Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer,When you are married for a long period of time — even if it is just for a few years — you are bound to have many shared assets that you have accumulated over time. Dividing your assets during a divorce can be messy and complicated, especially if both of you want the same things. Illinois courts prefer for couples to try to divide up their assets on their own before the responsibility goes to a judge, but sometimes a judge is very much needed to settle disputes. When they say everything must be split up, they mean everything — even unusual assets that you may not think about much.

Marital vs. Non-Marital Property

Before you can divide anything in your marriage, you must first determine what property must be divided. In Illinois, only marital property is subject to division. Non-marital property remains with the spouse whose property it is. Marital property is any property, including debts and other types of obligations, that either spouse acquires during the marriage. The exception to that rule is non-marital property, which includes:

  • Property acquired by gift, descent or legacy;
  • Property acquired in exchange for property acquired before the marriage;
  • Property acquired by a spouse after a legal judgment of separation; and
  • Property excluded by a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.

Physical Property

Property that is a real object and can be touched is physical property, which is probably what you think of when you think of property division. Physical property that is subject to division can include:

  • Pets: In Illinois, pets are now treated more like children than they are property, but there must still be a determination on who they live with after a divorce. If it is contested, the judge will make the decision on who to place the pet with based on what would be best for everyone involved;
  • Collections: Collections can have quite a bit of value to them, depending on what the collection consists of. Things such as comic books, coins, stamps, books, and art can have some real value to them and can be used as a negotiating piece if needed; and
  • Photos or Other Keepsakes: These items are invaluable. Even though many items like photos and videos can be kept digitally, there is something to be said about the originals.

Intangible Property

These items can often be overlooked because they are not physical items, but they are very real. These items can include:

  • Intellectual Property: If you or your spouse has trademarks, patents, copyrights, or other types of intellectual property, these can be worth real money, especially if royalty payments are involved;
  • Rewards Points or Frequent Flyer Miles: Though these are not technically tangible assets, they can be used to purchase tangible assets. You can either fight to keep these points or use them as leverage for assets you really want.

A Knowledgeable DuPage County Property Division Attorney Can Help

You never actually realize how much stuff you have until you have to take inventory of everything so you can divvy it up. A knowledgeable Aurora, IL property division lawyer can help you make sure you are getting your fair share of your marital estate. At the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., Attorney Williams has more than a decade of experience working in family law and negotiating favorable property division settlements. Call our office today at 630-409-8184 to schedule a consultation.



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prenupPlanning a wedding requires a great deal of organization and patience. You probably have a checklist of items that you need to get done before the big day, which may or may not include finalizing your prenuptial agreement. If you and your fiance have chosen to create and sign a prenuptial agreement, you will soon figure out that it comes with its own checklist of things to consider, which can become overwhelming when you are trying to plan a wedding. Having a solid prenuptial agreement that has examined all of the necessary factors is important to the successful implementation of the agreement in the event that you do get divorced.

Premarital Assets and Debts

Things that you bring into the marriage – whether they are assets or debts – are considered premarital assets and debts and are typically not subject to division during a divorce. In order to safeguard that property, putting it into the prenuptial agreement is a good idea. You can also stipulate what happens to the property if it is used to purchase other things during the marriage.

Marital Property

This is all assets and debts that you and your spouse accumulate during the time you are married. You can choose to either stick with Illinois law, which is to divide the property equitably in the event of a divorce, or you can create your own arrangement. You can go so far as to stipulate what specific items you will keep and what items you will give up.


Writing a section about the finances and how they will be handled is also a good idea. The agreement can stipulate who is responsible for managing the finances and paying the bills. You can also make inclusions about any credit issues or taxes, including whether or not you will file your taxes jointly.


A point of contention for some couples, including information about the expectations for the household contributions of each spouse and the employment of each spouse is a good thing to include. If one spouse will stay at home while raising the children, you should include that. You can also plan for how you will deal with making the decision about relocations.

Spousal Support

If you get divorced, the question of spousal support will come up. In Illinois, there are a number of factors that are taken into consideration when a judge is deciding whether or not spousal support is appropriate. If you include a provision about spousal support in your prenuptial agreement, you can guarantee a spouse will get it.

A DuPage County Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer Can Help You Check All of Your Boxes

The average age of marriage in the United States has become older than ever before, meaning people are going into marriages with much more property and assets than they used to. Because of this, more and more young couples are looking to prenuptial agreements as viable options to help them manage their marital affairs. The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. has helped numerous couples create prenuptial agreements that work for their specific situations and we can do the same for you. Our knowledgeable Aurora, IL prenuptial agreement attorney will advise you of your options when drafting the agreement so you can get the most out of the experience. Call our office today at 630-409-8184 to set up a consultation.



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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, life after divorce,Unsurprisingly, for many people, divorce is very difficult. Not only are you ending your legal relationship with your spouse, but you are also ending a very deep romantic relationship. Many people having feelings of anger, despair, hopelessness or even depression after a divorce. One of the most important and healthiest things you can do after you have gotten a divorce is set your sights on all of the positive aspects of getting a divorce — and yes, there are positives to this situation. Here are four things you can look forward to after a divorce:

You Have Free Time — And It Is Yours

After a divorce, you will be single again — and that means that you will have the schedule of a single person again. You can do whatever you want, whenever you want and you do not have to worry about upsetting or ignoring another person. You can start making time for activities that you like to do, without having to worry about the wants of another person.

You Have the Opportunity to Become a Better Parent

Divorce can be difficult for children, but in the long run, it will make everyone happier and healthier. A divorce can bring many positive effects to your children, especially without all of the constant fighting and tension. You also have the chance to focus solely on being the best parent you can be to your children.

You Can Focus on Your Goals

Remember that dream you always had to become a nurse? Well, now you can actually make that dream a reality. Do you still want to take that vacation to Italy? You no longer have to convince your spouse to go with you. Any goals that you might have will be much easier for you to attain because you do not have to worry about if your goals match up with your spouse’s.

You Can Do Some Self-Reflection

Many people find that the most surprising aspect of getting a divorce is what you are able to learn about yourself. You may find that you are so much more resilient and strong than you thought you were — which can be a major confidence booster. This is also the best possible time to do a little introspection and figure out what you really want and what you want to set your sights on for the future.

A DuPage County Divorce Attorney Can Help You Finalize Your Divorce

In order for you to come out stronger on the other side of the divorce, you need to be able to rely on a skilled Aurora, IL divorce lawyer. At the Law Offices of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., you can have peace of mind knowing that you are receiving help from an experienced divorce litigator who can help you with all aspects of your divorce, from property division to child support. Contact our office today to get started and see how we can help you. Call us at 630-409-8184 to set up a consultation.



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holidaysDivorce is hard – that is no secret. But divorce is even harder during the holiday season. The holidays are all about spending quality time with your family, but when your family is split up, you have to find other ways to celebrate and make the season special. When you are divorced with children, you typically have a parenting plan that outlines where your child will be during certain times of the year and which holidays the child will spend with which parent. One of the hard truths that you must come to realize is that you will not always spend every single holiday with your children. While it can be difficult, it is something you must get used to. Here are a few tips you can follow to survive the holidays without your children

Do What You Want to Do

One of the best things you can do during the holiday season without your kids is whatever you want to do. If that means that you want to stay home, decorate your house for the holidays and host a big holiday party, then do it. Maybe you might want to take that warm beach vacation for the holidays but never wanted to make your children sacrifice holiday traditions. A year without your children during the holidays is a perfect time to do whatever your heart desires.

Practice Self-Care

Any time you know there will be outside factors affecting your mental health, it is always a good idea to make sure you are practicing self-care and keeping yourself in tip-top shape. Make sure that you are eating well and drinking plenty of water, along with getting plenty of sleep and exercise. You should also make sure you are taking care of your emotional health. If you are not spending holidays with your children, make sure you are spending it surrounded by your side of the family or with your friends.

Celebrate with Your Children Before or After the Holiday

Even if you cannot spend the actual day of your holiday with your children, you can still celebrate with them – just move it forward or backward, depending on what works for you. This way, you still get to spend time with your children and practice your traditions, but your spouse also gets their turn to celebrate.

An Aurora, IL Parenting Time Lawyer Can Help You Create a Sound Parenting Plan

Though you cannot expect to spend every single holiday with your children every year, you can make sure that your parenting plan outlines which specific holidays you spend with your children. A DuPage County parenting time attorney can help you draft your parenting plan so that it meets both you and your children’s needs. The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. can help you with all aspects of your divorce, including your parenting plan. Call our office at 630-409-8184 to schedule a consultation.



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