For many people, the decision to end their marriage is not a sudden one, but one that is made after a period during which there has been a gradual erosion of the relationship. If you are considering a divorce, or you have already made the decision, you should take certain steps to gather all the legal and financial information and documentation you will need to help you reach the best possible divorce settlement.
Preparing Yourself Emotionally for Divorce
Even if you are the one who is seeking the divorce, you will most likely find yourself navigating an emotional roller coaster over your decision. As difficult as it may be, try to avoid allowing these emotions to rule your behavior. Seeking out the services of a professional therapist often helps in staying focused, even more so than confiding in family and friends. A therapist is unbiased and can help guide you through working through the feelings you are dealing with about the divorce. What you share with the therapist is also confidential, unlike sharing with a friend, who may repeat what you tell them, possibly allowing the information to get back to your spouse.
Assessing Marital Assets and Debts
Before the divorce process begins, you should also do some research to find out the status of any assets and property that you and your spouse own. If you had a prenuptial agreement drawn up before you were married, it may include important terms related to property division. You should also look for ownership documentation for any property that you and your spouse have. Along with physical property, you should make a list of all of the joint and separate financial accounts belonging to you and your spouse. This not only includes checking and saving accounts, but also all retirement, pension, and investment accounts. Gather the most recent copies of each account’s statement so that you are well-informed about their current status and value.
It is also important to consider any marital debts. Make a list of all the outstanding financial obligations you have and gather copies of those recent statements, as well. Marital debt can include mortgages, credit cards, vehicle loans, personal loans, utility bills, and virtually any other financial obligations incurred during the marriage. It is also a good idea to have at least the last three years’ income tax returns, if possible, as well as recent pay stubs, W-2s, and 1099s for both you and your spouse.
Contact a Qualified Wheaton, IL Divorce Lawyer
Another crucial piece in ensuring you have the best divorce experience possible is finding an attorney with whom you feel comfortable and secure. Contact the skilled DuPage County divorce attorneys at Andrew Cores Family Law Group to discuss how we can help with your case. Call 630-871-1002 for a free consultation with a member of our team today.