What’s the First Thing to Do When Considering Divorce?

The thought of divorce can be exhausting, and it is hard to know where to start. Many people who file for divorce have been thinking about the possibility of filing for divorce for at least two years prior to actually proceeding with talking to an expert regarding the process. But, the truth of the matter is that a spouse considering divorce should talk to a skilled divorce attorney in Chicago as early as possible to assist them in planning for the upcoming divorce proceedings. This is the single most important thing that someone should do if they are considering divorce.

Tips to Doing Well in the Divorce Process

Education is key to doing well in the divorce process and the more someone knows, the better they can plan.

For example, most people do not realize that the court will look at what the status quo has been for the twenty-four (24) months prior to filing, in regard to parenting time and allocation of parental responsibilities (formerly known as “custody” in Illinois). So, if someone is considering divorce and they want to try and obtain as much parenting time as possible, they need at least twenty-four (24) months of setting the example they want the court to look at when deciding in their case. Wouldn’t it be nice to know these things two years prior to filing?

Gather All Financial Statements and Records for the Past 3–5 Years

Additionally, spouses do not know how to prepare financially for a divorce, or what records are important. I always tell clients to keep their tax returns, bank statements, checking account statements, W-2s, 1099s, and paychecks, as well as quarterly retirement statements and other financial documents. They need to keep these documents from the time they talk to me going forward. This is important since once someone files for divorce there is usually a request for these financial documents going back 3–5 years. It is important to keep your financial records in order, as it makes it easier and less costly to gather this information once the process begins. I also encourage clients to find out more about their spouse’s finances if they do not keep their accounts jointly.

Have Trusted Financial Professionals You Can Count On

It is also important that someone going through a divorce has the necessary services in place. If they have a high net-worth estate, they will want to ensure that they have found a CPA whom they can trust, as well as a financial advisor. A lot of married folks will use the same CPA and the same financial advisor. They may not be comfortable proceeding with the same advisors once the divorce is finalized if they believe these people have ties or loyalties to their soon-to-be ex.

Consider Support from a Good Therapist

Just as important as the financial services are the mental health services for you and your children. A therapist can be particularly helpful for a divorcing party and minor children. It is important to have a safe space for you and your children to talk to someone about these things. Many schools offer divorce support groups for minor children, too. Obviously, it isn’t wise to enroll children in such a support group until after the parties have jointly discussed telling the children about a divorce, but it is good to know that there are resources at many schools.

Are Your Considering Divorce in Chicago?

There is a whole wealth of information to be obtained by divorcing parties in the event that they find themselves facing a divorce. If you’re in the Chicago area, this information can be obtained by speaking to a trusted, skilled Chicago divorce attorney. While the internet has a ton of information, it is not a substitute for speaking to someone who is in the field and practices in your jurisdiction. We are always happy to talk to potential clients to see if we are a good fit for their case.

THIS ARTICLE WAS PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED AT: https://illinoislawforyou.com/blog/whats-the-first-thing-to-do-when-considering-divorce/

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