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Wheaton divorce attorneysDivorce can make a massive impact on your life, especially when it comes to financial matters. Thankfully, there are ways to mitigate the risks. Learn more about managing your finances while pursuing an Illinois divorce in the following sections. 

Create a Pre- and Post-Divorce Budget 

Divorcing parties are often aware that a new budget is necessary. One budget may not be adequate, however. You may need both a pre- and post-divorce budget. The first (your pre-divorce budget) addresses how you and your spouse will handle any joint accounts in the months leading up to the divorce, along with your own personal financial responsibilities. The latter (the post-divorce budget) focuses on how you will manage your financial obligations once the divorce has been finalized. 

Consider Paying Down Debt Before the Divorce 

While it may be tempting to wait to pay down your debt until after receiving your divorce settlement, such a plan can create unnecessary financial risks for you once the divorce has been finalized. Interest rates may increase the amount owed. Accounts may be sent to collection agencies, which can hurt your credit. Lastly, your settlement amount may not be enough to cover any overdue balances. Alternatively, by using the settlement to cover the debt, rather than forge a new future, you could increase your risk of long-term financial issues. To avoid such an issue, consider paying down your debt before filing for divorce. 

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Wheaton divorce lawyersThe division of assets can be one of the biggest sources of contention in an Illinois divorce. Part of the reasoning for this can be attributed to the term “equitable distribution,” which essentially means that each party is entitled to their “fair share” of the marital estate. What is your fair share, and how can you ensure you get it during your divorce? The following explains. 

Determining Your “Fair Share” in an Illinois Divorce 

Nothing in life is fair - especially not divorce. Yet, this is the terms that courts use when dividing assets in an Illinois divorce. What might your fair share look like? A few factors are used in reaching this determination, including: 

  • The overall value of your marital estate;
  • Your capacity to earn an income;
  • Your spouse’s capacity to earn an income;
  • Any involved children (and their needs);
  • Non-marital assets that may improve your living standard;
  • Which assets may be held by either party after the divorce; and
  • Any limitations that may hinder a party’s ability to earn a living. 

Essentially, the courts want to do what they can to ensure that you and your spouse are nearly equal in assets and income, once the divorce has ended. Achieving this lofty goal can be quite difficult, however, especially if there are hidden assets or deceptive practices involved. 

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Wheaton divorce attorneysMoney can be one of the most contentious aspects of an Illinois divorce case. Yet, when divorcing parties know how to effectively manage their own money during the process (instead of simply waiting on their settlement to get their financial life in order), the proceedings tend to be less stressful for everyone involved. Learn more about how you can start to improve your financial life, today, before you even begin your divorce, and discover how our seasoned attorneys can assist you with the process in the following sections. 

Create a Budget and Spending Plan

The first step to starting your new life is knowing what you own, what you make, and what you must spend. This information can all be obtained and understood with a budget and spending plan. These financial tools can also cue you into any potential problems that may be looming on the horizon. 

Know Where You Stand, Credit-Wise

Financial security requires you to look at more than just your income and expenditures; to create true hope for your future, it is important to also know where you stand with your credit. Not only is it the key to forging your new life, but it is also a tool that your ex can use to sabotage your future. Pull it before you file, monitor it during the process, and if you need help to get things back on track, contact a financial advisor for guidance and assistance. 

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DuPage County divorce lawyersWhile some divorcing couples are able to reach an amicable agreement on the division of their assets and debts, others struggle with reaching a compromise on even the smallest of details. These cases, which are often referred to as “contentious divorces,” can cost couples a great deal of both time and money. Learn how you can protect your assets in such a divorce, and discover what our seasoned Illinois divorce attorneys can do to improve the outcome in your case. 

Is Your Divorce at Risk for Contentious Proceedings? 

Perhaps the best way to protect one’s self in a contentious divorce is to determine, as soon as possible, if negotiations may turn hostile. First, consider your wealth class.

Marriages with an exceptionally high net worth (typically over $5 million dollars) tend to end with little fighting, as parties recognize that peaceful negotiations are one of the most effective ways to protect their wealth. Of course, parties may still become greedy during the proceedings, or they may feel the need to be vindictive toward their former spouse. As a result, individuals may attempt to either hide or spend (dissipate) assets in order to keep them away from their spouse.

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Illinois divorce attorneysDivorce can negatively impact almost anyone, but women are more prone to experiencing nasty financial surprises during the dissolution of their marriage. Much of this is because women often abdicate financial responsibilities to their spouses, so they are unaware of what they own and unprepared for the division of assets. Thankfully, there is a way to remedy the situation. Learn more in the following sections, including how a seasoned Illinois divorce lawyer can protect your interests and increase the chances that you will have a healthy financial future. 

Nasty Financial Surprises Impact Nearly Half of All Divorced Women

In a study from Worthy, an online marketplace, nearly half of the 1,785 women surveyed experienced a nasty financial “surprise” during the divorce process. Those surprises varied, depending on how and if they managed their finances during the marriage, but some of the most common, unexpected issues that women experienced included:

  • Marital debt that they had no knowledge of, prior to the divorce;
  • Less money in their savings or retirement account than they expected;
  • Having to pay more than expected for health insurance after the divorce;
  • Assuming child support or alimony awards would be higher or last longer;
  • Wrongly believing they could keep their marital home;
  • Not knowing the full worth of their marital estate;
  • Underestimating the cost of their divorce; and
  • Failing to anticipate that they would need to return to the workforce. 

Women aged 50 and older seemed to experience fewer financial surprises in divorce, partly because they were less likely than younger women to have abdicated financial responsibilities to their husbands (22 percent versus 18 percent), but older women had less time to recover from the financial hit of a divorce. As such, it is highly recommended that all women - especially those nearing retirement - seek seasoned legal assistance while navigating through the divorce process. 

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Wheaton divorce lawyersDivorce can have a significant and negative impact on the financial aspects of one’s life, especially if they are financially disadvantaged (a non-earning spouse). Thankfully, these parties are often owed a settlement, which they are permitted to use however they see fit. Perhaps one of the most financially savvy moves is to invest the money, rather than spend it. Learn more in the following sections, including how an experienced divorce attorney can improve the outcome of your Illinois divorce

Investing Can Provide a Lifetime of Income

Disadvantaged parties in a divorce are deemed as such because they lack sufficient income. Some also lack the health, skills, or training to obtain gainful employment right away. Such issues may entitle them to a settlement in their divorce, but it can also place parties at risk for divorce-induced poverty - especially if they fail to plan for the future. Some disadvantaged parties place themselves at even further risk by trying to maintain the same lifestyle that they enjoyed prior to the divorce. Sadly, that can cause them to run through their resources faster than anticipated, and often before a safety net has been created. 

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