How to Protect Yourself Financially After Your Illinois Divorce
Divorce is an extremely emotional process that will affect almost every aspect of your life. The financial impact of divorce can leave some recently divorced individuals unsure of how to proceed. Getting a divorce is expensive and you may find that you have a much tighter budget afterward as well as additional ongoing costs, such as spousal maintenance or child support. When going through a divorce, it is crucial to take important steps that will protect your finances and help you start off your new life on the right foot.
Document All Marital Property
Illinois is an equitable distribution state that means that property in a divorce is divided fairly, but not necessarily equally. A judge will consider a number of factors when dividing marital property including the contribution of each spouse to the marriage, financial stability, and other factors. Marital property includes any assets that were obtained by the couple during the marriage. It is important to document all assets, debts, and other marital property so you can ensure all assets are accounted for.
Locate Hidden Assets
Spouses sometimes try to hide assets in an effort to keep them out of the marital division process. If you allow your spouse to do this, you may be leaving assets on the table that can help you financially after the divorce. Always speak to an experienced divorce attorney who will work with other professionals such as forensic accountants and investigators to discover hidden assets if necessary.
Do Not Sign Anything
In an effort to encourage you to sign away your rights, your spouse may ask you to sign an agreement on how marital property will be divided in the divorce. It is best not to sign these agreements when emotions could cloud your judgment. Instead, take the agreement to a family lawyer who can read them and advise on whether or not you should sign.
Create Your Own Accounts
After divorce, the finances of you and your spouse will be completely separate so it is a good idea to start treating your finances separately now. If you and your spouse have a joint bank account, create a new one that is only in your name and is with a different financial institution. Also, if you stayed at home to take care of the children and the house while your spouse worked, you will likely not be able to do that for too long after your divorce. Start thinking about re-entering the workforce in order to earn an income and possibly even reduce expenses once the divorce is finalized.
Contact a Hoffman Estates Asset Division Attorney
Although it is not something people want to think about when going through a divorce, there is a chance that your finances will be affected. Skilled Palatine divorce lawyer Nicholas W. Richardson will work tirelessly to protect your rights to the marital estate and will help you secure the fairest settlement possible. Call him today at 847-873-6741 to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about how he can help you achieve financial security after your divorce.