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How to Plan for an Illinois Divorce

Apartment is torn in half. Concept division of jointly acquired property in marriage, separation of house during divorce of family.

Planning for a divorce in Illinois involves hard work, but the more prepared a person is ahead of time the better. While the process of ending a marriage can be emotionally burdening, it also comes with mounds of paperwork, settling of debts, division of assets, and dealing with life changes. With proper planning, however, things will move along more smoothly. Here are some basic things a person can do to plan for an Illinois divorce:

Taking Inventory

Part of getting divorced is deciding who gets what property. Since Illinois law requires financial disclosure and the fair division of property acquired during the marriage, a person should take an inventory of the property he or she owns individually or jointly with a spouse. He or she should keep track of family finances and gather all financial documents, including pay stubs, tax returns, bank statements, credit card statements, receipts, appraisals, and other bills.

Preparing Finances

A person will need documentation to show his or her income and his or her spouse’s income. This is important in determining spousal support and child support, should it be deemed necessary. Additionally, an individual should determine how divorce is going to affect his or her personal finances.

To prepare personal finances, an individual may consider applying for a credit card, opening an independent bank account, removing half the funds from a joint account, and putting an emergency fund in place. 

Custody Decisions

If children are involved, it makes sense for spouses to prepare for custody determinations. Not all divorces involve custody battles, but it’s easy for one to be caught off guard. An individual should keep a schedule of who takes the children to school, playdates, extracurricular activities, and social events.

Updating Estate Plans

If a person wants to change the beneficiaries of his or her living will, he or she should do so before filing for divorce because the process can be halted until the divorce is finalized. Aside from the will, the ex-spouse could be entitled to the partner’s life insurance policy, 410k, IRA, or other plans if something were to happen to a divorcee.  An individual must take time to effectively complete the required paperwork for each plan from which he or she intends to remove a spouse.

Uncontested divorce lawyer Denise Erlich is passionate about helping divorcing couples in the greater Chicagoland area transition to their new life as seamlessly as possible. Ms. Erlich patiently guides her clients through every step of the divorce process and provides clients with candid advice about their case and legal options, so they can make informed decisions about their future.