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

630-409-8184

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

Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Aurora family lawyer

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois parenting time and responsibilities lawyer,When you are going through the divorce process, there are issues in which you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse may not be able to come to an agreement on. Child custody is often one of the most contentious and fought over issues in a divorce. Because of this, some couples are forced to appear before a judge so that he or she can make determinations about parenting time and decision-making responsibilities. In some cases, a judge may need more information in order to make an informed decision in the best interest of the child. This is when the judge will request that a custody evaluation be conducted.

The Evaluation Process

Once the court has requested that an evaluation be completed, an evaluator is hired. The evaluator is often a licensed mental health professional, such as a psychologist. Depending on the circumstances, the evaluation can be focused on the parents, the child or both. The job of the evaluator is to gain an understanding of the relationships and interactions between the parents, the child and any other family members in the household. To do this, the evaluator may:

...

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois parenting time and responsibilities lawyer,There was a time in the United State’s history when most families comprised of a mother, a father and their biological children. Now, the “typical” American family has become somewhat of a thing of the past. With more Americans remarrying and same-sex marriage being legalized throughout the country, the “typical” American family is not so predictable anymore. According to the United States Census Bureau, more than half of American families were divorced and remarried or recoupled in 2010. The Bureau also reported that nearly four million children were living in a blended family or stepfamily in 2010.

Blended families face their own unique challenges and can prove to be difficult for some children to adjust to. Here are a few tips you can use to help ensure the success of your blended family:

Plan Your New Family

...

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer,Even though there has been a rise in alternative forms of co-parenting after a divorce, couples typically live in two different residences after they become divorced. Most of the time, children of divorced couples travel between the two parents’ houses according to the parenting time agreed upon by the couple. Illinois recognizes that the presence of both parents in a child’s life is important, which is why more and more couples are receiving equal or nearly equal parenting time. If one spouse has more parenting time than the other spouse, then the spouse with a lesser amount of parenting time will typically be responsible for making child support payments to the other spouse.

Calculating Basic Support Obligations

The first step to calculating child support payments is finding each parent’s monthly gross income. Once the monthly gross income is figured, then the Gross to Net Income Conversion Table is used to figure out each parent’s monthly net income. Then, both parents’ monthly net incomes are added together and the corresponding value is taken from the Income Shares Schedule. The amount from the table is the basic amount of money that should be spent on the child each month for living expenses, food, clothing, and other basic needs.

...
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.

 

Sources:

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/parenting-family/co-parenting-tips-for-divorced-parents.htm/

...
Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer,One of the biggest stressors that many divorcing couples have during -- and after -- their divorce is the children. Many parents worry that a divorce will put too much of a strain on their children, while other parents worry about having enough time with their children. While it is true that a divorce can be difficult for the entire family, children can be more flexible and adaptable than adults. It is generally understood that children do best after a divorce when both of their parents are present and active in their lives. While this is true, many divorced families find that they do not come out of the divorce with the parenting plan they wanted. A new bill, called the “Equal Parenting Time” bill was introduced in Illinois recently, which aims to make it so that more parents have equal parenting time with their children after an Illinois divorce. Current Parenting Time Guidelines

Under the current section in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, parenting time is determined by first encouraging parents to try to come to an agreement on a parenting plan. If both parents do not submit a mutually-agreeable plan to the court, then the court allocates parenting time in accordance with the child’s best interests. When making this decision, the judge looks at a number of factors including, but not limited to:

  • The wishes of each parent;
  • The wishes of the child;
  • The amount of time each parent has performed caretaking functions for the child in the past two years;
  • The mental and physical health of both the parents and the child;
  • The needs of the child;
  • The willingness of each parent to facilitate a relationship between the child and the other parent; and
  • The willingness and ability of each parent to put the child’s needs before their own needs.
Proposed Changes to Guidelines The proposed bill would change a few things about the allocation of parenting time in Illinois. There would be added language which states that, “it is in the child’s best interests to award equal time to each parent.” This means that both parents will be presumed to be fit parents. The court will begin with the presumption that each parent is awarded equal parenting time and then reduce or add time as needed upon findings that conflict with the child’s best interest. Contact a Skilled DuPage County Parenting Time Attorney

Going through a divorce can be difficult. You may feel like you are not in control of your divorce, but with help from an Aurora, IL parenting time lawyer, you can be certain you are getting reliable help. At the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., we can help you and your soon-to-be ex spouse try to settle on an agreeable parenting plan. If you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement on a plan, we can take other measures to ensure you receive the parenting time you need. Call our office today at 630-409-8184 to schedule a consultation.

 

Sources:

...

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:

...

Posted on in Divorce

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, life after divorce,Marriage is not easy. It takes a lot of work, effort, and persistence to make a marriage work, but sometimes it does not matter how hard you try -- you are destined to divorce. According to the National Survey of Family Growth, more than 20 percent of first marriages end in divorce within the first five years and 48 percent of marriages end before they hit 20 years. Divorce is an emotionally stressful and trying process, but sometimes it is one of the best things you can do for you and your spouse. Instead of making life as difficult as possible for both you and your soon-to-be ex, you should try focusing on making your split as healthy and smooth as possible.

Cooperate and Communicate

When you begin the divorce process, you will probably feel a flood of emotions, like anger, grief, and depression. When emotions are running this high, it is easy for you to do and say things that can negatively affect the divorce process. Remember, your emotions are valid, but how you handle them is important. Make sure you maintain an open line of communication with your spouse and remember that cooperation is key.

...

Posted on in Divorce and Holidays

life-divorceMost people have a love or hate relationship with Valentine’s Day. Some people cherish the thought of pink and red hearts, chocolates and flowers. Other people loathe the insincerity of giving presents on a random day to declare your love. For those who are going through a divorce or have recently finalized their divorce, Valentine’s Day can be a giant reminder that you no longer have a significant other. While this can be depressing to some people, you should not let it get you down. Here are five ways you can survive your first Valentine’s Day as a single (or almost single) person:

Do Not Spend the Day Alone

It will help no one if you stay at home and wallow in your sadness all day. Call your friends, spend time with family, volunteer at a homeless shelter or nursing home -- the idea is to surround yourself with people on Valentine’s Day so you do not feel so alone.

...

Illionois defense attorney, Illinois criminal defense lawyerMost people do not spend a lot of their time in court, which can make for some trepidation when you are required to appear. When you get a divorce, no matter the route you decide to take, you will have to appear in court before a judge at least once to finalize your case. When it comes to Illinois divorce cases, dressing for success takes on a whole new meaning. While it may seem ridiculous, the way you dress can have an effect on the outcome of your divorce proceeding. Here are a couple of tips to help you determine what to wear before you attend your divorce proceeding:

Guidelines for Women

The courtroom is a very formal place where you are going to represent yourself to the judge. Because of this, you should aim to dress conservatively and professionally. Women should wear items of clothing such as:

...

paternity-test-DNAIn the state of Illinois, a man is only legally presumed to be the father of a child if the mother was married or in a civil union with him when the child was born or within 300 days before the child was born. If the mother was not married when the child was born, the man she names as the father of the child is then referred to as the alleged father. That man will only become the legal father after one of three things happens:

  • Both parents complete and sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity form when or soon after the child is born;
  • An administrative paternity order is entered into by a child support agency; or
  • An order of paternity has been entered in court by a judge.

If the father contests the paternity of the child, the mother will then have to file a paternity suit that seeks to establish a parent-child relationship between the father and the child. Once you enter into a paternity suit, the judge will more-than-likely order the mother, the alleged father and the child to submit to genetic testing.

Understanding Genetic Testing

...

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:

...

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois guardian ad litemIn divorce cases that are less-than-amicable, things can get heated and they usually get heated quickly. While most divorce cases involve children, those cases can often be the most stressful to deal with. Each parent truly wants what is best for their child, but because of the situation, thoughts on what is best for the child may become skewed or muddied with all of the other feelings that the parent may be feeling toward their spouse. In situations like these, the judge or either of the parents is allowed to request a guardian ad litem (GAL) to be a part of any child-related decisions.

What Is a Guardian ad Litem?

In Latin, guardian ad litem literally translates to “guardian for the lawsuit.” In modern-day divorce cases, a guardian ad litem is typically assigned to cases when they are ordered by the judge, but either spouse of the divorce can request a guardian ad litem for their child. The guardian ad litem is a guardian appointed to your specific case and is tasked with the role of protecting the interests of the child.

...
Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois parenting time lawyer, parenting time and repsonsibilities,Most people experience an influx of stress during the holiday season, but for divorced couples and their children, it can be even more stressful than usual. When you have kids, this time of year is filled with holiday parties, gift exchanges, school plays, recitals, concerts, and holiday celebrations. Divorced families feel the stress when they try to manage all of this out of two households. Traditionally, this time of year is very family-oriented and if you have recently gone through a divorce, or this is the first holiday season as a divorced couple, your kids might be feeling the loss of their family. Here are a few ways you can help your kids cope with the holiday season and enjoy the new family situation:

Remember: It Is Not About You

Even though you want to have a good time during the holiday season too, sometimes sacrifices have to be made. One of the most important sacrifices that you could make for your children is putting your own happiness aside so that they can be happy. If you and your spouse are fighting about who gets the children on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, give in this year and let them have the kids. Next year, you will get your turn and your children will not have to feel the stress of multiple houses on multiple days.

Plan Well in Advance

The key to making sure you have a happy and successful holiday season is planning. This can prove to be difficult because, in order to have things planned out, the communication between you and your ex must be decent. Your children may have multiple things going on during the holiday season that they would like both of their parents to attend, such as plays, concerts and holiday parties. If it is impossible for both of you to be in the same room together, pick and choose which events you will attend.

Keep Some Old Traditions and Make New Ones

Kids thrive off of tradition and routine. Keeping some of the old traditions you used to practice when you were married can help them experience the familiar warmth of the holiday season. It is also a good idea to introduce new traditions for just you and your kids to practice to ease them into the change. You could make it a tradition to volunteer at a homeless shelter for an afternoon or you could allow them to open one gift on Christmas Eve.

Contact a Compassionate DuPage County Parenting Plan Lawyer

The holidays can be tough for anyone, but divorced families tend to have a more difficult time during the holiday season than any other time of year. At the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., we understand the ins and outs of making sure each parent has adequate parenting time during the holiday season. Our skilled Aurora, IL parenting plan attorneys can help you craft a comprehensive parenting plan that addresses all of your needs, including holiday parenting time. Call our office today at 630-409-8184 to set up a consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.cnn.com/2011/12/21/living/holiday-survival-divorced-darents/index.html

...
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. Communication Is Key Though you may not want to talk to your ex, communication is key to having a low-stress holiday. If you and your ex are following your existing parenting plan, then there is minimal communication that must be had, though there will always be some. If you and your ex are deciding on an alternate arrangement, then good communication and prior planning will save you many headaches. Get in Touch with a DuPage County Divorce Lawyer

Holidays can be stressful for every family, even ones who do not have to go the extra mile to work out parenting times and multiple meals. The easiest way to dictate how holidays are spent with your children after a divorce is to make sure you have a solid parenting plan in place. An Aurora, IL divorce attorney can help you create a thorough parenting plan that addresses all of the major holidays and school breaks and how your children will spend those holidays. Contact the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. to discuss your specific situation and get to creating your plan. Call the office today at 630-409-8184 to set up a consultation.

 

Source:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/family-law-attorney/divorced-children/200812/managing-divorce-and-children-during-the-holidays

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.

...

divorceAs summer comes to a close, children are returning back to school, some of which are excited to begin learning new things, while others are depressed that summer vacation is over. While some children are anxious to begin the new school year, some parents are as well. New school years can bring about issues for some divorced parents, such as purchasing school supplies, managing permission forms, communicating with teachers, and parent-teacher conferences. Back-to-school time can be daunting for divorced parents, which is why it can be beneficial to keep these tips in mind when dealing with issues that may arise throughout the school year:

Split the Cost of School Supplies

With the start of a new school year comes the need for new school supplies. With a long list of pencils, crayons, paper, folders and scissors that the teacher sends home, plus new school clothes, uniforms, shoes, a backpack and lunchbox, it is safe to say you will probably be spending a small fortune on these items. If you and your spouse do not have a prior arrangement worked out, it is a good idea to split the cost of these supplies, so one of you is not bearing the brunt of it.

...

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody lawyer,Those who have gone through a divorce will tell you that it is no easy feat. In addition to all of the logistics of a divorce, it also comes with emotional worries and changes, especially to children. Children are usually flexible and good adapters, so most children are fine after a short period of reassurance from their parents. In order to ensure that your child understands the divorce and transitions to their new life, it is important that you understand how to talk to your children about the divorce. Here are five tips that might make telling your kids a bit easier:

  1. Choose the Right Time to Tell Them

Timing is everything. If you and your spouse are just fighting, do not tell your kids that you are getting a divorce because you threatened one in a fight. Kids can be sensitive about divorce, so until your divorce is finalized or close to being finalized, you should hold off on the conversation.

...
Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody lawyer,For some people, divorce may be a peaceful process. They may already know who will get the house, who will keep the dog and where their child will live. And if they do not already know, they may be able to quickly agree on those things. For the majority of divorcing couples, the decisions are not that easy and deciding parental responsibilities can become a long and combative process. When this happens, Illinois courts may decide to take things into their own hands and conduct interviews, evaluations, and investigations as to what the best parenting arrangement would be for the child. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act allows the court to require evaluations if the parents cannot come to an agreement on their own. Court Interviews Because the determination of parental responsibilities directly affects the child, it is important to understand his or her wishes in regard to the situation. Sometimes, the child does not have the chance to voice their wishes and in this case, the court will conduct an interview with the child to try to determine what they would prefer. According to the Act, counsel will be present during the interview and the interview will be recorded by a court reporter. Professional Evaluation

In addition to interviews, the court may either appoint a professional to conduct an evaluation or if a parent requests an evaluation, will allow either parent to choose a professional for the job. The professional’s job is to interview the parents and the child, observe the child with each parent, review court documents pertaining to the case, contact other professionals such as teachers, daycare workers, therapists and doctors and conduct psychological testing if needed. The professional’s report to the court must contain:

  • A description of what the professional did to evaluate the situation;
  • A report of his or her findings;
  • Any test results gathered;
  • The professional’s conclusions pertaining to parental responsibilities;
  • The professional’s recommendations concerning the allocation of parental responsibilities; and
  • An explanation of any limitations the evaluator may have come across.
Know When to Contact a DuPage County Parental Responsibility Lawyer

If you have gone to court to determine who gets certain parental responsibilities, you should seek the help of an Aurora parental responsibility attorney. If you get representation from the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., you can rest easy knowing you are being well represented. Call the office at 630-409-8184 to set up a consultation.

 

Source:

...
Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody lawyer, attorney fees,Even though the notion of planning for the end of your marriage before you are even married is not the most romantic thought, it is smart decision making. A prenuptial agreement is a legal document that dictates how each spouse’s assets are divided if the marriage ends in divorce. There are quite a few things that a prenuptial agreement can--and should--contain. Premarital Assets and Debts You should make a list of your assets and debts that are currently in your name and that you acquired before your marriage. These assets can be anything from savings and brokerage accounts, a car, jewelry or a house. You and your spouse should be upfront with each other about assets that you are bringing into the marriage. You should also discuss how you will handle the division of premarital assets and debts in the event that they become intertwined with marital property. Marital Property In general, marital property is any asset or debt that is acquired during the marriage. The prenuptial agreement should spell out how you handle the assets and income that you gain during the marriage. You could possibly split marital property 50/50, or you could distribute the marital property as equitably as possible, meaning it may not be 50/50. This can save you a lot of time in the future if you do end up getting divorced. Spousal Support Though you are not required to have a section for spousal support in a prenuptial agreement, it can be extremely helpful to have your wishes down if you do get a divorce. Depending on you and your spouse’s assets, living expenses and other things, you may be entitled to spousal support. If your prenuptial agreement contains clauses about spousal support, the courts must follow the agreement’s terms. Get Support from an Aurora Prenuptial Agreement Attorney

Prenuptial agreements are becoming more and more popular and are losing the stigma that they once held. This is due partly because couples are tending to enter into marriage with a lot more assets than they did 40 years ago. If you are engaged and think a prenuptial agreement is right for you, a skilled DuPage County prenuptial agreement attorney can help you draft an agreement that fits your needs. Contact the Law Offices of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. at 630-409-8184 to set up a consultation.

 

Source:

https://www.americanbar.org/groups/gpsolo/publications/gpsolo_ereport/2012/march_2012/premarital_agreement_issues_checklist.html

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody lawyer, attorney fees,Many things can trigger a move after a divorce - a new job, moving to be closer to family or even a new relationship. When a parent wants to relocate a child after a divorce, they must take certain steps to ensure that they are relocating the child legally and not in violation of any current parenting agreements.

What Is Considered Relocating?

According to Illinois law, you are considered to be relocating if you are moving more than 25 miles from the child’s original home if it is within Cook, DuPage, McHenry, Kane, Lake or Will counties or if the new home is out of state. The law also says that if the original home is not within the listed counties, a move is considered relocation if it is more than 50 miles from the child’s original home.

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

630-409-8184

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

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
Back to Top