Your Marriage Is Ending: Do This Before You File for Divorce

Your Marriage Is Ending: Do This Before You File for Divorce

When a marriage is ending, properly preparing for divorce can be one of the smartest things spouses ever do. Family lawyers in the Chicago area often help divorcing spouses understand their legal options and how to prepare when their marriages are failing.

Dealing with Emotions

The divorce process can bring the worst out of all involved. Minor disagreements can quickly spin out of control. Individuals who are going through a divorce should learn to keep their emotions under control. This could involve hiring a divorce coach, therapist, or joining a support group to deal with emotions during a divorce.

Organization is Key During a Divorce

The stress of divorce can interfere with organization. From the initial filing to the final decree, the divorce process is document-driven. Spouses that plan to file for divorce should get a head start with gathering documents like:

  • Income tax returns
  • W-2 forms and paycheck stubs
  • Retirement and investment account statements
  • Credit card statements
  • Bank statements
  • Household bills, including mortgages, car loans, and medical bills

It is important to have all these documents organized and ready for the family lawyer who will be handling the divorce filing. This helps save time and expense as the divorce proceeds.

Understanding Finances and Preparing for Life After Divorce

Parties in a divorce should understand their finances. If one spouse handled paying bills, all investments, or retirement accounts, the other spouse could be at a disadvantage. Both spouses should understand what assets the couple has so they are not shortchanged during the divorce.

Spouses also need to prepare financially for life after divorce. With many households having two incomes, plans need to be made to handle the decrease in income. Until a divorce is finalized, any maintenance or child support amounts may be in question. Bills will still need to be paid and both spouses and any children involved will need somewhere to live.

Learning About Divorce Options Before Filing

Before making the decision to file for divorce, spouses should understand the options that are available. It is not always necessary to go through a drawn out and expensive divorce trial. In Illinois, divorcing couples can opt for a collaborative divorce, or investigate mediation or arbitration methods in lieu of litigation. A family lawyer can help couples decide which option would be best for their divorce.

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