The possibility of divorce may not be the first thing on the minds of couples in Illinois who are getting married, but it might be a good idea to prepare financially all the same. For people who worry that this indicates a cynical view of marriage, one financial expert points out that it is not very different from the precautionary step of putting on a seat belt when getting into a car.
A couple who has not yet married can draw up a prenuptial agreement that addresses which assets and debts they would like to keep separate and what they want to happen to shared assets if they divorce. A married couple can do something similar with a postnuptial agreement. Another step a couple may want to take before marriage is having any assets that are difficult to appraise, such as a business, valuated.
Couples should keep detailed financial records. They should also consider opening individual bank accounts even if they share a joint account. People can manage their separate assets and debts from these individual accounts. If people want to keep inheritances separate, they should keep any money related to them in separate accounts. A person who inherits a home should not use marital funds for renovations, taxes or other expenses.
While these precautions may help make the process of property division in a divorce less difficult, people may still be able to negotiate what they feel is a fair settlement even without these precautions in place. They may want to talk to their attorneys about their financial goals and concerns.