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Steps to Take to Protect Yourself Financially During Divorce

Posted on July 31, 2014 in Divorce

cost of divorce, Illinois divorce lawyer, Illinois divorce attorney, divorce financesYou have finally made the decision to get a divorce. Whether it is an agreed upon decision with your spouse or something you've decided on your own, there are several things you should do in order to help minimize the financial hit you could be facing.

According to financial advisors, one of the first things you want to get rid of is any joint loans and credit cards you have with your soon-to-be ex-spouse. Until your divorce is final, you and your spouse are both legally and financially responsible for each other’s debts, even if you had nothing to do with incurring the debt. If your spouse takes your shared credit card that and decides to go out and charge a whole new wardrobe on it, you are both responsible for the debt. Never assume that your spouse would not do something like that. Even the friendliest divorces can suddenly turn contentious.

Another mistake some people make is making all kinds of financial concessions in order to keep peace during a divorce in order to speed up the process. In some cases, couples opt for mediation rather than litigation, assuming that it will make the divorce process smoother. Mediation is best for couples who had a short marriage with few assets and no children, and couples with great communication skills. In other situations, litigation with attorneys for each partner may be a better option.

Another of the biggest financial mistakes is thinking that each party will be able to maintain the same lifestyle they had during the marriage. Today, in most households, both spouses work. It’s important to remember that you are going from two incomes to one, so there will be those "extras" that you may not be able to enjoy as much anymore because of the expense.

This also includes keeping the marital home. The financial reality may be that you just cannot afford to stay in your home and may have to look at other options. Selling the home and downsizing to something more affordable could be both financially and emotionally better for both you and your children in the long run.

It is also important to make sure that the divorce settlement covers those issues that may come up in the future; otherwise you could find yourself racking up legal expenses going back and forth to court with your ex-spouse. The key to a solid divorce settlement is having an experienced Arlington Heights family law attorney representing you during this process.
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