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Solidify Your Finances Before Divorce

Posted on in Divorce

Naperville divorce lawyerDivorce can be tough, both on your emotions and your wallet. Even amicable splits can leave people hurting financially, so it is important that those with a divorce in the future take steps to protect themselves. Seemingly minor actions like monitoring your credit score and opening up a new bank account can help you land on your feet post divorce. It is a good idea to review a few key actions you can take to protect your finances both during and after your divorce.

Gather Information

The first step in protecting your finances, and a very important one, is gathering all of your important financial information. Specialists recommend digging out documents covering the past five years - items like pay stubs, tax returns, bank account statements, and property information. These will all come in handy when it comes time to start negotiating with your soon to be ex. For those in need of extra protection, consider making copies of all of your important documents and store them outside of your home. A trusted friend or family member can hold on to them for you, or a private deposit box works as well. Just ensure that all of your important documents will be available when it comes time to discuss them.

Take Stock of Your Assets

Step two is inventorying all of your assets. This process can be done simultaneously to gathering all of your important financial documents. List out every asset you have. In Illinois, any item acquired during your marriage, aside from inheritances or gifts given exclusively to you, will likely be considered marital property and will be divided equitably between you and your spouse. Take stock of any items you received or purchased prior to your marriage as well.

Those worried about their spouse’s potential actions should take extra precautions as well. Consider taking time stamped photos of each of your valuable items or assets. It may seem overkill, but lawyers report that it is not uncommon for valuables to disappear once the divorce process starts.

Keep Tabs on Your Credit

If you want to walk away from your divorce with a clean slate, it is extremely important that you keep a close eye on your credit. Get a copy of your credit report, and make note of any outstanding debts. Ensure that everything listed makes sense, and notify your attorney of anything out of the ordinary. You and your spouse should detail how to separate or pay off any shared debts you have during your divorce negotiations, so that each party is only responsible for their portion moving forward. Keep in mind that unresolved debt can come back to hurt you. Say, for example, you and your spouse had a shared credit card while married. Even if you pay off your portion of the balance, if your spouse does not, your credit score could suffer. Most lenders do not consider divorce as a reason to stop paying, so it is always easier to divide the debt during your divorce so you can move on without any issues.

Open Your Own Accounts

If you know a divorce is on the horizon, it is time to open separate accounts exclusively in your name. Open a savings, a checking, and even a credit card, and consider doing so at bank other than the one you and your spouse used while married. Be sure to use your credit card wisely to build up your credit for your life post-divorce.

Plan to Cut Your Expenses

Some people are able to divorce and maintain their same lifestyles. Most, however, need to cut back and plan for supporting themselves post-divorce. Examine your budget and plan for the future. What expenses, if any, can you cut? Do not forget to factor in the costs of your divorce.

Attorneys Here to Help

Divorce is complicated, but it should not leave you financially or emotionally drained. At Pesce Law Group, P.C., our attorneys are here to help you with every step of the divorce process. Call 630-352-2240 to speak to a qualified Naperville divorce attorney today.


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