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


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

Yorkville Office By Appointment

Initial Consultations via ZOOM Available

Recent Blog Posts

How to Keep Divorce From Damaging Your Credit in Illinois

 Posted on July 31, 2023 in Divorce Finances

Blog ImageGoing through a divorce in Illinois can negatively impact your credit if you are not careful. Following key steps can help minimize damage and keep your credit score healthy during a divorce.

Review All Joint Accounts

Pull your credit reports and review all joint accounts with your spouse, such as:

  • Mortgages
  • Auto loans
  • Credit cards
  • HELOCs/home equity loans

Look for any missed or late payments that may already be affecting your score. Also, assess available credit limits and balances.

Create New Credit in Your Name

Open a new credit card account and/or arrange a 12-month personal loan in only your name. Making on-time payments builds your individual credit history. Just do not take on more debt than you can handle.

Divide Joint Credit Card Debt

If you have jointly held credit card balances, ask the issuer to split them into two individual accounts, with each spouse responsible for their portion. This keeps future charges or missed payments from affecting you.

Continue Reading ››

Financial Steps to Take Before Filing for Divorce

 Posted on July 27, 2023 in Chicago divorce attorney

Blog ImageYour financial decisions before filing for divorce can have important implications for your future. Taking certain steps can help protect your assets and build a healthy financial life after divorce. If you are considering filing for divorce in Illinois, here are some key financial steps to take beforehand.

Review Your Credit Report

Pull a copy of your credit report and review it for accuracy. Be sure to check for any unauthorized credit cards or loans taken out in your name. Also, confirm your spouse has not missed payments on any joint accounts that may damage your credit score. Dispute any errors with the credit bureaus.

Open Your Own Bank Accounts

Open checking and savings accounts in your name if you share joint marital accounts. Make sure earnings from your job are directly deposited into your personal account moving forward. Close joint credit cards, or remove your spouse’s name if you want to keep the card.

Consult with a Divorce Financial Planner

Continue Reading ››

Divorce Later in Life: Special Considerations and Planning Tips

 Posted on July 21, 2023 in Chicago divorce attorney

Blog ImageFor those over 50, starting over after a long marriage can feel daunting. However, later-life divorce has become increasingly common. The divorce rate for U.S. adults ages 50 and older has increased considerably since the 1990s.

If you are contemplating divorce at this stage, consider how it will impact finances, health care arrangements, retirement plans, and more. With proper planning and professional guidance, you can minimize disruptions and safely transition to your new single life.

Review Your Finances Thoroughly

A top priority is re-evaluating your overall financial situation if divorcing later in life. This includes:

  • Updating beneficiary designations on retirement accounts, life insurance policies, and bank accounts previously naming your former spouse.
  • Understanding any impacts on Social Security benefits if you may qualify for benefits through your ex-spouse’s record.
  • Dividing marital assets equitably. This includes your home, vehicles, savings accounts, stock portfolios, and valuables.

Continue Reading ››

Maintaining Civility While Divorcing in Illinois

 Posted on July 18, 2023 in No Fault Divorce

Blog ImageGoing through a divorce is undoubtedly difficult, but being civil with your soon-to-be ex-spouse during the process can benefit everyone involved. Here are some tips for keeping things as amicable as possible when divorcing in Illinois:

Communication Tips

Friendly separation can be fostered by having open and respectful communication. Always speak politely in exchanges with your ex, even when emotions run high. Listen actively to their perspective and try to understand their feelings before reacting. Be willing to compromise when possible to resolve disagreements. Keep conversations focused on divorce matters rather than rehashing old grievances from the marriage.


Divorce mediation allows you and your spouse to work through conflicts with the help of a trained, neutral third party. The mediator facilitates productive discussions and helps you reach fair compromises. Mediation can be a constructive way to shape your divorce agreement together rather than leaving it in the hands of the court. It is typically faster and less expensive than litigation.

Continue Reading ››

How to Get a Divorce in Illinois When Your Spouse Is Missing

 Posted on July 14, 2023 in Chicago divorce attorney

Blog ImageIf you cannot find your spouse, getting a divorce in Illinois may be difficult. However, you should know that it is still possible. This article will explain the necessary steps for filing for divorce under Illinois law when your spouse is missing.

Attempting to Find a Missing Spouse

Before proceeding with a divorce, you must genuinely try to locate your spouse. This may include contacting friends, family members, employers, or others who may know your spouse’s whereabouts. You must list all of your attempts to locate your spouse in an affidavit of diligent search.

Divorce by Publication

If you have exhausted all options to find your spouse and still cannot locate them, Illinois law allows you to serve a divorce notice through a process called "Service by Publication." This involves publishing a notice of the divorce in a local newspaper once a week for three consecutive weeks. Once the notice has been published and your spouse remains unresponsive, you can petition the court to issue a decree of divorce.

Continue Reading ››

How to Get a Divorce When Your Spouse is an Addict in Illinois

 Posted on July 10, 2023 in Divorce

Blog ImageIt can be difficult to go through a divorce. Mix in dealing with a spouse who battles with addiction makes it even harder. This blog post provides guidance on what to do when navigating a divorce in Illinois under these circumstances. Topics covered include grounds for divorce, child custody, alimony, and asset division.

Grounds for Divorce

A marriage can be ended based on irreconcilable differences in Illinois when it has resulted in the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. Substance abuse does not need to be proven as a specific reason for divorce in this state.

Child Custody

The court prioritizes the well-being of the child in child custody cases. If your spouse's addiction puts your child at risk, the court may limit their parenting time and decision-making authority. Your spouse may be required to cease using or having drugs while spending time with the child and attend a substance abuse program. It is important to provide evidence of the addiction's impact on your child to the court.

Continue Reading ››

Does it Matter Who Files for Divorce First in Illinois?

 Posted on June 30, 2023 in Divorce

Blog ImageDivorce is an emotionally challenging process, and it is crucial to understand the legal aspects involved to navigate it effectively. One commonly asked question is whether it matters who files for divorce first in Illinois. This blog post will explore the implications of being the first to file for divorce in Illinois, shedding light on the legal considerations that may arise during this crucial decision.

Does it Matter if You File First?

In Illinois, it makes no difference who initiates the divorce process because it is a no-fault divorce state. This means neither person has to provide a reason for the divorce other than "irreconcilable differences." Therefore, filing first does not provide any legal advantage.

However, being the petitioner has certain benefits, such as starting the case in the county you prefer if the parties live in separate counties. From a legal standpoint, filing for divorce before your spouse does has little official advantage. The decision to file first is more about confidence and strategy.

Continue Reading ››

How Finances Affect Divorce Rates in Illinois?

 Posted on June 28, 2023 in Divorce Finances

Blog ImageWhen examining the factors that contribute to divorce rates, finances emerge as a significant influence on marital stability. In Illinois, a state renowned for its unique legal framework, understanding how finances impact divorce rates becomes crucial.

Economic Stress and Marital Dissolution

Marriages are not immune to the pressures of economic stress, and Illinois is no exception. Financial strains resulting from economic downturns, unemployment, mounting debt, and disagreements over money can significantly strain marital relationships.

Property Division

In divorce cases in Illinois, it is vital to determine marital assets. As the state follows equitable distribution laws, the division of property between the spouses is not necessarily equal but fair. The judge takes into account different factors, including financial imbalances, when deciding how to divide the assets.

When significant financial discrepancies exist between spouses, disputes over the distribution of property may arise, heightening the likelihood of divorce. It is essential for individuals navigating divorce in Illinois to understand their rights and obligations concerning property division.

Continue Reading ››

What Should I Do Immediately After Divorce in Illinois?

 Posted on June 23, 2023 in Life After Divorce

Blog ImageFacing the end of a marriage is never easy, and it comes with a range of emotions. Navigating the legal divorce process in Illinois can be overwhelming and financially challenging. Taking the right steps to protect yourself and begin rebuilding your life is essential.

Update Legal Documents and Accounts

After divorce, reviewing and updating your legal documents to reflect your new circumstances is crucial. This includes revising your will, trust, power of attorney, and other estate planning documents. Similarly, update beneficiary designations on life insurance policies, retirement accounts, and other financial assets to ensure they align with your post-divorce intentions.

Assess Your Finances

Divorce can have a significant impact on your financial situation. Start by creating a comprehensive budget that reflects your current income and expenses. Consider seeking the assistance of a financial planner to help you manage your finances effectively and plan for the future. Take stock of your assets and debts, and make necessary adjustments to your financial accounts and credit cards.

Continue Reading ››

How Long Does It Take to Get Over a Divorce?

 Posted on June 19, 2023 in Life After Divorce

Blog ImageDealing with a divorce can be a tough emotional journey, which may take some time to heal and come out of. Although there is no fixed duration for the healing process, knowing the legal aspects and possible emotional effects can be helpful. This blog post will discuss various factors impacting the recovery timeline following a divorce in Illinois.

The Legal Process: Timeframe and Considerations

The length of the divorce legal process can differ based on the intricacy of the case. In Illinois, a minimum of six months is required for a divorce to be granted by the court, starting from the day the divorce petition is filed until the final divorce decree is authorized. The timeline of the legal process for divorce can be prolonged due to factors like child custody arrangements, property division, and spousal support. To ensure your rights are safeguarded, and the process is carried out smoothly, it is crucial to seek the guidance of an experienced family law attorney.

Continue Reading ››

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


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

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
Back to Top