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Whether you finally made the decision to leave your spouse, or you are in the middle of your divorce, you may find yourself immersed in a sea of emotions. Even divorces in which you and your spouse are on the same page can be stressful. All of the major life changes that divorce brings can also cause a lot of emotional, mental, and even physical distress. It is important to consider how you can best manage your stress both in the current moment and in the future. Below are a few practical ways to handle the rollercoaster of emotions during divorce:

Give Yourself Permission to Acknowledge Your Feelings

It is entirely normal to feel a range of emotions after you have made the decision to get a divorce. After all, you and your spouse did vow to spend the rest of your lives together at one point. It is important to understand that it is okay to feel sad, angry, depressed, bitter, scared, and even relieved or excited at some points. Allowing yourself to acknowledge and express these emotions is a step toward moving on with the next chapter of your life.


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.


St. Charles divorce lawyerIt is said that breaking up is hard to do, and it can be even more difficult if you were married and decide to get a divorce. Whether you were married for three years or 30 years, or whether your divorce was amicable or contentious, the emotional pain can still be difficult to process. Feelings of anger, resentment, despair, anxiety, or even rage can be prevalent for some time after the divorce. The question you must ask yourself after a divorce is, “Where do I go from here?” The best thing you can do after a divorce is to begin to focus on yourself and move on with your life. The following are a few practical steps you can take to start a new chapter and stop living in the past:

Work Through Your Feelings

Before you can begin the healing process, you have to work through the feelings that you are undoubtedly experiencing. These emotions may include sadness, bitterness, hate, or even hopelessness. Despite these feelings, you are also probably feeling grief because of the loss of the relationship. This is completely normal, but the only way to get through these feelings is to allow yourself to experience them and grieve the loss of your marriage.

Rediscover Yourself

Although it sounds cliched, it is true that many people feel a loss of self after their divorce. When you have been in a committed relationship for so long, it can be hard to see yourself as anything but that person in the marriage. The time after the divorce is a good opportunity to figure out who you are. Decide what makes you happy, discover a new hobby, and love the person you are now.


DuPage County high-conflict divorce attorneyFor some couples, the idea of a peaceful divorce is laughable. Divorce can bring out the worst in people and can cause them to do things and act in ways that are unlike themselves. In some situations, divorce can exacerbate a person’s behavior and cause him or her to become even more combative and argumentative, typically at no surprise to the soon-to-be ex-spouse. Emotions can get out of control during a divorce, making the entire process more difficult and stressful than it needs to be for everyone involved. If you know that your spouse will be combative during your divorce, there are a few things you can do to survive your high-conflict divorce:

Distance Yourself From Your Spouse

High-conflict people thrive off of arguments and getting a rise out of others. The best thing to do when you realize that your spouse is going to be antagonistic, manipulative, or argumentative during your divorce is to try to create as much distance between the two of you as possible. You should do this by minimizing contact with him or her unless you absolutely need to discuss an important matter. If you must communicate with each other, remember that it is not worth your time or effort to argue.

Record Everything You Can

A high-conflict spouse will often try to use your own words against you or manipulate you. If you have to talk with your spouse, you should try to do so via text or email. Both of those options give you the ability to have a transcript of exactly what was said during the conversation. If you have proof of what the exchange entailed, your spouse cannot twist it to benefit him or herself or try to lie about you saying something that you did not say.


Illinois divorce attorneyIn today’s world, there is more than one way to do almost everything, including getting a divorce. Historically, most divorces were litigated, meaning they were settled in court by a judge, rather than between the parties themselves. These days, more and more couples are choosing mediation and alternative forms of dispute resolution when it comes to divorces. One such alternative is a collaborative divorce, which brings many benefits to the table, but this type of divorce only applies to some situations. If you are considering a collaborative divorce, here are a few things you should know:

  1. You and Your Spouse Have to Agree to Settle Outside of Court

Before you even begin the divorce process, you, your spouse, and both of your attorneys must agree to settle the divorce in a respectful, honest manner outside of the traditional court system. You will create and sign a document called a Participation Agreement, and this is a legally binding contract. If you fail to settle the divorce through collaboration, you and your spouse will both have to find new counsel and go the traditional litigated route.


Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois parenting time and responsibilities lawyer,You would not think so, but some divorces are amicable and calm, mostly because the divorce was not contested and both spouses were in agreement about issues pertaining to the divorce. Though that is the perfect idea of a divorce, we do not live in a perfect world and more often than not, there is some sort of fighting and disagreement during the divorce process. In severe cases, the divorcing couple cannot stand to be in the same room as each other, making for a very high-conflict divorce. If you are experiencing a high-conflict divorce, here are a few tips you can use to help you cope.

Create Boundaries

The first step in dealing with a high-conflict spouse and a high-conflict divorce is setting boundaries for the new relationship you will have. Whether these boundaries are with your co-parenting relationship, the communication between the two of you or any other issue, boundaries are essential. Create them and stick to them.


Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody lawyer,There is no way around it - getting a divorce will be difficult at times, stressful during the divorce proceedings and emotionally demanding during most of the process. A divorce is the legal separation of you and your spouse, but it goes much deeper than that - divorce is also the emotional separation of you and your spouse and the end of your relationship. It is only normal for you to go through a mourning period, but there are things that you can do to make your divorce go as smoothly as possible, ultimately saving you a lot of pain and distress.

  1. Think of Your Divorce as a Business Transaction

Though it will be difficult, emotionally distancing yourself from your relationship will help you immensely. Marriage is just a legal contract that you entered into with your spouse - now you are getting out of that contract, which is the divorce. Try to treat the process like you would treat a severing of a business relationship - your heart will thank you.


Posted on in Divorce
Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody lawyer,Getting a divorce is a time-consuming, stressful and frustrating process. Not only are you legally separating yourself from your ex, but you are also emotionally cutting them out of your life - a divorce is a loss and it should be treated like one. There are many considerations you must make when you get a divorce and that are a lot of ways you can make mistakes, but an Illinois divorce attorney who has experience in successful divorce cases can help you make the right decisions for your family. From issues with finances to issues with your emotional wellbeing, here are five mistakes that you should avoid making during your divorce: Not Being Prepared and Informed The thing that is going to help you most during your divorce is being prepared with all of the information that you are going to need and being informed about your financial situation. Prior to beginning a divorce, make sure you have enough money set aside for legal fees, court costs and other costs you may incur. You should also have copies of all important financial documents and records including bank statements, pay stubs, tax returns, property deeds, vehicle titles and registrations, wills and trusts and any other pertinent information. Not Considering All of Your Options Many people think that their only option when it comes to divorce is the traditional divorce litigation. Now, there are many forms of alternative dispute resolution to choose from when you want to divorce, including mediation, collaborative law, and simplified dissolution. You should talk with an attorney to discuss all of your options before you choose one. Not Putting Your Children First With everything that you are thinking about and dealing with during a divorce, your children can be unintentionally put on the backburner. You should always have your children at the forefront of the decisions that you are making. Make sure you have a parenting plan created when you get a divorce so that you and your children know what will happen once the separation is final. Letting Your Emotions Take Over Though it may seem impossible, letting your emotions get the best of you during your divorce is not good for anyone. You may have feelings of anger, sadness, grief, and resentment boiling in your mind, but you cannot let those feelings fuel your decisions that will affect you for the rest of your life. Seeing a counselor or therapist can help you sort out these emotions during this troubling time. Not Hiring a Knowledgeable DuPage County Divorce Lawyer

One of your biggest mistakes can be not hiring competent legal representation. You should always have some sort of legal counsel with you when you are negotiating terms of your divorce settlement so that you can be informed about the decisions you are making and how they will impact you later. By hiring a well-versed Aurora divorce lawyer, you can be sure that all of your needs are being taken care of. The attorneys at the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. will advocate for you and guide you every step of the way through your divorce. Call the office at 630-409-8184 to schedule an appointment.




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.


Posted on in Divorce

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody lawyer,One of the most complicated and confusing times of your life can be your divorce. Divorce can bring about a plethora of emotions such as anger, jealousy, resentment, sadness, and rage. These emotions are normal, but they can make you lose sight of what is really important when it comes to divorce. Here are some do’s and don’ts that you can follow during your divorce to help you keep your sights on what is important. These tips can help remind you of what you should focus on during your divorce.


  • Stop arguing with your spouse. It is doing nothing positive for you or them and is only stressing you out more.
  • Try to resolve things together. Your goal should try to keep things as amicable as possible between you and your spouse. It will save you a lot of time, money and stress in the long run.
  • Eliminate intimacy between you and your spouse. Any kind of emotional, verbal and physical intimacy can be confusing if you are in the process of getting a divorce.
  • Think of divorce as a business transaction. Though you are emotionally severing ties, marriage is a legal contract and you should try to think of your divorce as an ending of that contract.
  • Fight for your fair share in the divorce settlement. In Illinois, marital property is divided in an equitable way, meaning the division is not necessarily equal. You should fight for your fair share of marital property when it comes to divorce proceedings.

Do Not:


What Is Worse: Getting Fired or Getting a Divorce, divorce, family law, grief, law office, after divorce“I think we should part ways.”

Who would you rather hear these words from? Your employer or your significant other?

Last week, What Works Center for Wellbeing and the University of East Anglia found in a study that men and women who are terminated do not fully recover emotionally. However, the researchers saw that people who are divorced do completely heal at some point in their life.


divorce, DuPage County divorce lawyersWhile it is true that divorce often brings about a great deal of stress and emotional turmoil for the whole family, many divorces can be resolved mutually and peacefully with minimal damage to everyone involved. No one walks out of divorce entirely unschathed, but the overall impact of the negative effects can be significantly reduced when attention is given to certain key areas.

Encouraging a Healthy Divorce

The American Psychological Association (APA) has identified some of these key areas and has made some helpful recommendations, backed by an array of statistical references from various expert studies and surveys. These important suggestions from the APA can help you and your spouse navigate the divorce transition in a way that minimizes the negative impact on the whole family while allowing you to build a balanced foundation for the future.


marital property negotiations, Illinois divorce attorney, marital estate division,In years past, when divorce seemed simpler and family finances were usually guaranteed by pension plans and a Social Security fund that was not facing the possibility of running out, keeping the marital home during divorce was a boon. Today, when couples divorce, it is often the spouse who is awarded the home who is pitied. This has as much to do with uncertain financial futures - for divorcing couples at both ends of the financial solvency spectrum - as it does with the national housing market itself. In many cases, spouses who get to keep the marital home are left with an asset that is steadily declining in value or, worse yet, an underwater mortgage.

Selling the marital home during divorce has its own set of problems. One spouse may opt to sell the home for much less than it is worth, in an arguably ostentatious display of so-called selflessness. The other spouse, perhaps especially if he or she was not the primary earner in the marriage, may want to sell the home at a much higher price than it may even be worth. Other issues may include where the kids go to school and who is awarded custody, as well as issues of family care in the event that either spouse has aging parents or other spatial and financial issues to face in the coming years.

The trick is that selling the marital home is oftentimes crucial if you are facing a reduced income after the divorce is finalized. If you were the primary earner in the marriage, you may be obligated by the Court to pay alimony, which can cause a significant reduction in your annual net income. Many ex-spouses who kept the home after divorce were able to sell it much later for a significantly increased price than they would have been able to sell it if they had done so immediately after the divorce process. Yet if the home is not readily salable and the family has access to other assets, the house could become a liability instead of a commodity to hold onto.


gray divorceMarital dissolution can be daunting for anyone, but if you have been married for several decades, the idea can be even more terrifying. Not only are there emotional issues to resolve that come with the idea of splitting with a spouse who has inevitably become an extension of oneself, there are also more practical issues such as finances, living arrangements, and issues of long-term care during the aging process. According to the Huffington Post, while addressing these issues is crucial for finding peace of mind after divorce that follows a multi-decade marriage, divorce may still be the best option. If you are not happy in your marriage, the best bet is to separate, regardless of how old you are or how long you have been married.

The first major issue to resolve in a long-term marriage divorce is that of finances. When you begin divorce talks, not only will you need to discuss the issues of property division, but also those surrounding pensions, Social Security, and insurance coverage. If you will be required to pay spousal maintenance, this is also an important issue to consider, especially if you are nearing retirement age. Seeking the counsel of a legal professional who has experience with later-in-life divorce is crucial, as finances are likely more limited nearing retirement age than they were in years past.

While in most cases of marital dissolution selling the marital home is a good idea, it could leave both parties worse for ware in a long-term marriage divorce. If selling the home does not make financial sense, determining which spouse will remain in the house can be difficult for both parties. In some cases, especially those in which you have several years left on the mortgage, it could make more sense to hold on to the house.


bad marriageDivorce may seem a financially daunting undertaking, but there is a degree of financial loss associated with a bad marriage that some couples do not take into consideration. The divorce process does carry both known and unexpected costs, but working with an experienced family law attorney can help you to get the most financially out of your divorce and begin your new life financially solvent.

There is no way to quantify the cost of a bad marriage, but the Huffington Post has some tips to watch for if you suspect that your marriage is headed toward dissolution. If you relate to any of the following aspects of your partnership, divorce may be the cheaper solution for both you and your spouse.

The first major factor that makes a bad marriage expensive, according to the Huffington Post, is a lack of coordination and communication. If you and your spouse are unable to communicate effectively, it can have a serious negative effect on your finances. An obvious example of this is that you both draw from a joint checking account at the same time, incurring overdraft fees and lack of available money for bill-paying and other household expenses. A more extreme example of this would be a failure to effectively coordinate a retirement plan or tax deductions. While marriage counseling is usually advisable to divorce at the beginning of marital problems, drawing out unproductive therapy sessions can be akin to tossing cold hard cash down the drain.


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.


signs of divorceEvery relationship has its ups and downs and marriage is no exception. The person who will file for divorce is often the one that perceives issues in the marriage more deeply. It is important to know the signals of an impending divorce for the spouse that does not see it coming.

A very common sign that a divorce is imminent is a lack of conflict resolution. That might mean that one spouse talks about problems in the marriage yet the other spouse does nothing to fix these concerns. Or it can be that the spouses never developed a way to constructively move through important issues. Not having resolution to problems can lead to resentment and a deteriorating marriage.

Another common warning sign of divorce is a lack of physical intimacy or affection. Part of any marriage is the discussion of feelings for each other that strengthens the bond. The other part is the physical manifestations of love. If you have noticed a decrease in physical closeness, then there is a problem that should be addressed.


Divorce is, by definition, a messy process. At worst, you have another human being with close to equal rights to your shared property and your children, one with whom you do not agree and do not get along. But even at best, you have a stressful legal situation, with many unanswered questions and much red tape. Now that the holidays are coming up, how can you focus on Thanksgiving turkey, gift wrap, and alimony all at the same time, and still enjoy the season?

holiday divorce imageThe Huffington Post has some excellent advice for those seeking a divorce over the holidays. If you or anyone you know is contemplating divorce, contact an experienced divorce attorney, then read this.

Being Right with You


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!”


Divorce is inevitable for many couples. With the divorce rate hovering at just about 50 percent in America, it’s no surprise that almost everyone knows someone who has been divorced. The stigma traditionally ascribed to the dissolution of a marriage is fading as divorce continues to become more commonplace. All this goes to say that many couples that might have otherwise sought a solution to their unhappy union other than divorce may instead be opting to seek the counsel of a divorce attorney. If you’re interested in saving your marriage, however, the Huffington Post has a few ideas to help.

Saving Your Marriage Before Divorce IMAGE According to the Huffington Post, the most important thing to keep a marriage healthy is to remember to say “thank you” to your spouse. This simple gesture can help keep a marriage happy because your spouse feels appreciated where he or she otherwise would not. “It doesn’t take much to authentically thank you spouse, even for little things like feeding the dog or doing the dishes,” says the Huffington Post. But the small gesture can go a long way.

Another important tip to remember if you’re trying to avoid divorce even in an unhappy relationship is to try not to turn “a single subject disagreement into the kitchen sink of disagreements.” It’s common for married couples to hash out years of arguments and shortcomings if just one small disagreement surfaces. This, says the Huffington Post, “is unproductive and exhausting.” In the same vein, make time to work on your marriage. “Treat your marriage like a garden that must be cultivated, watered, and cared for regularly,” reports the Huffington Post. One shouldn’t be surprised if her marriage is falling apart and she’s done nothing over the years to cultivate it.

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


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

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