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How to plan for a divorce

Planning for a divorce is not something many married couples in Illinois want to contemplate, especially if their marriage is going well. However, the rate of divorce in the United States is almost 50 percent with nearly 2 million divorces occurring each year. Understanding the divorce process and having an idea of what to expect can help lower anxiety about divorce if it occurs. Making plans for before, during and after a divorce is important part of getting through the process successfully.

People who get a divorce will have to file the required paperwork, conduct research into their own and their spouse's financial background and go through disposition. For those who want to end their marriage without having to go to trial, they have many options available to them. Depending on the factors of their relationship with their soon-to-be ex-spouse, they can use a collaborative divorce or the mediation process to arrive at mutually agreed upon settlement terms.

Before filing for a divorce, it will be necessary to get as organized as possible. This can result in divorcees having to pay less in attorney expenses and other fees associated with divorce. They should have on hand brokerage statements, tax returns, bank statements, retirement account information and mortgage documents. It can also be helpful to develop a budget for income and expenses for after the divorce is finalized.

Any joint accounts that are open should be closed before filing for divorce. This includes joint credit card accounts. This is to avoid being held liable for expenses incurred by a spouse.

A family law attorney may guide clients through the divorce process. The attorney may advise clients about what legal steps should be taken to obtain favorable settlement terms regarding alimony, the division of marital assets, child custody and other unresolved legal issues.

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