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How to prepare financially for divorce

It costs a lot of money to go through a divorce. Illinois is actually one of the more expensive states in the country to divorce, with the average divorce filing fee being $289. That does not even take into account the attorney's fees.

To prepare for this, you need to plan your finances accordingly. While you should seek an uncontested, amicable divorce when possible, there is the likelihood of having a contested divorce. Either way, the following actions can help you get your finances in order before pursuing divorce in earnest. 

Start saving now

Before filing the necessary paperwork, you have likely known for a while that you want to go through a divorce. During this time, you need to start saving up money in a separate bank account so that you can survive on your own if necessary. Many legal professionals recommend saving up enough money to where you can live on your own for six months without any extra income. 

Open a new bank account

You want to ensure that you always have access to funds during the divorce. Some spouses end up getting cut off from their joint bank account during a divorce, and it can complicate matters significantly. Instead, you want to open a completely separate bank account, preferably at a bank where you have not deposited your joint marital assets. 

Organize your filing cabinet

You need to gather an array of documents to provide to your lawyer and to utilize for your personal benefit. Some of the documents you need to acquire include:

  • Real estate documents
  • Investments
  • Wills and trusts
  • IRAs and 401(k)s
  • Credit reports
  • Tax returns

Some of these documents will be necessary when you want to set up a new bank account or credit card. They also help when determining the total value of the assets you own. You should organize all this together before the process begins. 

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