3 Important Steps to Take While Preparing for Your Illinois Divorce
Divorce is not a decision that comes easily. In fact, most people spend months, sometimes even years contemplating whether divorce is the next best step in their life. Regardless of where they are in the decision-making process, it is important that parties take immediate steps to protect their wealth and future well-being. At worst, the divorce never happens and they gain a better understanding of their finances and emotional health. At best, they are prepared and well-situated for the road ahead, which can increase the chances of a favorable outcome in their Illinois divorce.
Start Paying Attention to Your Finances
Although many couples share a bank account, credit card, and other debts, not everyone is aware of their family’s finances. For example, you may know about how much you and your spouse earn each month, but are you up-to-date on the amount in your spouse’s retirement account? Are there any undisclosed debts that your spouse may not have discussed with you? Do you know what monthly bills are associated with the home, and which are personal expenditures? What is the worth of any businesses, stocks, bonds, or real estate held in either your name or your spouse’s?
These details, and many others, are necessary to know - not just during the divorce process, but also as you plan and prepare for your life after a divorce. Monitor this information. Track expenses and obtain copies of any financial documents you can find. Store them in a safe and secure place until you meet with an attorney, and above all else, do not let your spouse know you are preparing for the divorce process. Otherwise, money or important financial information could start to disappear. Should this occur, the overall cost of your divorce could significantly increase.
Focus on Your Image and Develop a Social Media Game Plan
While Illinois divorces are not based on “fault,” meaning the cause of the divorce does not have an impact on the legal outcome, there are still certain aspects of your image that you must carefully consider, monitor, and maintain. Understand that the way you behave and the way you portray yourself can still negatively impact your case. Social media behavior (and what you post on it) serves as a prime example.
Say that you have had a particularly difficult week and are struggling to cope with the end of your marriage. Some friends from work suggested taking a night out. You do not want to miss out on the opportunity to socialize with your friends, especially since you may have lost some friends or family members during the separation, but you are supposed to have your kids for the weekend. Thinking that you and your spouse have an amicable co-parenting relationship, you call and ask if you can switch weekends with them. Your spouse graciously agrees.
While out with your friends, you take a photo and post it on social media. You are clearly intoxicated, as are your friends. Now your spouse has ammunition; fail to give them what they want in the divorce and they may attempt to use it against you in court. Since you cannot prepare and plan for every potential attack, it is usually best if you limit your social media postings during a divorce proceeding, but a seasoned divorce lawyer can also assist you in developing a social media strategy to protect your interests in an Illinois divorce.
Start Preparing Now for Your Post-Divorce Life
Parties often wait to start planning their post-divorce life - not because they are naive, but because they simply cannot fathom what life will look like on the other side, or they are too burdened with grief and emotional pain to plan or prepare. Sadly, the consequences of either situation can be devastating. Parties who have not been in the workforce for some time may struggle to find employment. Those who do not have an individual line of credit may struggle to obtain it once divorce proceedings begin. In highly populated areas, parties may even struggle to find a suitable and affordable living space while navigating through the divorce process. Avoid these issues (and many others) by planning for your post-divorce life, long before you even file.
Contact Our Wheaton Divorce Lawyers
At Davi Law Group, LLC, we work hard to protect the financial and emotional interests of our clients and their children, which is why we strongly encourage all parties to start their divorce planning process as soon as possible. Get guided assistance as you prepare for the next steps in life. Call 630-580-6373 and schedule a no-obligation consultation with our DuPage County divorce attorneys today.