will not last. A study in the Journal of Marriage and Family concluded that those who were married in their teens or early 20s had a higher chance of getting divorced than couples who waited until they were in their late 20s or 30s. This may be due to a lack of maturity or simply growing apart as spouses get older. 

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North Aurora uncontested divorce attorney

Many people’s idea of what a divorce entails is entirely formed by the experiences of people around them and what they see in movies and television shows. When you think of a divorce, you might remember how your aunt and uncle went head to head in a divorce case that lasted for two years, or you might recall television shows such as Divorce Court and how argumentative the divorcing couples could be. In reality, many divorcing couples are not as contentious as you might expect. Some couples are able to put their differences aside and complete their divorce in a peaceful and relatively simple manner. In situations like these, you may be able to file for an uncontested divorce. However, an uncontested divorce may not be for everyone.

What Is an Uncontested Divorce?

In the simplest terms, an uncontested divorce occurs when both spouses can resolve the marital issues of their divorce without taking their case to court. Most divorces involve major issues such as:

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DuPage County divorce lawyer

Making the decision to end a relationship is never easy. Coming to the conclusion that a divorce is the only option typically takes months, if not years, and the possible end of your marriage can be a very stressful time of your life. It has often been said that marriages do not just break -- they deteriorate over time. If you are unhappy in your marriage, you may be wondering if it is time to call it quits, but it can be difficult to be certain that it is the right choice. Often, there are red flags throughout the marriage that you should be aware of that may indicate your marriage is not working. While there is no magic answer as to whether you should get a divorce or not, below are some warning signs that could indicate that it may be best to end your marriage.

One (or Neither) of You is Putting in the Effort

Successful marriages do not just happen. For you and your spouse to be happy in a relationship together, you have to want it. You have to get up every day and work for the marriage that you want and need. When one or both partners get to the point where they do not want to work on the marriage anymore, it could be a sign that the marriage is beyond saving.

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Batavia co-parenting attorneyGetting divorced when you have children brings about a wide variety of issues, worries, and concerns. Not only do you have to figure out how you will share parental responsibilities and how you will divide parenting time, but many parents also worry about how their children will be affected emotionally by the divorce. Statistics on this topic can be difficult to analyze; some sources say that divorce is detrimental to the mental and emotional health of children. While this can be true in some situations, a majority of experts agree that your children can grow up happy and healthy as long as they are able to experience a healthy co-parenting relationship between their parents. Co-parenting can be trying, even for parents who are amicable, but a peaceful relationship is not impossible.

Successful Co-Parenting Depends on Collaboration

You have heard it before, and you will most likely hear it many times during and after your divorce — cooperation and communication are key to success after divorce with children. You cannot hope to have a healthy co-parenting relationship with your ex if you do not know how to compromise or talk with each other effectively. Make it a habit to keep in regular touch with your ex about your child’s life, and always include him or her in important decisions.

Use Technology to Your Advantage

There are dozens of apps and websites available that were created to help people in your exact situation. So much of the success of your co-parenting relationship is dependent on communication, which also happens to be one of the hardest aspects of co-parenting. Using technology can help you and your ex discuss child-related issues. Websites such as Google Calendar can help you keep track of appointments and events for your child. Other companies such as Our Family Wizard have websites and apps to manage almost everything involved in co-parenting, such as parenting time schedules and expenses.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Kane-County-family-law-lawyer.jpg-min-1.jpgNot all marriages have a happy ending. In fact, depending on the source you consult, around 40 to 50 percent of all first marriages in the United States end in divorce. If that statistic was not sobering enough, the divorce rate only increases for people who are married Kendall County a second and even a third time, with numbers soaring to somewhere around 60 to 65 percent of marriages ending in divorce. Though the statistics suggest that the odds are against you when it comes to remarriage, everyone deserves to be happy and find a partner with whom they can spend their life. Having a successful second marriage is not impossible; you just need to plan accordingly before you walk down the aisle a second time. Below are a few things you should keep in mind before you get remarried:

Be Truthful

First and foremost, you should be sure that you divulge everything of importance to your future spouse before you are married. You should be open and honest about all of your assets, credit history, debts, and other obligations. If you have obligations to provide child support or spousal maintenance to a child or spouse from a prior marriage, tell your new partner about them. Getting everything out in the open and being honest is the first step to a successful marriage.

Decide How You Want to Keep Your Assets

Second or subsequent marriages often include spouses who are bringing significant property and assets into a marriage. Make a list of each of your major assets and how you would like to use them or how they will be handled after your death. You and your spouse should decide how you want to handle all of your assets going forward. Will you have a joint bank account, or will you both still keep separate bank accounts? Which assets are important to separate?

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Aurora-divorce-lawyer.jpg-min.jpgGetting a divorce involves dividing up almost everything you and your spouse own together, and the family home is no exception. For many couples, dealing with the family home is a point of contention, because it is often one of the most valuable marital assets to be divided. When you and your ex-spouse must figure out what to do with your home, there are typically three solutions that you could pursue: sell the home and split the profits, continue co-owning the home together, or have one spouse keep the home. There are many situations in which one spouse will want to continue living in the family home, especially if there are children involved. If you have come to the conclusion that you want to keep your home, you must then figure out how that can be accomplished. The following are a few steps you should take if you want to keep your house after your divorce in Illinois:

Figure Out What the Home Is Worth

Before you decide on anything, you have to figure out the value of your home and how much you will need to perform a buyout. First, you and your spouse should come up with a figure that you both can agree on as far as how much the house is worth. If you and your spouse cannot agree on a figure, you should hire a property appraiser to determine the home’s value.

Next, you will have to determine each spouse’s share of equity in the home. To do this, you would take the home’s value and subtract how much is still owed on the home. The resulting figure is the amount of equity you have in the home. Then, you will have to decide how much of that equity each spouse owns. In Illinois, property is divided in an equitable manner, meaning you do not necessarily each has a 50/50 share in the equity of the home, but your share should be fair.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Aurora-divorce-attorney.jpg-min.jpgSocial media is a large part of many people’s everyday lives. With the invention of platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, it has become easier than ever to keep in touch with the people you care about and connect with new people all over the world. Although social media has its perks, it can also be a nuisance in some people’s lives, especially in delicate situations such as divorce. During your divorce, how you use social media can make or break you. You do not necessarily have to stop using social media completely during your divorce, but you should be very aware of what you post online. Here are a few social media mistakes that you should avoid making at all costs during your divorce:

Do Not Reveal Too Much About Your Life

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to overshare on social media. During a divorce, there are several things that you and your spouse must agree upon, including property division, spousal support, and parenting time. These things can all be negatively impacted if you share contradicting or concerning information on social media during divorce negotiations.

For example, if you claim you need spousal support to survive after your divorce, but you are posting photos of you taking lavish vacations or buying expensive items, your claim could be questioned in court. Posting photos showing you performing illegal or inappropriate acts could cause the court to question your fitness as a parent or could serve as evidence that your spouse could use against you.

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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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