DuPage County parenting time lawyer for right of first refusalThe relationship between a child and his or her parents is something that is crucial to the healthy emotional development of the child. The majority of parents want to be there for their child’s special moments and spend as much time with them as possible during their childhood. When parents are going through a divorce, the time spent with their child often becomes a highly contested issue upon which many parents cannot easily agree. Studies show that children do best when they form a bond with both their mother and father, which is why Illinois encourages parents to have shared parenting time. Something that is known as the right of first refusal (ROFR) can be a bonus for parents who split parenting time with their ex-spouses.

Illinois Parenting Time

In Illinois, the court strongly encourages parents to come to an agreement on parenting time schedules on their own. When parents both draft a personalized timetable and agree to it, they are more likely to adhere to the schedule. If they are unable to come up with a parenting plan, the court will make a decision as to how parenting time is allocated. Unless there is evidence that dual parenting time would be harmful to the child, the court will award visitation time to both parents.

What Is the Right of First Refusal?

If the court allocates parenting time, it will also determine whether or not to award the right of first refusal to either parent. The right of first refusal means that if one parent cannot care for the child during his or her designated parenting time, that parent must first offer the other parent the right to care for the child during that time. This right would apply in instances when the parent would seek substitute childcare for a significant period of time.

For example, a parent who makes plans to go out with his or her friends for the night–whether those plans are made two months or two days in advance–must contact the other parent to see if he or she can/wants to care for the child during that time before making alternate plans for a babysitter or a grandparent to watch the child.

Creating a Right of First Refusal Agreement

Illinois courts will encourage parents to make an agreement on terms for the right of first refusal that are in the best interests of the child. If the parents do not or cannot come to an agreement, the court will come to a decision about:

  • The length and type of childcare requirements that can invoke the right of first refusal

  • How the parent must notify the other parent and how the other parent must respond

  • Transportation requirements

  • Any other action that is necessary to protect and promote the best interests of the child

Contact a DuPage County Parenting Time Lawyer

Child-centered issues can be some of the most disputed topics in a divorce. If you are going through a divorce, and you have a child, you may want to ensure that the right of first refusal is addressed in your parenting plan. It is highly recommended that you contact an Aurora, IL divorce attorney who is skilled in allocating parenting time and dealing with other child-related issues. At the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., we can help you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse create a parenting time agreement that works for your family. Call our office today at 630-409-8184 to schedule a consultation.



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DuPage County prenuptial agreement attorneyThe idea of planning for your divorce before you are even married can seem counterintuitive to many, unromantic to some, and just plain wrong to others. While nobody wants to admit it, the prospect of getting divorced is a very real one. Depending on the source, the divorce rate in the United States fluctuates between 40 and 50 percent. Although prenuptial agreements may still hold a negative stigma, they are becoming more popular than ever, for a couple of reasons. For one, the average age of marriage has increased dramatically from what it was just a couple of decades ago. People who are older tend to be more established and have more assets and property that they want to protect. If you are thinking about getting a prenuptial agreement, the following are a few ways it can benefit you and your spouse:

You Get to Choose How Your Property Is Divided

In a prenuptial agreement, you can spell out which specific property is given to whom in a divorce. This means you do not necessarily have to follow state laws on property division. Illinois divides marital property on an equitable basis, which does not necessarily mean equally. Judges use a specific list of factors to determine how property and debt are divided fairly. With a prenuptial agreement, you can divide your property as you see fit, and can also guarantee that certain assets, like family heirlooms or family pets, will stay with you.

You Can Protect Your Business

Another way prenuptial agreements can be beneficial is for protecting any businesses or professional practices that you own or may own in the future. If you state that your spouse has no right to any portion of your current or future business, then you maintain sole ownership, rather than having to split it. Under Illinois law, if you start a business while you are married, your spouse has a right to a portion of that business. Likewise, if you already have a business before you are married, your spouse is entitled to a portion of the profits or growth that accumulated during the marriage.

You Can Set Terms For Spousal Maintenance

These days, spousal maintenance is becoming less common, since women are making their own money and are generally able to support themselves without a husband. With that being said, you can also address spousal maintenance in your prenuptial agreement. If you know that your spouse will be staying home to take care of the children, you can agree to a certain amount of spousal maintenance in the event of a divorce. You can also waive your rights to spousal maintenance in a prenuptial agreement.

Contact a DuPage Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer

The idea that prenuptial agreements are only for the wealthy is simply not true. Many people can benefit from having a prenuptial agreement in place before they get married. If you are considering a prenuptial agreement but are unsure if it is right for your situation, you should talk to an Aurora, IL family law attorney about your circumstances. At the Law Offices of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., we can help you draft a prenuptial agreement that can significantly protect you if you do end up getting divorced. Call our office today at 630-409-8184 to schedule a consultation.





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DuPage County allocation of parental responsibilities lawyerNow known as the allocation of parental responsibilities, child custody can be one of the most contentious issues in a divorce. Even if you and your spouse agree on how you want to divide your property and debts, you may clash when it comes to deciding how parenting time and significant decision-making responsibilities will be allocated. Although you and your spouse may never want to speak to each other again, you will always share a common bond–your child. Determining how your child will spend time with each parent and what decision-making rights each parent will have for the child can be a daunting task. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about the allocation of parental responsibilities in Illinois.

How Will Decisions About Parental Responsibilities Be Made?

Illinois courts recognize the benefit of both parents agreeing on certain issues, especially child-related issues. Because of this, the courts will encourage parents to come to an agreement about parental responsibility on their own. If they are unable to come to a  resolution, the court will make these decisions for them based on what is in the best interests of the child.

What Factors Will Be Used to Determine the Best Interests of the Child?

When a judge must make any decision involving the child in a divorce case, he or she will use specific factors to determine what is in the child’s best interest. These factors can include but are not limited to:

  • The wishes of each parent

  • The needs and wishes of the child

  • The mental and physical health of both the parents and the child

  • The quality of the relationship between each parent and the child

  • The willingness and ability of each parent to put the child’s needs before his or her own and to facilitate a relationship between the child and the other parent

  • How well each parent is able to cooperate with the other

  • The level of conflict between the parents

What Information Has to Be in a Parenting Plan?

A divorce decree will include a parenting plan that defines the decisions made about parenting time and decision-making responsibilities. A parenting plan is a written agreement between the two parents as to how issues with the child will be handled. At a minimum, Illinois parenting plans must include information such as:

  • How decision-making responsibilities will be allocated

  • Information about the child’s living arrangements and how parenting time is allocated

  • Each parent’s right to access the child’s medical and psychological records, childcare, school and extracurricular records, reports and schedules

  • The child’s residential address for school enrollment purposes

  • Each parent’s residential address, phone number, and place of employment

  • Transportation arrangements

  • Provisions for resolving issues arising from any future proposed changes to the plan

  • Any other information that the court deems relevant to the family’s situation

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Attorney

Going through a divorce is never easy. Determining how your assets and debts will be divided can be difficult enough; decisions about parental responsibilities can be even more stressful. There are many legalities and rules that you must follow when making these kinds of decisions, and determining the best ways to address these issues can be confusing. At the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., our knowledgeable attorneys can answer any questions you may have about the divorce process or allocating parental responsibilities. Call a diligent Aurora, IL parental responsibility lawyer today at 630-409-8184 to set up a consultation.




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DuPage County high-asset divorce attorneyAll divorces have the potential to be complex, but when a couple has a high net worth, the proceedings tend to be even more complicated than normal. For couples who have an abundance of property or assets that are worth a lot of money, the divorce process will involve more decisions. Issues such as property division, spousal maintenance, and child support may be handled differently. People who have a high net worth can greatly benefit from a skilled divorce attorney who has experience dealing with high-value assets to help them figure out the best options for their situation. If you are involved in a high-net-worth divorce, here are a few things you should keep in mind:

  1. High-Net-Worth Divorces Are Often More Contentious

When it comes to divorces that deal with high-value assets, it is much more likely for couples to be combative, especially when dealing with property division. When spouses have many assets, especially assets that are expensive, it can be even more difficult to figure out who gets what. It may be necessary to hire an appraiser to determine the value of any large assets or property such as real estate, businesses, vehicles, boats, jewelry, artwork, or other expensive items.

  1. High-Value Divorces Are More Likely to Be Long and Expensive

When divorces are contested, or there are a lot of issues to settle, it is likely that the proceedings will be long and drawn out, which can get expensive quickly. Although nobody wants a lengthy divorce, couples in high-asset divorces may also be better equipped with the funds to pay for divorces that require a lot of negotiating and help from lawyers.

  1. Child Support Calculations Can Be Different

In the state of Illinois, there is a formula that is used to determine the appropriate amount of child support for children whose parents are no longer married. The two main factors that the formula takes into account are each parent’s monthly income and the amount of parenting time each parent has. In some cases, income from a couple with a high net worth may exceed the highest level of income that is shown on the tables used for calculating child support. When this happens, it is up to the judge’s discretion as to how much child support would be appropriate.

  1. Contact an Aurora, IL Divorce Attorney

Because of all of the complexities and added issues, a skilled DuPage County high-asset divorce lawyer can provide much-needed advice to high-net-worth couples who are divorcing. At the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., we have more than a decade of experience helping couples finalize their high-value asset divorces. Contact our office today to see how we can help you navigate the proceedings and achieve a stress-free resolution. Call our office at 630-409-8184 today to schedule a consultation.






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