When a marriage does not work out and couples decide it is better to part ways than to endure the agony of staying in an unhappy, unhealthy situation, divorce is the solution. The decision to get a divorce does not come easy. It comes with a lot of uncertainty and emotions that can be overwhelming. Once you finally choose to get a divorce, it is important to know the steps you need to take in order to receive a fair outcome. So, where do you begin?

Consult a Chicago divorce attorney

In any type of divorce, no matter how amicable it may be, you should consult a divorce attorney first. To be aware of your rights, the options you have, and how the law will apply to your case, it is very important that you talk to an attorney. Also, it is common to hear all sorts of divorce stories. However, because no two divorces are alike, you cannot expect that your divorce will be the same as other people’s cases. At Petrelli Previtera, we know that your case is unique and we will work with you to craft a strategy that best fits your needs.

Communicate with your children

If you have children and are going through a divorce, their well-being after the split should be your top priority. It is common parental instinct to protect your children from the difficult reality of divorce because they might be too young to understand. Nevertheless, even if you feel anxious or uncertain as to how your children will react and cope, you need to reach out and communicate to them. Consider their feelings and make sure they understand that they are not at fault for the divorce. Also, do not alienate them from the other parent or manipulate them to be on your side. Always remember that it is your responsibility as a parent to put your children’s best interests first when deciding custody and support during the divorce.

Gather and organize relevant documents  

Consult your attorney about which specific type of documents will be relevant in the process of divorce, such as the following:

  • Bank statements
  • Credit reports
  • Tax information
  • Prenuptial agreements, if any
  • Household expenditures
  • Debt information
  • Medical records
  • Children’s school records
  • Criminal files or records of your spouse like restraining orders, if any

Choose your battles

You must be clear on which issues are open for negotiations and which are not. An experienced Chicago divorce attorney will help you understand what issues you have rights to and are worth fighting for and which areas could be helped with communication and compromise. Being clear on these issues will protect you from being taken advantage of and dealing with an unfair settlement agreement. Focus on the long-term goals you have in mind and the kind of life you envision for yourself after the divorce. Consider what is best in the long run for your children, whether or not it is sole or joint custody and whether or not to keep the house or to settle with monetary payment. You have tough decisions to make, so make sure you use your better judgement with the help of a trustworthy attorney to get to these important issues.

There’s no way around it, divorce is tough. However, with the help of an experienced divorce attorney, you don’t have to go through it alone. We have helped countless people facing marital crises take their life from chaos to clarity. Schedule your consultation today so we can help you too.