Divorce can be complex legally, financially, and personally. Ending your marriage will likely have a profound impact on your life in a multitude of ways. Fortunately, there are steps you can take now to prepare for the divorce process and set yourself up for success.
Inventory Your Assets and Debts
One of the most consequential aspects of divorce is the division of marital assets and debts. You will need to determine who you and your spouse will divide bank account balances, real estate, vehicles, household items, retirement funds, credit card debt, and much more. Take some time to go through your financial documents and make a list of the assets you own and the debts you owe. Gather and make copies of your tax returns, pay stubs, bank statements, loan applications, and other financial paperwork.
Learn About Illinois Divorce Laws and What to Expect
Each state has different divorce laws, and these laws frequently change. It may be a good idea to research Illinois divorce laws so you will know how the process generally works. Each case is different, but this can give you a place to start. Illinois is a no-fault divorce state without a waiting period or mandatory separation period. However, at least one of the spouses must have lived in the state for 90 days to file for divorce in Illinois.
Assemble Your Support Team
Working with a skilled divorce lawyer is a great way to ensure you will have the legal support and representation you need during divorce. You may also want to reach out to friends, family members, church or religious leaders, counselors, and other trusted people in your life and ask for their support. Divorce can be extremely taxing emotionally and psychologically. The greater number of people you have supporting you through this process, the better.
Explore Your Options
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to divorce. Some couples are able to reach an agreement on all of their divorce issues through mediation. Others negotiate the terms of their divorce during the collaborative divorce process. In other cases, the spouses must take the matter to Court. Explore all of your options for ending your marriage so you can choose the option that makes the most sense for your circumstances.
Consult With an Experienced Lawyer
Even if you anticipate that your divorce will be relatively amicable, it is wise to work with an experienced divorce lawyer. An experienced divorce lawyer can help you explore your options and determine the best approach for your unique situation. He or she can also provide guidance, advice, and legal representation throughout the process.
Contact a Palatine Divorce Lawyer
At the Law Office of Nicholas W. Richardson, P.C., we know that starting the divorce process can be intimidating and overwhelming. We can help you understand what to expect and provide the legal advocacy and support you need. Call Arlington Heights divorce attorney Nicholas W. Richardson at 847.873.6741 for a confidential consultation.