While the holidays should be a time when families spend time together and create life-long memories, this is not always the case. Unfortunately, many people are mired in troubled relationships and the holiday season may impose extra strains on such relationships.
Some use the hustle and bustle to avoid their estranged spouse, and others seek the comfort and advice of family to help them cope. Regardless, troubled couples, especially women, will oftentimes use the New Year as a time to reassess their marriages. It is no secret that more divorces are filed in January than any other month of the year.
If you are contemplating divorce in Illinois, the following tips can help put you in position to make a transition in 2012.
Collect financial documents – Divorces, no matter how much money couples have, commonly involve the division of financial assets. It is important to know what you and your spouse own, and what can be considered marital property. As such, try to gather year end statements for your mortgage, bank accounts, credit card accounts, any investment accounts and any retirement accounts. This does not mean you should take the documents and hide them from your spouse. Instead, you should either copy the documents or make detailed index of the accounts you and your spouse have and the current balances in those accounts.
Create a budget – It is also important to know how much it will cost to maintain a new household or your current household with (or without) help from your spouse. Most people believe that spousal maintenance will be automatically given, but in reality, a need must be shown before a court will order support. Getting through a divorce will sometimes involve more than just hiring an experienced attorney. Depending on the parties’ finances, you might need additional professionals such as: a financial planner, an accountant or an investment advisor. A divorce is also an emotionally difficult process, and getting the help of a trained therapist can help you get through the process.
If you have questions about the divorce process and other rights regarding child custody and property division, an experienced family law attorney can help.