The long-term financial effects of divorce can be expensive. If both spouses work, you will need to learn how to survive on just a single income. That one income has to cover utilities, food, and other expenses, as well as fund savings and retirement investments. However, planning ahead can help. If you are considering a divorce, financial advisors suggest taking the following steps so you are on firmer financial ground if and when you decide to file.
Know Your Current Financial Situation
To begin, it is important to know your current financial standing. First, acquire all copies of any bank accounts and investment statements for the past year. You should also make copies of any income tax returns filed for the past several years. Request your credit report so you can see exactly what debts you owe.
Next, consider consulting with an attorney to find out what the bigger picture would look like if you make the decision to end your marriage. Illinois is an “equitable distribution” state, which means marital property will be divided fairly between you and your spouse, not necessarily equally. To ensure the equitable distribution of your property, the law requires full disclosure of all assets and obligations.
Protect Your Assets
If you do not currently have your own personal bank account, it is recommended you open up an account in your name only where you can start saving money. You might also find it helpful to have your own credit established. With this in mind, you could open at least one credit card in your name. Be sure to include these accounts when you disclose your financial information, however, to avoid accusations that you are hiding assets.
Consider All Future Expenses
Finally, once the process of divorce has begun, there are other key factors to consider. Make sure that any settlement that concerns children is not just about basic child support. Other expenses are often overlooked during negotiations, such as school expenses, extracurricular activities, medical and dental care, and even college. If these are not specifically addressed in your divorce agreement, you might have trouble getting help from the other parent in the future.
Expenses unrelated to your children must be considered as well, and you need to be realistic. For example, is keeping the house financially beneficial in the long-term? Can you actually afford it on your post-divorce income? By getting the house, are you losing out on other marital assets that could be more helpful, such as cash savings or retirement investments? These concerns should be carefully thought through before you set yourself up for financial problems down the road.
Contact a Wheaton Divorce Lawyer
The process of divorce can be very complicated, and it is important to have a knowledgeable lawyer representing your best interests. If you are considering ending your marriage, contact an experienced DuPage County divorce attorney at Andrew Cores Family Law Group today. Call 630-871-1002 for your free initial consultation.