Five Steps to Take Before Divorce

Planning for divorce can be complicated and tricky, especially if you have concerns about your spouse trying to hide assets from you or your spouse trying to make the child custody case much more difficult than it should be. There are numerous steps you will want to consider prior to your divorce so that you are prepared, and an experienced Chicago divorce lawyer can help you with the planning process. In the meantime, here are five steps you should take before your divorce in Illinois.

  1. Gather Important Financial Documents

Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), all of the property that you and your spouse own will need to be classified as marital or separate property, and marital property will be distributed based on the theory of equitable distribution. To ensure that all property is accurately classified and distributed, you will need to have accurate information and documentation, from tax returns to investment account statements. In particular, if you are concerned that your spouse could attempt to hide or conceal assets, you will want to make sure you have copies of your spouse’s tax information, pay stubs, and accounts.

  1. Obtain Information About Assets and Debts

From valuable art collections or real estate to substantial debts, you should obtain full and accurate information about all assets and debts that you and your spouse own. It is often helpful to make a list that includes information about the date the property was acquired, whether the property was ever appraised, and notes about documentation relating to the assets and debts.

  1. Make a Budget

Everyone needs a divorce budget. Sit down and make a realistic budget that you can stick to during and after the divorce case.

  1. Reconsider Social Media Posts

Social media posts can be extremely damaging in a divorce case. For example, if you post any photographs or comments that suggest you are able to afford certain items or experiences, you could hurt your spousal support case. If you post photographs or other content that might lead your ex to suggest that you should not have parenting time or other parental responsibilities, you should know that the information from your social media accounts may be accessible to the court and to your ex. Even if you put privacy settings on your accounts, you should never assume that the information is actually private. Accordingly, you should consider ceasing all social media posts until your case is done. 

  1. Hire the Best Divorce Lawyer for Your Case

You should hire the best lawyer for your case. Navigating Illinois divorce law is complicated, and you should have an experienced advocate on your side from the start.


If you are planning to file for divorce, or if your spouse has started discussions about divorce, it is time to get prepared. There are a number of critical steps to take before your divorce, and a dedicated Chicago divorce lawyer can assist you. Contact Arami Law, Inc. to learn more about our services.

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