Getting a divorce is far from easy. There are so many elements to deal with, not to mention mounds of paperwork. The process is lengthy and costly, lasting a year or longer. To file for divorce in Illinois, you first need to meet the residency requirement. You must reside in the state for at least 90 days prior to filing. Once you meet this requirement, the process is just beginning. There is a lot more that needs to be done. Preparing for a divorce can feel overwhelming. It is a huge life decision. Are you ready for it? Here are the steps to take.
Find the Right Lawyer
Find a lawyer who is experienced in family law and can help you settle your issues outside of court. Mediation and other forms of collaborative law can help you and your spouse resolve issues related to property division, child custody, alimony, and more.
You will need to get a good idea of your assets and debts, as they will be split in a divorce. You need to gather documentation relating to all your marital property, including the marital home, vehicles, bank accounts, pension plans, artwork, and collectibles. Marital debt will also need to be calculated. Typically, the person who is better able to pay off the debt will be assigned to it. This may or may not be the person who accumulated the debt.
You will also need to prove your income through pay stubs and tax returns. When a spouse is self-employed, bank statements and business records will be needed. If you do not have enough information about your spouse’s income, your lawyer can get more data through the discovery process.
Close Joint Accounts
You should close any joint accounts as soon as possible. This will prevent your spouse from charging a bunch of debt on credit cards and making you responsible for repayment.
If your credit was tied to your spouse, you will need to change that after a divorce. Work to establish credit in your name only. Start off small with a credit card and be responsible for it. Pay off the balance in full every month. By not running up a bunch of debt, your credit score will improve.
During a divorce, you want to be on your best behavior. Do not do anything that is questionable and can threaten child custody, property division, or anything else that is important to you. Stay off social media and avoid drinking, drug use, and partying. Focus on your children and take care of yourself during this time.
Contact a Chicago Divorce Attorney
Divorce can be a long process. Make sure you are prepared for what lies ahead by taking the right steps.
Arami Law, Inc. can help you get the best outcome in your divorce. We will work hard to help you meet your goals and represent your interests. Schedule a consultation today by calling our office or filling out the online form.