You have reached the point where you know you want to file for divorce, but that doesn’t mean that the hardest part of the process is behind you. Instead, it means that you will soon have to make some difficult decisions with your spouse.
You will have to divvy up your assets up and make custody arrangements if you share minor children. A little forethought and planning before you head to court or enter negotiations with your spouse can go a long way toward protecting your interests in your Illinois divorce proceedings.
Secure copies of financial records as early as possible
One of the ways that people may try to control or manipulate divorce proceedings is by refusing to give their ex access to the household financial records or altering those records in the hope of securing an advantage.
Income records, tax returns and monthly bank statements can all play a role in the outcome. Obtaining accurate copies on your own so that you don’t have to demand them from your ex will put you in a better position to evaluate your shared resources.
Familiarize yourself with the idea of equitable distribution
Equitable distribution requires a careful review of the marriage situation and the circumstances of the individual spouses. The ultimate goal is an appropriate and fair division of your assets and debts.
There can be a lot of interpretive gray areas in equitable distribution, meaning you are in a position to negotiate for certain concessions based on your contributions to the marriage and your current situation.
Be thorough with your asset inventory, and scrutinize the one provided by your spouse
Creating an extensive list of your shared property is one of the big steps in a divorce. You need to perform a comprehensive accounting of all of your assets and debts. Everything from your shared credit cards to individual vehicles purchased during the marriage is part of your marital assets.
It’s important that the list includes everything and that the prices or values attached to your assets are accurate. Reviewing your spouse’s inventory of assets is as important as creating your own. You may notice intentional omissions or unrealistic values intended to deprive you of your share of the marital estate.
Being proactive about protecting yourself during property division can help you exit your marriage with fewer regrets.