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


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

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Illinois divorce lawyer, Illinois family law attorney, parenting rights, shared custody, Although the divorce process comes with many legal and financial obstacles, some challenges continue long after the procedure completes. This is especially true for parents.

Many ex-spouses have a difficult time adjusting to single parenthood. Whether the courts award single or joint custody, the mother and the father will have to get used to taking partial or entire care of their children.

Many people assume that mothers are the default parent during custody disputes. According to the National Fatherhood Initiative, there is a cultural predisposition to view fathers as inferior single parents when compared to mothers. This is simply not true. There are a lot of hardworking single fathers who must balance work with their parental responsibilities and personal interests.


Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorney, parental rights, Filing for divorce can be a painful and difficult process. This is especially true when a divorcing couple has children and cannot agree on a child custody arrangement.

If you are considering divorce, it is important to learn as much about the process as possible. This will help you prepare for the proceedings and know what to expect. Child custody laws are complex, and each case is different. This is why parents who have questions about child custody should consult an experienced family attorney.

Parents with a criminal record often want to know if they can win custody or visitation rights. As with most divorce matters, the answer to this question depends on the specific facts of the case.


children of divorce, Illinois family law attorney, Illinois divorce lawyer,Divorce always comes with a multitude of challenges for children. Depending on their age, they will cope with the end of their family unit in their own unique ways as they become used to life with a single parent or splitting their time between their mother and father.

Custodial parents should be aware of their child’s emotional well being as a divorce can lead to the child experiencing fears of desertion and feelings of guilt. Younger children may undergo developmental regression while older children could develop sleep disorders.

How Might Your Child Cope with Divorce?


Illinios divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorney, parenting tips,In most divorce cases, neither spouse is entirely happy with the outcome. Property division, alimony, child support, and other factors involve a lot of “give and take,” and each spouse must make certain sacrifices to end a marriage. Still, there is a certain satisfaction that comes with receiving the child custody arrangement that you desire.

That said, there still await many challenges for new single parents — especially if they work fulltime or have other time-consuming obligations. Another obstacle is living on a single income.

Despite these challenges, it is still possible for single parents to raise children, spend plenty of time with them, and enjoy the pleasures of parenthood. Here are three tips that can help single parents adjust to the new lifestyle:


Illinios divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorney, DuPage County child support lawyer,In the United States, a child is considered to be an adult when he or she reaches the age of 18. Usually, it is assumed that an adult can find work and support him or herself financially. But what about adults with significant physical or mental disabilities that prevent them from financially supporting themselves? If you are a parent of a child with special needs and you are currently making child support payments for his or her care, you might wonder how your responsibility to provide this support will change when he or she reaches adulthood.

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act outlines the requirements for child support in Illinois. It specifies the amount of money a noncustodial parent is expected to pay in child support and the circumstances under which he or she is required to pay it. It also addresses the needs of young adults with disabilities who require parental support into their twenties and beyond. Many divorcing couples with special needs children include the terms of this continuing child support in their child support agreement.

Seeking Child Support for a Disabled Young Adult


Illinios divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorney, DuPage County divorce lawyer,It is never easy to predict how children will react to changes in changes in family life. Teenagers, in particular, can have a difficult time coping with the emotional challenges of a new familial structure.  Legal guardians often have a difficult task ahead of them: Providing care for minors who are not their own children. After the wake of a divorce, this can be particularly difficult. Here are some helpful tips when it comes to taking care of a teenager as a guardian.

 1. Get to Know Your Teenager

 While it may seem like a basic suggestion, taking the time to bond with a teenager and relate to his or her personality will often make a significant difference. According to WebMD, a frequent mistake guardians make is spending too much time wrapped up in the “theories” of parenting. They commit to reading parenting books and seeking advice elsewhere.


paternity test, Illinois paternity laws, Illinois family law attorneyFor whatever the reason, your quest for establishing paternity is both a personal and legal right awarded to those residing in Illinois under the Illinois Parentage Act of 1984 (750 ILCS 45). The law establishes this action for both married and unmarried parents and is established by presumption, consent or judicial determination. The quest to determine paternity can be initiated by the natural mother, a father presuming he is the child’s father or in some instances when the child is requesting clarification of paternity.

According to Illinois Legal Aid, an agency dedicated to assisting Illinois residents with legal guidance, paternity is defined as the relationship between a father and his child. Once legal paternity has been established, the father is entitled to rights as well as responsibility for the child, often including visitation rights, custody and child support.

For an Illinois father to establish paternity, only one of the following need apply:


 parenting plan, Illinios divorce attorney, Illinois child custody lawyer, One of the most difficult aspects of divorce is determining child custody and visitation. If you are considering divorce and have children with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, it is a good idea to begin to lay the groundwork for your parenting plan as soon as you begin discussing marital dissolution. Knowing what you want from a parenting plan before you go to court is crucial, as is working with a family law attorney. You and your ex will have different attorneys, and having a grasp on what you want to achieve in negotiation, especially when it comes to children, will only help to make the divorce process go as smoothly and painlessly as possible.

Sharing parenting duties, or developing a co-parenting plan is almost always preferable if possible. The DuPage County Family Center states that it always advocates for co-parenting, as it believes that it is very important for a child to have a relationship with both parents when possible. Sometimes this may require more than merely dropping the child off, however. In some cases, a parent may not be allowed, legally, to visit with the child on his or her own. This could happen if the parent is a drug addict, for example, or abusive; but even in such cases, the parent maintains visitation rights. Supervised parenting time services usually are required to submit documentation of the visit to the Court to ensure the safety and welfare of both the child and the custodial spouse.

Other considerations to make include the transportation of the child. According to the Southern Illinois University School of Law, the custodial parent is not legally obligated to bring the child to the non-custodial parent for visitation. Who transports the child is not legally regulated. If the custodial parent is denying appropriate visitation time with the child, however, he or she can be held legally accountable. In this case, a visitation enforcement order may be necessary. This is more common after divorces that were particularly nasty—if one parent has a vested interest in cultivating a negative view of the other.


 Illinois child custody laws, Illinois family law attorney, paternity lawsuit, Determining paternity of a child born out of wedlock is legally important not only for both parents, but for the child as well. For a mother, determining the paternity of a child is crucial in order to seek legal recourse for back payments or non-payments of child support. For a father of a child born to unmarried parents, determining paternity is necessary to secure visitation and parental rights. Yet determining paternity is also important for the child — not only for psychological reasons, but for financial planning and medical reasons as well. With the advent of DNA testing, determining the paternity of a child may seem relatively commonplace, but a surprising number of people with children born to unmarried parents fail to obtain a legally viable order of paternity.

According to the Child Support Services of Illinois, there are three ways that a parent can establish paternity of the child. The first, and most simple, is for both parents to complete, sign, and have witnessed a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity form. The second is for the Department of Healthcare and Family Services to file an Administrative Paternity Order, and the third is a court-ordered Order of Paternity. The latter likely proceeds when there is a dispute in paternity and one or both parents denied the claim of the other.

In Illinois, the mother’s legal husband at the time of birth is automatically and legally listed as the child’s father, regardless of whether or not he is the birth father. In the event that a mother has a child while she is married to someone who is not the child’s birth father, both she and the biological father would have to sign a Denial of Paternity when the baby is born. It can be signed at witnessed at the hospital. If neither the Denial of Paternity nor the Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity are signed, the mother’s current husband is, “by law, the child’s legal father and his name must be put on the birth certification,” according to the Child Support Services of Illinois.


marital strain of autism, divorce rate, divorce trend, Illinois divorce lawyerParents helping a child cope with autism may feel the strain on their own relationship. Although much about autism is still unknown, research indicates that married couples might face higher rates of divorce when they have a child affected by autism.

A longitudinal study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison was one of the first major projects to explore marital history of parents for those families with an autistic child. The study found that while parents of an autistic child don’t face a higher divorce rate while the child is young, adolescent children with autism were linked with higher numbers of divorced parents. Many of the marriages in the study ultimately did survive.

The study looked at 391 couples made up of parents of adolescent and adult children with autism, drawing data from the National Survey of Midlife in the United States. For younger children, the divorce rate for parents of autistic children was very similar to parents of disabled children, at least until the child reached the age of eight. At that point, the divorce rate for parents of disabled children starts to go down, but it actually increases for parents of autistic children.

Although many couples reported staying together throughout the challenges of raising an autistic child, the research does point to vulnerability for those marriage couples. The high demands of raising an autistic child at all ages can strain a relationship and lead to arguments. Autism is known as a condition that can vary dramatically between different individuals, meaning that many families have to adapt behaviors and strategies for helping their specific child. Little research has focused on best practices for raising autistic children, making it difficult for parents to work together and create their own approach. If you are struggling with your marriage and would like to discuss legal separation or divorce, contact an Illinois family lawyer today.

child of divorce, children of divorce, Illinois divorce, child custody, visitation scheduleManaging a new child custody and visitation schedule is difficult for just about every family, especially when you are learning to parent on your own. Keeping a few critical tips in mind can help make the transition easier for everyone and allow for the smoothest adjustment to your new lifestyle.

Divorce expert Gary Neuman says that one mistake divorced parents tend to make is putting the child in the role of messenger. This adds additional stress and pressure on the child, making him or her feel at the root of the tension.

It also highlights two parents who are unable to negotiate on their own, a fact most children don’t needed to be reminded about in the throes of divorce. If you can’t communicate with your ex-spouse in person, stick to email. It’s easier to be clear with written communication, anyways.


parenting family, children, child support, child custody, children of divorceTrying to manage a busy household gets more challenging when a baby arrives. There’s nothing quite like a child to change the routines and habits of a married couple, and sometimes those challenges are simply too much for the marriage to succeed. Couples that struggle to adapt might be facing relationship problems, and could even be contemplating divorce.

Since a baby can change the landscape of a marriage so much, more mental health professionals are encouraging couples to head into pre-baby counseling to discuss some of the most pertinent issues related to having a child. Hospitals, too, are incorporating more of these relationship skills alongside basic parenting education. This is happening because professionals believe that couples spend too much time on the “fun” aspects of pre-baby arrival preparation, like decorating a nursery, and too little time on preparing for the relationship adjustments.

According to the Relationship Research Institute in Seattle, nearly two-thirds of couples note that their relationship quality declines within three years after a child is born. Men and women report adjusting differently: women note the decline in their marriage right away, while it takes men several months to notice a deterioration.

parenting class

If you have just started your research about what to expect in your Illinois divorce and child custody case, you might have come across the term “parenting education classes”. Under Illinois law, all parents of minor children who are involved in visitation or custody actions are required to complete a parenting education program. Your location will have specific court-approved options for completion.

The goal of the classes is to help parents understand some of the challenges that will likely come up when parents live in different households. Children can struggle to adjust to new circumstances, and navigating the waters of two separate households and separate parents can be difficult for all family members.

As a secondary goal, it’s hoped that the parenting education classes clear up some areas of confusion between parents and lay the groundwork for interaction post-decree so that further legal conflicts are minimized.

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


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

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