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

st-charles-il-alimony-lawyer.jpgFor some people, meeting a new partner with whom they feel more compatible is a compelling reason to end an unhappy or unfulfilling relationship and try for something better. For couples who got married very young or who have been in a miserable marriage for many years, the light at the end of the tunnel of divorce can make it easy to ignore the fact that having a new partner before your divorce is finalized can have some unintended consequences. 

One of the areas that a new partner can impact is that of spousal support, also known as alimony. If you are thinking about initiating an Illinois divorce and are wondering whether you should ask for spousal support or how spousal support payments are determined, read on and then contact a skilled Kane County attorney who can help. 

When is Spousal Support Awarded? 

Spousal support is not available to every divorcee and, even when it is available, certain circumstances can end it right away. Spouses are encouraged to work together to agree to a mutually acceptable divorce decree, including spousal support payments. When you already have a new partner or your marriage is high-conflict for other reasons, your spouse may be unwilling to negotiate a spousal support agreement that feels fair. 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_oswego-divorce-attorney.jpgDivorce presents a complex set of challenges to couples, especially when they have been married for a long time. While spouses usually have their own friends, a couple’s social network is often made up of other couples, church communities, neighborhood friends, and parents of children who are friends with a couple’s children. Dividing these social groups in a divorce may feel inevitable and the loss of friendships can feel like a twisted knife in an already deep wound. If you are going through an Illinois divorce and are looking for strategies to help you maintain important shared friendships, here are three ideas that may help. 

Remember That Your Divorce is Hard For Friends, Too 

In addition to the inherent awkwardness of reconfiguring relationships without your spouse around, your divorce may cause your friends to feel grief and confusion as well. While that may seem unfair, social support groups are intimately connected and friends often rely on each other’s relationships to support their own. Be willing to hear your friends’ perspectives on your situation; it may give you a chance to step away from your own feelings, which can be a relief. 

Avoid Making Your Mutual Friends Your Therapist

If you have a great girl or guy friend whom you trust to keep your secrets confidential, feel free to speak to him or her about your divorce. But for friends you share with your spouse, it is best to avoid getting into the dirty details of your relationship. It puts pressure on friends to take sides and issue judgment against one spouse, which can make them feel uncomfortable and retreat from friendship with either of you. 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_kendall-county-divorce-lawyer.jpgWhile couples who get divorced later in life may avoid many of the challenges related to children and divorce, they still face a challenging set of issues that must be resolved before the divorce can be finalized. The question foremost on the minds of many “gray” adults is whether dividing several decades’ of finances will leave both spouses able to live on their own for the rest of their lives. If you are considering divorce and are nearing or past retirement age, here are three financial considerations to keep in mind as you plan your divorce. 

Retirement Accounts Must Be Divided

Any value in a retirement account that was accumulated during a marriage will need to be divided in a divorce. Some spouses do divide their retirement accounts using a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, but other spouses avoid literally dividing the account by negotiating the value of other assets. For example, one spouse may wish to keep the entire value of a marital home and live on their Social Security payments while the other spouse wishes to keep the entire value of a substantial retirement fund. As long as both spouses agree to the terms and the division is fair, an Illinois judge will approve the terms of a couple’s asset division agreement. 

Estate Plans Must Be Rewritten

Because a couple’s estate plan is a carefully written instrument intended to pass on a family legacy to children, rewriting an estate plan after divorce can be a difficult or sad experience. However, it is crucial not to delay or avoid rewriting your estate plan as part of your overall divorce process. Failing to promptly address your will could have serious consequences for your estate and can place an undue burden on your executor and beneficiaries. 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_geneva-il-divorce-lawyer_20220615-150350_1.jpgThousands of people get divorced in Illinois every year and the vast majority of these divorces are resolved without pursuing traditional courtroom litigation. Because litigation is increasingly seen as unnecessarily combative, expensive, and time-consuming (to say nothing of its harmful effects on any minor children involved), judges order most divorcing couples to seek mediation to resolve their differences outside of court. 

However, mediation, collaborative divorce, and other cooperative divorce efforts are not always safe or possible. For some couples, a judge’s supervision and expertise are necessary to ensure that spouses who are victims of domestic violence or financial abuse are treated safely and fairly throughout the divorce process. In situations like these, litigation can become very hostile and contested. When spouses disagree about issues of fact, expert witnesses may be necessary to argue the case of one or both spouses. 

Why Would an Expert Witness Be Necessary? 

Divorces frequently involve contested personal matters that are often difficult to prove beyond the personal testimony each spouse offers. But when the contested matters involve questions of fact, expert witnesses can provide specific information and evidence to strengthen a spouse’s case before a judge. Usually, these matters involve children and finances. 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_batavia-il-divorce-attorney.jpgAddictive and compulsive behaviors are frequent causes of divorce in Illinois. Substance abuse issues make it very difficult to sustain a safe, stable family life while shopping and gambling addictions can make it impossible to live within a family’s means. Unfortunately, these behaviors can also complicate the divorce process, potentially making it very stressful. If you are pursuing an Illinois divorce from a spouse with addictive behaviors, here are four tips that may be helpful. 

Put Your Children’s Needs First

You do not need to be married to a spouse with addiction issues for long to understand how emotionally draining trying to help them can be. Trying to make ends meet, ensuring everybody is safe, and managing your day-to-day activities can be nearly impossible when you are essentially single-parenting and dealing with your spouse as well. But now that you have decided to get divorced, shift your focus to yourself and your children. Make sure they have what they need and try to minimize the difficulties they experience as you separate from your spouse. If necessary, pursue sole parental rights so you can keep them safe. And while you are at it, remember to take care of yourself, too. 

Collect Evidence

Addictive personalities tend to leave a trail of destruction in their wake. While this is exhausting to deal with, it can make it easy to document certain behaviors. Overdrawn bank accounts, photos of physical abuse, and arrest records may all play an important role in showing a judge that your spouse is unsafe or unpredictable. Depending on your spouse’s addiction, you may want to consider getting a financial restraining order to prevent them from wasting money before the divorce is finalized. 

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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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