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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DuPage County allocation of parental responsibilities lawyerNow known as the allocation of parental responsibilities, child custody can be one of the most contentious issues in a divorce. Even if you and your spouse agree on how you want to divide your property and debts, you may clash when it comes to deciding how parenting time and significant decision-making responsibilities will be allocated. Although you and your spouse may never want to speak to each other again, you will always share a common bond--your child. Determining how your child will spend time with each parent and what decision-making rights each parent will have for the child can be a daunting task. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about the allocation of parental responsibilities in Illinois.

How Will Decisions About Parental Responsibilities Be Made?

Illinois courts recognize the benefit of both parents agreeing on certain issues, especially child-related issues. Because of this, the courts will encourage parents to come to an agreement about parental responsibility on their own. If they are unable to come to a  resolution, the court will make these decisions for them based on what is in the best interests of the child.

What Factors Will Be Used to Determine the Best Interests of the Child?

When a judge must make any decision involving the child in a divorce case, he or she will use specific factors to determine what is in the child’s best interest. These factors can include but are not limited to:

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DuPage County divorce lawyer for financial issuesDivorces are difficult for some families, especially when it concerns financial matters. Splitting your marital finances during your divorce can be challenging, but it can also be disastrous for a couple. With two separate households comes increased financial obligations. Some people may be prepared for the increase, while others may struggle. While divorce in itself will not lower your credit score directly, certain actions and events that take place during the divorce can affect the score in negative ways. The following are a few situations that could potentially impact your credit score when going through a divorce:

You Have to Refinance Your Home

One of the biggest assets you may have to deal with in your divorce is the family home. If one spouse is planning on keeping the marital home, it is best to make sure the home is in that person’s name only. To do this, you may have to refinance your mortgage. Refinancing means you will have to go through a comprehensive credit inquiry, which can affect your credit score.

Your Spouse Still Has Access to Your Accounts

When you are married, most of your financial accounts are probably joint accounts, meaning you and your spouse both have ownership over them. When you get divorced, the process of splitting those accounts and/or taking your spouse’s name off of them can take a while. If your spouse still has access to accounts such as your credit card account, he or she can rack up charges, which can affect your credit score in a negative way.

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DuPage County collaborative divorce attorneyIn recent years, divorcing by means of alternative dispute resolution has become rather popular. Both mediated and collaborative divorces have been the choice of many couples who are looking to get a divorce, rather than using the traditional litigation process. While each type of divorce has its advantages and disadvantages, collaborative divorce can be the answer to many people’s problems when it comes to settling issues and getting the results they want out of the divorce.

What Is a Collaborative Divorce?

The idea of collaborative divorce has existed since the 1980s, although it was only practiced in Illinois beginning around 2002. The Collaborative Process Act was signed into law in Illinois in 2018, and this formally recognized the collaborative process as a means to divorce. When a couple begins the collaborative process, they agree to cooperate in order to resolve the outstanding issues in their divorce. The collaborative divorce process takes place outside of the courtroom, in multiple private meetings. Avoiding litigation is one of the main goals of this process, and a collaborative divorce will often follow several methodical steps:

  1. Make a commitment to avoid litigation. In order to proceed with a collaborative divorce, you must first find a lawyer who is certified to practice collaborative law. That attorney will answer any questions you might have and prepare you for the collaborative divorce process. Once you and your ex-spouse have each found a collaborative divorce lawyer, you will sign an agreement stating that you will do everything in your power to settle any issues outside of the courtroom. This agreement will also state that you will provide each other with a full disclosure of financial information, and you will answer any queries or requests honestly and completely. If you are unable to complete the collaborative process successfully, your respective attorneys will withdraw from representing you, and each party will need to find new counsel to represent them in court.

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Aurora, IL divorce attorneyA common saying is “When one door closes, another door opens.” This is true in most life events, even divorce. Although a divorce is the end of a marriage, it can also be a fresh start in life, providing the opportunity to find someone new and date again. The time between those doors can differ for everyone, but most people will eventually be open to another relationship after they divorce.

Dating again can be exciting, but it can also be stressful for your children. Depending on their age and level of maturity, they may or may not be able to understand why their parent has decided to start dating. Sometimes, new relationships can put stress on a family, but following the below guidelines can help you reduce anxiety and enjoy this next chapter in your life.

Do:

  • Talk with your ex before you introduce your partner to your children. Not only is this respectful, but it can also help keep the peace between all involved. Your ex has a right to know who will be spending time with your children. Be sure your ex is comfortable with the idea of introducing your children to your new partner. Sometimes, introducing your ex and your new partner can ease some of the tension everyone may be feeling.

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Aurora, IL parental relocation attorneyThere are many reasons why a person may want to move after a divorce. Some may want to be closer to family members, others may move for a new job or simply a fresh start. Whatever the reason, moving can be problematic for a divorced parent who wants to take his or her child with him or her.

In Illinois, moving out of state, moving more than 50 miles away from the current residence within the state, or moving more than 25 miles away if the current residence is in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, or Will County is considered relocation, and a parent will be required to obtain permission from the court. If the other parent does not agree to the relocation, a person still may be able to relocate, but the issue will need to be settled within the court system.

Notice of Relocation

Illinois law states that a person wishing to relocate with his or her child must notify the other parent in writing at least 60 days prior to the intended relocation. The notice should inform the other parent of the date of relocation, the new address, and whether or not the relocation is permanent. If the other parent signs the notice, and the notice is filed with the court, then the relocation will be granted, as long as the family court judge believes that the move would be in the child's best interests. If the other parent objects to the relocation or does not sign the notice, or if the parents cannot come to an agreement on a modified parenting plan, the relocating parent must file a petition to relocate.

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DuPage County, IL spousal support attorneyA divorce is never an easy decision, and for many, it can turn their entire lives upside down. Years ago, spousal maintenance (then known as alimony) was a rather common thing that was typically awarded to women who were getting divorced. Now, with more women in the workforce, the number of women receiving spousal maintenance has dropped, while the number of men receiving spousal maintenance has slightly increased. Spousal maintenance is still a rather common issue during Illinois divorces that must be decided before the divorce can be finalized.

Calculating the Amount of Maintenance Payments

If the judge determines that a maintenance award is, in fact, appropriate, he or she will use the maintenance guidelines to determine the amount of spousal maintenance to be paid. The Illinois maintenance guidelines apply to any couple whose combined annual income is less than $500,000 and when the payor does not have any other obligations to pay child support and/or spousal maintenance from a previous marriage.

The amount of maintenance to be paid is determined by taking a portion of the payor’s income and subtracting a portion of the receiver’s income from it. The formula for calculating the maintenance amount is as follows: 33.3% of payor’s income minus 25% of receiver’s income equals the yearly spousal maintenance amount. To determine the monthly amount for maintenance payments, you would simply take the amount for yearly maintenance payments and divide it by 12.

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Posted on in Divorce and Holidays

life-divorceMost people have a love or hate relationship with Valentine’s Day. Some people cherish the thought of pink and red hearts, chocolates and flowers. Other people loathe the insincerity of giving presents on a random day to declare your love. For those who are going through a divorce or have recently finalized their divorce, Valentine’s Day can be a giant reminder that you no longer have a significant other. While this can be depressing to some people, you should not let it get you down. Here are five ways you can survive your first Valentine’s Day as a single (or almost single) person:

Do Not Spend the Day Alone

It will help no one if you stay at home and wallow in your sadness all day. Call your friends, spend time with family, volunteer at a homeless shelter or nursing home -- the idea is to surround yourself with people on Valentine’s Day so you do not feel so alone.

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resolutionWe all know how most New Year’s resolutions work -- you come up with grandiose ideas about how you will change and be different, you follow them for about a month and then you go back to your same old routines. While keeping resolutions can be difficult, there is no better time to take a look at your life and do a little introspection and self-reflection than the beginning of a new year, especially if you are recently divorced or you are looking to begin the divorce process. Divorces can be messy and difficult, but keep these few New Year’s resolutions in mind and you could come out of your divorce on top. Let Go of Your Anger and Make a Point to Be Happy A divorce can cause you to feel many emotions, including anger, fury, contempt, and hate. It can be one of the hardest things to do, but once you let go of your anger, you will find that you will be much more relaxed and that it will be easier for you to be happy. Instead of taking your anger out on your ex, release your anger and forgive your ex for anything they might have done. It will be in your family’s best interest for you to move on. Focus on Improving Communication with Your Ex You have probably heard it many times before, but communication is key, especially when it comes to co-parenting. Being a single parent is tough, but being a single parent who has to coordinate with an ex who they do not get along with is even tougher. Your kids (and you) will have an easier time with custody transitions if you and your ex can communicate effectively. Make a Point to Spend Quality Time with Your Children Though you may have your kids a majority of the time or even the same amount of time as your ex, it is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Making time for your children is extremely important after a divorce because now every moment you spend with them is more precious than ever. Focus on your children and make sure that they feel loved and accepted -- more than they ever have before. Hire an Aurora, IL Divorce Attorney to Help You Through Your Divorce

Divorces can be confusing and messy, both of which are not traits you want to associate with your new life. Whether you are just starting to think about a divorce, you want to begin the divorce process or you are in the middle of the divorce process, at the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., we can help you with all aspects of the divorce. Keeping New Year’s resolutions can be tough, but with help from our knowledgeable DuPage County divorce lawyers, sticking to your resolutions will be a breeze. Call our office today at 630-409-8184 to set up a consultation.

 

Sources:

http://www.homeafterdivorce.com/post-divorce-new-years-resolutions/

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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.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, life after divorce,No matter the length of the marriage and no matter the circumstances of the split, a divorce is always a difficult life event to get through. Even the most steadfast and strong person can experience the challenges that a divorce brings. Because of the all-encompassing nature of divorce, it can feel like your entire life is falling apart, especially right after your divorce is finalized. While you are most likely experiencing major changes after your divorce, it is important to realize that these changes are only temporarily distressing and with time, you will become happier and healthier. Here are a few tips as to how you can move on after your divorce:

Learn to Let Go of Your Negative Emotions

Though it will be difficult, you cannot health without first learning to let go of all of the negativity and stress that you have built up throughout your marriage and divorce. You may be experiencing feelings of anger, sadness, hopelessness or despair, but they will do nothing but damage for you. You must learn to look past those emotions and understand that they do go away with time.

Rediscover Yourself and Your Interests

Often, people who get divorced -- especially if they have been married for quite a while -- find that they no longer partake in activities that they enjoy or that they are a different person than they want to be. Post-divorce is a perfect time to rediscover yourself and truly look at making yourself into the person that you want to be. It is also a good time to rediscover your likes, interests, and hobbies, which can also put you in a better position to focus on the positive rather than the negative.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, life after divorce,No matter the situation, getting a divorce is a big life change. Even if you were only married for a couple of years, getting divorced changes almost everything about your life. Though you may feel that you are ready for a divorce (and you probably are) you may not exactly be prepared for what is to come. There are certain things that you do not expect to experience when you get divorced and there are things that may not have even crossed your mind before. Everyone has different circumstances when it comes to divorce and everyone will experience the divorce differently, but there are a few things you should know about life after divorce. Even if you are the one who initiated the divorce, you will probably still feel a sense of loss. Even though divorce is the legal process of separating yourself from your spouse, it is also very much an emotional process. Many people underestimate just how much of a transition a divorce really is. You are changing everything from your living situation to your financial situation - it is understandable for you to feel things like loss, sadness, grief, and disappointment. These are all emotions many people experience in their life after divorce. If you have children, you do not get to ignore your ex. Just because you are getting divorced does not mean that you get to part ways and never see your ex again, especially if you have children. You and your spouse will forever be linked by your children and that is something you must come to terms with. Even when your children are grown adults and no longer are under you or your spouse’s care, you will still have that link. Divorce might affect your children in ways that are apparent through their behaviors. There is no one way that divorce will affect your children. Just like adults, all children are different and all children will have different reactions to a divorce. Your kids will not always tell you that the divorce is bothering them or that they have certain feelings about the stress a divorce can bring. Sometimes, your children’s behaviors will be the telltale signs that the stress is getting to them.

Holidays will be difficult for years to come.

No matter what holidays you celebrate, holidays mean family. When you are going through a divorce, your family situation is changing and many people who you were accustomed to seeing you will not see again. Holidays can be difficult for anyone, but they can be particularly difficult for those who are divorced. If you have children, chances are you will not be able to spend every holiday every year with them. An experienced Aurora, IL divorce lawyer can be extremely beneficial during the divorce process.

Divorce is a complicated process that requires the expertise of someone who knows what they are doing. The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. has been representing spouses in divorce proceedings for over 15 years. Our experienced DuPage County divorce attorneys can guide you through every step of the divorce process and help you come to an agreement that your whole family can benefit from. Call our office today at 630-409-8184 to set up a consultation.

 

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, One of the biggest questions people have when they begin the divorce process is how it will affect their finances. Many people forget how interwoven their lives become with their spouse’s lives until they go to separate them. Especially when it comes to your finances, things can become confusing and stressful. The decisions you make during your divorce will affect you for many years to come, if not the rest of your life. One of the ways you can ensure your finances are taken care of and your assets are distributed correctly is by having a lifestyle analysis prepared.

What Is a Lifestyle Analysis?

Simply put, a lifestyle analysis creates the basis for what your standard of living was during the marriage. It is basically the complete financial picture of the most recent years of your marriage. Your lifestyle analysis will include:

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody lawyer,When you hear people talking about divorce, they are probably talking about one of three things: how it affects you emotionally, how it affects your children, or how financially debilitating it can be. Marital life typically means that all of your finances and assets are entwined with each other, making it a difficult and stressful time for you when you go to separate them. Divorce can leave you with a sad bank account, a less-than-favorable credit score and thoughts about how you will pay bills alone. Although these issues can weigh on you, there are things you can do to help yourself after your divorce. Educate Yourself Before you begin creating a plan of attack for your finances, you have to know what you are working with. One of the first things you need to do is to take stock of all of your assets and debts and determine what is now yours. Divorce means you will be splitting all of these things, though not necessarily equally, but equitably. Figure out what you are working with and then go from there. Create a Budget Next, create a budget of what you need to spend and save each month. List out all of your monthly expenses such as rent, health insurance, utilities, credit card payments or other bills. Then figure out how much you can afford to save each month. Even a little bit at a time can add up eventually. Creating a budget can help you get into the swing of managing your finances after your divorce. Cancel Your Joint Bank Accounts Though this might be self-explanatory, you need to immediately cancel any and all of your joint bank accounts that you have with your spouse. Once you have begun the divorce process, having any joint accounts open can become a big liability very quickly. If your ex happens to run up big bills on credit accounts and your name is still on them, you will also be liable for paying those debts. Get a New Credit Card Opening a credit card with just your name on the account is a good way to begin rebuilding your credit. Start by spending a small amount each month, such as money for gas, but make sure you have the money to pay the bill off each month. Balances that sit on your credit card are not good for your credit score. Contact an Illinois Divorce Attorney

While you may be panicking now, you should take a deep breath and know that everything is going to be okay. An experienced Aurora divorce attorney can help you make the right financial decisions when it comes to dividing you and your ex’s assets and debts. Contact the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. to determine your best plan of action. To set up a consultation, call the office at 630-409-8184.

 

Sources:

https://www.pacificawealth.com/21-divorce-financial-tips-must-divorce/

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divorceThough you never planned for it, a divorce can be one of the biggest events in your life. You are changing your entire life when you divorce, from where you live to which bank account you use. A divorce is very much a legal process, but it is also more than that - it is an emotional process that you must go through as well. Emotional coping is very important when you are going through a divorce and is essential to your mental health once you have completed the legal aspect of divorce. Here are some ways to help you cope with the wild emotions that divorce can bring:

Allow Yourself to Grieve

Though divorce is a legal process, it is just as much an emotional one. It is only natural to grieve the loss of your relationship when you are going through a divorce, and to prevent yourself from grieving will only prolong the process. Allowing yourself to go through the stages of grief is a healthy coping mechanism that will enable you to move on with your life.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody lawyer,Divorce is not an easy concept for many children to grasp. Even if they understand the basics of what a divorce means, many children still cling to the hope that their parents might get back together. Introducing your children to your new partner is a task that can be daunting and requires a certain level of prudence. Your children should be at the forefront of your concerns, so dating after your divorce should be as unobtrusive to your children as possible until both you and they are ready to open their minds and arms to a new way of life. Timing Is Everything If you introduce your new partner to your children before they have had time to mourn the dissipation of their family unit, results could be less-than-desirable. Some experts say it takes at least a year before children are comfortable with their new life and have settled into their new routine of having divorced parents. You should also give the new relationship time so that you can evaluate the potential of the relationship. When children have new people in their lives, they tend to get attached to them. If that person is suddenly not there anymore, they will have to go through the break up just like you. While there are no guarantees that any relationship is long term, you should be sure that your new partner understands your concerns that you have about introducing them to your children. Be Honest with Your Children Though this is an age-sensitive topic, you should be as honest as is appropriate with your children. You can tell younger children that your new partner is your new friend and that you would like him or her to become friends with each other. With older children or teenagers, they might be more curious as to the status of the relationship. If you feel comfortable doing so, you can tell teenagers that you are dating and that your new partner is your new boyfriend or girlfriend. Get Help From a DuPage County Divorce Attorney

For some people, dating after a divorce can be an exciting and fun time in their life. You are able to explore your feelings for other people and enjoy the freedom from your ex, but you should also take into consideration how new relationships will affect your children. Going through divorce can be tough on children, but with the help of an Aurora divorce lawyer, you can help your children avoid the stress of a divorce. Contact the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. at 630-409-8184 to set up a consultation.

 

Source:

https://expertbeacon.com/how-introduce-your-children-new-partner-after-divorce#.W5AW1egzpPY

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child support lawyer,For many people, divorce is one of the most emotionally demanding and stressful situations they will go through. Not only do you have to deal with the long and demanding legal divorce process, but you also have to figure out how to cope with the fact that you are ending a major relationship in your life, which can bring about a myriad of emotions. In order to come out of the divorce right side up, you have to figure out how to cope with these emotions and work your way through this emotional process.

Allow Yourself to Grieve the Loss of the Relationship

If you are going through a divorce, one feeling you will probably come across is grief. Grief is a natural response to the loss of something, in this situation, the loss of your relationship. It is important that you allow yourself to feel the emotions that come with grief, such as anger, sadness, fear, and confusion. The sooner you can emotionally accept that the relationship is over, the sooner you can begin your process of self-healing.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child support lawyer,Divorcing with children is not uncommon--anywhere from 40 to 50 percent of divorcing couples have at least one child under the age of 18. Divorcing with children adds an extra layer of complexity to divorces--you have to think about who the child will live with, what the parenting arrangements will be, how you will share the cost of raising a child and more. Children all react to divorce differently and some can have a difficult time coping with the separation of their parents. Here are five ways you can help your child through your divorce:

Be Honest

There is no reason that you should try to hide your divorce from your children. They are very perceptive and can probably tell that something is wrong, even if you do not tell them. It is best for everyone if you tell your children that you are getting a divorce in a straightforward manner and in a way they can understand.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody lawyer, attorney fees,You have probably been thinking about this event since the day your child was born. High school graduation is a mark in a child’s life that symbolizes their path to adulthood. They might be going off to college and your life might be changing forever. What you may not have thought about was the fact that you are divorced now. If you have gone through a rather troublesome divorce, attending events like these can be stressful for all involved--but they do not have to be. Here are some tips on how to behave civilly during your child’s special day:

Plan Ahead

Oftentimes, events such as graduations limit the number of tickets that each family is allotted to attend the event. If this is the case, you should plan ahead and make sure that you and your spouse have an equal number of tickets to allow all of your family members to attend the event. If need be, you should try to find additional tickets if you or your spouse have more family members than tickets.

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Posted on in Divorce

Illinois custody attorney, Illinois family law attorney, Illinois divorce lawyer,It is not uncommon for young couples to get married. In fact, it is almost expected. What seems far less familiar is when a young couple goes through divorce, even after only a few years of marriage. The hard reality is that, regardless of their age or how long they were married, when a couple realizes their marriage just is not working then the best course of action may well be divorce.

Divorcing While Still in Your Twenties

Divorce, regardless of at what age or length of the marriage, is no less emotional for the couple; the decision to end a relationship that was supposed to last forever is rarely easy. However, younger couples may find a smoother, post-divorce path, and when a marriage ends after only a few years, the process tends to be less drawn out for a few key reasons.

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Posted on in Child Custody

Illinois custody attorney, Illinois family law attorney, Illinois divorce lawyer,Perhaps one of the most difficult and emotional parts of any divorce is when the the future and custody of children is involved. This can still weigh heavily even years after a divorce is final when parents enter into a new relationship and combine their children with those from another family whose parents are no longer married.

Unlike Television

When two adults decide to enter into a relationship, especially one that may result in marriage, their children usually have little influence. However, getting married and starting a family that involves the blending of two, previously existing families, definitely comes with some pitfalls to navigate on the path to establishing a happy and healthy household.

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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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