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


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

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Recent Blog Posts

How The Holiday Season Affects Marriages

 Posted on December 27,2023 in Divorce and Holidays

DuPage County divorce lawyerWhile most people are greeting one another with “Happy Holidays,” there are some couples who are feeling not-so-jolly this season. The holiday season is meant to be a cheerful and joyous time to spend with family and friends. Unfortunately, not everyone feels the holiday spirit and may be experiencing more stress than bliss. The stress can be so overwhelming that it leads to divorce or separation once the festivities die down. An attorney can be an empathetic ear when thoughts of divorce plague your mind, serving as a guide and legal counsel on how best to approach the divorce process.

Reasons For a Holiday Divorce

Contemplating divorce on or around the holidays is much more common than you would think. January sees many couples spiraling as the holiday cheer turns to cold, bleak resentment. Often, couples waver in their commitment to one another long before the holidays arrive and simply choose to hold onto a marriage until the holidays come to a close.

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How Debt is Handled in an Illinois Divorce

 Posted on December 21,2023 in Divorce

Kendall County divorce lawyerIn Illinois, debt is considered when dividing marital assets during divorce proceedings. The amount of debt one spouse receives over the other is determined by multiple factors, which include:

  • The specific needs of each spouse
  • How long the marriage lasted
  • What marital assets each spouse is already receiving

Illinois being an equitable distribution state means that the debt will be split relatively rather than 50/50. It is a good idea to know exactly what debt is yours in marriage before you reach this part of the divorce process. When one spouse is not being forthcoming about how much debt they have accrued during the marriage, contact a divorce attorney.

Marital Assets

All property acquired over the course of your marriage is considered marital property. This includes debts as much as it does assets. The only property that is legally yours and considered a non-marital asset would be any non-commingled property you owned before marriage, anything declared in a premarital agreement, gifts or inheritance, and premarital debt.

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When is Non-Minor Child Support Required?

 Posted on December 19,2023 in Child Support

Kane County family lawyerChild support is oftentimes necessary after a divorce for the parent who is awarded the most parenting time. More time with the child often equates to more financial expenses for the child, so it only makes sense that the parent with less parenting time helps support the other. After all, it is only until the child turns 18 years old before child support ends, right? Well, only in some situations. Some circumstances could see one parent continuing child support payments even after their child is an adult. A more in-depth and beneficial discussion on child support can be had by reaching out to an experienced family law attorney.

Reasons a Non-minor Child May Still Require Child Support Payments

Depending on the circumstances, child support may be required long after a child has reached adulthood. According to the Illinois court, the three most common reasons include:

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How Long Child Support Modifications Take in Illinois

 Posted on December 14,2023 in Child Support

DuPage County family lawyerModifying child support is not a daunting task. The support amount received is based on the current parenting time schedule and the incomes of both parents. During a motion to modify child support, both parents are obligated to exchange affidavits to clarify income earnings over the last two years. New child support payments can then be calculated using this information and how many overnight stays a child spends with each parent. An attorney can help you calculate your potential child support payments and help file for a child support modification if necessary.

Child Support Deviations

Deviations in child support are when the amount entitled goes up or down in total and will depend on many factors, including a judge’s discretion. Parents will often argue that child support is too much or not enough, and a court will decide if either is true when considering a modification. Each modification is evaluated on a case-by-case basis and is considered binding until another motion for modification is filed.

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Surviving the Holidays After a Divorce

 Posted on December 12,2023 in Allocation of Parental Responsibilities

Blog ImageFollowing a divorce, the holidays may not feel as merry as they once did. While everyone around you seems so cheery, internally you may be struggling with the change and how best to cope.

Recovering from a loss during the holidays can seem impossible. It may even feel like you are going backward rather than moving forward and, if you let it, could seriously throw your life off track. Thankfully, there are some things you can do to help you stay focused and get through the holidays relatively unscathed.

You can always turn to your lawyer for additional tips following a divorce. They have likely helped countless clients with the same struggles, and their advice could be invaluable to your situation.

Embrace Your Reality

Do not waste time pretending that the holidays are not more difficult this year. Valuing your feelings and understanding that you can get through it is okay. Even while others may enjoy themselves, you do not have to participate if it worsens things. You can choose to completely ignore the holidays if possible. Or you can decide to go all out for the holidays, ringing in the new year with a new you. Just do not allow the thoughts of what once were and will no longer haunt your holidays this season. Instead, allow the ghosts of past, present, and future to be someone else’s problems.

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A Deeper Look at the Allocation of Parental Responsibilities

 Posted on December 06,2023 in Allocation of Parental Responsibilities

Blog ImageChild custody cases in Illinois following a divorce are known as the allocation of parental responsibilities. The change in Illinois law removed terms such as joint custody, sole custody, and visitation from the statutes. Instead of child custody, the courts allocate parental responsibilities, including significant decision-making rights and parenting time. A lawyer can help you with any questions regarding the allocation of parental responsibilities and other concerns that will arise during divorce proceedings.

Why The Allocation of Parental Responsibilities?

The state wanted to create more flexibility in family situations and recognize the role both parents play in the development and care of their children. Instead of a laundry list of terms, Illinois enacted two types of parental responsibilities for allocation:

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How Do Social Security Benefits Work in a Divorce?

 Posted on November 29,2023 in Divorce

After a divorce, you may qualify for your spouse's Social Security benefits. However, you can only choose between your own and your ex-spouse's; you cannot receive benefits from both. You can receive 100 percent of your benefit or 50 percent of your spouse's. You will also need to check a few boxes before the state will allow you to qualify. You should contact an experienced divorce attorney for additional information and some guidance.

The Requirements for Collecting An Ex-Spouse's Social Security Benefit

When one spouse earns substantially more throughout a marriage, it means they are likely looking to receive a larger Social Security benefit. However, the other spouse may not have access to the same benefits for themselves after a divorce. Social Security benefits cannot be divided by a divorce judge, garnished by creditors, or used to satisfy debts. For the lower-earning spouse to be able to receive 50 percent Social Security from their ex-spouse:

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Why a Collaborative Divorce May Not Be Recommended

 Posted on November 27,2023 in Collaborative Law

Aurora Divorce AttorneyNot all divorces are not the high-conflict, high-stakes battles inside of a courtroom that television and film would have you believe. When dissolving a marriage, couples have options to avoid the emotionally draining and financially impactful traditional litigation scenario. Mediation and collaborative law are two common ways to settle legal affairs without much or any court interference. They are terrific ways for cooperative couples to end their marriage amicably and on better terms. But in what situations would collaborative divorce not be beneficial? For an in-depth overview of collaborative law or answers to questions regarding divorce, consult an experienced attorney.

Collaborative Divorce: What Is It?

Collaborative divorce is a method for couples who mutually agree to a “win-win” attitude to handle their divorce with more civility. Couples looking to negotiate their marriage settlement more cooperatively benefit significantly from collaborative divorce. It is also one of the best ways for couples with children to communicate their wishes better and work towards co-parenting in a more cooperative light.

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The Advantages of an Uncontested Divorce

 Posted on November 21,2023 in Divorce

Batavia Divorce Attorney

An uncontested divorce can be a blessing when compared to the alternative. When divorce is the only option, it is best to break things and divide assets amicably rather than going through a nasty contest of “win” vs. “lose.” A good lawyer can help you get through any type of divorce and explain the best course of action every step of the way.

What is an Uncontested Divorce?

Uncontested divorces are those where a couple has most, if not all, points of typical contention already planned. Things like spousal supportchild support, agreements on parental responsibilities, and how to divide marital assets all come into play in a divorce. Having every one of these factors squared away, where the only thing left to do is have the divorce finalized, makes the entire process that much easier.

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Most Common Reasons for a Contested Divorce?

 Posted on November 15,2023 in Divorce

Batavia Divorce Attorney

Divorce is almost always exhausting, and adding additional disagreements and arguments on top of things will often only worsen matters. However, sometimes, these things are unavoidable, and some factors are major points of contention that need to be addressed. A skilled attorney can help you navigate the complex nature of a contested divorce and guide you toward a more amicable outcome.

Marital Asset Division

Both parties in a contested divorce may choose to lay claim to specific property or assets they feel they deserve in the split. It is often a reason for divorcing couples to have a judge split the assets on their behalf in what they deem is a fair and equitable distribution.

marital asset is a property that was acquired during the marriage. It should be distinct from each spouse’s personal property before the marriage begins. Other forms of personal property include gifts and inheritance that the other spouse cannot claim unless the property was commingled during the marriage.

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


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

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