Women are under an enormous amount of stress when going through a divorce. Dealing with the legal, financial, and emotional aspects of a divorce while juggling the demands of children and a career can be overwhelming at times. With all of this pressure, it is easy for women to make decisions based on emotion. If you feel that divorce is imminent, whether you are initiating it, or you believe your spouse is going to, there are steps you should take to be prepared.
- Consult an experienced divorce attorney – Your attorney can explain your legal rights and responsibilities. It is important to have an expert advisor from the very beginning; bad decisions in the early stages of the process can have long-term effects on your life. An attorney can warn you of traps that you would not know existed on your own. For example, moving out with the kids, even for a short while, can be a huge mistake.
- Make copies of documents – Make copies of bank statements, tax returns, insurance policies, check registers, credit card statements, retirement account statements, investment statements, Social Security statements, mortgage documents, automobile titles, wills, any financial statements, and the financial information stored on your computer.
- Inventory possessions – Make a detailed list of items of value such as safe deposit box contents, jewelry, art, autos, furniture, and appliances.
- Determine your monthly expenses – As much as possible track your monthly household expenses over the past year, include mortgage, utilities, cash payments and other monthly expenditures.
- Know your spouse’s income – Determine what your spouse’s income and assets are. If it is possible that assets have been hidden, watch for antiques, hobby equipment, artwork, repayment of a phony debt, income unreported on tax statements, anything that seems odd financially may be a hint of hidden resources.
- Evaluate your own financial situation – Examine your credit history, and establish or repair it if necessary. Assess your employability; determine if furthering your education would be beneficial.
- Make your kids your top priority – Divorce is difficult for the couple involved, but it can be even more difficult for the children. Try to keep their routines as normal as possible, refrain from arguing in front of them, and don’t vilify the other parent to them.
Strive for an amicable divorce if possible. The attorneys of David M. Siegel and associates believe that many cases can be simplified if both parties and their attorneys keep the lines of communication open and have realistic expectations. They will strive for an amicable process, but when that is not possible, they are seasoned, experienced attorneys who are familiar with the Chicago court system and will fight for your rights as aggressively as is necessary. Call (847) 520-8100 for a consultation.