Couples who are divorcing or thinking about divorcing should get a head start on their new financial outlook to better ensure a smooth transition.
During a divorce in Illinois, both parties should restructure their finances in a way that they are covered during as well as after the divorce. Dissolving a marriage also means dissolving financial ties, which can heap a great deal of emotional stress on the shoulders of everyone involved. Being well-prepared for what is to come goes a long way in avoiding unnecessary stress and enjoyed well-deserved financial success during this time.
Decide if being “apart-together” is more financially beneficial
While discussing divorce, both spouses might agree that it will be better for both of them financially if they only separate before fully committing to getting a divorce. Doing so allows them continued access to shared insurance plans and tax benefits while delaying the expense of getting a divorce. While separated, both parties can agree to live their own separate lives but remain legally married until they are both in a better financial position. However, the parties should be aware that under the current maintenance statute in Illinois, the length of time that one is married before filing for divorce could determine the length of time maintenance is paid. Therefore, one should be aware that waiting for weeks or months to file could adversely or positively affect the maintenance issue, if applicable.
Create a new budget
It is also a good idea for both spouses to create brand new budgets, ones that only consist of a single income as well as any assets not considered marital property. While there might be spousal or child support involved, the divorce proceedings might not yet be at that stage. In any case, it is a good idea to get a head start on figuring out financial life after divorce.
Ask an attorney for advice
Experienced attorneys are well-aware that money is often one of the biggest concerns when it comes to divorce. It is a good idea for divorcing couples to speak to their attorneys and ask for any financial tips they have to help them maintain solid financial footing after their divorce. Asking for advice is much better than making costly mistakes that could have been avoided.
Start gathering all necessary documents
Divorce involves an abundance of paperwork, and it is a good idea for both parties to gather all financial documents they might need. Such documents include the following:
● Credit card statements
● Savings and checking account statements
● Loan documents
● Income tax returns
● Investment and retirement account statements
It is often best to start getting financial paperwork together as soon as possible, mainly because the task can be rather time-consuming. There is also the fact that it might take some time for requests for paperwork to be fulfilled.
Save as much as possible
Not only can divorce be expensive, life after divorce can come with its own share of unforeseen expenses as well. For that reason, it is a good idea to build and maintain extra savings in an emergency divorce account.
Illinois couples planning on divorcing need legal help just as much as they need financial help. Sitting down with an attorney is a wise idea, even if the couple has yet to decide one way or another about divorcing.