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


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

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody lawyer,Among all of the things that you must take care of when you are going through a divorce is your children. In Illinois, you are required to create a parenting plan that outlines parenting time, parental responsibilities, where the child spends certain holidays and when the child will be moving between homes. Illinois courts prefer you and your ex-spouse to come to an agreement before you go to court, but in the event that you cannot, the court will decide your parenting plan in a proceeding.

This realm of divorce can be confusing because Illinois has adopted the terms “parenting time” in place of “physical custody” and “parental responsibilities” in place of “legal custody.” Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about parenting plans in Illinois:

How Is Parenting Time Determined?

In Illinois, parenting time is urged to be decided by the parents of the child, but if the parents cannot come to an agreement, the court will intervene and make decisions about parenting time that are in the child’s best interest. The court will examine a variety of factors when making a determination, including:


Holiday Child Visitation and Stress after a Divorce, family law, child custody, law office, divorce, holiday visitationEvery year the holidays arrive, bringing with them joy, togetherness, and stress. The stress of the holidays is felt more by some than others, but for divorced couples and their children, holiday stress may rise to new levels. The question of where the children will spend the holidays is often the source of much anxiety.

Holiday Scheduling Strategies

Sometimes during the course of divorce proceedings, parents may wish to include an annual holiday visitation schedule as part of a custody plan. However, sometimes scheduling visitation for the holidays is left to the parents. Here are few ideas that may help.


Aurora family law attorneys, child custody, child custody arrangements, child visitation, visitation, limit visitation, paternal rightsOne difficult and highly contested issue in divorce involves child custody and visitation rights. It is only natural for each parent to want to be guaranteed a relationship with his or her child or children, regardless of the marital situation. And in cases of child custody and visitation in an Illinois divorce, there is a lot to consider.

Below includes a list of common child custody arrangements, and the circumstances to which they are applied:

Scheduled visitation: These arrangements are made for the exact days a child spends with each parent, and this type of visitation is very common for parents who split custody of children. Children may alternate weeks between parents, have designated holidays with each parent, and even split visitation during winter and spring breaks from school. Denial and restriction of visitation: A court does have the right to deny and limit visitation at their discretion. Reasons for denial include past physical or sexual abuse, use of alcohol and drugs, and any other factors likely to endanger the children. All can force the hand of the court in these cases. Supervised visitation: Similar to the instance above, the court also can mandate that all visits be supervised by a social worker or a designated family member. Visitation and child support: If one parent falls behind on child support payments or stops paying all together, the custodial parent may not stop him or her from seeing their children. However, the custodial parent should contact an experienced family law attorney to recover support payments instead of using custody as leverage.

If you are going through a divorce, have one impending, or even need to modify an existing divorce agreement for custody reasons or otherwise in the Chicago, Illinois area, the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams provides individual family law services efficiently and effectively to each client. With clients in DeKalb, Kendall, and DuPage counties, contact an experienced Aurora family law attorney at the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. today.

establish paternity, Illinois paternity attorney, legal paternity, VAP form, Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity, child support, child visitation, child custody, father's rightsPaternity is defined as the relationship between a child and his or her father. After legal paternity has been established, the father is linked to responsibilities as well as rights related to that child. This typically includes child support and visitation or custody with the child.

There are specific rules in Illinois that define the establishment of legal paternity. One of the following circumstances must be met for a man to be considered the legal father of a child:

  • The father was married to the mother after the birth of the child and the birth certificate for that child involved his written permission to include his name on that certificate;
  • A court order or administrative order of paternity has been recorded;
  • The mother and father have signed a “Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity” form; or
  • The father was married to the child’s mother when the child was conceived and/or born.
The mother of the child is the only person, aside from the child, who can petition the court to establish paternity. There are several reasons to establish paternity, including to protect parental rights, enable access to medical information related to the child, protect a child’s right to a relationship with the father, and to access certain benefits to which the child may be entitled as a result of his or her father.

In Illinois, there is an administrative process in place to help establish paternity. An interview is conducted to get any needed signatures and answer some questions from the mother. Then an interview is scheduled with the father to figure out whether genetic testing is required or whether he will voluntarily acknowledge paternity. If the individual identified as the alleged father does not attend the interview, paternity may be declared by default. Paternity discussions can be difficult and emotionally charged. Contact an Illinois paternity attorney today to learn more.

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


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

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