The Importance of Divorce Planning
Getting a divorce is one of the biggest decisions of your life. Just like with other major decisions, the process will be much smoother if you have a plan. Working with a divorce attorney before you file can help you protect your assets. It can also give you a strategic advantage when you are ready to file.
During the course of the divorce, you will need access to a great deal of information. One of the best ways to prepare for a divorce is to gather as much information about your family’s financial situation as possible. This information will help your lawyer come up with a plan of action for dividing the marital assets and may prevent your spouse from hiding any assets after the divorce is filed.
The documents you need to collect include:
- Checking account statements;
- Savings account statements;
- Retirement account statements;
- Investment account statements;
- Credit card statements;
- Any information relating to any real property owned by you or your spouse; and
- Financial documents for any businesses in which you or your spouse have ownership interests.
Illinois requires that judges divide marital property equitably in a divorce. However, you may have some property that is separate property and not subject to being divided in court. Your lawyer may suggest steps you can take to avoid commingling your property so that it does not inadvertently become marital property.
Certain assets, like a business or real estate, can lose some of their value if they are not divided properly during the divorce. There may be steps that you can legally take prior to a divorce to help shield these assets from being split or losing their value.
Additionally, there may be some assets that are important for you to remain in control of after the divorce. Taking the time to meet with a divorce attorney and carefully reviewing all of your assets and debts will allow the two of you make a plan that will give you the best chance of retaining these assets. It will also allow you to have a better understanding of the likely obstacles you will face as you go through the divorce process.
If you are considering a divorce, you need to speak with a skilled Geneva divorce attorney right away. Call 630-232-9700 today to schedule a consultation. The more time you have to plan, the better off you will be during and after the divorce.