Divorces 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.