The process of getting a divorce can seem monumental. Besides the emotional upheaval of separating from your spouse, getting divorced can be a long process that requires extensive paperwork and negotiation over complicated topics like assets and parenting time.
However, there are things that you can do before the divorce begins to speed up the process and make it less complex. Doing a little work now to organize and prepare yourself for divorce can save you significant time and money in the future. Here are some great tips for people in Illinois who are preparing for or considering divorce.
Check Out Different Lawyers
Finding an attorney that meets your needs and style is important - you will be working closely together and the attorney-client relationship should be one that makes you feel respected and heard. Have an initial consultation with a few different attorneys and get a sense of your options. A responsible attorney should be honest about your realistic options, respect your priorities, and have an eye towards saving you time and money.
Collect Financial Information
Everybody knows that marital assets must be split during divorce. The marital home, bank accounts, and cars will be divided between spouses. However, potential divorcees must also consider other assets that could be divided - collectibles, like baseball cards and coins, artwork, retirement plans, and other valuable purchases will likely be considered part of the marital estate.
Businesses, intellectual property, and overseas assets can all present complex challenges during the asset division process. Having as much information as you can before the divorce process starts can save you time in case your spouse becomes hostile or uncooperative. The more information you can have about each asset, the better.
Assess Marital Debt
Assets are not the only thing divided and distributed in a divorce - debt must be accounted for as well. Illinois is an equitable distribution state, meaning courts will divide marital debt according to what is fair, not necessarily according to whose name the debt is in. Spouses can accumulate substantial debt over many years, especially if they utilize financial instruments like home equity loans, credit cards, and business loans. Statements from credit cards, bank accounts, and business taxes can all help create a clear picture of your debts.
Think About Life After Divorce
Divorce forces people to make tough choices that can affect their lives long after the divorce is over. It is important to make wise, long-term decisions that set you up for success now and in the future. For example, many spouses wish to stay in the marital home with their children. They may be willing to trade other valuable assets to keep the home. However, after the divorce is over, they may be unable to maintain mortgage payments with just one income and have to sell the house anyway. A qualified Illinois divorce attorney can help you make decisions that are likely to benefit you over an extended period of time.
Speak with a DuPage County Divorce Attorney
If you are considering divorce and have questions about what you can do to make the process easier, speak with one of the experienced Wheaton, IL Divorce lawyers at Cores Family Law Group. We have worked with hundreds of divorces and can help you create a plan that prepares you for success. Schedule your initial consultation by calling us today at 630-871-1002.