Illinois Divorce Documentation Checklist: Ensuring Your Right to Fair and Equitable Division of Property
You struggled with the decision, but you finally concluded that divorcing your spouse will be the best course of action. You are a stickler for detail, and before you contact an experienced Illinois divorce attorney, you want to secure all personal documentation that may later be requested.
According to About.com's Divorce Support, having documents readily available to your attorney will ultimately alleviate any confusion and make the negotiation stage of the divorce run more smoothly. It is also suggested that presenting your attorney, and later the courts, an organized and complete document file provides you with more support of your case.
It is further recommended that you construct your divorce document checklist in this order:
- All paycheck stubs for all sources of employment for the past year;
- For those self-employed, secure business expense reports;
- For those accepting cash as employment compensation, secure cash ledgers;
- Federal and state joint or individual tax returns for the past three years;
- Copy of all financial statements estimating net worth for securing loans during marriage;
- Any additional records you feel will support financial earrings or net worth during marriage.
- Documentation of legal description of any real estate holdings, jointly or individually owned;
- Current mortgage statements on any mortgaged real estate holdings;
- Documentation pertaining to initial purchase of real estate holdings;
- Refinancing Documentation on any real estate holdings;
- Tax Assessment Documentation on any real estate holdings.
- Bank statements for the past two years, jointly or individually held;
- Documentation of passbook savings, certificates of deposit, jointly or individually held.
- All current policies for all family members;
- Policy statements documenting either cash balances or loans against the policy.
- An itemized list of all secured debt incurred jointly or individually;
- An itemized list of all unsecured debt incurred jointly or individually.
Possible Pension and Retirement Funds
- Recent statement of all pension or retirement funds, 401k plans, mutual funds or IRAs;
- Automobiles or recreational vehicles;
- Title and registration for all vehicles, jointly or individually owned;
- Documentation of outstanding secured debt for any item falling under this category.
For those residing in Illinois, remember that Illinois is an equitable division state. Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5) if all parties are unable to reach an agreement regarding property division, the court will hand down a fair and equitable ruling regarding all marital property. “Equitable” is not always synonymous with “even.”
After securing all documentation, pack up your file, and consult with an experienced divorce attorney who will work side by side with you to ensure that you receive a fair and equitable property division agreement as part of your final divorce decree.
The Law Offices of Nicholas W. Richardson, P.C., serving Palatine, Barrington, Schaumburg, Arlington Heights and Rolling Meadows as well as Cook and DuPage counties, takes the time to review your documentation and works toward a favorable property division outcome. Attorney Richardson offers his clients evening and weekend appointments if necessary. Contact him today to schedule your free consultation today.