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


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

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Batavia parenting time attorney

"Divorce" and "peaceful" are probably two words that you never thought you would put in the same sentence together, but a peaceful divorce is not as rare as you might think. Amicable divorces are beneficial to everyone involved, especially if you have children. Having a peaceful divorce does not just happen by chance -- you have to not only want it to happen, but you also have to work hard to make it a reality. Although it takes two cooperating spouses to achieve a truly amicable divorce, there are certain things you can do to encourage a tranquil resolution. Below are a few tips to attain the ever-illusive harmonious divorce, which can help everyone with this major life transition. 

Be Respectful to One Another

There are a number of common reasons why couples get divorced, some of them being addiction issues (gambling, drugs, or alcohol), infidelity, or even domestic violence. Even though these issues can make it difficult to maintain respect for your spouse, keeping a mutual level of respect between the two of you is important to having a smooth divorce. Arguing or disrespecting your spouse in front of your children can make kids feel like they have to choose sides, which can be detrimental to their emotional well-being. The breakup of the family unit is traumatic enough, so do not add extra stress on them. 


Aurora divorce attorney finances

As much as marriage is an emotional and cultural bond, it is also very much a legal and financial partnership. When you are married, as far as the state of Illinois is concerned, what is yours is also your spouse’s, and vice versa. Although keeping finances completely separate is not impossible during a marriage, it is somewhat rare. When you get a divorce, untangling your finances can be a huge headache for both you and your spouse. For some people, divorce can even be the beginning of financial downfall -- but it does not have to be. Below are a few tips you can follow to help yourself maintain a sense of financial stability during and after your Illinois divorce.

Create a Post-Divorce Budget and Manage Your Expenses

One of the first things you should do is create a rudimentary budget to use after your divorce. If you are still early in the divorce process, you may not know exactly what all of your expenses or income will be after your divorce, but you do know that you should expect some changes. Keep in mind that you will have to budget for one income only, and you will probably have to determine new living expenses. This is also a good time to look at your spending habits and see where you can cut back. 


Oswego spousal maintenance attorney

There many issues that can break up a marriage -- infidelity, lack of communication, a difference in values -- the list goes on. One of the most commonly cited topics of marital stress is money. The stress does not end once the marriage is over, though. The majority of married couples plan their lives around two incomes. When a couple gets divorced, suddenly both spouses now have to figure out how to balance their lifestyles with their newly single-income household. In some cases, one spouse simply does not earn enough to survive or enjoy nearly as comfortable a lifestyle as he or she did before the divorce. In certain situations, spousal maintenance may be awarded, which can help alleviate this financial burden.

Will I Be Awarded Spousal Maintenance?

According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), there is no guarantee that spousal maintenance will be awarded in any divorce case. If you think that you deserve to receive spousal maintenance, you must file a petition with the court to have your case heard. It is up to the judge to decide whether or not a spousal maintenance award (commonly known as alimony) is appropriate for your case. Before the judge makes his or her final decision, he or she will consider all relevant factors in your case. These include, but are not limited to:


Batavia child support attorney

The “standard” for American families has changed over the years. Even just 20 years ago, the “normal” U.S. family consisted of a mother, a father, and one or two children. Now, families come in all sizes and configurations. According to data from the Pew Research Center, an estimated 18 million U.S. children are living with a single parent. Being a parent can be difficult even when you have another partner, but being a single parent is especially challenging. Here are a few tips you can use to help ease yourself into single parenthood after a divorce:

Get Your Finances in Order

It is no secret that raising a child comes with a rather large price tag. Most married parents have two incomes at their disposal to help pay for some of the expenses associated with raising a child, but after a divorce, you may only have your own income to rely on. This is when child support is typically awarded to ensure that the parent with the greatest share of parenting time will be able to provide for children's daily needs. In some cases, spousal support may also be awarded. It can also help to create a budget for you and your child so you can plan what your monthly expenses will be and relieve some of the worries.


North Aurora uncontested divorce attorney

Many people’s idea of what a divorce entails is entirely formed by the experiences of people around them and what they see in movies and television shows. When you think of a divorce, you might remember how your aunt and uncle went head to head in a divorce case that lasted for two years, or you might recall television shows such as Divorce Court and how argumentative the divorcing couples could be. In reality, many divorcing couples are not as contentious as you might expect. Some couples are able to put their differences aside and complete their divorce in a peaceful and relatively simple manner. In situations like these, you may be able to file for an uncontested divorce. However, an uncontested divorce may not be for everyone.

What Is an Uncontested Divorce?

In the simplest terms, an uncontested divorce occurs when both spouses can resolve the marital issues of their divorce without taking their case to court. Most divorces involve major issues such as:


Geneva grandparent visitation lawyerDivorce can be a troubling time for all families, whether they are a tight-knit family or not. When a family is close to one another, going through a divorce can be even more difficult. If a divorce is especially contentious or heated, relationships between family members can break down, and children can be used as tools to hurt other relatives. Illinois agrees that all parents have an inherent right to spend time with their children; however, this is not the case for grandparents. Thankfully, there are certain non-parents -- including grandparents -- who do have the right to petition for visitation in certain circumstances.

Who Can File a Petition for Visitation?

Only certain people are permitted to file a petition for visitation in Illinois. According to Illinois law, only grandparents, great-grandparents, step-parents, or siblings can file a petition to be granted visitation time. The petition can only be filed if the parent of the child has unreasonably denied visitation, and if at least one of the following is true:

  • The other parent is deceased or has been declared a missing person for at least 90 days.


DuPage County divorce decree attorneyMost people have heard of a divorce decree, but they may not know what it actually is. If you are going through a divorce, you probably know that getting your divorce decree is the last step in finalizing the process. There can be a lot of paperwork and forms involved in a divorce, but the divorce decree is perhaps the most important legal document of all. It is, therefore, best to have a skilled Illinois divorce lawyer guide you through the process to avoid any mistakes that could impact your future.

What Is a Divorce Decree?

A divorce decree is a legal document that formally declares and finalizes a divorce. The divorce decree contains information pertaining to the marital issues that have been decided on in the divorce. The contents of the divorce decree will vary depending on the couple, but most divorce decrees typically address the following topics:

DuPage County divorce lawyerFor many couples going through a divorce, their biggest worry is how it will affect their children. Most people think that the only children who will be affected by divorce are those who are still young and living with their parents. In reality, children of all ages can still feel the effects of their parents’ divorce, even when they are adults. When parents who have adult children get a divorce, it can be particularly difficult for the whole family, because these marriages have typically lasted for years, if not decades. If you have older children, and you are going through a divorce, it is important to be sensitive to their feelings and needs. Here are a few tips to follow to help your adult children during this family transition:

Tell All Your Children at the Same Time

Once you and your spouse have made the decision to end your marriage, it is usually best to tell all of your kids at the same time. You should schedule a specific time and place to inform your children together in a family meeting. It is never a good idea to confide in only one child first because it would be unfair to expect him or her to keep that secret until you are ready to tell everyone.

Acknowledge and Validate Their Feelings

One of the most important things you can do for your adult children during your divorce is to acknowledge their feelings and let them know that their emotions and thoughts are valid. In many cases, the way older children react to a divorce can be overlooked or deemed not as important as younger kids’ reactions.


Child support and visitation fights are not uncommon in divorce and family courts, but usually the fighting occurs between mother and father, not mother and an insurance company.

LucyFor Jill Vaughn though, that was exactly what she had to do. The Chicago Tribune reported that Jill had already lost her home to foreclosure as she entered into the battle of her lifetime with her ex-husband the large company that provides most of his income.

Companies like Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois are required by Illinois law to “garnish” paychecks of the workers who have to pay child support, but BCBS simply refused to pay Dr. Ronald Vaughn.


Charles no fault divorce

What are the Grounds for Divorce in Illinois?

The old concept that only an “innocent” spouse may file for divorce has been abandoned in Illinois.  Although Illinois still maintains the traditional "fault" grounds for divorce, it has added a "no fault" ground known as “irreconcilable differences.” Today, either spouse may file for divorce, regardless of whether one was at fault or engaged in any marital misconduct such as adultery.


LisetteDivorce is never an easy process. It is one, of course, made all the more difficult when the divorcing couple has children—and there are plenty of studies that point to the detrimental effects that divorce can have on kids. In March, the Huffington Post reported on a study conducted by the University of Toronto that found that “children of divorce are more likely to start smoking than those who grow up with married parents.” This especially affected women; women whose parents were divorced while they were growing up are nearly 40 percent more likely to take up smoking than women who were raised in families with married parents. Another study, reported by US News and World Report in March found that “children of religious couples are much more likely to leave the religion if their parents get divorced.” This study, while demonstrating that children with religious parents are less likely to remain religious after their parents’ split, did not find a link between the loss or presence of religion in kids whose parents were not already religious.

Yet there are some studies that demonstrate that staying in an unhealthy or unhappy marriage could be more detrimental to children than divorce.  According to Psychology Today magazine, Dr. Robert Emery, in his book The Truth About Children and Divorce, writes, “that in cases where the parents do argue often, divorce can actually be a relief to the children because they no longer have to live with all the tension they had experienced.”

From this perspective, you could be doing your children a favor if you divorce if the fighting between you and your (soon-to-be-ex) spouse is reaching a breaking point.  According to a different Psychology Today article, there are several things to you can do to help your children handle the divorce. One of the most important is, despite an inability to put aside differences for other reasons, to present a unified front to your kids and to not pit the other parent against the children. According to Psychology Today, it’s important to remember to “make a point of telling your child a few good things about the other parent,” and “get on the same page… about all rules concerning the children.”

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


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

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