Getting a divorce often has major financial implications for both parties, stemming in large part from the division of marital assets and the transition from a combined family income to an individual income. If you are not careful, you could end up in a situation from which it is difficult to recover. An attorney can help you make good decisions throughout the legal process that protect your financial interests and can contribute to your long-term stability.
Tips for Addressing the Financial Challenges of Divorce
There are several things you can do both during and after your divorce to promote your personal financial stability. Here are some suggestions:
- Consider lower-cost methods of divorce resolution. If you and your spouse are open to communication and negotiation regarding your divorce agreement, an uncontested divorce is usually the most cost-effective approach. You may still have some costs, including the services of an attorney to advise you or a mediator to guide negotiations, but they will often be minimal compared to the high attorney fees and court costs associated with a protracted divorce trial.
- Think carefully about the division of assets and debts. Illinois law requires divorcing couples to equitably divide marital property, and in many cases, couples can work out this arrangement on their own. You should carefully consider not just which properties are most important to you, but also how the distribution will impact your overall financial situation. For example, even if you have a strong personal attachment to your family home, it may not be financially viable for you to assume the full mortgage obligation and property taxes without your spouse’s contributions.
- Understand child support and spousal support. If you have minor children, one spouse will almost certainly be required to pay child support to the other, with the amount determined based on a calculation established by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services. Spousal support, on the other hand, is usually only awarded if one of the spouses has a demonstrable financial need. You should consider whether you are likely to be the paying or receiving spouse when planning for your post-divorce income and expenses.
- Create a personal budget. Whether or not you and your spouse had a clearly defined family budget during your marriage, it is a good idea to create a budget of your own after the divorce is finalized. This will provide you with a clear picture of your assets and debts, as well as your income and expenses, and help you implement a new savings strategy and determine whether you need to explore options for increasing your earnings, like going back to school or looking for a new job.
Contact a DuPage County Divorce Attorney
At the Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices, we work to protect your personal and financial interests during the divorce process, and we can advise you on many of the important decisions you will need to make. For a free initial consultation, contact an experienced Naperville divorce lawyer today at 630-420-1000....