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

Can I Appeal a Child Support Order After an Illinois Divorce?

 Posted on June 10,2024 in Child Support

Kendall County, IL child support modification lawyerWhen a judge decides who should pay child support and how much, he or she issues a child support order. A child support order is a court document that contains the details of the judge’s decision, including:

  • Who must pay child support

  • The amount of the payments

  • How often each payment must be made

It is common for parents to want to appeal a child support order, especially if their circumstances have changed. However, courts are reluctant to make any changes to a child support order, particularly within the first two years. That is why an experienced Illinois attorney should handle your appeal, which is also known as a request to modify the child support order.

This article will discuss how judges issue child support orders and when you can request a child support order modification.

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Will Self-Employment Affect My Divorce in Illinois?

 Posted on June 07,2024 in Divorce

IL divorce lawyerWhen you file for divorce in Illinois, it is not only your marriage that comes under scrutiny. If your divorce is contested — meaning you and your spouse do not agree on something related to the divorce — then many details about your life will be looked at by a court. These might include the assets and property you own, your debts, a criminal record if you have one, your income, and your employment status, to name a few.

This can make the process slightly more complicated for spouses who are self-employed, which is why a self-employed spouse should consult a competent divorce attorney about what to expect throughout the legal process.

What Types of Self-Employment Are There?

If you are self-employed, it means that you work for yourself. This can take one of several forms:

  • You work in the gig economy, such as a rideshare driver.
  • You own a business.
  • You are a freelance worker.

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3 Things Not to Do During a Custody Trial in Illinois

 Posted on May 30,2024 in Child Custody

Batavia, IL child custody lawyerCouples who file for divorce and disagree on certain issues like child custody are usually ordered by a court to attend mediation. Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution where many couples are able to resolve their differences outside of court.

But sometimes, mediation is not appropriate or fails to achieve the desired result. In that case, the couple proceeds to litigation, where they fight their dispute out in court. Court battles are costly and can be messy, which is why it is important to have an experienced child custody attorney representing you.

The right attorney will coach you on the do’s and don’ts of litigation. Here are three things to avoid doing in a custody trial in Illinois.

Disparaging the Other Parent

Emotions usually run highest in disagreements over children. Custody battles, therefore, often become hostile. You may be tempted to disparage the other parent in court or on social media. But doing so can reflect poorly on you. The court is looking to see which parent is most aligned with the child’s best interests. If a judge gets the sense that you are vindictive and might alienate the child from his or her other parent, that can help the case swing in the other parent’s favor.

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What if My Spouse Refuses to Sign the Divorce Papers?

 Posted on May 21,2024 in Divorce

North Aurora, IL divorce lawyerAll divorces are not equal. Some divorces happen after a long, gradual decline in the marriage so that by the time one spouse files for divorce it is no surprise. In such cases, it is not usually difficult to get the other spouse’s signature on the divorce papers. But some marriages explode suddenly, often due to an event like an affair, and a spouse files for divorce in the heat of the moment. Times like this are often when some spouses refuse to sign the papers.

Courts understand that spouses many times do not agree to get divorced, so there is a legal procedure to follow in such cases. This article will discuss that procedure and the importance of consulting an Illinois divorce attorney as soon as you decide to dissolve your marriage.

What Is the Procedure When a Spouse Refuses to Sign?

The first step in a divorce is filing a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with the Circuit Court Clerk. Your spouse is then served with a copy of the petition and given 30 days to respond. If he or she refuses to do so, then:

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What Does it Mean if My Parenting Time is Supervised?

 Posted on May 20,2024 in Allocation of Parental Responsibilities

Oswego, IL parenting time lawyerIllinois law refers to the time during which a parent has physical custody of his or her child as parenting time. Sometimes, a judge will order that a parent’s parenting time must be supervised. This can be difficult for a parent to process. It is never easy to know that your parenting time with your child will be restricted.

This article will discuss what it means when parenting time is supervised and why it is sometimes ordered by courts. For any questions regarding supervised parenting time, it is always best to consult an Illinois parenting time attorney.

What is Supervised Parenting Time?

The specifications of parenting time — such as scheduling and transportation for the child — are set in a document issued by a judge called a custody order. The judge’s main objective when issuing the custody order is that it is in the child’s best interest. If there is any possible danger to the child’s well-being by either parent, the court will take steps to protect the child. One of those methods is supervised parenting time.

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5 Tips for Talking to Your Kids About Divorce

 Posted on May 16,2024 in Divorce

You and your spouse have decided to get divorced. Your first step is to call an Illinois divorce attorney to schedule a consultation. After that, it is time to break the news to your friends and family — that includes the kids.

Talking to children about divorce is a daunting task and should be handled delicately. Research shows that children are more affected by their parents’ divorce than their parents. But even though your divorce will never be a happy thought to your kids, the way you break the news to them can set the tone for how they will process it.

While there are many parenting tips, here are five pointers for talking to your kids about divorce.

Do it Together

You and your spouse should break the news together. One reason for this is that the children will see a united front and know that this decision is coming from both of you, even if it is not. It can be comforting to a child to know that both parents feel this is the best path forward. Another reason is that while you are telling the kids that life will change, sitting beside your spouse shows some stability.

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Is Legal Separation Better Than Divorce in Illinois?

 Posted on May 06,2024 in Legal Separation

Aurora, IL legal separation attorneyLegal separation in Illinois is similar to divorce in some ways, but it does not end the marriage. Couples who choose to get legally separated rather than divorced may do so because:

  • They want to give divorce a trial run.

  • They hope to reconcile.

  • They want to remain married for religious reasons.

  • They want to retain certain benefits.

Choosing to become legally separated has certain consequences. An Illinois family lawyer can help you decide whether a legal separation or divorce might be best for you and your spouse.

What is Legal Separation?

Legal separation is an option th, at Illinois law gives married couples who do not want to live together but also do not want to end the marriage. Like with divorce, a couple who gets legally separated must address certain issues such as:

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What Can I Do If My Co-Parent Refuses to Pay Child Support?

 Posted on May 03,2024 in Child Support

Yorkville Family LawyerWhen a court decides that child support payments are necessary, the judge will issue a child support order. This order is usually served to the non-custodial parent (NCP), who is the parent that does not have the majority of physical custody. The child support order contains details such as:

  • The amount of each payment

  • How often payments must be made

  • A termination date for the child support payments, if applicable

Sometimes an NCP does not make child support payments or stops making payments before the termination date. In either case, the custodial parent can ask the Illinois Department of Health and Family Services, Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) to enforce the order.

This article will discuss how child support orders are enforced in Illinois, but it is best to consult an Illinois attorney regarding any questions about child support enforcement.

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Can Collaborative Law Work in a High-Conflict Divorce?

 Posted on April 30,2024 in Collaborative Law

North Aurora, IL collaborative divorce attorneySome divorces are civil and involve compromises between the two parties. But in a high-conflict divorce, civility levels are low and the parties strongly disagree on issues. Sometimes, couples going through a high-conflict divorce skip mediation because they are not willing to even sit down to negotiate on such issues as:

  • Child custody and parenting time

  • How to divide assets

  • Spousal support

Like mediation, collaborative law is also a form of alternative dispute resolution, which is to say that it is a way to resolve a divorce outside of court. There are differences between mediation and collaborative law, however. One major difference is that your attorney will take a much stronger lead in collaborative law.

This article will discuss what collaborative law is and whether it is a good idea to use collaborative law in a high-conflict divorce.

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What Happens if I Fail to Create a Parenting Plan in Illinois?

 Posted on April 24,2024 in Child Custody

Kendall County, IL parenting plan attorneyTwo parents who get divorced in Illinois are required by law to create a parenting plan. A parenting plan is a legally binding document that outlines the responsibilities of each parent toward the child. It is signed by both parents and must be submitted to the court.

Many elements go into a parenting plan, and parents may not agree with each other on all of them. Because of this, it is recommended to have an experienced family lawyer assist you in creating a parenting plan.

This article will discuss what a parenting plan must include and what happens if you fail to create one.

What Does a Parenting Plan Include?

Under Illinois law, a parenting plan must include at least the following:

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


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

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