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


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

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North Aurora Parental Rights Attorney

When a child is born to parents in Illinois, the mother automatically receives her parental rights. The father, however, is a different story if the parents were not married when the child was born. Paternity must be established for a child if the father wants parental rights. This can be done in a variety of ways, though the most common way is for a couple to fill out a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity (VAP) form in the hospital. In some cases, however, a parent may wish to relinquish their parental rights to a child. In other cases, a parent may wish to terminate the other parent’s parental rights. Either way, this can be done under certain circumstances in Illinois.

Proving the Parent to Be Unfit

In order to proceed with petitioning the court to terminate a parent’s parental rights, you must first have proof that the parent is indeed unfit. During the hearing, which is bound to happen, the judge will determine whether or not there is enough evidence pointing toward the parent that would declare him unfit. According to Illinois law, a parent can be considered unfit if:


North Aurora family law attorney guardianship

For many people, making the decision to establish legal guardianship over someone is a rather difficult and emotionally stressful decision to make. However, establishing legal guardianship of your loved one can often be the only way to ensure that he or she is safe and protected in some situations. Guardianship is a way of establishing legal authority over another person in the event that he or she becomes incapacitated or is unable to make decisions. In Illinois, guardianship can be established over a minor who is under the age of 18, or an incapacitated adult. If you are contemplating establishing guardianship over a family member or friend, you likely have questions about guardianships in Illinois and the process of establishing it. The following are a few frequently asked questions and their answers about Illinois guardianship.

Who Is Eligible to Have a Guardian Appointed to Them?

When a person turns 18, he or she is automatically presumed to be of sound mind and able to make responsible decisions for himself or herself. However, a person can be appointed to serve as someone’s guardian if he or she is disabled because of mental deterioration, physical handicap, mental illness, or developmental disability.


Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer,While you and your spouse were married, you probably accumulated quite the collection of assets, which can range from money in the bank to vehicles and real estate. Many couples who divorce own a home together, which can be difficult to deal with when it comes time to split your assets during the divorce. If you and your spouse purchased the house during the marriage, your house will be considered marital property. If one of you owned the home prior to tying the knot, then your home may be considered non-marital property unless you and your spouse refinanced the mortgage or put both of your names on the deed to the home. There are basically three options that you and your spouse have when it comes to dividing the value of your home: you sell the house, one of you keeps the house, or you both keep the house. Everyone’s situation is different, so what may work for other people may not work for your family. Before you make the decision, you should weigh the pros and cons of each option. You Sell the House The easiest thing to do for most couples would be to sell the house, split the proceeds, and go their separate ways. This option is obviously ideal for couples whose home has appreciated in value, but couples whose home has depreciated in value may want to look at other options. If the house has appreciated in value, capital gains may be owed on the sale of the house and both spouses will be responsible for paying half of the bill. One Spouse Keeps the House This can be a tricky option. If one spouse wants to keep the family home, that spouse will have to become the sole owner of the home. To do this, the spouse will have to refinance the house with a new mortgage. The new mortgage would take the spouse’s own creditworthiness into consideration when refinancing and your interest rate could go up if this happens. You may also need to buy your other spouse’s half of the home from them, which could become expensive. You Both Keep the House Though it may be rather unusual, some couples may agree that the best option is to keep the home as a jointly owned asset. Most of the time, this is a short-term option for couples who either do not immediately qualify for a new mortgage, do not have the funds to buy out each other’s half, or just do not want to sell the house because of the children. Consult with an Aurora, IL Property Division Attorney

Making the decision of what to do with the family home can be a tough one. Home is where you make memories and many people have a tough time letting go of that. If you are unsure of what option would be best for you and your family, a knowledgeable DuPage County property division lawyer can help. At the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., we have extensive experience valuing and dividing all kinds of marital assets, including family homes. For more information or to inquire about a consultation, call our office today at 630-409-8184.



Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer,One of the biggest stressors that many divorcing couples have during -- and after -- their divorce is the children. Many parents worry that a divorce will put too much of a strain on their children, while other parents worry about having enough time with their children. While it is true that a divorce can be difficult for the entire family, children can be more flexible and adaptable than adults. It is generally understood that children do best after a divorce when both of their parents are present and active in their lives. While this is true, many divorced families find that they do not come out of the divorce with the parenting plan they wanted. A new bill, called the “Equal Parenting Time” bill was introduced in Illinois recently, which aims to make it so that more parents have equal parenting time with their children after an Illinois divorce. Current Parenting Time Guidelines

Under the current section in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, parenting time is determined by first encouraging parents to try to come to an agreement on a parenting plan. If both parents do not submit a mutually-agreeable plan to the court, then the court allocates parenting time in accordance with the child’s best interests. When making this decision, the judge looks at a number of factors including, but not limited to:

  • The wishes of each parent;
  • The wishes of the child;
  • The amount of time each parent has performed caretaking functions for the child in the past two years;
  • The mental and physical health of both the parents and the child;
  • The needs of the child;
  • The willingness of each parent to facilitate a relationship between the child and the other parent; and
  • The willingness and ability of each parent to put the child’s needs before their own needs.

Proposed Changes to Guidelines The proposed bill would change a few things about the allocation of parenting time in Illinois. There would be added language which states that, “it is in the child’s best interests to award equal time to each parent.” This means that both parents will be presumed to be fit parents. The court will begin with the presumption that each parent is awarded equal parenting time and then reduce or add time as needed upon findings that conflict with the child’s best interest. Contact a Skilled DuPage County Parenting Time Attorney


Posted on in Divorce

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, life after divorce,Unsurprisingly, for many people, divorce is very difficult. Not only are you ending your legal relationship with your spouse, but you are also ending a very deep romantic relationship. Many people having feelings of anger, despair, hopelessness or even depression after a divorce. One of the most important and healthiest things you can do after you have gotten a divorce is set your sights on all of the positive aspects of getting a divorce -- and yes, there are positives to this situation. Here are four things you can look forward to after a divorce:

You Have Free Time -- And It Is Yours

After a divorce, you will be single again -- and that means that you will have the schedule of a single person again. You can do whatever you want, whenever you want and you do not have to worry about upsetting or ignoring another person. You can start making time for activities that you like to do, without having to worry about the wants of another person.

You Have the Opportunity to Become a Better Parent

Divorce can be difficult for children, but in the long run, it will make everyone happier and healthier. A divorce can bring many positive effects to your children, especially without all of the constant fighting and tension. You also have the chance to focus solely on being the best parent you can be to your children.


Divorce is inevitable for many couples. With the divorce rate hovering at just about 50 percent in America, it’s no surprise that almost everyone knows someone who has been divorced. The stigma traditionally ascribed to the dissolution of a marriage is fading as divorce continues to become more commonplace. All this goes to say that many couples that might have otherwise sought a solution to their unhappy union other than divorce may instead be opting to seek the counsel of a divorce attorney. If you’re interested in saving your marriage, however, the Huffington Post has a few ideas to help.

Saving Your Marriage Before Divorce IMAGE According to the Huffington Post, the most important thing to keep a marriage healthy is to remember to say “thank you” to your spouse. This simple gesture can help keep a marriage happy because your spouse feels appreciated where he or she otherwise would not. “It doesn’t take much to authentically thank you spouse, even for little things like feeding the dog or doing the dishes,” says the Huffington Post. But the small gesture can go a long way.

Another important tip to remember if you’re trying to avoid divorce even in an unhappy relationship is to try not to turn “a single subject disagreement into the kitchen sink of disagreements.” It’s common for married couples to hash out years of arguments and shortcomings if just one small disagreement surfaces. This, says the Huffington Post, “is unproductive and exhausting.” In the same vein, make time to work on your marriage. “Treat your marriage like a garden that must be cultivated, watered, and cared for regularly,” reports the Huffington Post. One shouldn’t be surprised if her marriage is falling apart and she’s done nothing over the years to cultivate it.


RigsPeople may wonder whether there is a difference between a divorce and an annulment. Yes, there is a difference, and that difference may have serious consequences.

In Illinois, a divorce is a legal procedure that results in the termination of the marriage. This means that the judge has determined that there was a valid marriage and that marriage is now over. This also means that the judge will divide the assets that belong to the marital estate equitably between the parties.

Annulments are different. In Illinois, an annulment is known as a declaration of invalidity of the marriage, and it is a legal process that results in a finding that the marriage never existed. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act contains specific conditions before a judge will annul a marriage. If successful, a challenge to the marriage may mean that the assets one party earned during the marriage do not belong to the marital estate. Annulments may also affect inheritance rights after one spouse dies.

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


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

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