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


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

Yorkville Office By Appointment

Initial Consultations via ZOOM Available

aurora divorce lawyerMany divorcing couples say that making the final decision to get divorced is one of the toughest decisions they have ever made. Whether a couple decides to get divorced together or only one spouse makes the decision, the impact of divorce affects everybody involved in different ways. When a couple shares children, the emotional challenges of divorce can be especially difficult. 

If you are entering the new year and trying to decide whether getting divorced is the right choice for you, here are some things you may want to consider. Remember that an experienced divorce attorney who knows Illinois law is the best person to offer customized answers to your questions. 

Predict How Your Spouse Will React

Nobody can read someone else’s mind, but by the time couples have been married for many years, they may as well be able to. Knowing how your spouse is likely to react to a request for divorce can help you plan ahead and take any necessary precautions. Your spouse may initially resist the idea but, depending on how you handle initial discussions, come around to agree that divorce is the best option. Or not. But before you make any decisions, try to consider how your spouse is likely to respond. 


aurora divorce lawyerFor many couples, the marital home is their greatest source of equity. In a divorce where all marital property must be divided, the value of the marital home is of great importance to both spouses. Whether one spouse wishes to buy out the other spouse’s value of the home or not, both parties must be aware of important issues, such as how much equity they have and whether their home’s value is underwater. If you are considering divorce and need to get your home appraised, here are four tips to prepare you for the appraisal so you can get the most value out of your home. 

Know the Costs

Getting an appraisal is not free. The average cost of an appraisal is $300 to $450 for a single-family home. At a time when many American households have little or no savings, the cost of an appraisal can present a challenge. How do you find an appraiser? Who will pay for the appraisal? If the wife is filing for divorce, should she pay for the appraisal, or should both spouses split the cost? These are questions that must be anticipated before hiring an appraiser. 

Understand the Appraiser’s Job 

Regardless of who pays the appraiser, he or she does not work for one spouse in particular. Rather, an appraiser is a neutral party who has one job: Determine the value of a home. In addition to big-ticket items like the house’s size, layout, and position relative to good schools and main traffic arteries, appraisers are also looking for things that will adversely affect the home’s value: Expensive repairs, dirty carpets, a peeling roof. If you and your spouse have waited to do any upgrades or repairs, now may be the time. 


aurora divorce lawyerAlthough divorce trials make for great courtroom dramas, the truth is that very few divorces in Illinois go to trial. This is due to a concerted effort on the part of Illinois courts and judges who recognize that spouses and especially children are not benefited by the time, conflict, and expense involved in trial litigation. Many couples are ordered to exhaust other options, including pursuing mediation or collaborative divorce, for resolving their differences before a divorce case can move forward to a trial. 

However, it is not always possible for couples to agree. Furthermore, issues such as domestic violence can make conflict-resolution strategies impractical or even dangerous. In cases such as these, the allocation of parental responsibilities, parenting time, property division, and spousal maintenance may be resolved by a judge. 

What Happens During Divorce Litigation? 

One of the first steps in a divorce case is a process known as “discovery.” Discovery is a period during which attorneys gather and request facts and evidence, including documents and depositions, from both spouses in preparation for the trial. Depending on the complexity of a divorce, discovery can be the longest part of the divorce case. Attorneys must share materials obtained during discovery with each other so each spouse can make a strong case. 


aurora divorce lawyer Divorce is never easy, but it does not have to be a nightmare. With the help of your attorney, having a third-party mediator to help you and your spouse navigate potentially contentious issues of divorce can make the entire process go faster and more smoothly. Mediation is still a lot of work, but the positive outcome is usually well worth the effort. Our last blog post gave an overview of the mediation process. Here, we offer five great tips for preparing for mediation. 

Be Flexible

Anticipate that unexpected problems, feelings, and requests will arise. If you approach mediation with rigid expectations about how it “should” go, you will ultimately find yourself frustrated and disappointed. Being flexible can apply to your own feelings about the situation, too - you may find that your priorities can shift during mediation, and that is okay. 

Get Ready to Listen 

Mediation can only work if both parties are invested in working together and can give each other the benefit of the doubt. You may think you already know everything that is important to your spouse, but people are often surprised at what they learn when they can really listen with the help of a mediator. Assume your spouse is telling the truth and act as if what they say is important. Doing so creates goodwill that can benefit you when it is your turn to express yourself. 


aurora divorce lawyerOnce a couple has decided to get a divorce, they usually hire their own attorneys to represent them throughout the process. Important issues such as parenting time, division of marital property, and child support must be negotiated and agreed upon, and your attorney will work with you to represent your interests during this process. 

Although divorce can potentially be time-consuming, expensive, and combative, it does not have to be. Mediation is an effective alternative dispute resolution strategy that has helped many divorcing couples agree on complex issues without ever going to trial. Understanding the advantages of mediation can help you decide whether this strategy is right for you. 

What are the Benefits of Mediation? 

Mediation allows a neutral third party to work with spouses, with or without their attorneys present, to resolve issues related to divorce. Mediators are often attorneys and are always trained professionals who are adept at conflict resolution and keeping spouses focused on resolving practical matters rather than hashing out personal conflicts. 

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


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

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