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

630-409-8184

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

Yorkville Office By Appointment

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody lawyer, attorney fees,Divorce is a fairly common thing in the United States, with the Illinois Department of Public Health reporting that 29,331 divorces were granted in the state of Illinois in 2016. Divorce can be a messy process, spanning months, or even years in difficult cases. There are many things to consider, like assets, money, debts and even children. The divorce process can be overwhelming, but with the help of a lawyer, it can be simplified. Filing a Petition

After you have made the decision to file for a divorce, the first step is to file what is called a petition. A petition is simply just the formal way of asking the court of the county where you reside for a divorce. Even if the divorce is a mutual agreement, one spouse must file the petition that will be served to the other. The petition will state the two individuals involved in the divorce, information about the residency requirements and the reason for the divorce. In Illinois, you qualify for divorce if you have lived in the state for more than 90 days. You can choose whether or not you want to state a reason for divorce or if you want to file a no-fault divorce. The state of Illinois recognizes the following as grounds for divorce:

  • Habitual mental cruelty;
  • Habitual physical cruelty;
  • Drug or alcohol abuse;
  • Willful desertion or abandonment for one year;
  • Adultery;
  • Infection with a sexually transmitted disease; and
  • Conviction of a felony.

Temporary Orders

The next step in filing for divorce is to gather and fill out all of the documents necessary to reconcile your separation. These forms are called temporary orders and they set rules for family and financial issues during the time that the divorce is being processed. These forms pertain to issues such as:

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If you are going through a divorce, you may wonder if you’re entitled to financial support from your spouse. Spousal maintenance is the term that the state of Illinois uses instead of alimony, though they are the same thing. In the past, courts viewed alimony as payments from the husband to continue his obligation to support his wife. Now, spousal maintenance is awarded to either spouse depending on a variety of factors.

Determining Factors for Spousal Maintenance Eligibility

When you seek maintenance from your spouse, the court will first determine whether or not you are eligible to receive these payments. In Illinois, eligibility determinations are based on these factors:

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The structure of the American family is drastically changing. Even though the majority of children are still raised in households with a married mother and father, that number has been decreasing over the years. According to the Pew Research Center, less than half of American children are living with both of their parents in their first marriage. Family structures in the United States have been changing and now include blended families with step-parents and children, parents who cohabitate and LGBT families. According to The Williams Institute, about half of LGBT women and a fifth of LGBT men are raising a child. The Case Recently, an Illinois court ruled that a woman has parental rights to a child that was conceived in her lesbian marriage. The woman’s former wife had sought a sperm donor to carry the child that was to be raised by the both of them. When the child was born, both parents identified themselves as co-parents on the birth certificate but split seven months after the birth. Even though the woman has no biological connection to the child, she was granted parental rights and partial custody of the child by a Winnebago County court. Determining Parentage Under Illinois law, a person is considered to be a parent of a child if the mother of the child and the person entered into a marriage, civil union, or other legal relationship before the birth of the child and the child was born during the time of the relationship. Using this law, the mother seeking parental rights in the case involving her non-biological child had a right to seek custody. Illinois Parental Rights Laws

According to Illinois law, parents can assert rights involving their non-biological child and they can also be held responsible for providing child support payments.  In the state of Illinois, parental responsibility consists of two things - significant decision-making and parenting time. Significant decision-making consists of things such as:

  • Education, including the choice of schools and tutors;
  • Health, including all decisions pertaining to the medical, dental and psychological well-being of the child;
  • Religion;
  • Extracurricular activities; and
  • Unless an agreement by both parents is submitted that details the allocation of parental responsibilities, the court will determine which responsibilities are allocated to each parent.
Determining Factors

In the event that the parents can not come to an agreement in determining parental responsibilities, the court will determine the responsibilities that each parent is accountable for. When making these determinations, the court looks at these factors:

  • The wishes of the child;
  • The child’s adjustment to his or her home, school and community;
  • The mental and physical health of the child and both parents;
  • The ability of the parents to cooperate, or the level of conflict between them;
  • The level of each parent’s past participation in parental responsibilities;
  • Any prior agreement between the parents involving parental responsibility;
  • The wishes of the parents;
  • The child’s needs;
  • The distance between the parent’s homes, the difficulty of transporting the child to and from the homes, each person’s daily schedules and the parent’s ability to comply with the arrangement;
  • The willingness and ability of each parent to encourage and facilitate a relationship between the other parent and the child;
  • The likability of abuse by either parent to the child; and
  • Whether one of the parents is a sex offender.
Seek Help from an Illinois Parental Rights Lawyer Navigating the court system when you are seeking custody arrangements for your child is difficult and can be confusing. Having an experienced Illinois parental rights lawyer with you can provide a sense of relief and support. The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. can help you figure out what is best for you and your child. Call 630-409-8184 to schedule a consultation.

Sources:

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody lawyer, attorney fees,Nobody prepares for divorce when they are engaged, but according to a survey from the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, that is exactly what people are doing. Of the members surveyed, 62 percent saw an increase in the number of couples seeking prenuptial agreements over the past three years. Increasing Popularity, Losing Stigma One reason why prenuptial agreements are becoming more common is due to the trend in marriage - more people are waiting until they are older to get married. According to a U.S. Census report, about 8 in 10 people had married by age 30 in the 1970s, but in 2016, the same percentage was not reached until age 45. Because people are waiting longer to get married, they are more likely to have accumulated assets, such as a business or property. A prenuptial agreement is a way for couples to protect these assets in the event of a divorce. Prenuptial Agreements May Be for You

While prenuptial agreements still might ring unromantic for some, they can be right for others. Here are seven situations in which a prenuptial agreement might be right for you.

  1. When important assets are involved - When you have assets such as a house, stocks or retirement funds, a prenuptial agreement can protect your personal assets.
  2. When children from previous marriages are involved - Many times people have obligations to their previous spouses or children from a previous relationship. Prenuptial agreements can protect certain assets and allocate them to the children.
  3. When one partner owns a business - If you own a business and you end up getting a divorce, part of your business may be allocated to your spouse, meaning you may end up with an unwanted partner in your business.
  4. When one partner is much wealthier than the other - When there is a major income difference in partners, things can often turn out not in the favor of the wealthier partner.
  5. When one partner is much older than the other - If one partner is much older than the other, the older partner may not be able to recover their assets in time for retirement.
  6. When debts are involved - When one or both partners have debt going into a marriage, having a prenuptial agreement can ensure that each partner pays for his or her own debt when the marriage is dissolved.
  7. When inheritance is expected - If one or both partners expect to gain an inheritance during their marriage, a prenuptial agreement can prevent it from being divided in the case of a separation. A prenuptial agreement can also specify that family heirlooms stay with a specific partner.
Contact an Illinois Prenuptial Attorney If you think that a prenuptial agreement is right for you, you need the help of an experienced Illinois prenuptial attorney to take care of the details. The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams can provide you with guidance and nearly 10 years of expertise. Call 630-409-8184 to schedule a consultation.

Sources:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/why-youre-more-likely-to-have-a-prenup-than-your-parents-were/2017/08/04/51361598-77d8-11e7-9eac-d56bd5568db8_story.html?utm_term=.4744c5cea865

http://aaml.org/sites/default/files/New%20vow%20%E2%80%99Til%20prenup%20do%20us%20part.pdf

Posted on in Divorce

Illinois custody attorney, Illinois family law attorney, Illinois divorce lawyer,It is not uncommon for young couples to get married. In fact, it is almost expected. What seems far less familiar is when a young couple goes through divorce, even after only a few years of marriage. The hard reality is that, regardless of their age or how long they were married, when a couple realizes their marriage just is not working then the best course of action may well be divorce.

Divorcing While Still in Your Twenties

Divorce, regardless of at what age or length of the marriage, is no less emotional for the couple; the decision to end a relationship that was supposed to last forever is rarely easy. However, younger couples may find a smoother, post-divorce path, and when a marriage ends after only a few years, the process tends to be less drawn out for a few key reasons.

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Posted on in Divorce
Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody lawyer, attorney fees,Even the best marriages encounter issues and difficulties that couples must work through in order to make the relationship work. However, sometimes the size of the problem or the sheer number of issues that come between spouses are just too much to overcome. They may fight the notion at first, but eventually, a couple will come to the conclusion that divorce is probably their best course of action.

The Little Things That Add Up

Before the decision is made to seek a divorce from that person you promised to spend the rest of your life with, it is likely an individual encountered and dealt with one or more problem that seemed to drive a wedge into the marriage. Below we will examine some of the issues that plague married couples, which often serve as indicators that divorce is on the horizon.

  • If you cannot be open and honest with your spouse for fear of being made to feel inferior or that your vulnerability will be used against you later it may be a sign that your relationship lacks the capacity for healthy communication.
  • The expression, “you married their family” is based in reality. Tension between the family members of married couples can create lasting problems in a marriage, testing where one’s loyalties lie.
  • Negativity and constant criticism have a way of eroding a good relationship. If often makes one feel like their character is constantly under attack.
  • Money is often a big source of tension in a marriage. Lying about finances, expenses, and expenditures not only builds mistrust and harms the financial well-being of the relationship.
  • The decision whether or not to have children should be agreed upon prior to a marriage. However, when one has a change of heart it can cause a rift for which there is no repair.

Whatever the Reasons, Rely on the Counsel of an Experienced Aurora Divorce Lawyer

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Posted on in Infidelity
Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody lawyer, attorney fees,Having an unfaithful spouse is a big reason why many marriages end in divorce. Infidelity signals a lack of trust, respect, and communication, and often signals the relationship is beyond the point of repair. So, the question is, why do people cheat on their spouse?

Reasons People Cheat

Attempting to pinpoint the reasons for a specific behavior is often a difficult task. However, over the years it seems that a handful of explanations appear to be mentioned most frequently in social studies and anecdotal reviews. Here are some of the more commonly occurring motives spouses admit to when discussing their reasons for straying.

  • Boredom: It may seem cliché or even immature, but adults get bored in the bedroom and look for excitement outside their marriage.
  •  A need for physical contact and attention: This often occurs when communication breaks down between a couple. When the physical contact and attention ebbs in a marriage, for whatever reason, a spouse may seek that attentiveness they desire from another individual.
  •  Lack of intimacy: When things cool off in the bedroom, a spouse may seek to rekindle that passion with another partner.
  • Spite or revenge: This frequently occurs when one partner discovers the other was unfaithful, so to “even the score” they go out and have an affair to get back at their spouse.
  • Some people think it is okay to cheat: There is evidence to suggest that some adults are conditioned to think cheating is acceptable. This often occurs among those who were exposed to a marriage in which one or both parents were unfaithful.
  • Low self-esteem: Individuals who constantly seek the attention and approval of others tend to engage in extramarital affairs. Cheating may be their coping mechanism by which they seek to feel needed or desired.

The summary provided above is not meant to imply that these reasons for cheating are acceptable, or cannot be overcome. In most cases, frequent and honest communication among mature individuals can often help prevent infidelity before it occurs.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody lawyer, attorney fees,The reasons couples get divorced vary from the very common to quite unique. In some cases, tales of the odd and downright unbelievable accompany court filings. Whether they are true or just some ploy to gain sympathy from the court in an effort to win more a more favorable alimony settlement, there are anecdotes of some very bizarre reasons why individuals have sought a divorce from their spouse.

Examining Some of The Most Bizarre

Infidelity, abuse, chemical dependency, mental illness and even irreconcilable differences are probably some of the most commonly applied reasons for divorce, Here, however, we are taking a look at some of the strangest reasons people filed for divorce from around the world.

  • My wife is possessed: Not possessive, but rather possessed … as in, by an evil spirit or the devil. An Italian man used this as his grounds for seeking a no-fault divorce. He even supplied witnesses to his wife’s odd behavior. In the end, he got his divorce.
  • Marriage turns ice cold: A Japanese couple filed for divorce after the husband told his wife he really did not care for the animated film, Frozen. She loved the movie and was so put out by her husband’s failure to recognize the film’s greatness that she asked for a divorce.
  •  Nice try, but you are still alive: In 2004 man suffered a serious illness during which time his heart stopped beating. In 2007 he filed for divorce claiming he and his wife were no longer legally married since he had died, although not permanently. The judge did not buy it.
  • Easy come, easy go: After 25 years of marriage, a woman filed for divorce from her husband, seemingly out of the blue. The man was baffled until he and his lawyers learned the woman won more than one million dollars in the lottery and was hoping to keep it all for herself. No such luck. The judge ordered her to turn over all her winnings to her husband.

Retain a Resourceful Illinois Divorce Lawyer to Help You Gain a Proper Settlement

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Illinois custody attorney, Illinois family law attorney, Illinois divorce lawyer,When a child custody decision must be made by the court, one of the first jobs is to determine who is and is not a legal parent. A few years ago, the Illinois legislature completed a massive rewrite of the Illinois Parentage Act to better clarify who in a relationship has a parental claim to any children that are part of the union in question.

What the Courts Look At

While the courts and child advocate representatives are required to make decisions based on what is in the best interests of the children in question, other factors may impact who is awarded custody and who earns child visitation rights once a relationship has ended. This is where stipulations set forth in the Illinois Parentage Act spell out that which is to be considered. In the case of determining a relationship between a child and a woman claiming to be the mother, the following scenarios are considered:
  • The woman gave birth to the child, EXCEPT in cases that involve a valid contract of surrogacy.
  • A complete and valid adoption.
  • Custody following completion of a valid surrogacy contract.
  • A previous court judgment of the woman’s parentage.
  • A previously stipulated acknowledgment of the woman’s parentage.
When determining a man’s claim of parentage, the scenarios considered are similar in nature, but with one obvious exception.
  • A legal and voluntary acknowledgment of paternity, unless successfully challenged and rescinded.
  • An unrebutted presumption of parenthood.
  • A previous court decision acknowledging the man’s parentage.
  • Completion of a valid adoption.
  • Custody following execution and completion of a legally binding surrogacy contract.
The Illinois Parentage Act guides the process of determining a parent-child relationship. It further authorizes genetic testing, establishes the procedures regarding parents of a child created using means of assisted reproduction and identifies who is obliged in matters of child support.

Rely on an Experienced Illinois Child Custody Attorney for Proven Help

When ongoing custody and questions of visitation are at stake, parents would rather not leave these matters to chance. Seeking the assistance of a knowledgeable DuPage County child custody lawyer will allow you the representation necessary to fight for a fair child custody agreement. The Law Offices of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., are aggressive advocates for our clients, using all the resources available to pursue a fair and favorable outcome. Do not allow your custody case to proceed without qualified representation. Call our offices today at 630-409-8184 to schedule a consultation.

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Posted on in Child Custody

Illinois custody attorney, Illinois family law attorney, Illinois divorce lawyer,Perhaps one of the most difficult and emotional parts of any divorce is when the the future and custody of children is involved. This can still weigh heavily even years after a divorce is final when parents enter into a new relationship and combine their children with those from another family whose parents are no longer married.

Unlike Television

When two adults decide to enter into a relationship, especially one that may result in marriage, their children usually have little influence. However, getting married and starting a family that involves the blending of two, previously existing families, definitely comes with some pitfalls to navigate on the path to establishing a happy and healthy household.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody lawyer, attorney fees,It is not uncommon for a person to say that they were taken by complete surprise when served with divorce papers. When one spouse does not recognize the signs that their marriage is in trouble it often results in great emotional hardship. However, if you are paying attention, there are some signs that are not too hard to miss.

What to Watch For

Now, just because some appears on the list below does not necessarily mean your marriage is headed for divorce. In fact, if caught early enough, many problems or points of contention between couples can be worked out through counseling. However, both spouses must be willing to put their full energy into correcting any problems and committed to ensuring they do not reappear in the future.

  • When a spouse is overly judgmental, criticizing every little thing about their partner, it can lead to problems. Spouses need to accept each other for who they are because constant criticism is rarely an effective means for change.
  • If a spouse places everything else – work, hobbies, commitments and obligations to friends, for example – before the marriage, problems are likely to arise. To make a marriage work it is important that the couple spend time together.
  • Intimacy enhances trust and closeness, and without it, a relationship can die on the vine. This applies to both physical and emotional intimacy. You must work at keeping the intimacy fresh and alive.
  • A strong relationship requires that couples engage in some give and take when making decisions. However, when one spouse feels entitled to always getting their way it can throw the marriage out of balance and leave the other partner feeling minimized.
  • Marriages require that partners share responsibility equally. Problems can materialize is one spouse is always dominant, or if a spouse is lazy and disinterested when it comes to dealing with marital matters.

With all this talk of sharing and equal partnership, it is important to remember that couples must also maintain a sense of individuality. If they become too dependent on each other that loss of identity can result in serious issues.

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Illinois custody attorney, Illinois family law attorney, Illinois divorce lawyer,When young people decide to get married they often face a variety of outside opinions and attitudes about their decision. The same is true for when that marriage ends and the couple, both of whom are still very young, decide to get divorced. It is no less difficult just because they are still young.

Young Couples and Divorce

Divorce, regardless of the age of the spouses or number of years of marriage, features some very common issues. However, those who divorce at a young age and after only a few years together frequently encounter a number of issues unique to their situation.

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Posted on in Divorce

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody lawyer, attorney fees,There are some people who like to say that they saw a divorce “coming from a mile away,” but the reality is that predicting the end of a marriage is not like picking a winner at the track. However, there are some who study marriage and divorce and seem to think that, like predicting the weather or the outcomes of sporting events, there definitely are some signs or indications that some marriages are more doomed to fail than others.

What Divorced Couples Have in Common

Just as most Super Bowl championship teams have a great defense or a game-changing playmaker, or World Series champs have great pitching and reliable defense, some social scientists have come to the conclusion that divorce couples also share certain aspects. While nothing is 100 percent certain, there is some credibility to their findings.

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Illinois custody attorney, Illinois family law attorney, Illinois divorce lawyer,The idea of leaving your children parentless due to a tragic illness or accident is not a thought on which many like to dwell. However, taking necessary steps now to establish a clear and legal guardianship plan for your children can provide a measure of relief knowing you have prepared for their safekeeping.

What to Do, How to Do It

Preparing for the care of your children in the event of your death can be an easy process if one adheres to established laws and procedures. Ensuring your guardianship plan passes legal muster will prevent others from contesting guardianship, and wresting away custody of your children from those who you want to raise your kids. Before you get started, however, you probably have some questions:

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody lawyer, attorney fees,Frequently it happens that following a divorce one might find him or herself, not necessarily regretting their divorce, but perhaps wishing they had known more about the life they are about to enter. There are a variety of resources to consult, but be careful of the information you obtain, and from who or where you receive it.

For Your Consideration

There are so many variables when it comes to divorce, and while there is no, all-knowing crystal ball, there is enough information and anecdotal data to provide people with a map of the obstacles to be faced. Provided here are some descriptions of divorced-life hurdles, gathered from those who have experienced divorce:

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Posted on in Divorce

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody lawyer, attorney fees,We generally use this space to provide readers with information about the various issues that surround divorce, the divorce process, child custody, asset division and other related matters. It is important that when one considers pursuing a divorce they have as much information as possible in order to make the best decision. This week we diverge slightly to take a closer look not at what causes divorce, but rather some of the signs that a relationship may last the duration.

Strong Relationship Building Blocks

Consider these opinions of what makes for a successful relationship when examining your own motives for getting married. It is difficult to measure up on all counts, but recognizing a few of these in your own life could be a good sign:

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end-marriageThere are a lot of people out there who claim to be experts on a wide variety of matters. The truth is that more times than not, the most knowledgeable person on any issue is the one who has lived the experience. This holds for divorce, as there are certain things about ending your marriage and living as a divorced adult that only those who preceded you really understand.

Been There, Done That

It is no secret that even just considering a divorce is something that weighs heavily on one’s mind, as the lasting implications affect more than just the married couple and more than just the immediate household. Here is a list of issues that come with a divorce, from those who went through the process:

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Posted on in Child Custody

Illinois custody attorney, Illinois family law attorney, Illinois divorce lawyer,Honest and open communication is an important tool in any relationship. When it comes to breaking the news about an impending divorce, good communication skills will come in handy. This is especially true when it comes time to telling your children that you and your spouse are divorcing, and the subject of child custody becomes a reality.

Breaking the News

Just as many adults are affected by the news of divorce, children frequently take the news quite hard. The range of emotions, from anger to guilt, can impact many other areas of their young lives. Here are a few thoughts on the subject that may just help you break the news while easing the pain your children feel, even if just a little bit:

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Posted on in Divorce

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody lawyer, attorney fees,The reasons people divorce, as well as those why they marry, are sometimes difficult to put into words. Sometimes the cause is easy to pinpoint, whether infidelity, incompatibility or even abuse, but frequently one or both spouses discover some innate feeling that only makes sense to that person. Whether others believe you or not, when you decide that divorce is the right decision the reasons may only make sense to you.

Rarely Discussed Reasons for Divorce

As mentioned above, there are some pretty common and overt reasons why marriages fail. When one or both spouses cheat, partake in an extramarital affair, or place other things, such as work or time with friends, ahead of the marriage it often signals the end of that relationship. However, presented here are some common reasons people choose to divorce that, although common, rarely receive the attention they deserve.

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Posted on in Divorce

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody lawyer, attorney fees,When it comes to divorce, the laws pertaining to alimony, asset, and property division, child custody and support and other related issues can vary from state to state. The differences between one state and the other might be enough for some to take their divorce on a road trip.

Facts About Divorce in Illinois

While divorce laws tend to vary from state to state, it is important to know the laws that oversee such matters here in Illinois. Here is a quick summary of some of the basics.

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

630-409-8184

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

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