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How to Prepare for a Divorce in DuPage County

preparing for divorce, DuPage County family law attorneysDivorces usually take many months to finalize, and the constant hearings, court orders, and normal difficulties of dealing with a spouse you are ending a relationship with make it an extremely difficult process. Of course, divorce is often necessary for many reasons. But while this process can be long and often messy, there are actually several steps you can take to make it go a little more smoothly.

Get Your Finances in Order

Perhaps the best thing a couple can do to prepare for a divorce is enter into a prenuptial agreement, as this can make the division of property and spousal maintenance an extremely simple process. However, many couples are hesitant to even broach the subject before marriage, which is understandable.

Without a prenuptial agreement in place, the first thing you will need to do is gather your financial information. This includes bank account statements, income tax filings from the past few years, and any investments. If your former spouse is going to be seeking some of these assets or spousal support, this will be key information in the case.

Once you have your assets figured out, think about how child support may work if you have any children. Will you or your spouse have primary parental responsibilities? Who will likely be receiving child support, and if you have to pay, how much could you afford?

This is also a good time to think about which marital assets you will be pursuing in the divorce. Is there certain furniture you would like? Or a vehicle? Do you think there will be much conflict with your spouse if you seek these items?

Finally, think about how much you can spend on the divorce and hire an experienced divorce attorney in Illinois who can represent your interests in court.

Concerns for More Complex Cases

The above tips should help anyone get their affairs in order before filing for divorce, but special considerations must also be taken if your spouse does not take the divorce filing well. If you expect a large amount of fighting, or even violence, you may want to stay with family soon after filing for divorce. If you must stay in the home, do not hesitate to call the police if you are worried that things might be getting out of hand.

If you are worried that your ex may attempt to hide assets or take more than what is appropriate, you may also want to proactively take what you believe is your half of marital property until a court orders otherwise. This can also be a good time to freeze any outgoing payments from joint checking accounts.

Contact an Experienced Attorney

If you are thinking about filing for divorce or have recently been served divorce papers by your spouse, an experienced divorce attorney in Illinois can help protect your assets and ensure you get your fair share of marital property during the divorce process. Contact our dedicated DuPage County family law attorneys today to learn how we can assist you in your case.



The Benefits of Divorce Attorneys

Illinois child custody lawyer, Illinois divorce attorney,Many people are reluctant to seek a divorce because they fear the expense of a divorce attorney, or if they do seek divorce, they choose to do so alone rather than with experienced guidance. The law is a complicated system, and even seemingly simple divorces can involve legal pitfalls. Having a skilled divorce attorney on his or her side can help a person have access to experienced investigators, can provide support and reduce stress during the process, and can even help the odds if the other spouse has already hired a divorce attorney to represent him or her.

Experienced Investigation

One of the most difficult parts of the divorce process is bringing together all the information necessary to complete the process. Dividing up the property requires a full, coherent accounting of all the couple’s finances, along with an investigation to make sure that the other spouse is not attempting to improperly conceal assets. Child custody disputes are all about developing a custody arrangement that is in the best interest of the child, and the more information there is available to do that, the better off the child will be. Oftentimes, people are tempted to do their own investigation into their spouses, such as snooping through their emails. However, people performing their own investigations run the risk of running afoul of privacy laws. Divorce attorneys are experienced at using legal methods of investigation and the discovery process to ensure that all the necessary information comes out during the divorce process.

Providing Support

A divorce attorney can also provide general support and advice throughout the process. Divorce can often be a stressful experience, and having a legal team can help take much of the work off the divorcing spouses’ plates. For instance, lawyers are skilled in negotiations, a task that many people dread, but one that is key to a successful divorce process. Allowing both sides’ lawyers to undertake the bulk of negotiations, with direction from the clients on what is or is not acceptable, can make the process easier than simply having the two spouses sit down across the table from each other alone. Additionally, divorce attorneys have experience dealing with the court system, and can provide useful advice on how best to achieve a person’s goals, and how realistic any outcome is.

Evening The Odds

Divorce attorneys are also helpful at evening the odds in the event that the other spouse hires one. Divorce attorneys see case after case, and learn strategies from every experience. Going alone against someone who has the support of a divorce lawyer who understands the system can be a recipe for a one-sided divorce arrangement.

If you are considering a divorce and would like to hear more about what a lawyer can do for you, contact an experienced Wheaton divorce attorney today. Our firm’s dedicated professionals can help explain the divorce process to you, and advise you on this difficult decision.

Divorce Options: Mediation and Collaborative Divorce

Illinios divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorney, DuPage County divorce lawyer, divorce negotiations, Given the expense and difficulty that can be associated with traditional divorce litigation, many people have begun seeking out alternative divorce strategies. Consequently, other techniques like divorce mediation and collaborative divorce have become more common over the past few decades. This has led to some confusion among people seeking divorces about whether these are different techniques and what the differences might be. The techniques are similar in that they both seek to avoid a long, drawn-out court battle, but there are key differences between mediation and collaborative divorce that may make each of them a better fit for different couples.

Divorce Mediation

The most important feature of divorce mediation is the existence of the mediator. A mediator is a neutral party who participates in discussions with the spouses, and helps them reach agreements on the contested issues like a divorce. While mediators share some similarities with judges, they are private parties, and they have no power to make any decisions in the case. All they can do is talk to the parties and try to help bring them together. The issue of representation is also a key feature of divorce mediation. The spouses are allowed to hire attorneys to advise them, but there is no obligation to do so. These features tend to help keep costs down, and they make mediation a good option for a couple that can still talk civilly and possibly reach a resolution without needing to employ more drastic measures. The downside to mediation is that there is no way to force an agreement, so if the couple cannot come together on an issue, they may find themselves starting all over again in court.

Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative divorce is a slightly larger process than mediation. Rather than employing a single, neutral mediator, both spouses hire attorneys to represent them. The attorneys and spouses sign a “no court” agreement in which they agree to keep the divorce out of court. Then, the spouses and their attorneys engage in a series of four-way meetings to try to negotiate a divorce outcome that both spouses can live with. Collaborative divorce may also involve engaging other counseling professionals such as financial counselors or child care specialists who can help advise on possible divorce outcomes. This type of divorce can be particularly beneficial for people who do not want to work with a single neutral party or for couples where there is a long-standing power imbalance in the relationship dynamic. The major downside to collaborative divorce is that if an agreement cannot be reached, the no-court agreement requires the attorneys to withdraw, requiring the couple to start over in court with new attorneys.

If you are considering divorce and would like more information about the different options, such as mediation and collaborative divorce for the process, contact an experienced DuPage County divorce attorney today. Our firm is here to help you understand your rights, so that you can make the best choice for your situation.