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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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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Oswego parenting time attorney

The ultimate goal of all parents is to make sure their children are happy and healthy. In cases in which parents are divorced or are no longer together, disagreements may arise when it comes to determining what is best for their kids. In divorce cases, you must address certain child-related issues, such as parenting time and decision-making responsibilities. Illinois courts strongly encourage couples to work together to come up with a plan for their family, but this does not always work. Sometimes, a parent will do whatever they can to get their way when it comes to the custody of the children. If it is known that a parent uses marijuana, the other parent may attempt to use that fact to their advantage. 

Marijuana Laws in Illinois

Medical marijuana has been legal in the state of Illinois since 2014. Those with a variety of qualifying conditions have been able to use cannabis as a way to treat certain diseases and conditions. At the beginning of 2020, recreational marijuana became legal for most adults in Illinois. As long as you are over the age of 21, you are legally permitted to purchase and consume cannabis in Illinois, although in certain amounts and in designated places. It is important to note that the drug still remains federally illegal.

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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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Aurora child support enforcement attorneyIn Illinois divorces, it is not uncommon for child support or spousal support to be awarded to the appropriate parties. A support order of either type is a legally binding court order, meaning failure to pay can result in severe consequences. The state of Illinois understands that many families rely on these support payments in order to provide for themselves and their children. Because of this, failure to pay child support or spousal support is taken very seriously.

What Constitutes Failure to Support?

According to the Illinois Non-Support Punishment Act, failure to support can occur in a few different ways. If a person commits any of the following actions, they can be held in contempt of court:

  • Willfully, and without any lawful excuse, refusing to provide for the support or maintenance of his or her spouse, with the knowledge that the spouse is in need of such support or maintenance.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois parenting time and responsibilities lawyer,Divorce is difficult for everyone in the family, but it can be especially difficult for fathers who are going through a divorce. Even though it is 2019 and most people agree with the fact that a child does his or her best when both parents are involved in their life, fathers are often given the short end of the stick when it comes to divorce. Mothers are still seen as the primary caregiver and are often still given preference when making determinations about parenting time and decision-making rights. Though it may seem that there are numerous societal and cultural factors that are working against fathers, having help from a divorce lawyer who focuses on father’s rights can be beneficial. Here are four things you can do to be a good dad after your divorce:

Fight for Your Right to Parenting Time

Unfortunately, the court systems tend to favor the mothers over the fathers when it comes to parenting time. This can spell difficulty for fathers who want to play an active part in their child’s life, so it is important that you are tenacious about fighting for parenting time. When you attend parenting time hearings, make sure you are attentive, you listen to the judge and you show the judge that you care about your children.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois parenting time and responsibilities lawyer,When you have children and you are getting a divorce, there are many things you must worry about. Before you can finalize your Illinois divorce, you and your spouse must come to an agreement on a parenting plan, you must determine who gets child support and how much that support will be and you also have to figure out how the children will spend time between you and your spouse. Most of the time, parents will have similar parenting time schedules, as long as there are no extenuating circumstances that would require the children to spend more time with one parent. Parenting time exchanges can be stressful for both you and your children, but they can be easier with a little effort. Here are a few ways you can help your parenting time exchanges go by a little smoother. Make a Visible Schedule for Your Children Sometimes, it can be difficult for children to adjust to changes, especially when they are happening in their family. Making a visible schedule for your children to look at can help ease some of the stress and anxiety that your children may be feeling. Communicate with Your Ex-Spouse You should make sure you keep an open line of communication with your ex-spouse when you have children. Though you and your spouse’s romantic relationship is over, you will always have a connection to each other through your children. In order to avoid any uncertainties or confusion, keep in contact with your child’s other parent. Meet in a Neutral Place If you and your spouse have had a hostile relationship, it could be beneficial for everyone involved to meet in a public place to exchange the children. Meeting on neutral territory can help deter any arguments or altercations that may take place. Try to Be on Time It happens -- sometimes you are just late, no matter how hard you try to be on time. As soon as you realize that you are running behind schedule, let the other parent know so they do not think you are just being inconsiderate of their time. Hire a Skilled DuPage County Parenting Time Lawyer

Divorces can be tough on children, especially if they spend time with both parents and switch between them often. By getting into contact with an Aurora, IL parenting time attorney, you can be reassured that you have a solid parenting plan in place to minimize any conflicts you and your spouse may have. At the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., we understand the difficulty that divorce can bring to a family. Let us help your family find peace after your Illinois divorce. Call our office today to set up a consultation.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois parenting time and responsibilities lawyer,According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), there are around 44 million people who experience a mental illness in any given year and around 10 million adults live with a chronic mental illness. Mental illness can include a vast variety of diseases, including bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, eating disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder, though the most common mental illnesses in the United States are depression and anxiety disorders. Going through a divorce can affect those with a mental illness more than the average person, emotionally and mentally. While it is not a major and definite factor in deciding parenting time and responsibilities in Illinois, it can play a factor.

Making Decisions Involving Children in a Divorce

According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, when a judge is making decisions involving children in a divorce, he or she must make those decisions in consideration of the child’s best interests. Many factors are taken into consideration when determining the child’s best interests and some of these factors include:

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer,In the United States, the traditional family unit has been changing more and more with each passing year. Families only comprised of a married mother and father and their biological children are now not the only “acceptable” form of a family. With the legalization of gay marriage in the U.S. in 2015, more families are composed of same-sex couples with adopted children. With divorce becoming more common and more socially acceptable, blended families have also become more common. Sometimes, to complete a blended family, step-parents may want to adopt their spouse’s children. This is called stepparent adoption and it is the most common form of adoption in the U.S.

Special Considerations

Related and unrelated adoptions are very similar in some ways, but also very different. Related adoptions can often be easier to complete than unrelated adoptions, but they do come with their own specific set of factors that should be taken into consideration. These include:

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resolutionWe all know how most New Year’s resolutions work -- you come up with grandiose ideas about how you will change and be different, you follow them for about a month and then you go back to your same old routines. While keeping resolutions can be difficult, there is no better time to take a look at your life and do a little introspection and self-reflection than the beginning of a new year, especially if you are recently divorced or you are looking to begin the divorce process. Divorces can be messy and difficult, but keep these few New Year’s resolutions in mind and you could come out of your divorce on top. Let Go of Your Anger and Make a Point to Be Happy A divorce can cause you to feel many emotions, including anger, fury, contempt, and hate. It can be one of the hardest things to do, but once you let go of your anger, you will find that you will be much more relaxed and that it will be easier for you to be happy. Instead of taking your anger out on your ex, release your anger and forgive your ex for anything they might have done. It will be in your family’s best interest for you to move on. Focus on Improving Communication with Your Ex You have probably heard it many times before, but communication is key, especially when it comes to co-parenting. Being a single parent is tough, but being a single parent who has to coordinate with an ex who they do not get along with is even tougher. Your kids (and you) will have an easier time with custody transitions if you and your ex can communicate effectively. Make a Point to Spend Quality Time with Your Children Though you may have your kids a majority of the time or even the same amount of time as your ex, it is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Making time for your children is extremely important after a divorce because now every moment you spend with them is more precious than ever. Focus on your children and make sure that they feel loved and accepted -- more than they ever have before. Hire an Aurora, IL Divorce Attorney to Help You Through Your Divorce

Divorces can be confusing and messy, both of which are not traits you want to associate with your new life. Whether you are just starting to think about a divorce, you want to begin the divorce process or you are in the middle of the divorce process, at the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., we can help you with all aspects of the divorce. Keeping New Year’s resolutions can be tough, but with help from our knowledgeable DuPage County divorce lawyers, sticking to your resolutions will be a breeze. Call our office today at 630-409-8184 to set up a consultation.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody lawyer,Thanksgiving is the holiday that marks the time of year when fall is officially over and winter is beginning. For many families, Thanksgiving is the time of year when you gather around the table with your friends and family members and you share a delicious feast that you have cooked yourselves. It is a time to show your appreciation and remember everything you are thankful for, but for many families, Thanksgiving can be a stressful time of year. When you are divorced, many things in your life change, including how you celebrate holidays. If you have children, holidays can be especially difficult to figure out how you will celebrate. Though Thanksgiving can be wrought with stress and sometimes disappointment, here are four tips that may just help you survive this season:

Remember What the Holiday Is Truly About

Thanksgiving is a time for family. With that being said, it is not so much your happiness that is most important, it is your children’s. While the holidays can be stressful for you, it can be even more stressful for your children, because they want to spend it with both of their parents. Even if it is not in the cards for you to spend time with your children on Thanksgiving, do not make your children feel bad for spending time with your ex.

Stick to (or Adapt) Your Parenting Plan

Your parenting plan is going to be one of your most valuable tools in your post-divorce toolbox when it comes to holidays. Your parenting plan should spell out which holidays the children spend with you and which holidays they spend with your ex. The plan should also specify how they spend corresponding school breaks. If you and your ex are on amicable terms, you do not have to follow the parenting plan exactly. You can split time during the day for your children to see you if both of you agree on it. If you and your ex are still hostile toward each other, it is probably best just to stick to the parenting plan.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody lawyer,There could be many reasons why you would want to petition to move out of the area with your child after a divorce - you could be moving for your job, to be closer to family or maybe you just want a change of scenery. Whatever the reason is, as long as you have the majority of parenting time or equal parenting time allocated to you, you can petition to relocate with your child. Typically, relocating with your child requires a change in your existing parenting plan. Though the process to make the change in your parenting plan can be stressful and time-consuming, it is not impossible.

Steps You Must Take

In Illinois, there typically must be a significant change in circumstances before you can change your parenting plan.  A relocation constitutes a significant change. If you plan on relocating with your child, you are required to submit a written notice of relocation to your child’s other parent within 60 days of relocating. If you do not provide notice, the court can use that as a factor in considering whether or not the relocation is in good faith.

Deciding Factors the Court Uses

If the other parent agrees to the relocation, then the relocation will be granted. If the other parent disagrees with the relocation, the court can modify the parenting plan and will use the following factors to make the decision:

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Illinois custody attorney, Illinois family law attorney, Illinois divorce lawyer,The idea of leaving your children parentless due to a tragic illness or accident is not a thought on which many like to dwell. However, taking necessary steps now to establish a clear and legal guardianship plan for your children can provide a measure of relief knowing you have prepared for their safekeeping.

What to Do, How to Do It

Preparing for the care of your children in the event of your death can be an easy process if one adheres to established laws and procedures. Ensuring your guardianship plan passes legal muster will prevent others from contesting guardianship, and wresting away custody of your children from those who you want to raise your kids. Before you get started, however, you probably have some questions:

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Child Custody Plans as Part of Your Divorce, divorce, child custody, child support, family law, law office, DuPage County child custody lawyersDuring divorce proceedings that involve custody and parenting rights of minor children, judges and attorneys refer to applicable laws intended to create a mutually-agreeable outcome. As divorce laws in Illinois undergo a multi-year overhaul, changes to laws governing child custody, now referred to as “parental responsibilities,” were enacted a little over one year ago.

While new laws take into consideration the realities of the modern, dual-income household, final custody decisions place the welfare and well-being of the child(ren) as its primary concern and could result in either joint or sole custody orders.

Basic Parental Responsibilities Detailed in a Child Custody Plan

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custody, DuPage County family law attorneyA popular—albeit rather infamous—YouTube personality who goes by the username “DaddyOFive” has lost custody of two of his children. The kids are currently staying with their biological mother. The father gained notoriety on the video sharing site when he started posting videos of interactions between himself, his current wife, and children. The videos contain a number of “pranks” played on the children—acts which many viewers and commenters found to be cruel and even abusive.

Pushing Things Too Far

In one controversial video, a smiling woman appears and explains that her stepson had previously gotten in trouble for spilling ink on the carpet. She tells the camera that she is going to act like the child did it again. The woman sprays disappearing ink onto the carpet, then she and the child’s father call the son into the room. What follows is disturbing to many viewers: The two adults verbally berate the child for the spilled ink, screaming and cursing loudly at him. The child begins crying as he desperately tries to explain that he did not spill the ink. The verbal abuse goes on for an agonizing three full minutes before the parents laughingly tell the child that it was “just a prank.”

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domestic violence, DuPage County family law attorneyFalse accusations of domestic violence are, sadly, all too common in family law cases. Such allegations are problematic for a number of reasons. First, they undermine legitimate efforts by organizations throughout the country to prevent and eliminate the very real problem of domestic abuse that occurs in many families. Of course, false accusations also create serious issues for the person who has been accused. If that person is you, it is important to understand what you can do in family court to defend yourself.

Protective Orders and Temporary Restraining Orders

Victims and purported victims of domestic violence in Illinois are able to apply for an emergency protective order or a temporary restraining order without any advance notice to the alleged abuser. If the court finds that the victim is currently in danger and immediate action is required to keep him or her safe, an order of protection will be issued. Once the order is issued, a law enforcement officer will serve a copy of the order on the alleged abuser.

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property, DuPage County divorce attorneyWhen a couple gets divorced, one of the most contentious aspects of the process involves the identification and division of marital property. For many couples, the marital estate is a physical representation of their life together, making it very difficult for the parties to reach a reasonable resolution.

If you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement regarding your property, the issue will be left to the court to decide. Such a situation leads many to assume that the court will simply divide the marital estate into equal halves, and allocate 50 percent of the marital property to one spouse and 50 percent to the other. According to Illinois law, however, this is not exactly the case.

Equitable Distribution

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Posted on in Children of divorce

holidays, DuPage County family law attorneyThe holidays are supposed to be a time of joy to be celebrated with loved ones, but the season can be stressful and difficult, especially for those who are going through a divorce or have divorced. The holiday season can seem lonely and challenging, with divided families and uprooted traditions. If you are divorced, and especially if you have children, it is important to be prepared for the holidays so that they can be pleasant for everyone involved.

Parenting Concerns

If you are divorced with children, yoiur parenting plan will likely dictate what to do during a holiday. In Illinois, parents have the right to spend time with their children unless it would endanger the child’s health or well-being. For many people, holidays are an important time to spend with children and family.

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new partner, DuPage County family law attorneyWhen you are required to pay alimony—also known as spousal maintenance under Illinois law—your payments are intended to help your former spouse alleviate some of the financial impact of the divorce. To a certain extent, maintenance is also used to help an economically disadvantaged spouse retain a semblance of the lifestyle the two of you enjoyed during your marriage. But, what happens when your spouse meets someone new? Could his or her new relationship affect your requirements for continuing spousal support payments?

An order for spousal maintenance is typically set for a specific number of months or years. Alternatively, the payments may be ordered to continue on a permanent basis. “Permanent,” however, only means that there is no date set on which the order will be terminated. It does mean that the payments will continue forever no matter what. There are certain factors or occurrences that could allow you to stop paying maintenance to your ex-spouse despite a permanent award.

Standard of Living

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Posted on in Divorce

divorce, DuPage County divorce lawyerOver the last several decades, American society has become much more accepting of divorce than in previous generations. In fact, one could even argue that it has become too accepted. Many of us now speak of divorce very casually, as if it that is something that happens to just about everyone. The reality is much more painful, however, when you are facing the possibility of your own divorce. It is no longer something that happens all the time; it is a major life event that can have long-term effects on your future and that of your children. If you are considering a divorce, you owe it to yourself, your children, and your spouse to be absolutely certain that you are making the right choice.

The Healing Process

For many individuals faced with a likely divorce, they begin to move on as soon as the process begins. If you definitively tell your spouse that you want a divorce, there is no taking it back. You may change your mind, but if you do, your spouse’s ability to trust your word may be greatly diminished going forward. Do not say you want a divorce until you know it is true. This way, you and your spouse can begin to heal in your own ways, even as the proceedings are ongoing.

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Posted on in Visitation

parenting time, DuPage County family law attorneysThere are many scenarios that could lead to you having significantly less parenting time with your child than the other parent. Perhaps you were not married when your child was born and the court granted the other parent all of the decision-making responsibilities for the child and most of the parenting time. Or, maybe at the time of your divorce, you had serious issues with anger or showed signs of alcohol abuse, leading the court to limit the danger to your child. Whatever the reason may be, if you have precious little time with your child, you want to make the most of it. If the other parent is making it difficult for you to exercise your right to parenting time, a qualified family lawyer can help.

Get Things in Writing

Being denied access to your child can incredibly frustrating, especially if it is being done out of spite or anger. A finding of danger by the court is one thing, but the unsanctioned actions of the other parent are not acceptable. The first thing you should do if your parenting time rights are being unfairly limited is to keep a record of all communication between you and the other parent. Using emails or text messages instead of phone calls or in-person conversations can provide the documentation you may need down the road. If you ask to see your child and the other parent refuses, document his or her response. Failure by the other parent to comply with your court-ordered parenting arrangement could result in serious consequences for him or her.

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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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