If you are living in Naperville or the surrounding communities and are contemplating divorce, it is important to take the appropriate action and prepare for the divorce process. This post recommends 7 steps to prepare for your impending divorce.
Gather information, learn about, and understand your rights.
The vast majority of people entering the divorce process for the first time do not truly understand how the divorce process works. It’s important to consult with an attorney before the divorce process starts and learn what your rights and responsibilities are. Additionally, an experienced attorney can help you gain insight into what type of divorce you may be facing (litigation, mediation, collaborative divorce, uncontested divorce).
Develop a balance sheet for your marital assets and liabilities.
Start by listing all your debts and financial obligations (home mortgage, auto loans, credit cards etc.) Then list all of your financial accounts including insurance policies, retirement accounts and other savings accounts and vehicles. Additionally, take an inventory of all your personal belongings including automobiles, boats, artwork and furnishings. Having a clear understanding of your financial situation is critical for making decisions about your divorce, and will save you time and money when you start working with an attorney.
Make copies of all important documents.
This includes statements from your banks, investment firms, retirement plans and life insurance companies. In addition, make a copy of the financial information stored on home computers. It’s best to collect as much of this information as possible before initiating the divorce process.
Develop a budget.
Your expenses will likely go up as you and your spouse move into separate households. Develop a budget so you can begin to understand what your income needs will be as you move into your new life as a single person.
Understand how much your spouse earns.
For some people this information is easy to find simply by looking at a paystub. However, if your spouse owns a business or is self-employed it becomes more difficult to understand the income flowing in. If possible keep a close eye on the money flowing into your accounts over a period of several months prior to initiating the divorce process.
Understand your earning potential.
Have a clear understanding of your employability and earning power. This is particularly important if you haven’t been in the workforce for a long period of time.
Increase your cash reserves.
It is important that you have money of your own in the event that your spouse leaves the house and stops paying bills. Work to increase you cash reserves prior to initiating the divorce process.
I hope you find this article to be helpful. Thank you for visiting our site. We provide experienced representation and personal attention for clients in Naperville, Oswego, Wheaton, Plainfield, Bolingbrook, Aurora, DuPage County and Will County Illinois. Contact our Naperville office today at 630-416-7004 to speak with a dedicated Naperville family law attorney.