There are three stages to a divorce. The first is filing. The next is discovery, which involves both spouses sharing all financial information. Finally, the last is disposition, which may involve mediation or going to court. People in Illinois may be able to make this process less stressful by preparing ahead of time.
The most important preparation may be making sure that divorce is the best solution. Research into state divorce law may help with this decision. Once a person has decided, the next step should be getting important paperwork together. This should include ordering credit reports as well as getting copies of tax returns, mortgage information and any other relevant financial records. With this information, a person can create a post-divorce budget. Having a budget and thinking about goals after the divorce can help a person determine how to approach negotiations. People should also close any accounts shared with a spouse.
Parents will need to decide how they will approach child custody and visitation. This should be done by prioritizing the best interests of the child. Finally, people should avoid turning to their attorney for issues better handled in therapy, and they may want to add a therapist to their team of professionals. Self-care can be an important element in getting through a divorce.
It may be possible to resolve child custody and property division through negotiation, and this approach can be less expensive and stressful. Couples may also remain more in control of the final agreement if they avoid litigation. However, people should be fully aware of the financial implications of their decisions. For example, two accounts that look as though they are worth roughly the same amount might not be if one is subject to tax on distribution and the other is not. An attorney might be able to assist a person in reaching a financially sound settlement.