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

Understanding Property Rights in Illinois

 Posted on April 18,2023 in Division of Property

IL divorce lawyerIn Illinois, the division of assets is split equitably between the two parties. However, things can get complicated when distinguishing between marital property and non-marital property. Everything that is gained and bought during a marriage may be considered to be marital property. But, under unique circumstances, what is considered equitable may vary. It may be in the parties' best interest to work together, as well as with an experienced divorce attorney who can help navigate through this process and help make sure that your property and assets are protected from division.

Property Rights

Property purchased, sold, or owned by a married couple is similar to a single person who does these things. Once a party files for divorce, the court prohibits both of them from disposing of property in any way without the court's permission. The court will decide the right way to divide the property.

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What Is a No-Fault Divorce in Illinois?

 Posted on April 14,2023 in No Fault Divorce

IL divorce lawyerIn January 2016, Illinois changed how divorce laws perceived "fault" grounds for divorce. Before the change, things such as impotence, polygamy, adultery, abandonment, substance abuse, or felonies were just a few things someone would need to prove to be granted a divorce. The only ground for divorce now is irreconcilable differences, making Illinois a no-fault state. This can be relatively straightforward if the parties have lived separately for at least six months. This is a good first example of what it could mean to have irreconcilable differences, although its definition varies. However, if the parties have not been living separately, do not worry because a judge does consider that sometimes during a divorce that there can be various reasons as to why a party may not be able to live separately during this time, whether it be financial reasons or family reasons, the judge will consider this

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When Can I File for Child Support Modification in Illinois?

 Posted on April 12,2023 in Child Support

IL divorce lawyerIf there have been changes to your child’s needs or a parent’s financial situation, modifying your child support order might be necessary. An Illinois child support order can be reviewed for modification every three years. Still, if there are significant changes in circumstances, the court may allow the modification to happen before the three-year mark. You must file the correct paperwork when deciding to make modifications. A child support attorney can help.

Grounds for Modification

The court will then listen to your case if it has one of the following:

  • A substantial change in either parent’s financial situation
  • It has been at least three years since the child support plan was put into order
  • If the previous order did not address healthcare coverage for the child
  • If a written request is for review by DCSS from a custodial parent, non-custodial parent, or another state

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How to Prepare for an Illinois Divorce

 Posted on April 07,2023 in Chicago divorce attorney

IL divorce lawyerGetting divorced can be a challenging time in many people’s lives. It is essential to be prepared for the many difficult aspects of divorce. The more prepared you are the swifter and easier the divorce process will be. It is in your best interest to work alongside an experienced divorce attorney and to have things prepared before you begin the divorce process.

What Kind of Divorce Do You Want?

There are a few different types of divorce processes that couples can go through.In Illinois, divorce is recognized as:

  • Uncontested divorce
  • Contested divorce
  • Mediated divorce
  • Collaborative divorce
  • Joint simplified dissolution

Each divorce process has advantages and disadvantages; depending on a person's circumstances, some divorces will not be available. It is vital to do research before settling on a divorce process.

Get Together Documents

Divorces require lots of paperwork, and having all your paperwork in order is essential. Here are some documents that you should gather together:

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Myths About Getting Divorced

 Posted on March 30,2023 in Divorce

IL divorce lawyerWhen getting a divorce, making decisions based on reliable information is essential. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation out there that could make this process more complicated and confusing. Each step of the divorce process will involve several legal, financial, and practical considerations. It is essential that you know what information you are getting and where you are getting that information from. Working with an experienced divorce attorney can help you from making mistakes that may later cause significant difficulties within the divorce process. Below are a few myths to consider if you are considering a divorce.

You Need A Reason

Illinois is a no-fault state, meaning you do not need a specific reason to divorce. If you have decided to end a marriage, that is enough to support a divorce filing. You can still file for divorce even if you and your spouse are not on the same page.

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The Difference Between Marital and Separate Property

 Posted on March 23,2023 in Chicago divorce attorney

IL divorce lawyerWhen dividing property during a divorce, it is crucial to begin this process by deciding if the property is marital or separate. Marital property usually entails assets or debts a couple has acquired throughout their marriage. Separate properties are assets or debts that a spouse acquired or owned before marriage.

Separate Property

Separate property is anything that was acquired before the couple married. Gifts and inheritances are separate property, as well. If any of these income-producing properties increase, that income may still be considered separate property, depending on the circumstances. There is no division of separate property during a divorce. A few common examples of separate property include:

  • The property was given to a spouse as a gift or inheritance
  • Property obtained by a spouse in exchange for property a spouse may have acquired before the marriage or by gift or inheritance

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What It Means to Be a Guardian for an Adult with Disabilities

 Posted on March 17,2023 in Family Law

IL family lawyerSome specific orders and laws must be followed when it comes to being a guardian, whether to a child or an adult. A ‘disabled person’ is someone who is eighteen years or older and who is unable to manage themself mentally or physically. Being the guardian of a disabled adult is a serious responsibility and requires a person to be given control of all aspects of another person’s life. A guardian must act in the best interest of the ‘ward’ (otherwise known as the person who the court has declared as a disabled adult who has been appointed a guardian). They must avoid any conflict affecting the ward and are expected to seek out and rely on financial and legal assistance when appropriate.

A Guardian's Basic Duties

Under the law, a guardian has primary duties they must follow. They will be responsible for any personal or medical care the ward requires. They may also have physical custody of any children that the ward may have who depend on the ward for support and maintenance. A guardian will need to make decisions for the ward’s personal and healthcare and any living arrangements. A guardian will also be required to file written reports on the ward’s current condition, living arrangements, any activities they spend their time doing, and a summary of the guardian's contact with the ward. It is up to a judge or attorney to determine how frequently the court will require the guardian to make these reports.

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Illinois Child Custody Laws for Unmarried Parents

 Posted on March 16,2023 in Paternity

IL family lawyerEqual treatment is essential when it comes to American law. Married and unmarried parents both have the same parental rights and obligations. When people have children while unwed, things can become complicated if they decide to end their relationship. Enforcing these rights and responsibilities can add to the situation's complexity. No matter the case, Illinois laws are made to look out for the child's best interest.

What Happens When Unmarried Parents Decide to Part Ways?

Unmarried couples typically live under agreements in which they decide upon themselves. If they choose to part ways, then they must establish paternity. Similarly, they should also decide on child custody and support issues. Unmarried couples do not have the same rights as married couples. When married couples get divorced, their marital property is equitably distributed between them. However, being unmarried means that these couples will need to decide what is ultimately in the best interest of not only themselves but their child.

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What To Know About The Amicable Divorce Process

 Posted on March 09,2023 in Divorce

IL divorce lawyerIf you and your partner decide that the best way to go forward is to get a divorce, your biggest fear may revolve around how difficult and taxing the process will be and potentially become. While it is true that many divorces become stressful and complicated, if both parties are willing and able to cooperate and negotiate, you can reach a resolution that satisfies both parties. For parties to get an amicable divorce, they should approach it in a way that prevents any future conflicts from taking over.

Ways To Reach an Amicable Divorce

Being able to have an amicable divorce relies on the behaviors of both parties. Here are a few ways that can make an amicable divorce more likely:

  • Couples therapy - In most cases, couples will attempt couples therapy before deciding on a divorce, but if, even after the decision, both parties are willing to attend couples therapy, it could save the marriage. If not, couples therapy can help the parties better understand each other's needs and wants for the future.

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Pursuing Your Parental Rights in Illinois

 Posted on March 07,2023 in Parental Rights

IL family lawyerUnder Illinois law, if you are the biological parent of a child but do not have parental rights for that child, you may want to consider filing for the allocation of parental responsibilities. If married to the parent with sole guardianship of the child, you are entitled to parental rights. However, if you are not married to this parent, you will have to obtain parental rights from the court and prove that it would be in the child's best interest for you to have parental rights. A judge will consider many things when deciding whether to allow this. A judge will focus most importantly on what is best for the child but will consider the wishes of both parents as well—considering financial and health benefits or disadvantages, as well as if there is any potential for abuse or violence by granting parental responsibilities.

Requirements for Parental Responsibilities During a Divorce

Seeking parenting during a divorce requires parents to attend a parenting class. This class's primary focus is on teaching parents how to avoid hurting their children during their divorce. Both parents must complete this class within two months after being ordered by a judge. Once accomplished, a judge will make the ultimate decision.

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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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