Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois parenting time and responsibilities lawyer,Getting a divorce when you have children is never as easy as getting a divorce when you just have you and your spouse to consider. Divorcing with children means you have a few extra things that you must consider and make decisions about before you can finalize your divorce. These include parenting time arrangements, decision-making responsibilities for the children, college expenses and a rather common one, child support.

Child support is meant to be used to address the basic needs of children, such as a proper place to live, clothes to wear and food to eat. What the Illinois child support formula does not include is other expenses for your child that are nearly impossible to avoid. These expenses can be calculated and then added to the basic child support obligation that you and your child’s other parent are responsible for providing before the obligation is divided between the two of you.

Other Child Expenses

The state of Illinois recognizes that there are also extra expenses that almost every family who has children must pay. This is why they have added sections to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act to address these expenses and how they will be determined. Examples of these expenses include:

  • Extracurricular Activities: Illinois courts acknowledge that extracurricular activities can be beneficial for the growth and development of some children. Extracurricular activities can be intended to enhance the educational, athletic, social or cultural development of children and the court can either add the costs to the basic child support obligation that both parents must contribute to, or it can order one parent to pay the costs directly.
  • Child Care: Child care is rather common in divorce cases because both parents often work after getting a divorce. The costs of child care must be reasonable and necessary in order for them to be added to the basic support obligation. Child care costs can be paid by each parent directly to the child care provider, or they may be added to the basic support obligation.
  • Health Care: There is almost no getting around providing health care for your child. The court can order either one or both parents to contribute to medical expenses such as insurance premiums or out-of-pocket costs. The court can also order one or both parents to cover the costs of other expenses such as dental care, braces, vision care, and glasses.

Child Support Disputes Can Be Settled With Help From a Skilled DuPage County Child Support Attorney

At the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., we understand that child support is often a contentious and complicated issue. Everyone always wants what is best for their children, but sometimes divorce clouds the judgment of even the most steadfast parent. If you are concerned about child support in your divorce case, our knowledgeable Aurora, IL child support lawyers can help you protect your rights while getting your child the support that he or she deserves. Call our office today at 630-409-8184 to schedule a consultation.



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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer,Making the decision to get divorced is not one that comes easily to most people. A marriage does not break down overnight — it takes months or even years to reach the point of no return for most divorcing couples. Once you have made the decision to get a divorce, the first step in what is often a long process is figuring out how you will go about the divorce and which divorce lawyer is right for you. Shopping for a divorce lawyer is a lot like shopping for a car — they are not cheap, so it is important that you make your decision with care and thorough knowledge. If you are beginning the process of finding a divorce lawyer that would be a good fit for your family, here are a few tips that can help guide you:

Determine What You Need

Before you even contact any lawyers, you should figure out what exactly you are looking for in a divorce attorney. Which specific needs do you have? Is your divorce contested or is it straightforward? Do you need an attorney who especially experienced in certain parts of family law, such as child custody? Are you looking for an attorney with experience dealing with collaborative divorces, mediation or traditional divorces? Determining your needs can help determine what kind of lawyer you need.

Figure Out Your Budget

Another factor to consider is cost. Attorneys all have different hourly rates and retainer fees. For the most part, more established and experienced attorneys will have higher hourly rates and retainer fees. If cost is a concern to you, figure out your budget and then shop for attorneys who are in your price range.

Know Which Questions to Ask

Before you hire a divorce lawyer, you will want to meet in person with at least a couple of lawyers. This allows you to begin to understand the type of person each attorney is and will allow you to find the best fit for your family. It also allows you to ask the attorney questions before you hire them, which can help you get a feel for the attorney and how they will handle your case. During the initial meeting, try to ask the attorney:

  • If he or she specializes in a certain area of family law;
  • What he or she thinks of your case and how you should proceed;
  • If they have experience dealing with trials; and
  • What their fee structure is, how much the retainer is and whether or not they offer payment plans.

Hire an Aurora, IL Divorce Lawyer to Represent You

Searching for a divorce lawyer can be a stressful and confusing process. There are tons of options out there, but at the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., we are confident that we can tackle any issue you may need help with. Our compassionate DuPage County divorce attorney has more than 15 years of experience helping families through the divorce process. Call our office today at 630-409-8184 to inquire about setting up an initial consultation.



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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer,For some people who are going through a divorce, they may wish that their marriage never happened. Unlike a divorce, which is the process of legally separating yourself from your former spouse, a marriage annulment is a declaration of the invalidity of a marriage. In a sense, a marriage annulment is as if the marriage never took place — your legal relationship status is basically reset. While the idea of erasing a marriage may be favorable, the option is not available to all Illinois couples. There are certain circumstances that must be present before a marriage annulment will be granted.

Factors for Annulment

To begin the annulment process, a petition must be taken to the court. Once you petition the court for an annulment, you must provide evidence pertaining to the particular reason you are asking for an annulment. There are only a few specific reasons that a marriage annulment would be granted. These include:

  • A spouse could not consent to the marriage. If you believe that you or your spouse could not consent to the marriage, you must petition for an annulment within 90 days of the marriage. If one spouse was mentally incapacitated, mentally ill, under the influence of drugs or alcohol or coerced into the marriage, you may be able to have the marriage annulled.
  • A spouse could not consummate the marriage. Though this may seem like an outdated reason for a marriage annulment, it is still a valid reason in Illinois. An annulment may be possible if one spouse could not consummate the marriage through sexual intercourse and the other spouse did not know about this when they were married. An annulment must be requested within one year after the inability to consummate is known.
  • One or both spouses were under the age of 18 when they were married. In the state of Illinois, a marriage is legal when a minor is 16 or 17 years old — only if the minor’s parents or guardian give their permission. If they do not give their permission, the marriage can be annulled. The annulment must be requested before the minor turns 18.
  • The marriage was prohibited or illegal. Other situations in which a marriage may be annulled can include reasons such as the two spouses being related by blood or one or both spouses already being married with no legal divorce. This type of annulment can be requested at any time before three years after the first spouse has died.

A DuPage County Marriage Annulment Attorney Can Help

It can be somewhat difficult to obtain a marriage annulment in Illinois. In addition to marriage annulments only being granted in certain situations, there are also certain time frames during which actions for annulment must be taken. If you think that a marriage annulment may be right for your situation, you should immediately contact a knowledgeable Aurora, IL marriage annulment lawyer. At the Law Office of Matthew M. William, P.C., we can answer all of your questions pertaining to annulment or divorce — whichever your case is better suited to. Call our office today at 630-409-8184 to set up a consultation.



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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child support lawyer,The process of allocating assets during a divorce is often one of the most contentious issues between couples. The state of Illinois practices equitable distribution of assets and liabilities, rather than equal distribution. This means that there is nothing saying a judge has to assign half of the marital estate to each spouse — one spouse could end up walking away from the divorce with more money or more debt. Because of this, some spouses may be tempted to cover up assets so they may keep them for themselves. Illinois courts strongly recommend that couples try to come to an agreement on property distribution on their own, but this is not always possible, especially if both spouses are not willing to be truthful with each other.

This is often the step of the divorce process in which “discovery” comes into play. Discovery is the exchange of information between the two spouses and their attorneys. During this step, both spouses are required by law to be fully and completely transparent about the issue at hand. This means each spouse must disclose any and all assets, including both marital and non-marital assets.

The Role of a Forensic Accountant

During the discovery phase is typically when forensic accountants are brought in to help. A forensic accountant can be especially helpful to people who think their spouses may be hiding assets or other things from them. A forensic accountant is a person who is trained to look at business and finance documents to discover any discrepancies or missing information. Documents that a forensic accountant will likely ask for include:

  • Tax returns;
  • Bank records, including checking and savings account statements;
  • Information on stock options;
  • Retirement account ledgers;
  • Brokerage statements;
  • Loan applications;
  • Credit card statements; and
  • Any other financial documents you or your spouse may have.

A DuPage County Divorce Attorney Can Provide Much-Needed Legal Advice

If your divorce includes high-value assets or you think your spouse may be hiding something from you, you need help from an Aurora, IL divorce lawyer. At the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., we can help you make sure you get your fair portion of the marital estate by hiring knowledgeable financial experts, such as a forensic accountant. To schedule a consultation, call our office today at 630-409-8184.



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