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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Oswego divorce attorney child support

Every child has a right to financial support from their parents, no matter if their parents are together or not. In Illinois, child support is awarded when the parents of a child file for a divorce or are no longer in a relationship with one another. Illinois uses what is called an “income shares” model of calculating child support. This means a variety of factors are taken into consideration when a child support determination is being made. These factors include both of the parents’ incomes, how much time the child spends with each parent, and how many children are being supported. Child support obligations usually end once a child turns 18 years old or when he or she graduates from high school, but Illinois law also provides limited guidance for support obligations for adult children with disabilities whose parents are separating.

Establishing Child Support for an Adult With a Disability

For the most part, child support typically stops when the child reaches the age of 18. However, there are a few different types of non-minor support that exist in Illinois, such as requiring a parent to pay for educational expenses for a non-minor or providing support for an adult with a significant disability. In many cases, adults with physical or mental disabilities need financial support from their caretakers, who are often their parents.

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North Aurora gray divorce attorney

In the United States, the number of people getting divorced later in life has risen dramatically over the past couple of decades. Some sources, such as the Pew Research Center, have reported that the divorce rate nearly doubled among adults over the age of 50 and almost tripled among adults over the age of 65 between 1990 and 2015. These later-in-life divorcees often have many more issues that they must focus their attention on, such as dealing with retirement funds and modifying estate plans, along with all of the typical issues that all divorces carry, like making the typical property decisions and determining spousal support. If you are over the age of 50, there are certain steps you should take to prepare for your Illinois gray divorce.  

Gather Your Financial Information

One of the biggest concerns with divorcing after the age of 50, also known as gray divorce, is the financial side of things. The people going through gray divorces are doing so much later in life than others. This can affect crucial assets, like retirement savings, which they do not have much time left to replenish. This is why it is so important to be on top of your finances when you are getting a gray divorce. You should have copies of all important financial documents pertaining to all of you and your spouse’s assets, liabilities, income, and expenses. 

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Yorkville divorce attorney parenting time

One of the most challenging relationships you may ever have to manage is the co-parenting relationship between you and your child’s other parent. The divorce process can be stressful and tedious, often bringing out the worst in people. Even if you wish you never had to see your ex-spouse again, you will always be somewhat connected for life when you have children together. Working together and compromising with the help of an attorney who is well-versed in divorce issues can go a long way in a successful co-parenting relationship.  

Getting Along for the Children’s Sake

The new year is not only a time for a change in the calendar year, but it is also the perfect time for implementing a change in your habits and behaviors. Making a commitment to improving and maintaining your co-parenting skills is a simple way to set yourself up for co-parenting success in the upcoming year. Here are a few useful co-parenting resolutions to consider making for the upcoming year: 

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Batavia divorce attorney asset and property division

One of the largest and most valuable assets that is often present in a divorce is the family home. For many couples, the house is a highly valued and sought-after possession, both for financial and personal reasons. The decision surrounding the marital home is often one of the most difficult financial decisions you will have to make during your divorce, especially because there are likely to be many emotional ties and sentiments attached to the home. There are always advantages and disadvantages to every situation, especially as it pertains to something as large as selling your family home. 

Advantages of Keeping the Home

For many people, the obvious advantage to keeping the home, rather than selling it, is just that -- keeping the home. If you have found your dream home, the home in which you have raised your children and watched them grow up, you may not want to sell all of those memories. For many parents, children are a major factor in the decision to sell or keep the marital home. Keeping the family home ensures the kids continue attending the same schools, see the same friends, and live in the same house, at least part of the time.

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DuPage County divorce attorney parenting time

Many parents who are divorced or who have never been married often worry about the impact that transitioning between two households has on their children. Some children seem rather unbothered by going from one house to the other, while many kids become frustrated, upset, and stressed. Even months down the road, transition days can be difficult for your children. After all, a day that they are coming to stay with you is a day that they are leaving and saying goodbye to their other parent. These emotions can be difficult for children to deal with and could end up causing issues later in their lives, too. As a parent, there are things you can do to help make transitions between households much easier for your children.

Create a Routine and Stick to It

One of the best things you can do for your children is to find a routine that works for them and stick to it. Kids in general do not do well when their typical routines are disrupted. Once you are settled into a visitation schedule, you should then manage a consistent routine that you can use to help your children adjust to the transitions.

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DuPage County divorce attorney collaborative law

For hundreds of years, or perhaps even longer, the concept of divorce has carried a negative connotation. Even in today’s society, divorce has become more commonplace and many people have no issue with it; however, there are still people who firmly believe that divorce is inherently negative. It is true that divorce can leave lasting negative effects on you and your family, but there are things you can do to mitigate those effects and prevent them from ever happening in the first place. One of the most basic changes to many modern-day divorcees is simply the method by which the divorce is completed. Forms of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), such as the collaborative divorce process, have proven to be effective and beneficial, especially for families with children. Unfortunately, not every couple is suited for ADR or the collaborative divorce process, in which case you will need an experienced Illinois divorce attorney to help you.  

Understanding the Collaborative Divorce Process

A collaborative divorce, or any type of ADR, is a viable option that any couple should consider when choosing a method for divorce. Collaborative divorce has been becoming increasingly popular in the past couple of decades, likely because there are many benefits that are especially attractive to families with children. In a collaborative divorce, not only do you and your spouse each have your own divorce attorneys, but you also have a team of various professionals to help you reach an agreement on all pertinent issues while keeping the negotiations out of the courtroom.

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Yorkville divorce attorney division of assets

If you are in the process of going through a divorce, you are already aware of the plethora of issues that you must negotiate with your spouse. You are likely sick of hearing about the pages-long list of issues, such as allocating your marital property and determining whether or not spousal support is necessary, which all need to be reconciled with your spouse before you can finalize your divorce. With so many other issues at the forefront of your concerns, many people end up forgetting about one very important aspect that should be taken care of during the divorce -- your estate plan. If you ever had a will or you and your spouse ever started to plan for the future, you will want to be sure to update your estate plan accordingly before your divorce is finalized. Here are a few things you should keep in mind about your estate plan when getting a divorce:

  • Understand what documents you currently have in place. The first thing you should do is to understand what type of estate plan you have in place already. Every estate plan is different and tailored to each person’s specific needs, so you should familiarize yourself with your current estate plan if you are not familiar with it already. You may already have estate planning documents, such as:

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Batavia divorce attorney

Getting a divorce is a complicated legal process that is further complicated by the stressful and emotional nature of the issues at hand. Even so, many people believe that they can file for divorce by filling out the court forms and representing themselves in court, saving time and money. This is often referred to as a do it yourself (DIY) divorce. However, many people also fail to realize just how confusing and troublesome it can be to actually have to be in control of your divorce case. For most people, their best interests are served when they hire a divorce attorney who can help them navigate through this difficult period in their life. The following are four benefits of hiring a reputable divorce lawyer instead of representing yourself during your divorce.

An Attorney Has Valuable Experience

When you file for divorce, it only makes sense to hire a person who has experience with the legalities of divorce cases to help you through your own. Handling various divorce cases at varying stages is what a divorce lawyer does all day, every day. Just like you go to the doctor when you are sick, you should hire a divorce attorney when you want to legally dissolve your marriage. 

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Yorkville divorce attorney parental relocation

For many divorcees who are parents, one of the biggest disappointments they face is how little time they feel they have to spend with their children after all is said and done. In Illinois divorces, both parents must come to an agreement as to how parenting time will be split among the two of them, often leaving at least one parent feeling as if they are lacking. The idea of one parent moving and taking the child with them can be extremely distressing to the other parent, especially if they are concerned about protecting their parenting rights. In this situation, a knowledgeable family law lawyer can help you understand the procedure and rules that must be followed when a parent wants to relocate with a child, as well as how those laws apply to your situation.

When the Other Parent Must Notify You

According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), there are certain rules that a parent must follow if they are relocating with their child. A parent who has equal parenting time with the other parent or the majority of parenting time can move with the child and must provide notice to the non-moving parent if the move is considered a “relocation.” In Illinois, a move is considered a relocation if the new residence is more than:

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Batavia divorce attorney spousal maintenance

In many marriages, it is not uncommon for one spouse to have a higher income than the other spouse. In these situations, the lesser-earning spouse relies on the higher-earning spouse to facilitate and maintain the way of life they are used to. In some cases, the lesser-earning spouse may not even be employed and may have been a homemaker and contributed to the household that way. When couples who have a significant imbalance in income get a divorce, the lesser-earning spouse is often awarded spousal support in Illinois, which is also known as spousal maintenance or alimony.

Receiving Spousal Maintenance

Spousal maintenance is never guaranteed in any divorce. However, some people are still required to pay spousal support because of a previously entered marital agreement. If you and your spouse have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, the court will examine these documents to ensure that they are valid. If they are found to be valid, you will have to abide by the terms of the agreement you agreed to prior. If your agreement is deemed invalid or you did not have an agreement, the court will determine whether or not spousal maintenance is appropriate by looking at a variety of factors. These elements can include things such as you and your spouse’s age, health, occupation, education, work history, contribution to the marriage, and more.

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Aurora divorce attorney parenting plan

Most of the time, the biggest worry that couples have when they are getting a divorce is how it will affect their children. For the most part, children are fairly resilient and will eventually bounce back from the stress and transition of the divorce. Children with special needs may not be as resilient, however, and may need special considerations of their own. Before you are able to finalize your divorce, you are required to file a parenting plan with the court that outlines your parenting time schedule and how you have allocated your significant decision-making responsibilities. If you and your spouse are the parents of a child with special needs, there are certain things that you should keep in mind to ensure your child gets what he or she needs.

Things to Keep in Mind for Your Parenting Plan

When you get a divorce and a child with special needs is involved, the process is inherently going to be more complex. 

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Kane County divorce attorney order of protectionIt is completely normal to feel strong emotions during your divorce. After all, you are ending your relationship with the person with whom you thought you were going to spend the rest of your life. Most people are able to control the emotions that they feel during the divorce, but others are unable to handle their emotions in a healthy manner. Rather than finding healthy and appropriate ways to cope with the feelings they may be experiencing, they instead stoop to bitter and spiteful actions. When this behavior includes harassment or stalking, it puts even more stress on your plate and is actually illegal in some situations. Fortunately, there are things you can do to protect yourself and your family from this type of danger during your divorce.

What Counts as Harassment?

In the state of Illinois, harassment is defined as actions taken knowingly with no legitimate purpose that would cause a reasonable person to suffer emotional distress and that actually does cause you emotional distress. There are many different types of behavior that could qualify as acts of harassment, including:

  • Constantly calling, leaving voicemails, or sending text messages or emails to you, your children, or any other family members

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Geneva divorce attorney property division

In an ideal world, getting a divorce would only affect you and your spouse. However, getting a divorce impacts everyone in your family, especially your children if you have any. Throughout your divorce, you will face many issues relating to your kids that must be settled, such as parenting time, allocation of decision-making responsibilities, and even child support. What you may not realize is that your children may also influence other areas of your divorce as well, such as property division. If you are going through a divorce, an Illinois divorce lawyer can help you determine your best scenario for asset and property division.

Considering Your Kids’ Feelings When Dividing Assets and Property

When you go through a divorce, you and your spouse are required to divide all marital property equitably among yourselves before you are able to finalize the divorce. While you may think that your children have nothing to do with those decisions, they may influence those decisions more than you think. Here are a few ways your children can influence your property division decisions:

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Yorkville divorce attorney spousal support order

When you see divorces take place in movies or TV shows, they only seem to take a day or two to complete. In reality, getting a divorce could take months or even years, depending on the circumstances of your specific situation. The divorce process can be rather tolling, both emotionally and financially. For some, it can feel like a burden has been lifted once the judge approves the divorce agreement and signs the decree. However, this does not mean that you will never have to look at this piece of paper again, especially if you have a child together or you get remarried. Your divorce agreement will also contain information about your child support terms and about spousal maintenance terms if you have them.

How Will Remarriage Affect Spousal Maintenance?

According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), a person is no longer obligated to pay spousal maintenance payments if the person receiving the payments gets remarried or moves in with another person on a continuing and conjugal basis. As per the IMDMA, that person must also notify the paying party within 30 days or at least 72 hours of the intended marriage or cohabitation, the date of which the support obligation ends. The court can order the receiving party to reimburse the paying party if it was found that advance notice was not given or overpayment was made. On the other hand, if the person making the maintenance payments moves in with a significant other or remarries, the maintenance payments would not stop.

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Geneva spousal maintenance attorney

We have all heard the common statistics that approximately half of all marriages end in divorce. While the divorce rate for first marriages lingers somewhere between 40 and 50 percent, the divorce rate for second or third marriages is much higher. Studies have shown that second marriages have an estimated 67 percent divorce rate, while third marriages are even higher, with an estimated 73 percent of these unions ending in divorce. Many people often wonder why the divorce rate increases with the number of marriages, since most would think people would have learned from the mistakes that led to their first divorce. Below are a few issues that experts have pinned down as being possible reasons why more marriages do not equal more success:

People Rush Into Marriages

One speculation as to why second and third marriages do not last very long is because people have a tendency to get married more quickly when they are divorced. After going through a divorce for the first time, there is a rebound period that people typically go through. This is a good opportunity to spend some time on their own, although many people choose to date during this period. Marriages during this time are less likely to succeed, unless a couple was together for two years or longer before they decide to wed again.

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DuPage County collaborative divorce attorneyIn recent years, divorcing by means of alternative dispute resolution has become rather popular. Both mediated and collaborative divorces have been the choice of many couples who are looking to get a divorce, rather than using the traditional litigation process. While each type of divorce has its advantages and disadvantages, collaborative divorce can be the answer to many people’s problems when it comes to settling issues and getting the results they want out of the divorce.

What Is a Collaborative Divorce?

The idea of collaborative divorce has existed since the 1980s, although it was only practiced in Illinois beginning around 2002. The Collaborative Process Act was signed into law in Illinois in 2018, and this formally recognized the collaborative process as a means to divorce. When a couple begins the collaborative process, they agree to cooperate in order to resolve the outstanding issues in their divorce. The collaborative divorce process takes place outside of the courtroom, in multiple private meetings. Avoiding litigation is one of the main goals of this process, and a collaborative divorce will often follow several methodical steps:

  1. Make a commitment to avoid litigation. In order to proceed with a collaborative divorce, you must first find a lawyer who is certified to practice collaborative law. That attorney will answer any questions you might have and prepare you for the collaborative divorce process. Once you and your ex-spouse have each found a collaborative divorce lawyer, you will sign an agreement stating that you will do everything in your power to settle any issues outside of the courtroom. This agreement will also state that you will provide each other with full disclosure of financial information, and you will answer any queries or requests honestly and completely. If you are unable to complete the collaborative process successfully, your respective attorneys will withdraw from representing you, and each party will need to find new counsel to represent them in court.

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Aurora, IL family law attorneyThe divorce process is complex. It affects almost every area of your life, including your financial well-being, your emotional health, and even your living situation and retirement plans. Since divorce is such a monumental event, it is essential that you find a good divorce lawyer to guide you through the legal process. Who you hire to represent you is arguably one of the most important decisions you will make regarding your divorce. It can be confusing choosing a lawyer, but by using the following tips, you can ensure that your attorney is the best choice for your situation and circumstances.

Keep Your Goals in Mind

Before you even begin meeting with divorce attorneys, you should figure out what you want out of the divorce. What issues are most important to you? If you have a feeling that your soon-to-be ex-spouse will become contentious over the parenting time and parental responsibility arrangements, you should try to find a lawyer who is skilled in handling child-related issues. If you have reason to believe your spouse may be hiding assets from you, you will want to seek a lawyer who has experience in investigating financial matters. Attorney Matthew M. Williams has dealt with cases involving both parenting time and parenting responsibility allocation. He also has worked with forensic accountants and other financial experts in cases in which spouses are not transparent with their assets.

Ask the Right Questions

Once you have a selection of lawyers who may be good matches for you, you should begin setting up consultations to meet with them in person. This will allow you and your potential attorney to get to know each other before you commit to working with him or her. During your consultation, you will want to ask a few questions about his or her qualifications and how the firm can help your case overall. During this time, you can ask what the attorney’s opinion is on your case and how he or she would proceed with handling it. When consulting with Attorney Matthew M. Williams, his 15 years of family law experience will be apparent while you discuss your case with him.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois parenting time and responsibilities lawyer,Divorce is difficult for everyone in the family, but it can be especially difficult for fathers who are going through a divorce. Even though it is 2019 and most people agree with the fact that a child does his or her best when both parents are involved in their life, fathers are often given the short end of the stick when it comes to divorce. Mothers are still seen as the primary caregiver and are often still given preference when making determinations about parenting time and decision-making rights. Though it may seem that there are numerous societal and cultural factors that are working against fathers, having help from a divorce lawyer who focuses on father’s rights can be beneficial. Here are four things you can do to be a good dad after your divorce:

Fight for Your Right to Parenting Time

Unfortunately, the court systems tend to favor the mothers over the fathers when it comes to parenting time. This can spell difficulty for fathers who want to play an active part in their child’s life, so it is important that you are tenacious about fighting for parenting time. When you attend parenting time hearings, make sure you are attentive, you listen to the judge and you show the judge that you care about your children.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer,Divorce is already stressful enough for the entire family. When you are dealing with a spouse who has it out for you, it can become even more difficult and it can make dealing with even the smallest issues a lengthy process. Adding children into the mix makes everything even more difficult, especially when your spouse insists on settling things in the courtroom when they could just as easily be settled outside of the courtroom. Dealing with a toxic spouse is emotionally draining, so here are a few tricks you can use to cope with your spouse during your divorce:

Make Sure You Document Everything

When it comes to toxic spouses, they will often bend the truth, change what they said previously or lie altogether. Do not allow your spouse to make you rethink events that happened in the past. You should not have to question your own memories, so making sure you document everything is key. If you communicate about something important, make sure you either record the conversation or get it in writing, that way you have hard evidence of the conversation that actually took place.

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mediationWhen you think of divorce, you might think of litigation in a courtroom with a judge handing down decisions, or a couple in a lawyer’s office arguing with each other, voices raised, about who gets to keep the family home. While popular culture would lead you to believe this is how divorce is, in reality, it does not have to be that way. When you think of getting a divorce, you do not have to go the traditional litigated route - you have options. One of those options is to go with a collaborative divorce, or one in which you both work together to settle your disputes outside of the courtroom. This has turned out to be beneficial for many couples for many reasons. Here are a couple of reasons why you should consider going with a collaborative divorce:

The Process Can Be More Affordable

Because you are settling issues in various meetings, rather than in the courtroom, you are not having to pay court costs and fees every time you try to settle something. Rather, you can make it a point to come to a decision about certain things during each meeting, cutting down on the number of meetings you will actually need to have.

You Have More Control Over Your Outcomes

One of the main benefits of collaborative divorce is the ability to actually control what happens to you and your family’s futures. In a collaborative divorce, both you and your spouse work with your separate attorneys to come to a decision on certain topics that will most benefit your family. In a litigated divorce, the judge will make decisions for you in accordance with state laws if you and your spouse cannot come to a decision on your own. Often times, the decision that the judge makes is not necessarily in you or your family’s best interest. Collaborative divorce allows you to do what is best for your situation.

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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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