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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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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family law, DuPage County family law attorneyIn an effort to stay current and updated with regards to the family laws, in early 2016 the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) was updated to reflect some slight, yet useful, changes that are helpful to note.

Previously, the main responsibility of caring for the child was referred to as “custody” of the child. As of January 1, 2016, we now refer to child custody as the “allocation of parenting responsibilities”. With the change in terminology, the state also took the common parenting responsibilities and separated them in order to allocate each responsibility to one or both parents. Another common term, “legal custody” was removed with this update and replaced with “decision-making responsibilities”. This particular term is in reference to religion, education, health, and extracurricular activities.

In this day and age, there are more and more fathers who feel that the laws and regulations surrounding allocation of parenting responsibilities (aka “custody”) and visitation lean heavily in the mother’s favor regardless of which parent would best benefit the child. However, particular aspects regarding these family law changes may take away some concern you have when entering in the decision to battle for visitation and / or custody of your child.

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Illinios divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorney, parental rights,As often happens with  legal matters, there are several misconceptions regarding  child custody. One of the most common is the idea that the courts favor mothers when awarding custody. This, however, is not always the case.

Child custody is one of the most emotionally charged areas of divorce law. The laws vary from state to state. As well, each case is different, which is why the guidance of a family attorney may prove invaluable if you are involved in a custody battle.

Dad School Program Will Provide Guidance to Single Fathers

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establish paternity, Illinois paternity attorney, legal paternity, VAP form, Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity, child support, child visitation, child custody, father's rightsPaternity is defined as the relationship between a child and his or her father. After legal paternity has been established, the father is linked to responsibilities as well as rights related to that child. This typically includes child support and visitation or custody with the child.

There are specific rules in Illinois that define the establishment of legal paternity. One of the following circumstances must be met for a man to be considered the legal father of a child:

  • The father was married to the mother after the birth of the child and the birth certificate for that child involved his written permission to include his name on that certificate;
  • A court order or administrative order of paternity has been recorded;
  • The mother and father have signed a “Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity” form; or
  • The father was married to the child’s mother when the child was conceived and/or born.
The mother of the child is the only person, aside from the child, who can petition the court to establish paternity. There are several reasons to establish paternity, including to protect parental rights, enable access to medical information related to the child, protect a child’s right to a relationship with the father, and to access certain benefits to which the child may be entitled as a result of his or her father.

In Illinois, there is an administrative process in place to help establish paternity. An interview is conducted to get any needed signatures and answer some questions from the mother. Then an interview is scheduled with the father to figure out whether genetic testing is required or whether he will voluntarily acknowledge paternity. If the individual identified as the alleged father does not attend the interview, paternity may be declared by default. Paternity discussions can be difficult and emotionally charged. Contact an Illinois paternity attorney today to learn more.

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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