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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Aurora divorce attorney property division

There are two things that people are usually the most concerned about when they get divorced: their money and their kids. If you or your spouse has filed for divorce, a lot of time and effort may be spent worrying about finances during your divorce proceedings -- but that does not stop mistakes from happening. The money decisions you make throughout the legal process of ending your marriage not only affect the outcome of the divorce, but they can also affect the rest of your life. Here are a few common financial mistakes that are easy to make during your divorce and how you can avoid them:

Not Understanding the Difference Between Marital and Non-Marital Property

One of the first things you must do in your divorce is to determine what assets are and are not subject to division. In the state of Illinois, certain property is considered to be non-marital property, which is typically not divided in a divorce. These can be items or assets that you or your spouse each bought or received as gifts before your wedding. 

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North Aurora child custody attorney

Sharing children with another person is one of life’s greatest pleasures, but it can also make for some difficult situations. In particular, if you and your spouse decide to get a divorce, you will always be connected, since you are both still parents to your kids. Although this may be comforting to some, it can be intimidating for others, especially if you do not get along with your ex. It can be challenging to co-parent with your ex-spouse after a divorce, but it is crucial to do so for the sake of your children.

Things You Should Do

Achieving successful co-parenting with your spouse depends on how well you and your spouse are willing to work together and how committed you are to your children. To achieve successful co-parenting, you should:

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Batavia parenting time attorney

When you get a divorce and you have children, it can feel like the proceedings will never end. Even after all is said and done, and the divorce decree has been issued, the drama can still continue for years. As parents, you will never truly be separated from one another, and the two of you will always be connected by your children. Because of this, it is no surprise that co-parenting can be one of the biggest sources of stress for divorced couples after their marriage has ended. Most couples want to make co-parenting as beneficial to the children as possible, which is why more and more couples are using technological solutions to help manage child custody concerns. Below are some of the most useful and popular apps and websites that can help take some of the worries out of co-parenting.

Google Calendar

One of the most popular ways co-parents stay in touch is by using a shared Google Calendar. This is accessible through a website or an app, and it allows both parents to keep tabs on different events and shared commitments that involve the children. Parents can even use the calendar to keep track of other events that might require a change in schedule.

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DuPage County divorce lawyer

Making the decision to end a relationship is never easy. Coming to the conclusion that a divorce is the only option typically takes months, if not years, and the possible end of your marriage can be a very stressful time of your life. It has often been said that marriages do not just break -- they deteriorate over time. If you are unhappy in your marriage, you may be wondering if it is time to call it quits, but it can be difficult to be certain that it is the right choice. Often, there are red flags throughout the marriage that you should be aware of that may indicate your marriage is not working. While there is no magic answer as to whether you should get a divorce or not, below are some warning signs that could indicate that it may be best to end your marriage.

One (or Neither) of You is Putting in the Effort

Successful marriages do not just happen. For you and your spouse to be happy in a relationship together, you have to want it. You have to get up every day and work for the marriage that you want and need. When one or both partners get to the point where they do not want to work on the marriage anymore, it could be a sign that the marriage is beyond saving.

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DuPage County property division attorneyDuring the asset division phase of your divorce, you and your spouse will decide which marital assets you each get to keep. What you may not realize is that you will also have to figure out who will be responsible for your debts. Any debt that you and your spouse jointly incurred during your marriage is considered marital debt. This means both you and your spouse will be responsible for repaying that debt after you are divorced. When it comes to dividing what you owe, things can become contentious, since debt is one of the few things in your divorce that you will not be fighting to keep.

Try to Be Debt Free Before You File

Creditors do not care what a divorce decree says. All they care about is being reimbursed. Even if your spouse was ordered to pay back a certain debt, if your name is on that account, and your spouse does not pay, you could be held responsible. The easiest way to prevent any issues arising from your debt is by not having any debt when you file for divorce. This is not a possibility for some, though you should still try to wipe out as much marital debt as possible before you file for divorce.

Secured and Unsecured Debts

The way you handle a particular debt depends on the type of debt it is. A secured debt is any debt that is secured by an asset, such as a house or a car. Since you do not fully own the house or car until the debt is paid off, the lender can take the asset from you if you become delinquent on the loan. Unsecured debt such as credit card debt is not secured by any assets, meaning the lender does not have the right to collateral for the debt.

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Aurora, IL family law attorneyThere is no one definition that is used when you talk about the “best interests of the child” during divorce cases. What may be right for one child is not always right for another child. Illinois courts understand this, which is why when it comes to child-related issues, a variety of factors are used to determine the best course of action. During divorce cases, decisions must be made about parenting time and the allocation of parental responsibilities, which are both child-centered issues. The main goal of the courts is to ensure that the child’s safety and overall well-being is placed at the top of the list of priorities.

Factors Used in Deciding the Child’s Well-Being

In many Illinois divorce cases, parents can lose sight of what is truly best for their child. This is when a judge may step in and help parents decide certain issues. Each divorce, family, situation, and child is unique. When judges are making these decisions, they base their determinations on the child’s age and needs, along with these factors:

  • The physical safety and well-being of the child, including the child’s access to food, shelter, clothing, and healthcare

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer,Getting a divorce turns your entire life upside down. The asset division process can prove to be especially cumbersome for some couples, as it requires you to take every single asset and debt into consideration when making decisions. Most couples argue over the house, bank accounts, and vehicles. While these high-value assets are important, it is also important not to overlook one of your most important assets -- retirement funds. It is easy to forget about retirement when it is 15 or 20 years away, but planning for it now can save you a big headache in the future. When it comes to retirement plans, one of the most important tools in your toolbox is a QDRO, which is a commonly used acronym for a qualified domestic relations order. QDROs can be extremely beneficial when divvying up retirement plans during a divorce and can take some of the uncertainty out of your future. What Is a QDRO? In the state of Illinois, all pension benefits, including individual retirement accounts (IRA’s) and defined contribution plans and accounts, are presumed to be marital property and must be divided in “just proportions.” This is where a QDRO comes in. A QDRO is a legal document that designates an alternate payee’s right to receive all or a portion of the benefits held in certain types of retirement accounts. What Is Included in a QDRO?

QDRO’s are just as legally enforceable as an order for alimony or child support and must be approved by the court. Basically, a QDRO will allow both payees to draw from the retirement plan when the time comes. Most of the time, the named payees will be both spouses, but in certain situations, the alternate payee can be a child or another dependant. For a QDRO to be valid, it must contain:

  • The plan owner’s name and mailing address;
  • The alternate payee’s name and mailing address;
  • The percentage of the plan that will be going to the alternate payee;
  • How that percentage will be determined;
  • The number of payments included in the order; and
  • How those payments will be made to each payee.

Consult with a Kendall County Asset Division Attorney Today

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois parenting time and responsibilities lawyer,Most people have a long list of questions when they make the decision to get a divorce. By far, one of the most common questions people have before they begin the divorce process is, “How much will my divorce cost?” The answer to that question is not a simple one -- there are so many factors that can affect the price tag on your divorce. Some sources report that the cost of divorce can be as low as a couple of hundred dollars, while other sources state a divorce will cost more along the lines of tens of thousands of dollars. Here are a couple of different factors that can affect the cost of your divorce: The Type of Divorce You Choose Not surprisingly, the type of divorce you choose can determine how much you ultimately end up paying for your divorce. A do-it-yourself divorce can range from $600 to $1,800, depending on the type of service you use and where you live. Typically, the only costs associated with a DIY divorce are those that come from the service you use and the filing fees. A litigated divorce can range in cost from $15,000 for a straightforward divorce to $200,000 for a divorce that ends up going to trial. Your Divorce Attorney’s Hourly Rate and Retainer Fee If you choose to have an attorney help you with your divorce, costs between lawyers may differ. The average attorney’s fees can range from $200 to $500 per hour and most attorneys also require you to pay for a retainer before you begin. The average retainer fee ranges from $3,500 to $10,000, depending on the complexity of your case. Court Costs and Filing Fees For the most part, in Illinois, filing fees tend not to differ very much between counties. To file for a dissolution of marriage in DuPage County, it costs $290, though that is not the only filing fee or cost you will have to deal with. Whether or Not You and Your Spouse are Willing to Work Together Couples who are more argumentative tend to pay more for their divorces. This is rather obvious because you will be paying more money if you are spending more time coming to an agreement on issues. For example, a couple who has to have five to six negotiation sessions will be paying their lawyer more than a couple who settles the same issue in only two sessions.

A Kane County Divorce Lawyer Can Help Keep Your Divorce Costs Down

If you are thinking of getting a divorce, there are a couple of different decisions you must make that can affect the cost of your divorce. At the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., we can help you discuss your divorce options and determine what your best course of action will be. Our knowledgeable St. Charles divorce lawyer will help you make sure your divorce covers everything you need it to, but also that it remains within your budget. Call our office today at 630-409-8184 to schedule a consultation.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois parenting time lawyer,When you get a divorce and you have children, chances are there will be some sort of child support involved. In Illinois, child support ends when the child turns 18 or until the child graduates from high school -- whichever comes later. Even though your child has graduated from high school, that does not mean that your support for the child has ended. If your child decides to pursue some type of post-secondary education, you are responsible for contributing to their education. This type of support is considered to be “non-minor support” and lasts until the child turns 23. It is best if you and your spouse come to an agreement as to how college expenses will be handled, but a judge can allocate college expenses if need be.

Covered Expenses

The main thing most people think about when discussing college expenses is tuition. While that is typically the most expensive expense, it is not the only expense that is covered under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. Other expenses that you may be responsible for include:

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A study conducted by Kansas State University researchers and reported upon in the Huffington Post has recently made ripples in the divorce community. The study found that “couples who argued about money early in their relationships—regardless of their income, debt or net worth—were at greater risk for divorce.” Sonya Britt, a top researcher on the report, told the Huffington Post that “it doesn’t matter how long ago it was, but when they were first together and already arguing about money, there is a good chance they are going to have poor relationship satisfaction.” This makes sense. Financial arguments have long been pinpointed as a top reason for divorce; arguments that involve both how much money gets spent and what it’s being spent on.

Lisette Chicago divorce attorney

According to The New York Times, a2009 study conducted by Jeffrey Dew at Utah State University found that “couples who reported disagreeing about finance once a week were over 30 percent more likely to get divorced than couples who reported disagreeing about finances a few times a month.” This study considered relationships not just in the beginning stages, such as the one that came out of Kansas State University, but also longer-term marriages. Interestingly, Dew’s study found that “for wives, disagreements over finances and sex were good predictors of divorce, but finance disputes were much stronger predictors. For husbands, financial disagreements were the only type of common disagreement that predicted whether they would get a divorce.”

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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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