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 property division attorney business valuation

The United States is known for many things, but one of the things that it is proudly known for is the welcoming and nurturing culture surrounding small businesses. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there were approximately 30.7 million small businesses in the country in 2019. If you are like any of the millions of Americans who own a small business, it is likely your most important and most valuable asset. This can prove to be tricky when it comes to divorce. You must determine what you will do with your company, but before you do, you will have to determine what your business is worth.

Methods for Valuation

The easiest way to deal with a business is to sell it and split the profits with your spouse. This, however, is not typically the desired route since most of the time, the business is the source of income. If you want to keep your business, typically you will pay your spouse a portion of the value of the company, but to do that, you must first determine the actual value of it. There are three basic approaches to valuing a business:

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Batavia divorce attorney child support

In situations where the parents of a child are divorced or no longer in a relationship, child support orders are often entered to ensure that the financial responsibility of raising a child is not left up to only one parent. In Illinois, child support is typically paid by the parent who has a smaller portion of the parenting time. The amount of child support that is paid each month is determined by a formula that takes into consideration each parents’ income, parenting time, how many children you are supporting, and how much supporting your children should cost.

Paying your child support obligation is extremely important, not only for the well-being of your children but also so you can avoid any repercussions for nonpayment. If you do not make your payment, you could face significant consequences such as driver’s license suspension, wage garnishment, tax refund interception, and more. The state of Illinois offers various options for paying your child support so there is a confirmation that you are in compliance with the order and a record for the payment exists.

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North Aurora divorce attorney order enforcement

There are many steps in the divorce process, but the one that nearly everyone looks forward to is the final step -- the prove-up. If you and your ex-spouse were able to keep your divorce out of the courtroom, this is the only time you will have actually appeared before a judge. Even if you had to settle your divorce in court, either way, your divorce is finalized once the judge signs the decree. This can be a huge weight lifted off of your shoulders, but in some high-conflict divorces, the feeling of relief may be short-lived. It can be extremely frustrating if your spouse does not adhere to the terms of the decree after you spent so much time hashing things out. Fortunately, if your former spouse is wilfully disobeying your divorce decree, there are things you can do to rectify the situation.

Determining if There Is a Violation

Before you do anything, you should first make sure that your ex is indeed in violation of your divorce decree. For your ex-spouse to be considered in contempt of court, you must have a valid and current court order. Your ex must also be willfully in contempt of a court order, rather than non-willful contempt. This means that your ex must be knowingly and meaningfully violating the order.

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North Aurora high-conflict divorce attorney

There is always bound to be some disagreement in a divorce, even if the couple is fairly amicable. When a couple has children, arguments can become even more heated, especially when they are arguments on issues concerning the children. Sometimes, one parent thinks that they know what is best for the child, while the other parent also thinks they know what is best, though they disagree on what exactly that is. In other cases, a parent may just be so blindsided by his or her own feelings about the other parent that he or she uses the child as a pawn to get what he or she wants in the divorce settlement. If you are expecting your divorce to be filled with conflict, a skilled attorney can help protect your rights throughout the proceedings. 

Assigning Representation

Just as both parents are entitled to legal representation in a divorce, so are children. Either parent can request that his or her child have his or her own legal representation when dealing with certain issues such as parenting time, allocation of parental responsibilities, education, parentage, or child support. In some cases, a judge might order legal representation to be assigned to a child if the parents cannot come to an agreement on one or more of these issues. There are three different types of child legal representation that are recognized by the court, but one of the most common forms is called a guardian ad litem.

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North Aurora divorce attorney parenting plan

When you have children, you typically envision the life you want to give them, one full of love and happiness from both parents. Making the decision to separate or get a divorce is difficult when you have children for that very reason. Suddenly, your vision is no longer the same loving image of a happy family and that can be devastating for everyone involved. Emotions play a big role in divorce, whether you would like to admit it or not. Sometimes, those emotions can be so overwhelming that it feels as if you cannot even be in the same room with your spouse anymore. If you have children, you do not have that option, especially when you are in the process of getting the divorce and you do not yet have any final plans in place. Parenting while you go through this process can seem unmanageable at times, but an Illinois divorce attorney can help you navigate this new normal.

Request Temporary Orders

During your divorce, negotiations will take place to form final orders for things such as child support, parenting time, and decision-making responsibilities. Once your divorce is finalized, those orders will also be finalized and will become effective. Until that happens, however, you can request temporary orders from the court to be effective until more permanent ones come along. This can be immensely helpful for couples who have a great deal of conflict because it can reduce some of the uncertainty about the children’s schedule. Temporary orders for parenting time and child support can both be issued to last during the divorce.

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North Aurora parenting plan attorney

One of the biggest concerns that people have about divorce is how it affects the children who are stuck in the middle of these situations. Multiple studies have been conducted on the effect of divorce on kids throughout their lives and while research is always ongoing, these studies have shown that the divorce itself is not what affects children -- it is the conflict to which they are exposed. Some children who have divorced parents grow up to be successful and well-adjusted adults, while some have more trouble. The children who grew up to be successful tended to be from families in which the divorce was fairly peaceful, while the ones who experienced issues were usually from families that had a lot of conflict and stress because of the divorce. When you have children, you do not get to simply forget about your child’s other parent and never see him or her again. The reality is, you must be willing to compromise and communicate with your child’s other parent for child-rearing. Unfortunately, some couples simply cannot seem to make co-parenting work. The good news is that there are alternatives to co-parenting, with the most popular option being parallel parenting.

What Is Parallel Parenting?

In many ways, parallel parenting is much like co-parenting. In both instances, you and your ex still both have parenting time with your children. However, in a parallel parenting situation, you and your ex are much more disengaged from one another, unlike in a co-parenting relationship. It helps to think of its namesake -- parallel lines. They always run in the same direction but angled in such a way that they never collide. For example, in a parallel parenting agreement, the parents may communicate or even see each other only to make a decision about the children’s medical care or schooling, but then make day-to-day decisions on their own while the kids are in their care.

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Yorkville parenting plan attorney

Even when a divorce is friendly and parents are amicable with one another, co-parenting is not easy work. Co-parenting takes a lot of effort, communication, and a willingness to work together to be successful. In an ideal situation, both parents would be willing to put their own feelings and hurt aside to come together as a parental unit for their children. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. Sometimes, a parent can get so caught up in their own emotions and personal vendettas that they lose sight of what is best for their children. The following advice can help you and your ex-spouse work together for the sake of your kids.

Making Co-Parenting Easier

Cooperative co-parenting is what every parent aims for after divorce from their children’s other parent. While it may seem difficult, effective co-parenting is not impossible. It simply takes a little bit of time and effort to make it work. If you are at odds with how to cope with an uncooperative co-parent, here are a few tips that can make things a little easier:

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Kane County parenting time modification attorney

When making divorce arrangements, the idea is that the terms will last a lifetime. While this may work for some of the areas in a divorce, such as property division, parenting plan arrangements may not last the test of time. There are a number of reasons why someone may want to modify a parenting plan, but the court will only allow it if it is in the best interest of the child. What a parent thinks is best for the child and what the court sees as best for the child can be extremely different. That is why it is important to work with an experienced divorce attorney to determine what circumstances warrant these adjustments.

Danger Is a Possibility

The primary instance in which a parenting plan agreement is modified is if a child is in harm’s way. If domestic violence is present in either of the child’s assigned homes, a court will immediately take action to protect the child. If the custodial parent is showing signs of abuse toward his or her child, the agreement may be modified so that the child no longer lives in that household. If the non-custodial parent is suspected of abuse, he or she may be required to have supervised visitation with the child or may lose visitation rights altogether.

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North Aurora high-conflict divorce attorney

In today’s world, single-parent households are much more common than they were decades ago. According to the United States Census Bureau, more than 25 percent of American children do not live in a household with both of their parents. While not all children living with a single parent have experienced a divorce, many children have and they are typically able to cope with their parent’s divorce. However, the single factor that has been determined to harm children during a divorce is continued conflict between the parents. As stressful as a high-conflict divorce can be to you, it can be even more consequential for your children. 

Conflicted About Their Loyalty

Children are naturally loyal to both of their parents, but this can become conflicting for them during a divorce. When there is a lot of contention and disagreement in a divorce, the kids can feel like they are in the middle and must choose one parent over the other. When the children are with one parent, they miss the other parent and thus may feel guilty about that. The greater the degree of conflict between parents, the greater the loyalty conflict is.

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Geneva divorce attorney

The difficulty level of your divorce depends on a variety of factors, but perhaps one of the most important aspects is how much you and your spouse are willing to cooperate with one another throughout the process. If you and your spouse agree to be amicable, your divorce will be much less stressful. It can be frustrating when you are trying to facilitate cooperation while your spouse has made it clear that he or she is refusing to compromise. Dealing with a combative spouse can not only make your divorce much more taxing, but it can also bring about issues that are not typically found in amicable or uncontested divorces. If you are facing a contentious divorce, you may want to take the following steps to ensure that you can resolve your disputes effectively:

Know What Your End Goal Is

In most modern divorces, rather than going to court, many spouses work together with the help of their respective attorneys to settle their divorce issues. However, some couples who simply cannot come to an agreement may end up having to go to court so a judge can make decisions on their behalf. However, it is often best to try to avoid a divorce trial if possible. Even though you and your spouse may not see eye to eye on every issue, resolving your disputes outside the courtroom can save a great deal of time, expense, and emotional anguish.

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North Aurora property division attorney

If you and your spouse own a home or other real estate, and you are planning to get a divorce, you must determine a way to divide the value of the home. In Illinois, marital property is subject to division in an equitable manner if you get a divorce. This does not necessarily mean that the value of all property is split in half and given to each spouse. Instead, the marital estate will be distributed equitably between the spouses based on a variety of factors. This means that one spouse could end up getting a larger portion of the marital estate. With that in mind, it is extremely important that you know the true value of your home before you begin the asset division process. Having your home appraised is a simple way to do this.

Benefits of a Home Appraisal

Home appraisers are often used when people want to sell their homes. An appraisal is considered an official “market value” of what a home is worth, and it can then be used to price a home to sell. Even if you do not plan on selling your home, getting an appraisal is an important step in knowing what your home is truly worth. Once you have it appraised, the appraiser will provide you with official documentation of your house’s value. This document can be used as proof of your home’s value in court or in negotiations involving the division of property.

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St. Charles divorce attorney

Everyone has most likely heard these four words together before: “We need to talk.” Even if this phrase has not been related to relationship problems, it is still likely to elicit a few anxious and nervous feelings. Ending a relationship is never easy to do, especially when you have decided to dissolve your marriage and get a divorce. Whether you are the person breaking the news or the person on the receiving end, that conversation will likely be one of the most difficult and painful conversations you will ever have. It may also end up being a discussion that both sets the tone for the divorce and that you and your spouse remember forever. 

Breaking the News

Before you have the divorce conversation with your spouse, it is important to carefully consider his or her feelings, as well as those of your children to make the transition easier. Here are a few things you should keep in mind: 

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Batavia guardianship attorney

It has often been said that the only two things in life that are certain are death and taxes. While this is true, there is also one other thing that is certain: everyone gets older and will eventually need assistance with daily tasks and/or making decisions. When that time comes, it is important to have the correct legal documents and orders in place, such as a guardianship or power of attorney, in order to protect yourself and maintain a good quality of life.

Powers of Attorney

A power of attorney (POA) is a legally binding document that gives a designated person (referred to as your "agent") the ability to act on your behalf if you become incapacitated. There are two types of power of attorney. Power of attorney for healthcare allows a person to make decisions about medical care or other personal needs, while power of attorney for property allows a person to make decisions about financial matters and the property or assets you own.

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Aurora parenting time attorney

Depending on where you are in your divorce proceedings, you may not have given much thought about what will happen after everything is said and done. The divorce process usually consumes all of your attention and energy, leaving you little to none to devote to focusing on the future. Most people who file for divorce have a general idea of how the process works, but what they do not know is what happens after everything is over. Life after divorce can be intimidating, but you should also think of it as the beginning of the rest of your life. You may be surprised at what the next chapter holds. 

Expect the Unexpected 

Going through a divorce under any circumstances can be life-changing, but may also be a fresh start. Here are a few things that you may not be expecting after your Illinois divorce:

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Geneva divorce attorney

At the beginning of your marriage, both you and your betrothed were likely bright-eyed and crazy in love. However, life rarely works out the way you plan. One day, you may find yourself trying to figure out how to tell the person with whom you once wanted to spend the rest of your life that you want a divorce. Unfortunately, not everyone feels the same in the end. Sometimes, the other spouse does not think the relationship is over and does not want a divorce. Even though this can make the legal process of ending your marriage more challenging, you can still obtain a divorce if your spouse refuses to acknowledge your desire for one.

Handling a Spouse Who Refuses to Call it Quits

In the state of Illinois, the divorce process is started when you file a Petition For Dissolution of Marriage with the clerk of the court in your jurisdiction. This officially asks the court to legally terminate your marriage, and it also establishes you as the petitioner and your spouse as the respondent. Once you have filed your petition, you are then responsible for notifying your spouse of your intent to divorce and of the hearing that will be held before the judge. Your spouse has 30 days from the date you filed the petition to file a response to the notice.

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North Aurora parenting plan attorney

In the United States, healthcare can be an extremely complicated topic, especially for children. After a divorce, many parents find that managing the medical care of their children may be wrought with arguments, tension, and stress. Although there is no guarantee that you can eliminate all issues down the road, planning for your child’s healthcare before your divorce is finalized is a good idea. Some children may need more managed, targeted medical treatment, while other children may only need a yearly checkup. Every family is different, so putting your child’s medical plan in writing can help save you from future disputes.

Managing Your Child’s Health Insurance

Part of the child support obligation that parents share is intended to cover some basic medical expenses, but the court will likely also require you to have medical insurance for your child. Either parent can opt to include the child on medical insurance coverage that he or she has through an employer. The cost of the health insurance premium for the child is typically added to the monthly support amount and split between the parents.

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Geneva divorce attorney

Whether you finally made the decision to leave your spouse, or you are in the middle of your divorce, you may find yourself immersed in a sea of emotions. Even divorces in which you and your spouse are on the same page can be stressful. All of the major life changes that divorce brings can also cause a lot of emotional, mental, and even physical distress. It is important to consider how you can best manage your stress both in the current moment and in the future. Below are a few practical ways to handle the rollercoaster of emotions during divorce:

Give Yourself Permission to Acknowledge Your Feelings

It is entirely normal to feel a range of emotions after you have made the decision to get a divorce. After all, you and your spouse did vow to spend the rest of your lives together at one point. It is important to understand that it is okay to feel sad, angry, depressed, bitter, scared, and even relieved or excited at some points. Allowing yourself to acknowledge and express these emotions is a step toward moving on with the next chapter of your life.

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North Aurora parenting time attorney

When you created your parenting plan during your divorce, it contained a lot of information. It included what you and your spouse’s parenting time schedules looked like, who your child would spend vacations and school holidays with, and how you and your spouse would settle child-related disputes. What your parenting plan likely did not contain was a game plan for co-parenting during a health crisis, such as the one the world is experiencing with COVID-19. Unprecedented situations may warrant a change in everyone’s routine, so it is important to be flexible and willing to compromise with your ex-spouse while considering your child’s best interests.  

Working Together for Your Child’s Well-Being 

The worldwide coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we go about our daily lives for weeks and in some places, even months. Co-parenting is not an easy task, and it can become even more difficult during a crisis because of the stress and uncertainty that family members are experiencing. Even so, here are a few things you should keep in mind while you navigate co-parenting during this challenging time:

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Geneva parenting time attorney

When you have children, and you get a divorce, the state of Illinois requires you to decide on and make arrangements for your children’s affairs after the divorce is over. Not only do you have to determine how parenting time will be split between you and your spouse, but you also have to decide on other issues, such as how major life decisions will be made for the kids. The law states that every decision concerning the children in an Illinois divorce should be made in the children’s best interests, but parents may not always agree on these issues. In some cases, the court will intervene and often order an evaluation to be completed before any determinations regarding the allocation of parental responsibilities (child custody) are made.

What Happens During the Evaluation?

If divorcing parents tell the judge that they cannot come to an agreement on any of the child-related issues, the judge will typically order a trained professional to conduct an evaluation to help determine what would be in the children’s best interests. These often include mental health professionals, such as psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, and counselors who have experience dealing with family disputes.

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Geneva collaborative divorce attorney

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of divorce? You probably think of a couple who is frustrated, upset, or hostile toward each other, in and out of courtrooms, and fighting over every single little issue. While it is true that some partners can be very stubborn and combative, many spouses are not that adversarial with one another. In fact, the majority of divorces only require one courtroom visit, which is to have a judge finalize and sign your divorce decree. Depending on your relationship with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, you may be able to benefit from the collaborative divorce process.

What Is a Collaborative Divorce?

In a traditional litigated divorce, each spouse retains his or her own attorney who is present to advocate for his or her best interests. First, the lawyers attempt to conduct negotiations privately, but if there is too much disagreement between the spouses, then the proceedings are taken to court, where a judge determines the outcomes of the matters that need to be resolved, including the division of property and child-related issues such as parenting time.

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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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