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Batavia divorce attorney

During your divorce, everyone in the family is likely feeling the stress and impact of the process, but children often feel it the strongest. It can be shocking and traumatic for kids to feel like everything that they have ever known is changing and falling apart. For many parents, their biggest worry in the divorce is their children and how the divorce process will affect them. While it is true that there is a possibility that your children could be somewhat affected by the divorce, studies show that most children of divorce grow up to be happy, well-adjusted, and balanced adults with relatively few issues during the divorce. However, each child is different and has the possibility of struggling to cope with the reality of the divorce. In some cases, it may even be in everyone’s best interest to hire a child therapist or psychologist to help.

Signs of Emotional Distress in Your Child

For some parents, it can be difficult to gauge when your child is in need of professional help. How moody is too moody? What behavior constitutes moody, anyway? It is normal for your child to experience a wide range of emotions and exhibit a range of behaviors to go with those emotions. However, if you notice emotional responses or behavior from your child that interfere with his or her daily life, it may be time to seek professional help. Examples of these types of behaviors could include:


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.


Geneva grandparent visitation lawyerDivorce can be a troubling time for all families, whether they are a tight-knit family or not. When a family is close to one another, going through a divorce can be even more difficult. If a divorce is especially contentious or heated, relationships between family members can break down, and children can be used as tools to hurt other relatives. Illinois agrees that all parents have an inherent right to spend time with their children; however, this is not the case for grandparents. Thankfully, there are certain non-parents -- including grandparents -- who do have the right to petition for visitation in certain circumstances.

Who Can File a Petition for Visitation?

Only certain people are permitted to file a petition for visitation in Illinois. According to Illinois law, only grandparents, great-grandparents, step-parents, or siblings can file a petition to be granted visitation time. The petition can only be filed if the parent of the child has unreasonably denied visitation, and if at least one of the following is true:

  • The other parent is deceased or has been declared a missing person for at least 90 days.


DuPage County parenting time lawyerMost parents will agree that the most important aspect of a divorce is making sure the children are okay. However, many parents worry about how a divorce will affect their children. Therefore, a lot of couples are currently in unhappy marriages in an attempt to spare their children the stress of divorce. It is important to remember that a divorce is the result of an unhealthy relationship between two spouses -- it has nothing to do with their children. While you cannot protect your children from all of the stresses and changes a divorce can cause, you can take steps to make sure your children are protected from the arguments and other negative effects that a divorce can trigger.

Take Care of Yourself

Although it may seem selfish, one of the best things you can do for your children during your divorce is to make sure you take care of yourself before you focus on them. A divorce can be traumatizing and can take its toll on you after a while. You should practice self-care by eating healthy foods, exercising, getting enough sleep, and talking to people in your support system. When you are emotionally stable, you are better able to guide your children through this major life transition.

Do Not Talk Negatively About Your Spouse

You should avoid criticizing or putting down your ex-spouse when your children can hear. Though you may have an issue with your former partner, your children do not. They deserve to have a relationship with both parents that is not clouded by negative opinions from one parent.


DuPage County divorce child issues lawyerIf you think your divorce is stressful for you, it can be even more taxing on your children. For kids, their parents' divorce is a very confusing and tumultuous time. While it is completely normal for children to be sad, uncertain, or even angry when their parents are going through a divorce, it is important for you to understand that there are things you can do to make the change somewhat easier. Divorce is a process, not only for you but also for your children. Your job as a parent is to help your children through this process so they are able to come out on the other side stronger and more well-rounded individuals.

Breaking the News

Many parents do not know how to talk to their children about divorce, much less how to break the news to them. The way you first tell your kids about your divorce can set the tone for the entire healing process. You should tailor your conversation to your children; if they are younger, it is best to keep the message simple and sweet. If you have older children, you can provide a little more detail, but it is still important to only share the information they need to know.

Helping Them Grieve

For children, a divorce can be a big emotional loss. Your job as a parent is to help your children work through their emotions and go through the grieving process. You should listen to what your children have to say and the worries that they share with you. Acknowledge and validate their feelings by letting them be open and honest with you. Reassure your kids that you and their other parent still love them and will always be there for them, even though you are no longer together as a couple.


Aurora, IL divorce attorneyA common saying is “When one door closes, another door opens.” This is true in most life events, even divorce. Although divorce is the end of a marriage, it can also be a fresh start in life, providing the opportunity to find someone new and date again. The time between those doors can differ for everyone, but most people will eventually be open to another relationship after they divorce.

Dating again can be exciting, but it can also be stressful for your children. Depending on their age and level of maturity, they may or may not be able to understand why their parent has decided to start dating. Sometimes, new relationships can put stress on a family, but following the below guidelines can help you reduce anxiety and enjoy this next chapter in your life.


  • Talk with your ex before you introduce your partner to your children. Not only is this respectful, but it can also help keep the peace between all involved. Your ex has a right to know who will be spending time with your children. Be sure your ex is comfortable with the idea of introducing your children to your new partner. Sometimes, introducing your ex and your new partner can ease some of the tension everyone may be feeling.

Illinois custody attorney, Illinois family law attorney, Illinois divorce lawyer,The social and emotional effects of divorce on children are often discussed in reference to those in high school or younger. However, a divorce can have a very unsettling impact on college-age students who themselves are adults.

Away at School Does Not Mean Less Stress

It is difficult enough when children experience the divorce of their parents while everyone is living under the same roof. However, the anxiety and uncertainty can be magnified when a child learns of the divorce while living away at college.  Questions and issues about the divorce can compound a student’s anxiety about being away from home and the academic pressures of college life.
  • The student left home that will have been dramatically altered the next time they return from school. It is not uncommon for the student to feel a sense of loss or not belonging to any one household after the parents split.
  • When a divorce occurs after the student leaves for school they may question whether or not parents stayed together as long as they did just for them.
  • A student may be bothered by questions about whether or not the divorce of their parents will have a negative effect on the ability to pay for school.
  • Encourage your student(s) to seek help from campus healthcare professionals. Colleges and universities offer access to counselors who can help students deal with a variety of obstacles they may encounter during their time on campus, including a divorce of their parents taking place hundreds of miles away.
If one is looking to discover a silver lining in all this, there may be one in the form of financial relief for the college student. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) requires income information only from the custodial parent - the parent with whom the student resides more than 50 percent of the time. If the student lives with the parent who reports the lowest income, they may be entitled to more federal grant money with which to apply toward tuition, fees, and housing expenses.

Work with an Experienced and Resourceful DuPage County Divorce Attorney

The effects of a divorce send ripples throughout a family, frequently causing stress that has a negative impact on other areas of their life. Seek assistance from a knowledgeable Illinois divorce attorney who understands how divorce impacts every member of the family. The Law Offices of Matthew M. William, P.C., provide a thorough review of all relevant issues and create a strategy for delivering a favorable divorce decree with as little anxiety as possible. Contact our offices at 630-409-8184 to schedule an initial consultation.


Posted on in Children of divorce

Illinois custody attorney, Illinois family law attorney, Illinois divorce lawyer,The effects of divorce can ripple outward and impact family members, not just in their personal lives, but in every aspect of their daily routine. The consequences of a divorce on children are widely accepted, and behavior and performance at school are among those concerns. Knowing some strategies to deal with school-related issues can allow a parent to help their child(ren) when it is needed most.

How Can a Divorced Parent Help Their Child at School?

After a divorce your life is different, and you are dealing with issues that perhaps were handled previously by your spouse. One of the areas you may need to become more involved in the educational experience of your child. Here are some ideas you may find helpful.


religion, DuPage County divorce attorneyWhile the rate of divorce has been on the decline for the last several years—at least according to most estimates—there was a period between the late 1970s and early 1980s at which the divorce rate reached its peak. About half of all of the marriages that took place during that time eventually ended in divorce. The children who were born during that same period largely comprise the generation collectively known as millennials. Much has been written about the differences millennials and the generations which preceded them—Generation X and the Baby Boomers—with one of the most glaring being millennials’ approach to religion. Today, one in four Americans—and nearly 40 percent of millennials—do not associate themselves with any particular faith or religion, a drastic increase from the 5 percent in 1972.

Religion and Divorce

A recent study suggests that there may, in fact, be a connection between the increase in divorce rate and the decrease in religious participation. According to research conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute, children of divorced parents are much more likely to have no religious affiliation as adults. The study found that 35 percent of those whose parents were divorced during their childhood identify as non-religious, compared to 23 percent of those whose parents were together during most of their childhood.


children, DuPage County divorce attorneyNo family ever plans to split in divorce, but sometimes situations arise in a marriage that make divorce the best and healthiest decision for everyone involved. Breaking the news to children that you and your spouse will be ending your marriage is tough – there is no way around it. However, there are steps you can take to make the process of telling your children about the divorce less painful than it has to be.

  • Keep conversations age-appropriate: Obviously, the conversation about splitting up will be different with a four-year-old and a 16-year-old. It is important to use age-appropriate language with a small child when explaining how their lives will change. A very small child will not understand words like “divorce,” “separation,” and “shared custody.”  On the other hand, an older child can understand more about how his or her life will change and will understand concepts like living in two households or court appearances.
  • Do not give more detail than is necessary: Children do not need to know details regarding why the marriage is ending – especially if the marriage ended from a sexual indiscretion or another dramatic event. Stick to the facts of how the family is changing and the timeline for these changes.
  • Refrain from blaming or vilifying your spouse in front of the children: As tempting as it is to assign blame, your main priority is reassuring the children that both of their parents still love them.  Affirm that the children that they are in no way responsible for the marriage ending.
  •  Share the logistics of how their lives will change:  Explain to the children how their living situation will change. Is one of the parents moving out? Will the children be attending a different school in the future? What is the timeline for implementation of these changes? Kids may need to be reminded of these changes in the future as well.
  • Allow the children to ask questions and listen to their concerns:  Kids all react differently to big news.  Some will want to ask questions and talk about the situation immediately; others will need space to be alone before they are ready to talk. However long it takes, it is important to remember to allow children to express themselves in their own time and to react with patience and compassion to their questions and concerns.

An Attorney Can Help

If you have questions about the divorce process and how to explain it to your children, contact an experienced DuPage County divorce attorney. Call 630-409-8184 to schedule a confidential consultation at the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. today.


children, DuPage County divorce lawyerActress Katherine Hepburn was once quoted as saying, “Sometimes I wonder if men and women really suit each other. Perhaps they should live next door and just visit now and then.” It seems wherever there is a marriage, be it between a man and a woman or a same-sex marriage, there will inevitably be trials and challenges. Human beings are such a complicated composite of thoughts, feelings, hopes, dreams, and baggage from past experiences. When two human beings decide to join their messy lives in marriage, problems and arguments will almost certainly arise.

Many couples stay in marriages full of deceit and conflict because they have children. Couples who were once happy and planned on a life raising their kids together often cannot imagine putting those same children through the pain of a divorce. Still, how should a couple decide when enough is enough? When do the arguments and fights reach a level that makes it unhealthy for the marriage to continue, especially when children are involved?

Unhealthy Marriage May Lead to Unhealthy Children


guidelines, Aurora divorce lawyerThroughout the state of Illinois, guidelines regarding visitation and child custody—now called parental responsibilities—have been established for divorcing parents who are in the process of making new parenting time transitions. These transitions affect the entire family. Not only do they impact the child’s lifestyle as a whole, but they also have the power to seriously alter the child’s perception of the separation. A smooth transition can mean the difference between a calm, positive experience for your child and an emotionally turbulent, traumatic one.

Your Role as Parent

As a parent undergoing a divorce, it is understandable to struggle with the many changes that come with such a big lifestyle shift. It is not uncommon for parents to experience conflict in front of their children, especially when it comes time to make parenting time (visitation) arrangements and address the allocation of parental responsibilities (child custody). This is why state and county guidelines exist: to protect the well-being and the best interest of the children. The advantages of these guidelines are twofold. In addition to reducing the emotional toll on the children, parents also benefit by learning better communication and conflict resolution skills, often allowing them to mitigate much of their own stress as well.


children, Aurora family law attorneyIt is widely accepted that going through a divorce is one of the most frustrating and stressful events a person can experience. Feelings of anger, guilt, regret and annoyance are common. Children can complicate the divorce process even more.  Parents may feel threatened that they will not receive the custody agreement they want or that the other parent will try to turn the children against them. As stressful as the experience for the adults who are ending their marriage, the situation can be even more frightening and confusing for the children in the middle of it. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to make the transition from married to not married easier for the smallest members of your family.

There Are No Winners in a Divorce

Mark Baer, collaborative law attorney and co-author of  Putting Kids First in Divorce: How to Reduce Conflict, Preserve Relationships and Protect Children During and After Divorce says that the first step is to have the right mindset about the divorce. Often, those going through a divorce have unresolved anger toward their spouse. He or she may have been cheated on or lied to, causing serious issues regarding trust. The memory of screaming matches or harsh words may still be fresh. Sometimes this means that the temptation to “get back” at a spouse can be strong.


children, divorce, DuPage County family lawyerDivorce is stressful for everyone involved. Children, however, often have the most difficulty adjusting to all of the changes. A divorce can also affect a child for years after the final decree is entered. There are several things you can do as a parent can help your child cope with the divorce.

Listen to Their Problems and Worries

Children, just like adults, feel loved and cared for when they know you are listening to them. This is more than just hearing what they have to say. Listening requires you to both be active in showing you understand what they are worried about while also withholding any judgments or solutions until after the child is done sharing. In fact, resolving their concerns in the moment is less important than encouraging your children to express their feelings honestly.


children of divorce, health study, DuPage County family law attorneyWhile most parents who are considering divorce give a great deal of thought to how their children may be affected, they may not think about actual the health impact such a decision could have. Parents and experts tend to consider the psychological and behavioral effects primarily, but research is beginning to emerge that suggest that physiological health may also be impacted years into the future.

Longitudinal Research

A recent study conducted by researchers from Penn State University and the University of Louisville looked at long-term data nearly 15,000 men and women born in the United Kingdom in 1958. Published in the journal Longitudinal and Life Course Studies, the study sought to analyze the health impact of parental divorce at different stages in a child’s life.


Illinios divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorney, marriage, divorce laws,There is no question about it: One of the most difficult aspects of divorce is understanding the legal framework. Each state has complex laws related to child custody, child support, alimony, and property division. For this reason, Illinois lawmakers are proposing changes to divorce laws that would remove some potentially unnecessary aspects.

 Many unhappy couples stay together because one or both spouses feel anxious about the divorce process. The truth, however, is that staying in an unhealthy relationship can be emotionally and mentally draining. An experienced family attorney can help make the process a bit more manageable by explaining the laws, discussing your rights, and guiding you through the procedures.

Lawmakers Propose Changes to Illinois Divorce Laws for the First Time in 40 Years


Illinios divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorney, parenting tips,In most divorce cases, neither spouse is entirely happy with the outcome. Property division, alimony, child support, and other factors involve a lot of “give and take,” and each spouse must make certain sacrifices to end a marriage. Still, there is a certain satisfaction that comes with receiving the child custody arrangement that you desire.

That said, there still await many challenges for new single parents — especially if they work fulltime or have other time-consuming obligations. Another obstacle is living on a single income.

Despite these challenges, it is still possible for single parents to raise children, spend plenty of time with them, and enjoy the pleasures of parenthood. Here are three tips that can help single parents adjust to the new lifestyle:


Illinios divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorney, child custody disputes,Divorce always comes with several challenges and unique adjustments to each spouse's life. Whether these are financial, emotional or parental challenges, they often feel as if they come at an abrupt time and demand quick change.

Single parents face many distinct hurdles, and these vary depending on the family structure, income, and assets. Children who enjoyed living in a tight-knit family will have to adjust to living with a single parent and perhaps seeing the other only on weekends. Spouses must adjust to a single income, and they may lose their social circles. Still, divorce is often a smart decision for couples who are no longer in a healthy relationship.

When Is the Right Time to Leave Children at Home?


Illinios divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorney, parental rights,Losing custody of a child is a devastating prospect. Although most people think of divorce when they imagine child custody cases, the state can also assume custody of children if it determines that neither parent is fit to raise them. This often happens if one or both parents faces criminal charges.

It is possible for parents to regain custody of children, however, some erroneously decide to take the law into their own hands. Suddenly a child custody case becomes a parental kidnapping case. A recent story demonstrates the consequences of breaking custody laws.

According to news reports, two non-custodial parents have been charged with abducting their own children eight years ago. Law enforcement arrested them in the state of Illinois.


Illinios divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorney, property division, divorce negotiations, As most people who go through a divorce are aware, ending a marriage involves a lot more than filing paperwork and relocating. Although each case is unique, many divorcing spouses must deal with complicated child support and custody negotiations, property division, or alimony. Understanding how the law relates to your divorce can make the process a whole lot easier. Marital finances during a divorce can become particularly stressful. In addition to transitioning into a single income, divorcing spouses may not understand how to manage credit cards and other financial accounts. This article will provide some helpful insight into the monetary side of divorce:

 Joint Credit Cards

 According to, creditors do not necessarily recognize a divorce ruling. Debt is debt, and as far as a credit card company is concerned, couples are responsible for paying joint debt when the marriage ends.

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


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

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