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IL divorce lawyerDivorce is the legal process of dismantling a marriage, and as such, the divorce process involves many financial decisions like dividing a couple’s marital property and determining whether spousal maintenance is necessary and appropriate. For the individuals getting divorced, the divorce process can be expensive. It also involves individual planning on each partner’s part to ensure that he or she does not face financial hardship after the divorce. Your discussions with your lawyer should cover every financial topic related to divorce, such as the tax obligations that come with certain marital assets and how to divide your retirement accounts through a QDRO. On your end, take the following initiatives to make the divorce process as financially straightforward for yourself as possible.

Completely Sever Yourself from Your Spouse Financially

Before the divorce is finalized, work with your spouse to close all your joint accounts. If he or she is an authorized user on your credit cards, remove him or her from them. You might choose to divide your outstanding credit card debt yourselves by transferring it to two new, separate credit cards. This is also the time to determine how to divide your shared investments.

Determine Your Post-Divorce Obligations and Create a Budget

After your divorce, you will probably be living off just your own income. This significant change in household income warrants a new budget.

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Illinois divorce lawyer, Illinois family attorneyRegardless of where you stand with money matters throughout the course of your marriage, the moment your relationship comes to an end, your financial security can change drastically, in a short period of time. Whether you have been accustomed to a very comfortable life or have always struggled to make ends meet, the moment you undergo divorce, your financial well-being is exposed to a number of risks, and many of those risks have the potential to affect your bank account and the overall quality of your life for many years to come.

Thinking Ahead

Many individuals are able to prepare for the financial implications of divorce well ahead of time, months before they even begin divorce proceedings. Others are left scrambling at the last minute or after the split to figure out how to put the pieces together and provide for themselves. Whatever your divorce circumstances, planning is key. Here are some ways you can take steps toward successfully standing on your own feet once your marriage is over:

1.Explore potential maintenance options - Once referred to as alimony, maintenance is a form of spousal support that requires the spouse who earns the larger income to provide payments to the other spouse. In the state of Illinois, not all lesser-earning spouses are guaranteed maintenance, and granted maintenance is usually temporary, but it is important to at least speak with an attorney to inquire about your potential options for receiving payments to ensure you aren’t missing out on funds that could help you provide for yourself. The court will look at a number of different factors when deciding whether or not to award maintenance payments, so do not rule out pursuing a maintenance order until you get all the facts.

2. Create a financial snapshot - In order to know where you stand before and after your divorce, it is essential to create a general snapshot of your finances. This means gathering as many details as possible and assembling lists of any and all debts, assets, and newly opened accounts. You will need a clear picture of what you owe versus the income you will bring in on your own, without your spouse, in order to sit down with a financial planner and create a new budget for your post-divorce lifestyle.

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