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


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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. 


Batavia uncontested divorce attorney

It can feel like you have gotten over a giant hurdle once you have finally made the decision to tell your spouse that you want a divorce. Now that you have made that decision, you must begin to make even more difficult decisions throughout the process. One of the first decisions you will be required to make during your Illinois divorce is whether or not your divorce will be contested or uncontested. Both types of divorces have their place, but an uncontested divorce can offer benefits that a traditional litigated divorce cannot.

What Is an Uncontested Divorce?

In the simplest terms, an uncontested divorce is any divorce that takes place between two spouses who agree on all or most issues pertaining to their divorce. During a divorce, there are various issues that need to be discussed and settled, which can include issues such as dividing and allocating your marital debt and property, determining if spousal support is needed and if so, how much and for how long. If there are children, issues such as designating parenting time, allocating decision-making responsibilities, and calculating child support must all be addressed. 


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.

divorceIn a divorce, things can get ugly and they can get ugly fast. Once you have made the decision to separate from your spouse, the last thing you want to do is spend months, even years, arguing with them over certain things, attending court hearings, and waiting for the courts to finalize everything. This is the case for many couples who cannot come to an agreement on things. When you make the decision to divorce, you want the divorce to go as quickly and as smoothly as possible. This is where a joint simplified dissolution of marriage may come in handy. What Is a Joint Simplified Dissolution of Marriage?

This type of divorce is an uncontested divorce, meaning there are not any points of disagreement or argument between the two parties who are getting divorced. Generally, for the divorce to be uncontested, both spouses have to agree on:

  • Division of the marital property;
  • Spousal support;
  • How marital debts will be paid off; and
  • Any other issue arising from the marriage.
A joint simplified dissolution is entered into willingly by both parties and essentially expedites your divorce, but there is a catch - not all couples can use the simplified version of divorce. Qualifications for a Joint Simplified Dissolution of Marriage

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act states that the only couples who are eligible to use this process are couples who meet all of the following set of criteria:

  • Neither spouse is dependent on the other for support;
  • Both spouses waive their rights to support;
  • At least one spouse has been a resident of the state of Illinois for at least six months prior to the divorce petition;
  • Proof of irreconcilable differences has been met;
  • No children were born of the relationship, the couple did not adopt a child and the wife is not pregnant with the husband’s child;
  • The marriage did not last longer than eight years;
  • Neither spouse has property or retirement benefits, or the retirement benefits are held in separate accounts and are less than $10,000 in value;
  • The total value of all marital property is less than $50,000;
  • The combined gross annual income from all sources is less than $60,000 and neither spouse makes over $30,000 annually;
  • Both spouses have disclosed all of their assets, liabilities and tax returns during the marriage;
  • Both spouses have formed a written agreement dictating the division of assets, debts, and liabilities; and
  • Both parties have agreed upon who is responsible for any companion animals.
Contact a Skilled Kendall County Divorce Lawyer

Although not all couples are eligible for a joint simplified dissolution, some couples are. Joint simplified dissolutions are the easiest and quickest way to get an uncontested divorce finalized. If you think that you might qualify for a simplified dissolution, or if you are unsure if you qualify, you should contact an Aurora divorce attorney to discuss your situation. The Law Offices of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. can help you figure out the best way to file for your situation. To set up a consultation, call the office at 630-409-8184.


Posted on in Divorce

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody lawyer, attorney fees,When it comes to divorce, the laws pertaining to alimony, asset, and property division, child custody and support and other related issues can vary from state to state. The differences between one state and the other might be enough for some to take their divorce on a road trip.

Facts About Divorce in Illinois

While divorce laws tend to vary from state to state, it is important to know the laws that oversee such matters here in Illinois. Here is a quick summary of some of the basics.


Posted on in Division of Property
Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorney, Illinois divorce laws,As a couple goes through divorce negotiations and subsequent court proceedings many decisions are made as to who gets what, and how much they get. These decisions involve the house, children, savings and investments and other marital assets. Another decision that often results in much emotion is resolving the eventual resident of the family pet.

New Law Now in Effect

Previously, pets were treated as furniture or other inanimate possessions in divorce negotiations over marital property division. However, as of the start of 2018 in Illinois, a new law now gives a judge the right to determine if one spouse would be a better pet owner than the other. The individual who takes on more of the responsibility for pet care during the marriage now has a better chance of retaining ownership after the divorce.  Things to consider include:
  • Who purchases the pet food and other care items.
  • Who takes the pet for their regular vet visits.
  • Who walks or exercises, and/or cleans up after the pet.
  • Who spends leisure time with the pet.
All these things may now weigh in a judge’s decision as to who receives custody of the family pet. The law was sponsored by a member of the state legislature who served in volunteer positions with a zoo and humane society. She insisted that because animals have feelings and emotions it was necessary to consider a pet’s post-divorce placement with greater care. A study among divorce lawyers showed that, until very recently, courtroom battles between divorcing spouses often include disputes over pet custody, with dogs figuring in about 96 percent of those cases. However, more recently it was learned that pet custody disputes were more likely to be settled outside of court, through negotiations between the couple. This new law may increase those instances as parties are now aware of how a court may decide the matter, further clarifying one person’s claim to pet custody over the other.

Secure Your Future with Help from an Experienced DuPage County Divorce Attorney

If you are going through a divorce, it is important to work with a seasoned Aurora divorce lawyer to ensure a fair and equitable settlement of marital assets. The Law Offices of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. will work diligently to ensure you receive the best possible outcome possible. Contact our office today at 630-409-8184 to schedule a consultation to discuss all the options available.

divorceOnce a person actually decides that their marriage is no longer salvageable, and a divorce is imminent, the next steps require time and research to find the right attorney and begin the process that will lead to a final and legal decree of divorce. However, a new program in Illinois was established to help reduce some of the time-consuming work that adds stress to the situation.

The Early Resolution Program

The Illinois Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission recently awarded a $15,000 grant to the McHenry County Judicial Court to help fund the activity of its Early Resolution Program. The goal of this new initiative is to help those who require assistance starting their divorce process while making the entire experience more efficient. The Early Resolution Program was created to:
  • Help people find an attorney who will represent them in their divorce case.
  • Host monthly “problem solving” sessions to deal with procedural questions and paperwork.
  • Reduce legal costs and the number of steps in the divorce process.
  • Reduce the number of post-disposition hearings.
  • Work with divorce attorneys and other groups providing legal representation in divorce matters who will attend the monthly sessions and offer participating couples guidance and advice throughout the process.
The program is suited to help couples that have no children, no complex marital assets or debts, no pending orders of protection, and no pending matters of domestic violence. However, these problem-solving programs interactions between self-represented parties and the court are held frequently, but tend to be much less formal in nature. This process is designed to help couples work through the divorce process more quickly and, in some cases, receive a settlement judgment the same day as their session. A program such as this may help eliminate some of the fear that goes along with all the uncertainty when a couple begins to pursue divorce proceedings. However, it should not take the place of experienced legal representation when divorce matters take on or involve complex issues.

Find a DuPage County Divorce Attorney with Years of Experience to Represent You

Not every divorce can be quick and amicable, but, with the right attorney, it is possible to reduce the stress, anxiety and time spent worrying about the details. It is best to leave the heavy lifting to an experienced Aurora divorce lawyer. The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. works to find an agreeable end to your marriage and move divorce proceedings to a speedy and satisfying conclusion. Contact us today at 630-409-8184 to schedule a consultation, and learn how you will benefit from working with a knowledgeable divorce lawyer.


Posted on in Division of Property

Illinois custody attorney, Illinois family law attorney, Illinois divorce lawyer,When a marriage results in divorce, the end is usually not as simple as each spouse picking up and heading off in separate directions. Before a divorce decree is issued, the parties must go through the identification, valuation, and subsequent allocation of all marital property.

The Asset Division Process

In Illinois, when a divorce enters the asset division and allocation process, the law calls for an “equitable” distribution of assets, meaning “fair,” and not “even” or even 50-50. This includes:


Property Division in Divorce , divorce, property division, family law, child support, marital assetsGoing through a divorce is a complex issue both legally and emotionally. Many contentious issues must be decided on including, child custody, child support, and property division. When a house is part of the property that needs to be divided the tenants of divorce law are used to determine how the home or the home's value is shared between the spouses. It takes an experienced and insightful DuPage County divorce lawyer to navigate this treacherous legal terrain successfully.

Equitable Division

Illinois law controls how real property is divided in a divorce. Illinois is an "equitable division state." That means that the law does not require that marital assets be divided equally among divorcing spouses. Instead, the law requires that property is distributed equitably. Judges rely on several variables to determine what an equitable division of property is, however, Illinois courts are forbidden to consider marital misconduct for property division. Instead, judges are instructed to consider:


Posted on in Divorce

common law marriage, divorce, Illinois divorce attorneyThe only way for two spouses to end their marriage is by getting a divorce. But, what many people do not realize is that common law marriages also require a divorce before either spouse is free to marry someone else. How do you know if you have a common law marriage?

Illinois and Common Law Marriage

The state of Illinois does not recognize common law marriage. The only way to get married in Illinois is to obtain a marriage license and have a legal ceremony. Common law marriage, however, is recognized in many other states.


Illinois divorce lawyer, spousal maintenance, Illinois family law attorney,On Jan. 1, 2015, Illinois legislators passed new laws that govern the duration and amount of alimony payments. Many of the regulations apply to divorcing couples with a gross income of $250,000.

According to the revised law, “maintenance” is the new term for “alimony” in Illinois, but they both refer to spousal support. A judge determines whether to award maintenance based on 12 statutory factors.

Before January 2015, the calculation and duration were at the sole discretion of the judge. This led to noticeable variations from county to county, and from judge to judge. The legislation aimed to create uniformity in spousal support awards. The laws put the following formulas and guidelines into effect:

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


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

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