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North Aurora divorce attorney visitation

When a couple has made the decision that it is time to divorce, it can be a difficult process for the entire family. There are many things that the couple will need to adjust to, but there are also many things that the family members will need to adapt to as well. One of the biggest changes that is often difficult for many families is dealing with change in the day-to-day life of the child. Child custody, now referred to as parenting time, is allocated to each parent, typically in an equal or near-equal manner. In some cases, though not always, individuals other than the child’s parents are able to petition for visitation rights with the child.

Individuals Permitted to File a Petition for Visitation

Not everyone is legally entitled to visitation rights with a child. According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), there are only specific people who are able to submit a petition for visitation. These people can include step-parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, or siblings of the child. Visitation will only be given to non-parents if the petitioner can successfully argue that the child’s well-being has been negatively affected by the denial of the visitation and that the child’s mental, physical, or emotional health has suffered because of it. A non-parent can file for visitation if the child’s parent unreasonably denies visitation and at least one of the following situations is true:


North Aurora high-conflict divorce attorney

In today’s world, single-parent households are much more common than they were decades ago. According to the United States Census Bureau, more than 25 percent of American children do not live in a household with both of their parents. While not all children living with a single parent have experienced a divorce, many children have and they are typically able to cope with their parent’s divorce. However, the single factor that has been determined to harm children during a divorce is continued conflict between the parents. As stressful as a high-conflict divorce can be to you, it can be even more consequential for your children. 

Conflicted About Their Loyalty

Children are naturally loyal to both of their parents, but this can become conflicting for them during a divorce. When there is a lot of contention and disagreement in a divorce, the kids can feel like they are in the middle and must choose one parent over the other. When the children are with one parent, they miss the other parent and thus may feel guilty about that. The greater the degree of conflict between parents, the greater the loyalty conflict is.


North Aurora divorce attorney

Since mid-January, we have been bombarded with cards, heart-shaped chocolates, and a whole lot of red and pink every time we walk into a store. Valentine’s Day is regarded mostly as a “greeting card” holiday, but celebrating it can bring a little fun into those cold winter days. For people who have gone through a separation or a divorce, however, February 14 is just another day to remind them that their romantic relationships have not worked out so well. Although it can be painful to be reminded of love, you do not have to spend the day moping. Instead of being miserable on Valentine’s Day, below are a few ways you can make the holiday fun again.

Spend Time With Family and Friends

The best way to get through the day is to surround yourself with your friends and family members. Going through a hard time is always much easier when you have a good support system. Plan a night out with your friends, siblings, or cousins and make a point to focus on them and not the couples around you.


Posted on in Divorce

reasonsNothing lasts forever and in this day and age, marriages are included in that saying. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 36 percent of couples experience some form of marital disruption by their tenth year of marriage. By the time couples have been married for at least 20 years, that percentage jumps to 53 percent. Though those numbers seem high, some researchers have actually said that the U.S. divorce rate is declining. So why is the rate of marital disruption so high? Here are a few of the most commonly cited reasons that couples get a divorce. Marrying at a Young Age You have heard it before -- getting married too young is not a good idea. Many studies have shown that couples who get married when they are teens or young adults tend to have a higher divorce rate than couples who get married in their late 20s or early 30s. Infidelity This one is perhaps one of the more well-known reasons for getting a divorce. Cheating on your spouse can be the kiss of death for a marriage. When one spouse cheats on another, the trust between the two of them is broken and if you are already experiencing a weak sense of trust, cheating may be the end. Addiction and/or Substance Abuse Another commonly-cited reason for divorce is one spouse’s drug or alcohol use. When you are addicted to something, it consumes your mind and life. A partner who is addicted to drugs or alcohol can destroy the family and be the last straw for some couples. Financial Problems Many couples therapists say that one of the main reasons couples seek therapy is for financial issues. Many couples also say that money problems were the reason for their divorce. When couples do not agree on the way money should be handled, arguments can become heated and divorces can result.

Have You Been Thinking About Getting a Divorce? Talk to an Aurora, IL Divorce Attorney

 There are many reasons why people choose to get a divorce, but in the state of Illinois, you do not have to state a reason on your divorce forms. If you have been thinking about getting a divorce, you should talk to a DuPage County divorce lawyer. At the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., we understand that making the decision to get a divorce is a big one that should not be taken lightly. Contact our office today to begin discussing your options. To set up a consultation, call us at 630-409-8184.


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.


child and divorceDivorce is a relatively common occurrence in modern America. In fact, some school districts comprise more divorced couples than married ones.

Still, the normality of an ending marriage does not lessen the burden on children, especially when there are disagreements regarding child custody. As a parent, it is tough to know how to approach communicating with your child about divorce. If handled improperly, the process of divorce can severely impact a child’s well-being.

The American Sociological Review reports that approximately 50 percent of children will experience a divorce. In fact, as remarriage rates continue to increase, 25 percent of these children will undergo at least two divorces.


child custody, child support, divorce and children, divorce and communication, DuPage County, DuPage County divorce lawyer, Illinois family law attorney, Illinois family lawyer, parental rightsWith nearly 50 percent of American marriages ending in divorce each year, divorce is a common part of the American experience. Regardless, it can be devastating for the family of the divorcing couple—especially if the couple in question has children. This can oftentimes be true not only for the couple’s immediate family, but for the extended family as well. Grandparents on the child’s non-custodial side of the family may have to fight to see the children harder than the parent, and other extended family can sometimes be left out in the cold. Still, divorce is, of course, the most difficult for the children who are faced with their parents’ split.

According to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), parents continue to be the most important presence in their children’s lives during and after divorce. Parents may be relieved after a divorce (especially if the marriage was particularly sour), but children “are invariably frightened and confused by the threat to their security,” reports the AACAP. In some cases, a parent may even seek solace from his or her children, which can exacerbate feelings of insecurity and emotional instability. If the parents were on exceptionally bad terms leading up to the divorce and argued often, the child may even feel as if it was his or her fault.

If you are getting divorced and have shared children, there are several steps you can take to help your child through the transition. suggests that parents keep visible conflict and arguments hidden from the kids, and notes this to be the most important factor to consider. Also, it is recommended that parents minimize disruptions to daily routines. It will likely be much more work for the parent to minimize disruptions from a child’s routine, and special considerations for how to do so will have to be made.


No matter what happens during the life of a relationship, if that relationship involves children, the primary goal of both parents should be to protect the well-being of the kids. While this is not always the case, most adults in America want what is best for their children. But what does that mean for married parents when they begin seriously considering divorce? The conventional wisdom is that divorce is hard on children, and that the children of divorced parents fare worse in life, both when they are young and once they have reached adulthood. However, more recent findings have shown that children raised in single-parent homes with a divorced parent are likely to adjust just as well as children from homes where parents remained married. Further, there are ways to lessen the impact of the divorce and secure a smoother adjustment for the children.

children of divorce imageBehavior Problems in Children

The conventional view of children of divorced parents is sullen, depressed, and angry. However, a recent study from the RAND Corporation shows that this view is exaggerated at best, and that the effects of divorce on the behavior and emotional well-being are marginal. Scholarly articles published before the RAND Corporation’s analysis studied the behavior of children of divorced parents, finding that their overall emotional well-being was less than that of children raised in two-parent households. However, those studies leapt to the conclusion that the divorce itself caused the dip in childhood well-being. They failed to take into consideration the level of conflict between parents preceding the divorce. In some cases, there were statistical findings that some groups of children of divorce exhibited fewer behavior problems than those with married parents. These were selectively downplayed or ignored.


It’s November, which means the holidays are just around the corner. Celebrating the holidays post-divorce can be one of the scariest challenges you’ll have to surmount in your new single life. Nostalgia surrounding the holidays, an influx of family visitors, the excitement of children—all these aspects of the “happiest time of the year” can make it one of the most unhappy times of the year for the newly-divorced or those beginning divorce proceedings. In addition to helping you wade through the complicated legalese surrounding your divorce, an experienced family law attorney can help you sort through more personal aspects of divorce as well—such as what to do with the kids during the holidays. A legal professional on your side ensures that you’ll always have a third-party person with whom you can bounce ideas and emotions off of—an invaluable resource during a divorce. safe and happy

If you do have children, determining how to spend your holidays after divorce can be especially daunting. “Ideally,” according to the Huffington Post, “you would both be cool enough to split holidays evenly or even (gasp!) share them together.” This, of course, is highly optimistic in most marital splits. Instead of insisting that the holiday happens only on the day when the calendar deems it so, the Huffington Post suggests, instead, “any day can be a holiday. All you have to do is make it so.”

There’s something to be said for celebrating a holiday when the rest of the country is celebrating. But holidays are really all about family togetherness, ritual, and tradition. “What if you did all these things exactly the same except you did it on Sunday November 24?” the Huffington Post asks. “It’s just family getting together for a crazy meal, watching football, and giving thanks! You can take pictures too!”


Making determinations about child custody is a difficult matter for even the most training judges. That’s why, in some situations, the court will appoint a guardian ad litem, attorney for the child, or child representative to represent the interests of the child or children. If parents cannot reach an agreement with regard to child custody with one another or through their divorce attorneys, a guardian ad litem may be appointed. In other situations, the court might recommend the appointment of an attorney for the child or a child representative.

In Illinois, the guardian ad litem must be a licensed attorney per statute guidelines. The GAL is responsible for investigating the case and generating a report with all necessary information. This report is then presented to the court with a recommendation for custody. Either parent will retain the right to cross-examine the GAL and none of the communication had with a guardian ad litem in the fulfillment of his or her duties is considered privileged.

An attorney for the child is actually legal representation for the minor individual or individuals. In this scenario, the same privileges that exist in a normal attorney-client relationship are enjoyed by the child. The attorney can file pleadings and carry out other litigation-related duties, too. In most cases, an attorney for the child will be appointed when the minor child is older and may be able to better understand the difficult situation unfolding around him or her.

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


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

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