Tag Archives: file for divorce

5 Steps to Take Before Filing for Divorce

DuPage County divorce attorney credit scoreWhether you and your spouse have discussed the possible end of your marriage in detail or you are silently debating your options, once divorce becomes inevitable, there are several steps you need to take to protect your interests during the divorce process. Before filing, set yourself up for success with these tips:

1. Begin Building Your Credit

Spouses often discover post-divorce that they have built up their spouse’s credit while neglecting their own. Without a good credit score, down payments for utilities and housing are often significantly higher, if you are able to get approved in the first place. Open a credit card now and use it to make small purchases that you can pay off each month. The goal is not to create a pile of debt; it is to prepare yourself for future success.

2. Understand the Family Finances

For property division and support payments, it is imperative to understand what you own and what you owe. Gather important documents like your credit report, paycheck stubs, tax returns, and bank statements. This information will not only help a judge determine whether you are eligible for spousal maintenance to cover your family’s financial needs, but it will also assist you in creating a post-divorce budget.

3. Prevent Revenge Spending

If at all possible, pay off and close any joint credit card accounts and open separate bank accounts. Inform creditors of the divorce. If you cannot pay off a card or loan, negotiate a deal to reduce the amount owed while you work to close the account. If neither of these is an option, freeze all accounts to prevent further usage.

4. Remember: You are Not Single Yet

Avoid partying, dating, or staying up until the wee hours of the morning, especially if kids are involved. As always, your children should be your first priority. Remember that divorce is stressful for them, too. How you conduct yourself during your case can affect the decisions made about child custody. If you have a romantic interest, it is often best to wait to pursue that relationship until after the divorce is final.

5. Contact a Divorce Lawyer

Do-it-yourself divorces never end up as quick and easy as they may seem, nor do they save money in the long run. Many of these cases result in long courtroom battles and repeated post-divorce modifications. Our suggestion is to speak to a proven DuPage County divorce attorney. At Andrew Cores Family Law Group, we can help you understand whether you may be able to use methods of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) such as mediation. This may help you reach a shorter and more amicable solution than a divorce through litigation, and it can empower you and your spouse to create your own divorce agreement. However, this avenue sometimes fails, and litigation in court becomes necessary.

Since 1996, our attorneys have been helping clients reach the outcome they need in both ADR and divorce litigation. We can help you understand your rights and requirements during divorce and work with you to reach a positive resolution to your case. Call our office today at 630-871-1002 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.




Stay at Home Parents and Divorce

DuPage County divorce attorney, file for divorce, stay at home parents, temporary alimony, prenuptial agreement, postnuptial agreementStay at home parents can face unique disadvantages in divorce, despite the fact that, according to U.S. Census data, there are tens of millions of stay at home parents taking care of children across the country. Stay at home parents often run into trouble following a divorce because they chose to give up careers to take care of their families. However, this can leave them without options to support themselves after the divorce.

In the past, this was less of an issue because permanent alimony was more common, but recent changes to the law have made temporary alimony a more likely outcome. Such alimony is designed to allow the stay at home spouse time to get back on their feet and reenter the workforce.

Difficulties Faced by Stay at Home Parents 

Stay at home parents who have been provided only temporary alimony by the court often face challenges for which they need to be prepared. First, many stay at home parents attempt to reenter the workforce too quickly because they know that they are working under the deadline of their alimony ending. While this impulse is understandable, and in some cases necessary, many parents can afford to take longer than they do to attempt to reestablish old professional contacts or to develop new marketable skills. Second, stay at home parents, especially those who reenter the workforce too quickly, can often find themselves without benefits, like health insurance, for which they had been relying on their spouse.

How They Can Protect Themselves

Unfortunately, the best ways for people to protect themselves from these issues are to take precautions before the divorce happens. For instance, people should maintain contact with the professional world after they stop working full-time. This could be as simple as seeing old colleagues for lunch every so often, or it may even involve working part-time or freelancing if their type of profession can accommodate that sort of a schedule. For those who have already cut themselves off from the working world, it may be beneficial to start moving back towards it before the divorce process begins. This could involve dredging up old contacts and rebuilding a professional network, or maybe even finding a new part-time job.

Another way stay at home spouses can protect themselves is through either a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. These agreements allow couples to decide issues like spousal support for themselves, and thus allows for the creation of a safety net for the spouse who chooses to stay at home.

If you are considering filing for divorce and would like more information about the process, reach out to a DuPage County divorce attorney. Our firm is happy to help you better understand your rights and your options.