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Five Steps to Take Before Your Divorce
08 Dec, 2021
Divorce

Five Steps to Take Before Your Divorce

The divorce process encompasses many different facets of your life. Not only is it an emotional time, but it is also a time to protect your legal and financial interests. The sooner you start taking steps to do so, the better divorce outcome you will have. If you have decided to get divorced, take the following steps immediately. An experienced Illinois divorce attorney can help you ensure you are taking all the correct steps.

Collect Crucial Documents

Take this time to collect any crucial documents and records, including:

  • pre-or post-nuptial agreement if you have one
  • Insurance policies
  • Paystubs or other proof of income
  • Financial statements for all accounts, such as bank, credit card, savings, retirement, and investment accounts
  • Mortgage documents
  • Tax returns

Keep all of these together and store them in a safe place outside of your marital home. If your soon-to-be ex-spouse finds them or collects them before you do, it could create challenges and delays in your divorce. 

Get a Post Office Box

Obtain a post office box separate from your spouse. Here you can receive confidential mail, court documents, and communications with your Illinois divorce lawyer.

Start Fresh Financial Accounts

Open new banking accounts without your spouse’s name to protect your money. If you are concerned that the money in your joint accounts will be spent or wasted, your attorney may advise you to take half out and put it in your accounts. You can use these funds to help pay for expenses related to your divorce, including your Illinois divorce attorney.

Establish Credit in Your Name

Some spouses may not have established their own credit as everything might be under the other spouse’s name. Now is the time to establish your own credit or improve what you already have. Get your credit report and examine it for any questionable issues. Speak to your Illinois divorce lawyer about any charges that weren’t for the marital estate. Keep an eye on your credit so that you will be aware if your spouse opens additional accounts with your name, further adding to your debt. Close your joint accounts and open a credit card in your own name.

Take Inventory of your Assets

Inventory your assets, including physical, real, and investment properties. If there are assets that aren’t included in the marital estate, identify them. Assets that you owned before you were married received as a gift or inheritance aren’t considered part of the marital estate. If you have items that are significantly valuable, take time-stamped pictures.

Think About Your Children

It’s easy to get distracted by the divorce process as it can be intense. However, always make your children a priority. Refrain from behaving inappropriately; not only could it hurt your children, but it could also be used against you in your custody case. Parents should avoid arguing in front of their children or involving them in the divorce process.

Reach Out to an Experienced Illinois Divorce Attorney Today

All of these steps might feel a bit overwhelming, but don’t let them discourage you. With an experienced Illinois divorce lawyer on your side, you will have the information and encouragement you need to take them. With representation from a lawyer, you can ensure that your financial and legal interests will be protected. Contact the Suburban Law Group, LLC  today to learn more about the divorce services we offer.

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