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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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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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child support lawyer,When you are getting a divorce, you must come to an agreement with your spouse about how your assets will be divided. If you cannot come to an agreement, you will have to go to court and the judge will decide what is fair. Either way, dividing your assets can be a big headache, especially if you have large assets such as a house, cars, retirement or pension plans, stocks, brokerage accounts or businesses. It can be difficult to determine what is fair when it comes to distribution of your assets, but when it comes to Illinois law, there are certain criteria that judges use to make these decisions. Determining Marital Property vs. Non-Marital Property

The first thing a judge will do in a division of assets proceeding is determine which property and assets are marital property and which are not subject to division. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act outlines the types of assets and property that are considered marital and non-marital property. According to the act, marital property is any property, including debts and other obligations, acquired by either spouse during the marriage, except:

  • Property acquired by gift, legacy or descent and any property acquired in exchange for this property;
  • Property acquired in exchange for property acquired prior to the marriage;
  • Property acquired by a spouse after a legal separation; and
  • Property excluded by a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.
Equitable Distribution of Marital Property

When a judge is left to decide which spouse gets which property, they must consider certain factors that are outlined in the act. These factors include:

  • Each spouse’s contribution to the acquisition or increase or decrease in value of the property;
  • The contribution of a spouse as a homemaker to the family;
  • The dissipation of the marital property by each spouse;
  • The value of the property;
  • The duration of the marriage;
  • Relevant economic factors of each spouse;
  • Any obligations from a prior marriage;
  • Any prenuptial or postnuptial agreements;
  • The age, health, occupation, income, skills, employability, liabilities and needs of each spouse;
  • The custodial provisions for any children;
  • The prevalence of any spousal maintenance;
  • The opportunity of each spouse for future assets or income; and
  • The tax consequences of the division of property.
The act also specifies that property and assets are divided without regard to any marital misconduct. Contact a DuPage County Divorce Attorney

If you are going through a divorce, you probably know about the stress and difficulty that comes with dividing your assets. Though dividing your marital assets can be troublesome, it does not have to be--with the help of an Aurora divorce attorney, your assets can be divided equitably and in your favor. Contact the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. to begin discussing your case. Call 630-409-8184 to schedule a consultation.

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Posted on in Divorce

amicable separation, DuPage County divorce lawyer, divorce proceedings, divorce decree, amicable divorceGoing through a separation and divorce is difficult for everyone involved. Even the spouse who initiates the process probably feels some level of guilt, anxiety, or apprehension. After all, a marriage is intended to last forever.

But instead of family vacations and parties, thoughts turn to matters of alimony, custody, division of assets, and other unpleasantries.

However, it is not unheard of for a separation and eventual divorce to take on an amicable tone. When both parties are willing to work through the process, then things can proceed more quickly and with less animosity.

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divorce and finances, DuPage County divorce lawyer, financial planning, divorce proceedings, divorce expensesBecause many divorces end up in court and involve lawyers, it is commonly looked upon as a legal matter. However, the financial impact of a divorce has the influence to alter a person’s life in a number of ways.  It is critical that those entering into a divorce have a firm grasp on their current financial situations, and initiate financial planning for their future, as well as that of their children, if necessary.

Get the Planning Started

Take steps early in the process so you are prepared when divorce proceedings get underway.

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causes of divorce, divorced couples remarry, DuPage County divorce lawyer, remarriage, divorce processWhen one or both partners in a marriage decide to pursue a divorce, the thought of remarriage is not usually among the matters under immediate consideration. However, over time, remarriage is something  that many divorced individuals pursue, even remarrying the same person they previously divorced.

To some, the thought of remarrying the same person you just divorced may sound ridiculous. After all, whether the divorce process was amicable or hostile, so much time, energy, money, and emotion was spent settling issues such as alimony and support, custody and visitation, and division of marital assets. The reality is that some couples eventually realize, after time spent apart, that remarrying their “ex” is right for them.

How Does it Happen?

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Posted on in Divorce

Signs a Divorce May Be Imminent, divorce, signs of divorce, family law, DuPage County Divorce Lawyer, divorce processThe realization that a marriage is coming to an end and a divorce is likely may catch many people by surprise. It is understandable to fight the reality that your marriage, which you vowed would last forever, just isn’t working.

No one goes into a marriage believing it could one day result in meetings with divorce lawyers, and discussions of alimony, child support or custody agreements. However, there are some signs that a divorce may be likely.

What are Some of the Signals of Divorce?

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Posted on in Divorce

Intellectual Property and Divorce, divorce, intellectual property, marital property, asset division, DuPage County Divorce LawyersFor entrepreneurial and inventive spouses considerations for divorce do not conclude with decisions regarding income to be calculated for child support or who inherits a spouse’s business debt. An often neglected, but uniformly important consideration is the topic of intellectual property

How is Intellectual Property Treated in Divorce

Intellectual Property is also called IP for short. It refers to the litany of legal rights that attach to an expressed idea. Put another way intellectual property is the legal defense of your mental work. Intellectual property can include copyrights, trademarks, or trade secrets.

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Posted on in Divorce

Mistakes to Avoid in Divorce, divorce, finances, division of property, marital propertyWhen progressing through a divorce in Illinois, spouses have to make important financial decisions. This must be done while tolerating a great deal of emotional stress. Many times this volatile situation can cause people to make unnecessary yet consequential mistakes. A substantial mistake made regarding finance is operating and making decisions without having ample information. Without the information required to make sound decisions, the outcome of a divorce can be left to chance, or even worse, the other spouse.

Budgeting Through Divorce

Another common mistake made when spouses are going through a divorce is not adequately budgeting. When spouses are married, they become accustomed to having the financial resources of two incomes. When a marriage ends in divorce, the spouses are forced to adapt their financial decision making to address the fact that they no longer have the other spouse’s income available. Not making a conscious and focused consideration about the decreased income that spouses have available to them can lead to serious financial shortcomings that an Illinois court may not be able to rectify.

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What Happens to my Pets in a Divorce?, pets, divorce, illinois divorce attorney, division of property, martial assetsMarried or unmarried people sincerely love their pets. Roughly 78 million dogs and 86 million cats are owned throughout our nation. When a marriage between pet owners ends in divorce, one of the most contentious matters to navigate through is deciding who will take ownership of the pets in the dividing household.

Are Pets Subject to Court Ordered Visitation?

Illinois law mandates that “any person having a right of property in an animal, or who keeps or harbors an animal, or who has it in his care, or acts as its custodian is that animal’s owner.”

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How can Infidelity Affect Your Alimony in a Divorce?, alimony, spousal support, divorce, adultery, law officeAfter a divorce, many people find out that there are certain evaluations about what they have contributed to the marriage financially that must be made. There can be circumstances where both the husband and wife work outside the home and share equal earning power. Another common scenario is where one party to the divorce primarily contributes time and energy to the development of the family and home while the other works outside of the home to primarily provide financial stability.

Alimony, which in Illinois is called maintenance, is the money that one spouse pays the other to ensure that both parties are situated in a financially equitable position after the divorce. The idea behind alimony is ensuring that one spouse is not unjustly enriched at the expense of the other spouse.

When Is Alimony Ordered in the Divorce Process?  

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Posted on in Divorce

marriage, Aurora divorce attorney“Should I leave or should I stay? What about the kids? What will my friends and family think if I leave? Is my marriage salvageable?” If these or similar thoughts have been running through your mind recently, you are probably in the arduous indecision stage of a struggling marriage. Trying to decide if a marriage is truly over or not is one of the hardest decisions you will ever make. Only you can choose what is right for your situation, but experts do have some advice for those contemplating a divorce.

Ask Yourself These Questions

There is no one-size-fits-all checklist of dealbreakers in a marriage, and everyone’s circumstances are unique. However, asking yourself the following questions may help you decide if it is time to consider ending your marriage:

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sleep, Aurora divorce attorneyMost married couples look forward to sharing a bed after a long day. Spending time being physically close to your partner is an important component to any romantic relationship. A lack of physical intimacy is often associated with a higher likelihood of divorce. According to a study by the National Sleep Foundation, however, many married couples are choosing to sleep in separate bedrooms.

A Better Night's Rest Can Lead to a Healthier Relationship

Whether we like to admit it or not, most of us have at least some annoying nighttime habits. Some snore loudly or toss and turn; others talk in their sleep or sleepwalk. A person may get up to go to the bathroom several times throughout the night or be unable to stay asleep because of insomnia or other health issues. All of these interruptions can lead to a very unrestful night for a partner sharing the same bed. After a night of being interrupted and getting little quality sleep, a person is likely to be grumpy and irritable. Some may even feel anger or resentment towards their partner for disrupting their sleep – even if they know it is not their partner’s fault. This resentment can build up over time and be a catalyst for arguing and poor communication between spouses.

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gaslighting, DuPage County divorce lawyerOctober is Domestic Awareness Month, and it is important to note that domestic violence is not limited to physical actions like hitting and kicking. In many cases, emotional abuse or psychological abuse can be just as destructive as physical abuse, and can certainly lead to the breakdown of a marriage. In fact, for many years, repeated mental or emotional cruelty was considered grounds for divorce in Illinois. While all divorces in the state must now be on the no-fault grounds of irreconcilable differences, it is still important to be able to recognize such victimization when it occurs. One type of this emotional abuse is referred to as “gaslighting.”

Does your partner often deny any knowledge of events or conversations that you know took place? On the opposite end, does he or she insist things happened which did not? Does he or she accuse you of misremembering past events? Does your partner ever insist that you said or did something of which you have no relocation? If so, you may be a victim of gaslighting.

What is Gaslighting?

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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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