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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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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North Aurora divorce attorney property division

By far, one of the things that couples state is the most stressful during a divorce is the financial aspect of the proceedings. When you get a divorce, you and your spouse must come to an agreement as to how nearly everything the two of you own will be divided. This includes both tangible items, such as vehicles and your marital home, in addition to intangible assets and debts, such as bank accounts and credit cards. The courts encourage you to come to an agreement about the division of your property among the two of you, but that is not always possible. If the court must intervene, a variety of factors will be used to determine an equitable distribution of assets.

Dividing Marital Property

If you are like most married couples, you and your spouse probably jointly own most everything. This makes things easier during a marriage, but during a divorce, it can complicate matters. If you and your spouse both have your name legally attached to items such as vehicles, homes, other real estate property, or credit card debt, it may be confusing when it comes to dividing the property. Because many of these items cannot just be split in half, some creative methods are often used to accomplish the division in a fair manner.

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North Aurora spousal support attorney

Getting a divorce means a lot of changes will occur. One of the most noticeable is your change in income. Most married couples live and run their household off of two incomes. When you get divorced, you have to transition from sustaining a household under shared incomes to meeting your needs with your income alone. For spouses who have not worked during their marriage or who have recently entered the workforce, this can be problematic. People who make significantly less than their spouses may also be concerned about their ability to support themselves after divorce. In these cases, spousal maintenance may be awarded. But what happens when your situation does not fall under the normal guidelines for calculation?

Illinois Spousal Support Guidelines

There are a number of factors that can affect whether or not you receive a maintenance award. These factors can include the income of both you and your spouse, whether or not either of you were out of the workforce for a period of time, and each of your needs. If the court finds that an award is appropriate, and you and your spouse earn a combined income of less than $500,000, the court will follow normal guidelines. This means spousal maintenance will be calculated by taking 33.3 percent of the income of the paying spouse and subtracting 25 percent of the income of the receiving spouse. Maintenance will usually be paid monthly, but in some cases, it may be paid annually or in a lump sum at the time of divorce.

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North Aurora divorce attorney privacy

Although it is not impossible to have an amicable divorce, that is not always the case for some couples. Depending on the circumstances, it can be difficult to push your feelings about your spouse and the end of your marriage aside so you can work together peacefully. Divorce is a stressful situation that can, unfortunately, bring out the worst in some people. Some spouses can become controlling, and they may be tempted to spy on each other through the use of electronic devices. In these contentious situations, it is important that you take the steps needed to protect your electronic devices and the information stored on them from your spouse. Below are a few practical ways you can protect your privacy from your spouse’s interference.

Change Your Passwords

You may think that password-protected information is always safe. However, this is not always true. Even if you have passwords protecting devices like your cell phone, your computer, or different financial accounts, you should still change them to prevent your spouse from gaining access. This can be especially useful if you have previously used your spouse’s devices to log in to certain accounts, because password information may have been saved. Be sure to use unique passwords for each account, and choose passwords that your spouse will not be likely to guess. By ensuring that your spouse cannot access your accounts, you can prevent them from taking actions such as dissipating marital assets by transferring money from a joint account into a personal account.

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DuPage County parenting plan attorney

Many people who are unhappily married with children worry about how a divorce will affect their kids. Some of them end up “staying together for the kids.” It would be naive of anyone to think that a divorce does not affect your children -- studies show that it clearly does. However, those effects are often short-term concerns that, with proper attention, will eventually dissipate. Staying together for the kids often has a more lasting effect on the children, and it can actually do much more harm than good in the long run. As more information becomes available about the impact divorce has on children, more parents are making the decision to split up for the sake of everyone. After the split, you will notice changes in your children as they try to make sense of the event. The following are three tips for parenting after your divorce that can help you manage this transition. 

Never Make Your Children Choose Between You and Your Ex-Spouse

One of the worst things you can do is to force your children to choose between their parents. Not only is this completely unfair, but it can also be damaging to your kids. Even though you and your spouse are no longer together, you are both still and will forever be parents to your offspring. Your children have the right to maintain close and loving relationships with both of you.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Batavia-divorce-lawyer1.jpg-min1.jpgThe legal concept of “dissipation” refers to wasteful spending that takes place near the end of a couple’s marriage. When Illinois couples divorce, their marital estate is divided according to equitable distribution. When one spouse’s wasteful or reckless spending decreases the value of the marital estate prior to divorce, a dissipation claim can help the other spouse regain the value of the lost or wasted property. Many types of irresponsible spending can be considered dissipative, including a spouse who spends money on an addiction or substance abuse problem. Read on to learn about when a spouse’s addiction can contribute to dissipation and what to do if you wish to file a dissipation claim.

Defining Dissipation in Illinois Law

Illinois statutes and case law define dissipation as the use of marital assets “for the sole benefit of one of the spouses for a purpose unrelated to the marriage” when the marriage is nearing divorce. Put another way, dissipative spending occurs when a spouse who is getting divorced uses marital funds or property in a way that only benefits him or her. The reckless spending must take place when the marriage is undergoing an “irretrievable breakdown” in order to meet the legal definition of dissipation. Generally, a marriage is considered to be undergoing a breakdown when the couple is no longer attempting to work out their issues or salvage the marriage.

Dissipative Spending Can Include Funds Lost to an Addiction

There are many types of irresponsible spending that can constitute dissipation. Money spent by a spouse on gifts for a secret lover may be considered dissipative. Funds spent on a gambling addiction or compulsive shopping problem may also be an example of dissipation. Substance abuse and alcoholism can also fall under this definition. If you bring a claim of dissipation against your spouse, you must file a notice with the court identifying the following information:

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer,Getting a divorce -- or dissolution of marriage, as it is called in Illinois -- means the marriage between you and your spouse will be legally terminated. One your divorce case is approved by a judge and he or she has given you a Judgement of Dissolution of Marriage, both you and your former spouse will be free to remarry and can resume your former name, if applicable. Getting a divorce can be a very long and complicated legal process, so it is important to understand the basics before you begin the process.

Filing the Petition

To officially begin the divorce process, you must first file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage in the circuit court of the county in which either you or your spouse resides. To file this petition, either you or your spouse must be a resident of Illinois for at least 90 days and you must be able to prove that you and your spouse have irreconcilable differences. Once the petition is filed, a copy of the petition will be served to your spouse.

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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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