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5 things you should know before filing for divorce

Divorcing can be a stressful and life-changing experience, and many couples are not prepared for what happens once the papers are signed. A divorce attorney in Chicago knows that many divorcees fair better when they go into the process knowing what to expect. Any couple considering a split should be aware of these five things before the proceedings begin.

1. Understand financial standings

A divorce can have a big impact on the finances of both parties. Before breaking up, it is a good idea to know how much money the couple has and how much of it comes from each spouse. This can be helpful when determining how much maintenance may be needed to help each spouse make ends meet once a double income is no longer available.

2. The types of property owned

When a couple divorces, they are required by state law to divide up any jointly-held property. It is wise to be aware of the different types of property that a couple has, both marital and separate. In Illinois, any assets assumed by a couple over the duration of a marriage are subject to division, but assets held prior to the marriage or received as a gift or inheritance are considered separate and remain in the ownership of the spouse who received them.

3. How to handle issues regarding children

Couples with children should be aware of the different matters that they must discuss regarding their children. A divorce attorney in Chicago understands that these issues can be emotional and full of conflict if parents are not prepared to handle them ahead of time. Talking about custody arrangements before filing for divorce may help prevent disputes in the future.

4. All divorces are not created equal

Friends or family members who have divorced often have a lot of advice or suggestions on how to deal with a divorce, but couples should know that every divorce case is different. The basics of the divorce process are generally the same, but every couple has varying needs and requirements that take different methods to work through for a positive outcome.

5. There are alternatives to court

Many people assume that there is only one way to divorce. A litigious divorce in a courtroom is only one option. There are other alternatives, including collaborative divorce or mediation, that couples should be aware of. The right choice for one couple may not be ideal for others.

Couples may choose to contact a divorce attorney in Chicago before filing for divorce. Legal aid may be beneficial when learning what to expect from the process.

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